An artist with her mind on the subterranean has recorded sounds from 30,000 feet under the Earth's surface. Lotte Geevan says: "For this project I travelled to the deepest open hole in the world to find out about it’s mysteries and to record the sound of the earth."
The first time Geeven listened to the sound with proper headphones, she recalls feeling overwhelmed by what she heard. ”All the hair on my arm stood up straight and if I hear it now again after many times it still has the same effect on me,” she says. The sound was like rumbling thunder, or the oncoming roar of a tornado ripping through the sky. “
Beautiful. Lotte Geevan, you are an Infocult hero.
The story consists entirely of answering machine messages, played back and sometimes manipulated (the identify of the machine's operator only becomes clear towards the end). A variety of voices outline multiple plot threads, all of which coalesce into the main narrative. Its emotional power builds through a chilling climax.
Julie Hoverson has been doing fantastic work for years. Check her out, o devoted minions of Infocult.
"One by One" is a terrific example of scary audio theater. It's a Halloween story, where pretend horror gives way to actual disaster. The setting is a radio station, and the show does a fine job of creating an oldies station in detail: station staff, call-ins, stagey sound effects, and an elderly host. As this review notes, that lead performance is excellent.
There's also an impressive engagement with different types of horror technologies, from an embedded classic of Canadian radio drama to engagement with online media.
Welcome to Night Vale is a splendidly creepy podcast series. It concerns an American town where strange and unsettling events happen regularly.
If you haven't heard it, imagine a charming late-night radio announcer relaying the following in an ominous yet civic tone of voice:
Dogs are not allowed in the Dog Park. People are not allowed in the Dog Park. It is possible you will see hooded figures in the Dog Park. Do not approach them. Do not approach the Dog Park.
The fence is electrified and highly dangerous.
Try not to look at the Dog Park. And especially do not look for any period of time at the hooded figures. The Dog Park will not harm you.
Or read this to yourself in a jovial yet white-knuckled narration:
It's election season again, and you know what that means.
Sheriff's secret police will be coming by to collect certain family members so that everyone votes for the correct council seats and there's no confusion.
These family members will be held in a secure and undisclosed location, which everyone knows is the abandoned mineshaft outside of town.
But don't let the name fool you, listeners. It's been used for years for so many kidnappings and illegal detentions that the abandoned mineshaft outside of town is actually a pretty nice location these days, featuring king-sized beds, free Wi-Fi, and HBO. Also, torture cubicles, but I don't think anyone's going to make the council use them. Remember, this is America. Vote correctly, or never see your loved ones again.
Go here and start downloading. And hail the glow cloud.
(many thanks to Amanda and other friends who insisted)
Here's a gem of Gothic audio: episodes of Nightfall (CBC, 1980-1983), a Canadian radio theater show. Some fans set up a resource on the program, including background and streamed episodes.
If you prefer to download mp3 files for later terror - which is the Infocult way - the Internet Archive has a nice set.
The Nightfall Project offers this tantalizing sketch:
[W]at made NIGHTFALL such a popular series at the time, and what makes it so popular among radio drama enthusiasts today, was Howell's vision of a show that pushed boundaries. Some episodes were so terrifying that the CBC registered hundreds of complaints and some affiliate stations — ones that carried certain CBC programs to outlying areas in the Provinces, but were not CBC stations in themselves — were forced to drop the series. Episodes like the previously-mentioned Repossession (which featured the sounds of a man tearing out his own heart), The Blood Countess (which aurally portrayed some of the hideous acts carried out by the Countess Elizabeth Bathory during her reign in the 17th Century) and The Porch Light (a tense psychological thiller about a couple trapped in a secluded house and haunted by the spectre of a pajama-clad man standing under their porch light in the midst of a raging blizzard) contributed to the collective nightmares of the listening Canadian public.
Kim Newman has a fine story about Edgar Allan Poe and Hollywood. "Illimitable Dominion" is an alternate history/Poe mashup, starting from the Vincent Price/Roger Corman movies, then racing off in a... different direction.