A dark current of productive influence ran from American radio to horror comics. Classic audio theater from the 30s and 40s fed the rising comic industry.
Lights Out, May 18, 1943, "The Spider": Two men discover and try to capture a giant spider the size of a dog, with grim results. The same plot occurs in "Sucker for a Spider", EC's Tales from the Crypt 29, 1952.
Lights Out, December 1, 1942, "The Story of Mr. Maggs": A haunted chest murders the occupants of a house one at a time. Also "The Visiting Corpse" (from Mysterious Traveler, August 10, 1948): A man kills his wife and hides her dismembered corpse in a trunk before being forced to hid the trunk and getting crushed to death by it when he falls down a flight of stairs dragging it down to the basement. Those two stories are echoed in "Tight Grip", EC's Tales from the Crypt 38, 1953.
The Strange Dr. Weird, December 19, 1944, "White Pearls of Terror": A ruthless criminal takes refuge on a remote island only to realize too late that he has disembarked on a leper colony. The same plot is recycled in "A Rottin' Trick" EC's Tales from the Crypt 29, April 1952.
Gothic media circulation is a terrific subject. It's important to investigate how creepy stories and memes migrated across platforms: movies, radio, newspaper, magazines, urban legends, books, games, music.
If Lovecraft tends to fail on the big screen, how about on stage? Jason Zinoman describes some fine-sounding theatrical productions of HPL tales.
[F]our actors [spoke] into microphones in solitary spotlights. Creepy music, a few light cues and a burst of smoke are the only design...
Clay McLeod Chapman, a playwright and performer, delivered an evocative Lovecraftian monologue in his annual macabre series “The Pumpkin Pie Show”, which took place in a small black box off-off Broadway in October. And when Mike Daisey performed a spooky meditation on H.P. Lovecraft’s “Barring the Unforseen” last year in New York, ushers led audience members one by one to their seats in a pitch-black room.
I like the way these draw on two scary story traditions: oral (think campfire) and radio.
Zinoman doesn't mention the huge boom in Lovecraft via podcasts, which is odd. But given his recent book's subject, I'll assume this was due to word count limitations.
Here's a fun thing: Vincent Price telling you short-short stories. These minitales are from an album (vinyl recording, children) called Odyssey, dating back to around 1970, and lovingly digitized by the teeming cultural brain that is WFMU.
The stories' topics are varied, from local history (California, Oregon, the Dakotas) to Ripley's-style horror. Price is often a character. Some are adverts. All end with a cheerful "so long!"
(thanks to involuntary informationalist Hugh Blackmer)