The Resurrection Of Creeps By Night
The discovery of Creeps By Night led to the creation of K-GHOUL Radio. These old-time radio dramas allowed me to combine a horror host with a horror or science fiction story.
When I started developing K-GHOUL, I knew that I did not want to review horror movies or explore the paranormal. I wanted to tell stories and I wanted to be entertaining. I wanted a horror host to be the central character, but I needed something to tie it together.
I needed something that was public domain and intriguing. By chance I started listening to old-time radio, and that was when I had an epiphany.
I started listening to old-time radio in 2013, when I helped promote two shows at Slidell Little Theatre. The board talked about producing more shows for the upcoming season, but we could not muster support for it. The discussions we had led to to my epiphany; K-GHOUL should be an old-time radio horror show. Finding a show to resurrect was no problem.
There are plenty of shows to choose from, and quite a few of them are awesome, but I chose Creeps By Night. There is a mystery that surrounds the show. Creeps By Night was billed to be the best radio drama, but it never made it past 16 episodes.
Some sites say there was over 20 episodes, but no one knows the full episode count, Of the 16 episodes only six survived. Five of the six are in great quality and were easy to remaster, but you need a magic wand to remaster The Three Sisters episode.
Creeps By Night warned listeners who suffered from heart trouble, whose blood curdled, and whose hair uncurled under the stress of great excitement not to listen. The producers promised the shows would feature new stories written by the best writers, but as we see in today's media, the hype didn't meet the expectations.
The writers and the actors held up their end of the bargain, but it was the Blue Network that failed to market the show. The network did not advertise actors or stories in advance, so the show never caught on. Which is a shame.
The stories are well written. I am partial to werewolf tales but to have one feature a werewolf in the swamps of Louisiana I knew this show was special. However, it was when I listened to The Final Reckoning I was hooked.
Boris Karloff narrated and starred in this episode. His character was framed for a murder, and spent his time in prison plotting his revenge. I don't want to spoil the how he got his revenge because these are critical elements to the story. These elements are essential to building that theatre of the mind. They are essential to your sense of anticipation and ultimately to your sense of satisfaction at the shows conclusion.
After listening to this episode, I was disappointed this show did not last longer than sixteen episode and even more disappointed that only six episodes survived.
Another mystery surrounding the show is the mysterious narrator Doctor X. Why did he replace Boris Karloff when the production moved from the west coast to New York? No one knows who he was. It is believed Doctor X was a known actor, but was on the verge of stardom. There is no speculation to the identity to Doctor X. Maybe one day we will discover his identity.
Creeps By Night is the perfect show to start listening to old-time radio. That is why I chose it to be the first five episodes resurrected for K-GHOUL Radio. Each episode puts the listener in the scene, and are the best examples of storytelling. Which is what makes old-time radio drama an interesting medium. Because writers have to write for the ear. They have to describe what we see, couple that with sound effects and you have a masterful show.
There are episodes of Suspense that I find my mind wonders or I relegate the episode to background noise, and I didn't have that issue with Creeps By Night. I believe it is the mystery and the lack of episodes that endears the show to me, and I hope it does for you too.