It Came From Halloween – Scary TV and radio
Television was the one thing found in just about every house in the 1960s. I knew people living in mobile homes who didn’t have a dinner table, but they had a TV. And I remember sitting in front of the damned thing for hours when I was a kid. Radio, I suppose, had the same attraction for kids in the generations before mine – just as cable TV, video games, DVDs and the internet have enthralled generations after mine.
There was a local scary TV show host when I was growing up; I believe his name was Dr. Ghoul-man or something, he appeared late nights on TV around a rerun of some crummy horror movie. People still talk rapturously about Morgus the Magnificent in the New Orleans area, or whoever did the hosting in your area (see link below).
But the really scary shit on TV appeared on prime time: “The Twilight Zone” hosted by Rod Serling frightened the bejeezus out of me on more than one occasion, sending me to bed more than a little nervous. Then later it was “The Outer Limits,” which was more science fiction but fairly scary nevertheless. Now I grew up in Southeast Texas and whenever a hurricane blew in the TV stations in the late 1960s stayed on all night so they can provide weather updates (they usually signed off around midnight with the national anthem). And in between weather reports, local TV played reruns of “The Outer Limits,” which added to the already-pretty-damn-real fear factor. The Weather Channel today pales in comparison.
My kids were turned on by old “Twilight Zone” episodes, and the best of them are among the greatest things ever to appear on television. You owe it to yourself to catch these on reruns, if you never have. It’s prime chills, 1960s’ style: cheap thrills indeed.
YouTube: “The Munsters” TV show opening
YouTube: “The Outer Limits” opening