Tangent Online

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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Lights Out--The Ball (aka Paris Macabre)

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Tonight, Wednesday, October 28th, 2009, Tangent Online presents the fourth in its week long "Halloween Week 2009" series of Old Time Radio horror tales leading up to All-Hallows-Eve on Saturday, October 31st. A word of caution:  stick with this one until the very end.

"The Ball" aired on radio's outstanding horror series, Lights Out, on March 9, 1943. The series was created in 1934 and ran until 1947. In 1935 the show hired the legendary writer/producer/director and all around "boy wonder," Arch Oboler, to write for the show, which he did for many years. (For more on Lights Out and Arch Oboler, see the introductory material for "Immortal Gentleman" presented elsewhere here.)

In this frightening episode, a pair of naive college-aged boys traveling abroad in France and out for a good adventure, purchase admittance to a "party" from a stranger. Footloose and fancy free--and eager to meet women--they arrive at a rather quaint, and eerily odd, masquerade ball--not the sort of party they had imagined--where strange occurrences begin to pile one on top of another, the totality of which is far beyond their ability to comprehend. Lest we reveal too much, they soon discover that the attendees have come together for their annual, and most unusual...celebration. When the lights go out at midnight and masks are removed, well...you too will discover what happens at "The Ball."

Play Time: 29:12