Lights Out -- "The Spider"

Saturday, 17 May 2014 10:26 Dave Truesdale

Lights Out aired “The Spider” on May 18, 1943, near the end of radio’s premier horror series’ 13-year run (1934-47). For those who endure a day-to-day phobic hate of spiders this story is guaranteed to give you nightmares. Written by old time radio's golden boy Arch Oboler, two adventurers set out to capture the largest spider known to Man—but just how large they have no idea, for the one they encounter is beyond anything they could have imagined. My fingers tremble over the keyboard as I type, for when the hunters become the hunted no words can express the heart stopping terror of “The Spider.” You will feel as if you are there as one of the ill-fated hunters utters in horror two simple words as his eyes grow round and his face turns white and his blood runs cold with fear: “The fangs...the fangs....” You have been warned.

Play Time: 25:34

{As young boys will be--and some young girls as well--rather than being scared out of their wits after listening to "The Spider," they taunted one another and issued dares to go hunting for backyard spiders. Saturday afternoon energy eventually spent, they would return to their favorite reading on a soon to be dark evening in mid-May of 1943, retrieving from the bedroom closet some of the most recent issues of that "Master of Men,"The Spider!}

[Left: The Spider, Feb. 1943 - Center: The Spider, Mar. 1943 - Right: The Spider, June 1943]

(There were no April and May 1943 issues ofThe Spider. It would cease publication at the end of 1943.)