Lights Out (1934-1947), one of the premiere horror shows during the Golden Age of Radio, aired “It Happened” on May 5, 1938. Written by the incomparable young genius Arch Oboler (1907-1987), the series captured the imagination of youngsters and oldsters alike. The show was created by Wyllis Cooper, who earlier scripted the 1939 (arguably) classic film Son of Frankenstein. Oboler soon took over the duties at Lights Out, and became known for it, as well as numerous and varied more serious radio endeavors of a socio-political nature, as one of radios most dramatic talents — rivaling the renowned Orson Welles in certain respects.
“It Happened” is certainly one of the many highmarks of Lights Out‘s long run (and there are many). Without revealing overly much in the way of detail, it deals with a spoiled rich girl sent to Paris by her father. Her rebelious nature leads her into trouble, when one of her father’s enemies kidnaps her for ransom. Her wild escape finds her in the dark, cloistered sewers of Paris, where she encounters a man so twisted and demented (think macabre desecration of corpses of suicides who’ve thrown themselves into the river) that… well, let’s just say that it makes John Fowles’ 1963 novel The Collector (1965 film) look like a romp at Disneyworld.
How does this grotesque scenario play out? You never know with an Arch Oboler script for Lights Out. So settle back with your lights very low — hopefully without interruption — and immerse yourself in the emotionally terrifying experience of something so horrific for which your sheltered life has left you unprepared, something no better stuttered by you in horror as just “It Happened.”
Play Time: 29:15