It was late one night. I mean really late – two-something in the morning late. My eyes opened, I got up for some water, a bathroom break, then back to bed. A minute or so later, I knew that I wasn’t going to get back to sleep quickly, so I got back up to find something to listen to. I found my cassette Walkman, into which I placed Nightfall: The Room. A half an hour later, I was listening for strange noises and thinking that it was awfully dark in the bedroom, for The Room is one heck of a fine ghost story.
In the story, a widow named Ameila Watts explains to a man that several people have stayed in the “yellow room” in her house, but they’ve gone mad in the attempt, because the room is haunted. She offers the man 1000 pounds to attempt it himself, and because he’s a man who does not believe in the supernatural and needs the money, he accepts. What follows is an excellent example of audio drama done right. A first-rate scary production.
On the flip side of the cassette is a story called “Maid’s Bell” by Edith Wharton. Also well-produced, “Maid’s Bell” is the story of the experience of a woman who is hired to be a maid in a mansion. One of the other maids tells her that the previous women who have held the job left quite abruptly, and the mystery unfolds from there.
The best resource I know of if you want to know more about Nightfall, the CBC Radio series of which this is a part, try Nightfall-25. Many of these were published in single cassette editions by Durkin Hayes – they are out of print, but many can be found on eBay. Publishers: A Best-Of collection from these wonderful shows would be very welcome.
Posted by Scott D. Danielson