Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, October 24, 2019


With Halloween just a week away, I thought we'd take a trip down Scary Memory Lane with Old Nancy the Witch, and her "Wize Black Cat, Saten." Old Nancy was played by Adelaide Fitz-Allen (1855-1939).  After Fitz-Allen's death, thirteen-year-old Mirian Wolfe took over the role of Old Nancy; despite her young age, Wolfe's cackle was impressive enough to get her the role. 

The Witch's Tale ran from 1931 to 1938. and was radio's first horror anthology program.  The show's creator and producer Alonzo Dean Cole wrote the show's all 332 scripts (a number of them adapted from classic horror tales).  (Cole also played a number of roles throughout the series, including always Saten the cat.)  Feeling the program had no lasting worth, Cole destroyed all of his personal recordings in 1961; only a handful of episodes are now known to exist.*  Cole did not appreciate the program's influence:  nearly all radio, television, and comic books in the horror genre relied heavily on the conventions that began with The Witch's Hour; the Old Witch from EC comics The Haunt of Fear was directly lifted from Old Nancy, for example.

In "Graveyard Mansion," two brothers inherit a Louisiana mansion that has been abandoned for a century.  It's known as "the house of the living dead" and locals shun it.  Next to the mansion is the family graveyard that seems to hold...something.

The cast of "Graveyard Mansion" is unknown.

The link below is interesting:  the script has been transcribed and runs with the narration -- an experiment that I wish other episodes and shows would follow.


And shiver.

* The show, with a different cast and crew, ran in Australia from 1938 to 1943.  Many of the surviving 55 episodes are from the Australian program.  It's estimated that less than twenty are from the original American program.

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