Fear of the unknown: “The House in Cypress Canyon”

H.P. Lovecraft wrote, “The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.”

The House in Cypress Canyon, an audio drama first broadcast December 5, 1946, does this concept justice.  No, I’m not saying that it’s Lovecraftian horror, but in a way, it is.  Because Lovecraftian horror is about that fear of the unknown, that realization that there are forces out there that we don’t understand.  It’s about the protagonist realizing that he/she is doomed, and there is no one who can save them.

I’ve been a fan of old-time radio my entire life, and this Suspense episode is the scariest of them all, in my opinion.  Tonight, turn off the lights and listen to this in the dark, and I think you’ll agree.  And hey, comment below and tell me what you thought of it!


Enjoy!  (And remember, the drawing for Whisperer in Darkness and Die Farbe ends tomorrow.)

7 responses to “Fear of the unknown: “The House in Cypress Canyon”

  1. The House in Cypress Canyon is a true radio classic! Robert L. Richards had a great career in Hollywood until he was blacklisted for his politics. He wrote several great screenplays but his script for Act of Violence best represents his craft imo. It’s classic noir at its finest (and Mary Astor steals every scene she’s in).


    • Thanks, Tim! Ha, I forgot about “Thing on the Fourble Board”, that is a very creepy episode. I’m a huge fan of NIGHTFALL, it’s nice to meet another fan. Is “The Porch Light” the one where it’s winter, a husband and wife is sleeping in the upstairs bedroom, and he sees a man on the porch? If so, that’s my favorite NIGHTFALL episode, and there’s certainly a lot of good ones. You have I certainly have similar tastes!


      • Yep that’s the one, terrifying IMO. Chuffed you like that too, I’ve only gotten into audio books/dramas recently and can’t get enough. It amazes me the number of top quality, timeless OTR available and the BBC have some great adaptations too, I recently listened to their At The Mountains of Madness read by Richard Coyle, brilliant! Also I highly recommend the audio book version of Michelle Paver’s Dark Matter.
        Mind you, A Different Morecambe is one of the creepiest things I’ve ever listened too so thanks for bringing that to us!


  2. Years back I wrote and hosted a late night spoken word program on a prairie community radio station, and in between readings of pulp horror and the occasional foray into goth/industrial music, I’d spool up some old school radio drama. ‘House in Cypress Canyon’ was a consistent favourite with the listeners! “I’m James Woods, and this is my wife, Helen.” Bleeargh! Horrors! Good stuff.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.