News Column

Exploring Halloween in the digital world

October 28, 2013


The History Channel website has an excellent overview of Halloween in a multimedia format ( From the origins of the day to things you probably didn't know about Halloween, it is an excellent resource.

Wikipedia's entry for Halloween also makes for good reading ( It's interesting to follow the day's transformation from pagan roots to a children's night out.

If you're looking for things for the kids to do in the Bismarck- Mandan area during Halloween, there are still several events going on this week for everyone to enjoy.

Check the Tribune's Events Calendar online (http://, along with other online resources (,

There are several places you can go online to watch or download Halloween themed movies and TV shows.

If you go to the YouTube site ( and do a search on "Halloween movies," you'll find a long list of movies, TV specials and other video programs related to the theme of Halloween.

Crackle (, Hulu ( and Nickelodeon ( are among the various sites that also offer free horror movies to watch, provided you don't mind a few commercials scattered throughout.

If a channel is on broadcast TV, satellite or cable, chances are the channel also has an online site with a selection of free programming to watch.

The Internet Archive ( has several fright films that have become public domain and, thus, freely available to watch or download.

Most of the movies are "B" films, many shot in black and white and on cheap budgets. But a few of them have become cult classics, including "Plan 9 From Outer Space," regarded as the worst movie ever made.

You might recognize a few of the titles: "Night Of The Living Dead," "Horror Hotel," "House On Haunted Hill," "Bloody Pit Of Horror," "The Screaming Skull," "The Phantom Of The Opera" and others.

You can simply browse the available titles in the SciFi/Horror category at the site (

You may want to visit the "Shocker Internet Drive-In" (http://

In the old days, a drive-in theater was a place where you'd park your car in front of a giant outdoor screen to watch late night movies.

This site tries to replicate the experience from the comfort of your computer screen.

You'll see drive-in ads, movie previews and then the main attraction - often a cheap slasher flick or monster movie.

Turn out the lights, sit back in your chair, have some snacks on hand and watch the drive-in screen light up your monitor.

If you prefer your Halloween programming in a "theater of the mind" format, the Web can help, too.

On Oct. 30, 1938, The Mercury Theatre on the Air performed "The War Of The Worlds," a radio play adaptation of the popular H.G. Wells book.

Many people thought the broadcast was real, creating a small panic in parts of the East Coast. Since it was the day before Halloween, the radio play has forever been associated with the frights and scares of Halloween.

You can listen to and download that broadcast, along with other horror radio plays, at The Mercury Theatre website (

Other shows include "Dracula" and "Heart Of Darkness."

The CBS Radio Mystery Theater site ( is home to more than a thousand dramas that ran on the popular radio show in the 1970s and 1980s. Good Halloween shows include "Death By Whose Hands," "The Murder Museum," "The Horror of Dead Lake" and more.

(Keith Darnay has worked in the online world for more than a decade, the traditional media world for a few decades more and manages the online department and website for the University of Mary. His own site, featuring this column going back to 1995, is at

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