Scary House

No matter how realistic the special effects or dazzling the CGI enhanced visuals in a film or video I still think the spoken word, a well told story and a good imagination make for the most powerful theatrical experience. And when we are talking scary, a convincing storyteller’s voice, good background sounds and a dark room are the most deeply disturbing dive into terror that anyone can take.

This is the most terrifying half and hour of radio I have ever heard. Put on headphones, turn off the lights and……….


This program first ran on KMO radio in Tacoma on December 5, 1946. The episode begins with the detective Sam Spade telling a story within the story. This trick was used by Dashiell Hammett to insert a story about a Tacoma man named Flitcraft into his novel the Maltese Falcon.

suspense old time radio show logo

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This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.


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