Old-time live radio show in Youngstown revives scary stories from the ’30s and ’40s

Local News

Actors for the Good Humor Radio Hour record their shows live on old-time radio microphones

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – This Tuesday and Wednesday, the Butler Institute of American Art is being taken over by “Haunted Youngstown.”

It’s four ghastly ghost stories recorded in the style of an old-time radio show, using live actors, props, sound effects and music to bring the stories to life.

The production is part of the Good Humor Radio Hour. Actors record the show live on old-time radio microphones.

“What makes the live show fun is you’re seeing the performance. You hear it and it’s in your imagination, much like the live radio show would if you were at home,” said director Randall Brammer.

Before tablets and smart TVs decades and decades ago, families crowded around their radios for entertainment.

Haunted Youngstown has four short ghost stories in the span of an hour.

“The three of them are old-time radio dramas,” Brammer said.

They originally aired in the 1930s and ’40s.

“I think that it’s a performance style that is making a renaissance. Podcasts are becoming more and more a thing,” Brammer said.

What makes this so unique…

“Those are the sound effects that our foley artists have sheets of metal that make thunder. We have a box with rubber bands that make gunshots, all sorts of weird stuff that make sounds for the show,” Brammer said.

“I’m in the first show called The Ghost Hunt. I play Mrs. Thorpe and I own a house with a background of suicides,” said actress Brenda Zyvith.

Since the shows are all 70-80 years old, Brammer rewrote and revamped them to make sense for today’s audience.

Actress Kira Walker is a junior at Youngstown State University.

“It has allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. It’s also allowed me to explore what I am able to do as an actor,” Walker said.

The second story focuses more on sound effects.

“The third one, more of a murder mystery. The fourth one is probably our creepiest, it’s kind of out there,” Brammer said.

It was a full house on Tuesday.

If you missed out, they will perform the show again on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are free but you do need to sign up for them. Just call the YSU Theater Box Office at 330-941-3105. The tickets will be at will call.

The show will also air live on WKBN 570 radio on Wednesday night.

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