War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells was a phenomenal hit. But, what really made it part of the 20th century’s collective conscious was the radio broadcast that aired in October of 1938. What it did was cause widespread panic.
How did PEOPLE panic?
Some called their local police, so much so that the lines were flooded. Others ran outside with rags on thier head fearing a gas explosion from the monsters attack and still others committed suicide.
Here is a clip from the 2005 Tom Cruise War of the Worlds
The 1953 War of the Worlds Trailer
Now the 1938 Broadcast that caused the Panic!!
NPR Recounts the effects Orson Wells and Mercury Theater had on the 6 million listeners, 1 million believed that they were hearing actual reports.
ATT&T Operators Tell it All
Now for something really scary:
Is this the sound of the monsters from War of the Worlds or what? Supposed real sounds from around the world coming from the sky!
- Mars Attacks! Bet Hitler Didn’t Count On That One (victoriadougherty.wordpress.com)
- Ghostwatch, War of the Worlds and Unreality Broadcasting (mysteriousuniverse.org)
- Experience the True Story of the War of the Worlds (dreadcentral.com)
- Welles’ The 39 Steps (hitchcocksvertigo.com)