Theater of The Mind Radio Drama


Midnight Tales In Shadow Wood

Gather 'round the fire and shiver at these tales of urban legends and their mysterious spirits. KTWU presents another radio play drama, in partnership with Playwright, Phil Grecian. Theater of the Mind is radio you can see, with actors playing multiple roles, utilizing vintage microphones and performing sound effects right in front of your eyes, to simulate radio's Golden Age.

AIRED: August 25, 2020 | 0:57:24

(suspenseful music)

- Broadcasting from the KTWU Studios,

The Air Command presents Theatre of the Mind,

radio you can see.

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear,

back in time to the golden age of radio.

And now, turn out your lights

and move in close to the glow of your radio dial,

for a return to old time radio and terror on the air.

Tonight, true tales, each one heard from a friend

who heard it from a friend.

Tales you know must be true for they are

Midnight Tales in Shadow Wood!

(piano music)

- Oh, isn't this great?

I love camping out under the trees!

Smell the air, I'd forgotten how good the air smells here!

- Yes, well I still don't think this is a good idea,

returning to the scene of the crime, as it were.

- Right, well, try to tell Marcie that.

- You're both just party poopers.

This'll be good for us, Ronnie.

- I don't see how.

- All right then, be that way.

I'm just glad Alice thought of it!

- This could trigger some very bad memories, Marcie.

In fact, it probably will, so I don't--

- Oh, you guys!

- Let's build the campfire. - Let's do.

- Okay, I'm here.

Where do I plug in this record player?

- Oh, silly Erin, there's no electricity in Shadow Wood!

We're camping out.

- Swell.

Okay, how about the cabins or the main house?

- No electricity in there, not since, you know, last year.

Besides, you'd need to string an extension cord

through the woods, and halfway across the main camp.

Half a mile at least.

- Well this is gonna be fun, no music!

- I just don't know if you can call it music, Erin,

it's so angry.

- I'm angry, angry music makes me happy!

- Hey, Erin, don't you wear anything but black?

- Hey, Jack, do you know about anything but football.

- There isn't anything but football, I brought one along.

- Of course you did.

- Look, everyone, look how strong Jack is!

- Ronnie, love the red shirt!

Hey, your people are good at football, right?

- My people?

My people sell houses and insurance.

- You know what I mean.

Hey, we can toss the pigskinaround before it gets too dark,

once I get the tent set up, you know,

the one for me and Marcie.

- Oh, Jack, you don't have to advertise it!

- Why not?

Oh, Marty, you brought your guitar!

- Gotta have my music, man.

- See, that's what I said!

- Where's Sheldon, he had the rest of my luggage.

- Luggage?

You go camping with luggage?

- I like to be prepared.

I hope Shelly didn't get lost!

- Here I am, here I am, sorry, sorry.

I took a shortcut.

- And yet you got here last.

- Yeah, so?

- Nevermind.

- And I'm not the last one, Alice is the final one.

- Oh yeah, Alice, right.

- Hey, Marty, you brought your guitar.

- Gotta have my music, man. - Yeah, right.

- Maybe later we can all have a group sing.

- Hey, great idea. - Oh, please, kill me now.

- That's not cool, Erin, with what happened last summer...

- That's another thing.

The camp's out of business and boarded up.

- Yeah, and we don't have warm memories of last summer.

- So why did we agree to come back here

for a campout in the woods?

- Alice wanted us to.

- That's right, let's do a girl count.

Erin's one, I'm two-- - Hey guys,

I'm sorry I had to-- - Oh, there's our last girl!

- I had to get my big cook pot.

It's a special surprise.

- I know what it is. - You do?

- I peeked while we were in the van.

It's Alice's special chili!

- Well, that chili's legendary!

- I even sneaked some. - You did?

- I found a paper cup in the van.

- Oh, well...

- Hey, Ronnie, I found my football, go long!

Go, go, get it, get it!

- I swear, Jack, you're such a--

- Let's set it down near the campfire so it stays warm.

- Oh goodie, the campfire's going!

We can tell spooky stories!

Music, perfect, play something, Marty.

- What do you wanna hear?

- Your choice.

♪ Don't you laugh when the hearse goes by ♪

♪ For you may be the next to die ♪

♪ They wrap you up in a big white sheet ♪

♪ And bury you down about six feet deep ♪

- It fits, doesn't it!

Because we're going to tell scary stories!

But only if they really happened!

- Scary stories that really happened?

That's just stupid.

- Considering what happenedlast summer it seems poor taste.

- First story, who wants to tell the first story?

- Okay, okay, I'll start, now this really did happen,

because a friend of mine knew the guy this happened to.

So, this guy who's a friend of my friend,

this guy and his wife were on a trip

somewhere or somethin'...

- Well, the last few mileshave been pretty uninteresting.

- Miles and miles of... - Miles and miles.

- We should've taken the train.

- I just thought, you know,

driving through the heartland of America, authentic America.

- If it's authentic, we can't see it.

- That's not true, look, look there at the old graveyard.

- Charming. - It's creepy.

- Authentic though. - There is that.

- So we agree.

- One woman's authentic is another man's creepy.

- There's a sign over the enterance.

- Can you read it?

- Resurrection Cemetery, odd name.

- Even looks creepy.

- Oh stop, now see there,

if we hadn't decided to make this trip

we'd never have seen this interesting old cemetery.

- Wind game up, that's odd.

- What's that? - What?

- Music, hear it, shh!

- I don't hear anything.

- Oh, I would've sworn I heard something.

- Maybe the cemetery has a house band.

- Just had a shiver go up my spine.

- It is a bit chilly out.

- Good thing the heater works, though.

- Thank God for small favors.

You know, I was--

- Girl! - Middle of the road!

- Look out! - I hit her, I hit her!

What was she doing in the middle of the road?

- Dancing, she was dancing.

Where are you going?

- I've got to go see if-- - If what?

- If I've killed her!

(door clicks)

Wait, what are you doing?

I'm going too.

- Come on then.

- Where is she?

- Check the ditch over there, I'll look over here.

- Yes, yes, okay.

- Anything? - No, nothing.

- I don't get it, I know I hit her.

- She vanished.

- Let's get back in the car.

- Yes.

- What now?

- I guess we go?

- Go, let's go.

- So, what just happened?

- I have no idea.

- I mean, I saw her, we hit her.

- Maybe some kind of mirage?

- Listen.


It's her.

- Dancing. - And singing.

- [Richard] You saw her back there, right?

- Pull over. - Right.

- [Kate] Come on, let's go talk to her.

- [Richard] I don't understand this at all

- Excuse me.

- Oh, hello.

- Are you all right?

- I'm a little tired, I guess.

- What are you doing out here?

- I was at the dance.

- The dance? - At school.

- That explains your dress.

- Isn't it pretty?

All white and sparkly.

- How did you get out here?

- Oh, well, I had a fight.

- A fight? - With my boyfriend.

- At the dance. - So I decided to walk home.

- It's very cold out here.

- Your shoulders and arms are bare.

- [Mary] Yes.

- Your hands are like ice, you must be freezing!

- I hadn't noticed.

- Give the girl your coat, Richard.

- Oh, sure, yeah, here, sweetheart.

- Thank you. - May we give you a lift?

- I want to go home.

- Well of course you do.

- All this walking, seems like forever.

- Where's the high school?

- Only a couple of miles back that way.

- A couple of, oh, you poor dear!

- I don't want to cause any trouble--

- Not another word, come on, into the car.

- Okay.

- Where's your home?

- I can give you directions.

- Richard, the door. - Oh, yes.

- Now, you just sit right here in the back seat,

we have a wonderful heater in this car,

it should have you warmed up in just a couple of minutes.

- All right, then this coat?

- Oh, you keep it til we get you home, you're cold as ice!

Now, sit back, we'll have you home before you know it.

- So, where are we going?

- Archer Road, drive that way, in maybe a couple of miles

there's a brick building on the right.

- You live there?

- That's the funeral home.

- The funeral home.

- But that's where we turn.

- [Richard] And then?

- It's another mile to my home.

- Have you got an address?

- There are no other houses, just fields.

- Your folks are farmers?

- Yes.

- So, there's a dance at the high school?

- Oh, it's been over for awhile.

- Well sure, it takes time to walk two miles.

- I know my parents areworried, I've been gone so long.

- Your boyfriend has a car?

- Yes.

- He didn't come after you? - I don't know.

- Clearly he hasn't or you wouldn't still be on foot.

Richard, once we get her home

we should go back to thatschool and you can beat him up.

- What, no, I don't--

- He's not there anymore, the dance is over.

It's been over for a long time.

- See, Kate, there's no sense beating him up

if he's not there.

- I just think that's awful

that he'd leave that poor girl to walk home by herself.

- Well, not everyone is as gallant as I am.

- That's true, I'm a lucky girl.

- Me too.

- You're a lucky girl?

- No, the lucky part, the girl part I leave to you.

Oh look, there's that brickbuilding coming up on the right

so we turn here.

- Funeral home. (shudders)

♪ Don't you laugh when the hearse goes by ♪

- Oh stop, look at all the wheat?

- I think so, or milo or sorghum or pasta.

- Pasta?

- I'm a city boy, I don't know how they grow pasta.

- I swear.

What is that, Mary?

- Oh, I bet she's fallen asleep back there.

- Who could blame her, poor thing.

- What kind of boyfriend lets her walk home,

especially this far!

- And this weather, she was doing it, though.

- Yeah, kid's got moxie.

- So cold, I hope she--

- There's the farm house, I'll pull in here.

- Hey, Mary, you're home, you hear me, you're...

Richard, she's not there!

- What? - She's gone!

- [Richard] How does she get out of a moving car?

- Richard, the porch light just came on.

- What, oh, someone's coming out.

- An older couple. - Yeah, come on, come on.

Hello there, nice evening, isn't it?

- Yes it is, a little cold maybe.

- I'm Richard, this is Kate. - How do you do?

- Walter Norkus, my wife, Ellie.

- Hello.

- How are you folks tonight?

- We're fine. - Fine, thank you.

- What can we do for you?

- You know what they want, Walter.

- Yes, Ellie, I know, but I gotta ask, Richard is it?

- Yes, and Kate.

- Kate, how can we help you.

- Well, I don't know exactly.

We were driving up there on the main road and we--

- You picked up a young woman.

- Yes, yes, she was dancing! - And singing.

- That's our Mary.

- We had to help, she was so cold.

- Cold, yes.

- She gave us this address.

- She wanted to come home.

- Yes, yes she does.

- But somehow she-- - Disappeared out of your car.

- Yes, but how did you?

- Walter, you talk I--

- There, there, darling.

What Ellie can't bring herself to say

is that Mary was killed, hit by a car,

walking home from the school dance.

- No, no, no, we picked her up,she was fine, we didn't do--

- Oh, no no, I'm so sorry.

You don't understand, our Mary was killed 25 years ago.

- What?

- She's buried in a cemetery up on the main road.

- The Resurrection Cemetery!

- And every year since, on this day, at this hour,

someone finds her on the road.

- Singing and dancing.

- Oh, she'd so looked forward to that dance!

- And how she could sing!

- Oh, she could, she truly could.

- Mr. and Mrs. Norkus, I am so sorry.

- Thank you. - Come on, Richard, let's go.

- But it can't, I don't-- - Come on.

Thank you both so much, we're so sorry to have caused any--

- No no, don't be troubled.

- We were expecting you.

- You were-- - Goodnight, then.

- Goodnight. - Goodnight.

- Do you believe--

- Shh, wait til we get in the car.

(doors click)

- Do you believe them?

- Do you have a better explanation?

- No, I mean, I don't, I guess I don't.

We saw her, we hit her solid with the car.

- And talked with her afterward.

- And drove her home.

- Almost home. - Almost home.

- She'll never get home, you know.

- I know.

- But she'll keep trying.

- She'll keep trying.

(brakes squeak)

- This is where we get back on the main road, turn right.

No, I said right, not left.

- I know. - What are you doing?

- I'm going to that cemetery,

let's see if we can find Mary's grave.

- Are you serious? - I'm dead serious.

If we don't find it, they were lying to us.

- And if we do?

- If we do, we're going to have to decide if we're crazy.

- Or if we met a sad ghost.

There it is. - I see it.

- Stop here, let's get out. - You're the boss.

- It's pretty dark.

- I've got a flashlight, there.

- Where'd you get a flashlight?

- Glove compartment.

- I should look in there some time.

- You should, what's that over there?,

Come on, over here in the grass.

- They're all just headstones, how do we--

- There's something on top of that one.

- Aim the flashlight down here, let's see the name.

- Mary Elizabeth Norkus. - Norkus.

It's her.

- It is!

- Hey, this thing on top, it's my coat!

- You gave her your coat, she gave it back.


- Let's go.

♪ Look away, look away, over yonder mountain ♪

- So whaddya think about that, huh?

- A friend of a friend, huh?

- Yeah, so it's real, I didn't make it up.

- Oh, did I miss the ending?

I had to go up to the car and get--

- Here, let me help you with that!

(clattering) Ouch!

- Aw, Shelly, don't!

- Hey, look out, dang!

- Sorry, sorry, I didn't see your feet there.

I wanted to help Alice.

- Thank you, Shelly, here,

the bowls and spoons for the chili.

- Mm mm mm, home made chili.

- My special recipe!

And if everybody cleans their bowls

red velvet cake for dessert!

- Ooh, I'm so hungry. - Hey, where's Ronnie?

- Probably setting up his tent.

- He has my ball.

- I'm sure he'll take care of it.

- What're you kids doin' here?

- Hey, we're just campin' out, okay?

- This here's private property!

- Hey, I know you, you used to be the caretaker here.

- Who're you supposed to be?

- We used to be camp counselors here

before Camp Clearwater closed, we're just, just--

- Reminiscing. - Yeah, that.

We're not hurtin' anything.

- You got no right to be here!

- Hey, hey, get back, get thosegarden shears outta my face

or I'll feed 'em to you!

- We had contracts to come back here this summer.

We got nowhere else to go!

- You know why they closed this place down, don't ya?

You know why, all them kids killed,

all them kids, their throats cut with--

- Garden shears.

- Hey, wait a minute, you--

- You better clear out!

You better clear out or you'll be sorry!

- Yeah, what're you gonna do?

- You'll be sorry, I'll see to it!

You'll be sorry!

- Well that was unsettling.

- Did you see his face, all burned on one side.

- Yeah, remember, after all the killings

somebody tried to burn down some of the cabins.

He was inside, barely made it out alive.

- Some people thought he was The Gray Man,

the one who killed all those kids.

- They never did find the Gray Man.

- Never did, a couple of people saw him, though.

- And he left those messages scrawled on the mirrors.

- In blood. - stuff about revenge.

- And that kid drowned.

- Yeah, but that was before the rest of it.

- We never should've let him try to swim across the lake.

What was his name?

- Ari, Ari Palmer.

- Yeah, that's it.

- Hey, hey, who wants to go skinny dipping?

We can all go skinny dipping!

Marcie, you wanna go skinny-dipping?

Alice, Erin?

- Oh, that sounds like so much fun, Let's go skinny dipping!

- Yes, yes!

- Skinny dipping with Sheldon?

I'd rather hear spooky stories.

- An unusual display of good judgment.

Marcie, I thought you wanted to tell scary stories.

- Oh, that's right, that's right!

But they've got to be true!

- Meanwhile, I think I'll go up

and get my hunting knife out of the van.

You go on ahead, I'll be right back.

- Story, story, who's got a story?

- Okay, I've got one.

- And it's true, scary and true?

- Of course it's true, I said so, didn't I?

- And you know this because?

- It happened to someone I knew.

- Really?

- Well, almost, but they got it first-hand.

- Tell it, tell it! - Tell it, Erin!

- Okay. (sighs)

Well this girl, see, was supposed to babysit one night

because these people were going out.

- Sweetheart, 'bout ready?

- Almost, couple more minutes!

- Couple more minutes, that means 20 more minutes.

I swear, that woman--

(doorbell rings)

Betty Lou's here, Betty Lou's here!

- Hi, Mr. Nelson.

- Come in, come in, don't let the flies out.

- Hello, Betty Lou! - Hi, Mrs. Nelson.

- The kids are in bed,

I've told them I'll kill them if they get up!

- They'll behave, they're good kids.

- Yeah, they are.

- Oh, Betty Lou, did you see my latest?

- Your latest.

- Over here, on the side table.

- Oh don't bother her with that, some people don't like--

- Here, see, the newestaddition to my clown collection.

- Oh, yes. - Very old, look, watch.


It's a nutcracker, see the teeth?

- Very nice. - You're scaring her, Bill.

- Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you.

- I'm just not, clowns, I--

- I know exactly what you mean, Betty Lou.

- I'll just never get used to your collection, Mr. Nelson.

- They're harmless, andthey're art, antiques, history!

- I'm sorry, I just think they're kinda creepy.

- I do too, Betty Lou, and they're all over the house,

every place he could find a corner or a shelf.

- Well, you know what Lon Chaney said?

- What's that, dear?

- There's nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight!

- Gee, thanks, Mr. Nelson.

- Let's go, dear, before you scare our babysitter away.

- You know where to find us if you need us.

- Brennan's Restaurant. - In the Red Room.

- I cut up a roast this afternoon.

Slices in the ice box, bread in the breadbox.

Go ahead and make a sandwich if you're hungry.

Oh, I forgot, I left the platter and knife out.

- I'll wash those for you.

- Oh, that's so nice! - Part of the service.

- Let's see, what else, no boyfriends over.

- Never, promise.

- And no clowning around.

- Oh, come on, you,

before I hit you over the head with one of your clowns.

- Okay, okay.

- Goodnight, Betty Lou.

- Goodnight, Mrs. Nelson, Mr. Nelson.


More in the living room than last time, so creepy.

Oh, Betty Lou, you're being such a chicken, stop it.

Hurry up, hurry up, answer the, yeah, hey, it's me.

I just wanted to hear your voice.

No, at the Nelsons', babysitting.

Yeah, clowns, worse than last time.

Clown dolls, clown statues, stuffed clowns.

On the shelves and mantel, everywhere, I just (gasps)!

A new one, lifesize in the rocking chair.

No, you can't!

No, if you got caught, they'd never let me babysit again,

and I really need the money.

(gasps) No, no, it's nothing, I thought,

you're going to laugh, okay, I thought it moved,

out of the corner of my eye, I thought, oh,

don't listen to me, I'm just, no.

No, You stay right there, I'll call you later, okay.

Thanks, love you, bye.

Can't hurt to make sure the doors are locked.

Front door locked, and chained, next.

Down the hall, through the kitchen.

Oh, the platter and butcher knife,

gotta remember to wash those.

Back door, locked (sighs)

(phone rings)


- Yes, yes, this is David.

- David, I'm sory, I guess I was just nervous

about all the clowns.

I'm a big girl, I'll be fine.

- Are you sure?

- What do you mean?



- Yes, I'm David.

- Oh my god, you're not, who are you!

- Oh, just some clown! (laughs)

Now be a good babysitter and check on the children.

- Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, what am I gonna,

what am I gonna, okay, calm down.

(phone rings) (screams)


- Love the outfit!

- You can see me?

- Sweater, white blouse, peter pan collar, and plaid skirt.

Now be a good babysitter and check on the children.

- How can he see me, how can he see me?

The patio door, turn off the lights!

There, dark.

- Operator.

- Yes, operator, I'm getting these weird phone calls

and I don't know this person and I'm--

- You don't know this caller?

- No, no I don't and I'm alone with two little children

and he's going to call again, and I--

- Do you feel threatened?

- [Betty Lou] I do, I do!

- I'll call the police and have them send someone out.

The next time he calls, keep him on the line

and we'll trace the call, okay?

- You can do that? - We can do that.

- Okay, fine, thank you.

(phone rings)


- Miss me?

- Stop calling me!

- Oh, now Betty Lou.

- You know my name?

- And your height, weight, eye color,

you like long walks on the beach!

- Stop it, why are you doing this!

- I guess I just care too much.

- [Betty Lou] Who are you?

- I told you, just some clown.

- What do you want?

- When was the last time you checked on the children?

- The children are asleep!

- Why so tense, Betty Lou? (laughs)

- Stop it, stop it!

I've got to protect, the butcher knife in the kitchen!

Oh, where is it, where did I put the butcher knife?

It was right there, it was right there on the platter!

I need something, I need, weapon, I need a weapon.

(phone rings) (screams)

- It's him again, no, no, the operator!

I kept him on the phone, the operator!

Rocking chair, where's the clown?


- Miss, get out of there, get out of there right now.

The phone calls, they're coming from inside the house.

- Olly olly oxen free!

- [Operator] Get out, get out now!

- I'm up here, Betty Lou, at the top of the stairs, see me?

I'm waving that butcher knife you were missing!

You're a bad girl, Betty Lou!

You didn't check on the children,

you didn't check on the children!

Olly olly oxen freem (laughs) here I come!

- Get down, miss!

(gun bangs)

(sirens wail)

- How you doin', Miss?

- I'm fine, the children?

- I'm afraid they're dead, miss.

- What?

- Been dead quite awhile.

- How?

- Our pathologist says, oh, here he is,

Mel, what else ya got?

- Strangled, both of 'em.

And then the butcher knife,

gonna take awhile to clean that up.

- What about the killer?

- Whaddya mean?

- The other body, the clown, the one I shot.

What about him?

- I don't know whatcha mean, Tom, there was no other body.

(laughing) (spooky music)

- So that's true?

- Like I said, my friend knew the girl.

- Well, that's just messed up.

♪ You're locked up tight in a big black box ♪

♪ And covered up with dirt and rocks ♪

♪ You stay that way about a week ♪

♪ And then your coffin begins to leak ♪

♪ The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out ♪

♪ The worms play pinochle on your snout ♪

♪ They eat your eyes, they eat your nose ♪

♪ They eat the gooey between your toes ♪

- You know the whole song?

- I do.

- Sing the whole thing, I like it.

- Yes, you would.

- Wait a minute, where's Marcie?

- She was here when the story started.

- Yeah, and Sheldon's gone too.

What if the Gray Man got 'em!

- There's no such thing as the--

- Oh, that was such fun, Shelly!

- It was great. - Marcie, put on your clothes!

- I've got a towel, you can't see anything!

- You went skinny dipping!

- I did! - With Shelly!

- It's dark, Jack, and the water's all murky.

- Yeah, I've never understood

why they call this place Camp Clearwater.

- Shelly, I oughta beat you silly!

- Oh, don't get all upset, Jack.

It's probably the first time Shelly's seen a naked girl.

- And another thing, here's Ronnie, he's got my football!

- I'm a little surprised

you didn't come back covered with leeches.

- Leeches, where?

- Oh, for pity's sake, Marcie, don't drop the towel!

- Somebody tell a story and settle Jack down.

- Okay, I've got one.

- Is it true, it's got to be true.

- I don't know, a girl I knew in school

knew the wife of the sheriff.

- Oh, a sheriff, authority, this'll be fun.

- Now, I don't know if I believe in ghosts

but she said this was true

and she wasn't somebody who'd lie or anything.

- Ghosts!

- This ghost is called La Llorona, and she's famous.

So, this is in a border town in Texas

and it started out in a generalstore late one afternoon.

(bell rings)

- Hey, Luke. - Mort, whatcha need?

- Loaf of bread. - Sorry, I'm smack out.

- Hm, Well, I'll just fetch me some milk

and then call it square.

- Smack out o' milk, too.

- Well, gosh dang it, what kinda store you runnin' here?

- You see this story in the paper here?

- Mm-hmm, another child missin'.

How many's that make now?

- Says here, six of 'em.

- Hope they catch whoever's doing it.

- Oh, I know who's doing it.

- [Mort] You do?

- La Llorona.

- La Llorona, that old ghost story?

- Yep, La Llorona, that's Spanish.

- Well, I know it's--

- Means The Cryin' Lady, the lady in white,

dead gal, takes kids.

- Fiddle faddle.

- You go ahead 'n' faddle that fiddle, Mort,

but this here is history!

Go over to the liberry 'n' look it up!

Gal goes crazy 'n' drowns her kids in the river,

then dies right there of a broken heart.

- Nobody dies of a broken heart, that's just--

- Her ghost's been there ever since,

weepin' and wailin' and lookin' for her kids.

And if she finds a kid, she drowns it.

- Now, why would she keep drownin' other people's kids?

- Well, it's a curse, ya dang fool.

She drowns unfaithful men, too,

'cause she thinks they're her husband!

- Seems like she'd figure that out.

And how does she know they're unfaithful?

- Well, on account of, she's a spook!

- A spook, hey, I come here to shop for groceries!

- What else ya need?

- Eggs. - Smack out.

- How can you be out? - I got button hooks.

- Button hooks?

- Yeah, you know, for high button shoes.

- Well, nobody got high button shoes anymore, Luke!

- [Luke] Suppose not.

- Then why in thunder you got button hooks?

- Well, this here's a general store, Mort.

- But ya generally got nothin' anybody needs!

- Got fresh fruit. - What kind?

- Don't know, overe there in a box, new shipment.

- [Mort] How new?

- Hmm, don't 'member when it come in.

- Think I'll pass.

- Well, now I'm curious, let's see what kind of fruit.

- I don't think we--

- Here, let's put it up on the counter.

There we go, shoo!

Where'd all these dang gnats come from?

- You know, I got an idea about that.

- Hand me that little crowbar.

- All right, but I don't-- - Here now, we'll just...


There we go.

There it is.

- What kinda fresh fruit is it?

- Apples, I think. - Or bananas?

- Yeah, could be bananas.

- Could be.

- I'll make ya a deal, two for the price of one.

- Hard to know how many is two.

(bell rings)

- Diego! - Hey, What's up, Sheriff?

- They found that last child.

- Know who done it?

- No, we have--

- La Llorona, The Lady in White, the cryin' ghost.

- You believe that?

- You don't? - I don't.

- I don't, neither, I for sure thought you would, Diego?

- No, my (speaking in foreign language)

- Your grandma.

- Yes, she told me stories when I was little

but I never believed them.

- Way I heard it, her husband cheated on her,

so she went, you know, crazy,

and drowned her kids in the river.

- Like ya do. - Yessir.

- And when she come to her senses, she's powerful sorry.

- Like ya would.

- Yeah, so she goes back to find the children

but they floated off down the river somewheres.

- Also, they was dead. - They was.

- Hey, speakin' of cheatin' husbands,

look who just pulled up in front.

- Cassidy.

- Wonder what Cassidy wants.

- Maybe he's just grocery shopping.

- Gonna be disappointed,Luke's smack out of everything.

- Hey, that ain't air.

- True, ya got button hooks.

- Howdy, Cassidy. - Hey.

- What can I do for ya, Cassidy?

- Soda pop.

- What kind? - Grape.

- Last bottle of grape sody pop in the cooler.

- Can't believe you wasn't smack out.

- Am now.

- Figured you'd only have buttonhook flavor.

- That'll be a nickel, so whaddya want with grape sody?

- You got your boy with ya?

- What?

- Well, I see somebody out there in yer car,

top of his head, anyways.

- Yeah, my boy, yeah. - Little feller.

- Going fishing at the river?

- No, no, not goin' to the river, Sheriff.

I'm gonna get me somethin' to eat.

- Over to the Dixie Cafe? - Yeah.

- Get the apricot cobbler!

- They already got grape sody over to the Dixie,

so it don't make no sense--

- Luke, I swear, you're like a bulldog,

you just won't let go of--

- Left the car runnin', gotta go, much obliged.

- First time I seen him with one of his kids.

- Yeah, and not a girlfriend.

- Girlfriend?

- Oh, he's been messin' 'round with Agnes Sorel.

- Who hasn't? - Who hasn't? (laughs)

- I haven't. - Me neither.

- We're the only ones.

- We're the only ones.

- And before Agnes, it was some other gal.

- Nobody's perfect.

- Guess not. - No sir, guess not.

- Come on, come on, move, move!

- I'm gonna fall!

- You won't fall, I got the rope.

- Ow, my foot! - Stop stallin'!

- I ain't stallin', only got one sheo.

- Ain't my fault.

- It is, you yanked me around so I lost it.

- Too bad, move!

- Could you untie me?

- I told ya-- - I won't run away.

- Sure you will. - I can't.

Can't run very far with one shoe, anyways.

- There, we're down to a flat place.

Come here and sit down, look at the river, ain't it nice?

- What are you gonna do? - Sit down!

- I ain't even seen you before this.

- I know.

- I gotta go home, ma's gonna be worried.

- No.

- I ain't done nothin' to you.

- I know.

- Could you untie me now?

- Nope.

- I never seen you before, why you doin' this?

- I don't know, 'cause I just, just gotta!

- I'm scared though.

- Me too.

- What you gonna do?

- Can you swim?

- [David] Yeah, some.

- Ah, come on.

- Ow! - What?

- The rope, it hurts.

- Too bad.

I'm sorry, follow like you're sposed to

and I won't have to hurt ya.

- Where we goin'? - Closer.

- To what? - The river.

- Then what? - I don't know yet.

- So we got six dead kids and no clues yet, huh?

- That's about it.

- Could be La Llorona.

(bell rings)

Miz Cassidy, what can I do for ya?

- Lookin' for my husband, Luke.

- You just missed him.

- Yeah, he was here with your boy,

was plannin' to go over to the Dixie Cafe.

- I just come from the Dixie Cafe, he wasn't there.

- Don't know what to tell you then.

- And my boy's at home, so he wasn't with him.

- Well, now wait a minute, I just seen--

- If he comes by again, Miz Cassidy,

we'll tell him you're looking for him.

- Thank you, sheriff, guess I'll head back for home.

Long as I'm here, Luke, I need a bag of oleo.

- Sorry, we're smack out of oleo.

- There's a surprise. - We got butter though.

- Nevermind then, can't afford butter.

- Now why'd you go and interrupt me like that, Diego?

- Don't you know nothin', I swear, tell him, Sheriff.

- Luke, if that wasn't their boy in the car with him

who was it?

- Sheriff!

- Calvin, what's up?

- Howdy, Deputy Reeves.

- Howdy, sheriff, another kid missin'!

- When?

- 'Bout an hour ago they started missin' him.

The Balfour kid, out on the river road.

- It's getting dark, all right, let's go out there.

We'll take the patrol car, you can fill me in on the way!

- We're almost there, take the first right.

- Got it.

- Think it's La Llorona?

- I don't believe in ghosts that drown kids, Calvin.

- She drowns unfaithful husbands, too.

- I wouldn't mind a ghost that drowns unfaithful husbands.

- They found one of his shoes out by their barn,

signs of a struggle.

- Oh, I don't want another dead--

- Woman on the road, look out! - Holy!

(brakes squeak)

- Pull over, pull over!

- What did you see?

- I saw a woman by the side of the road

wearin' a sorta long white dress thing.

- What did she look like?

- Dark hair, dark eyes, maybe 25 or 30, 5'4.

Where the devil did she go?

What's that?

- It's just the wind, I think.

All right, we've got a kid missing

and a strange woman on the road

out in the middle of nowhere.

- Her bein' on the river road

and all the missing kids wind up in the river,

gotta be a connection.

- Let's find that woman, she's the only lead we've got.

- Here, flashlight. - Thanks.

- River's down through the trees.

- So we go into the trees.

You go right, I go left.

When we get to the river, we move toward each other.

We look for the woman, we look for the boy.

- Got it. - Come on.

(calm music)

- These ropes hurt.

- Oh, see the river, look at it.

If you throw somethin' in there

it'll be all the way to the Gulf of Mexico

before you know it.

I mean, if it didn't come up against the bank

or a snag or deadhead.

Ha, ain't that funny?

Somethin' dead endin' up runnin' its dead head

up on a dead head.

Dead, dead, dead.

'Most of 'em did hit a snag, got found,

most of 'em, not all.

Maybe you'll be the lucky one,

Maybe you'll make it all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

Wouldn't that be somethin'?

All the way to the gulf uh Mexico.

Water as far as you could see, hey!

Hey, come back here, you ain't sposed to get loose!

Get back here right now!

- You see anything yet, Calvin?

- Nothin' yet!

- I'm moving farther north,then I'll head toward the river.

- Hello.

- Well, hello, you must be one of Cassidy's women?

- Cassidy?

- You tell him that his wife says--

- Wife? - Yes.

- He has women and a wife? - Maybe you should--

- Look, Miss?

- I am Maria.

- Maria, how did you-- - Can you help me?

- Oh, you're the one we saw on the--

- I am looking for my children.

- Help, somebody help!

- Oh, there they are!

- Wait, wait, wait, don't!

(speaking in foreign language)

She just disappeared, boom.

La Llorona, she's real!

And so was that cry for help over yonder!

- Why'd I yell, stupid, he's gonna--

- Gotcha! - Ah, let me go, let me go!

- Oh, don't you worry, I'll be lettin' you go soon enough!

I'm gonna throw you in the river!

- No, no!

- Hey, see this here knife, you stop fightin' me

or I'll kill ya before ya get to be drownded!

- You're chokin' me!

- Let him go, Mister Cassidy!

If you move or even twitch just a little,

I swear I'm gonna shoot ya good!

And you can hang your hat on that!

- He's the guy, he's the guy who's been--

- I know who he is!

- Toss your gun down, Deputy,

or I'll cut his dang throat right here and now!

- I've got a clear shot at your profile, Cassidy.

Be a shame to mess it up.

- Diego, I mean, Sheriff!

- Drop the knife or I'll start by shooting off your nose.

- And he can do it too!

- Now, Sheriff, you don't wanna--

- Now!

- Droppin' it, droppin' it.

- Now let the boy go.

- Yes sir, yes sir.

- Come over here, kid.

Stand behind me.

- Tell Ma I didn't get in his car or nothin'.

I was playin' out by the barn and he--

- It's okay, kid.

- Turn around, Cassidy.

- You handcuffin' him?

- I am.

Calvin, take David up to the patrol car.

Put the boy in the front with us.

This one will go in the backseat cage.

- Yes sir, come on kid.

- I can ride in the sheriff car?

- That's the plan.

- Wrists together, Cassidy.

- I know I been bad, Sheriff, don't know why.

- We'll let the jury figure that one out.

There, now come on.

- Where'd she come from?

- Please, I'm looking for my children.

- Your children are long gone, Maria.

- No. - I am so sorry.

- What the hell is this?

- Quiet, Cassidy.

- Cassidy, you are Cassidy?

- Yeah. - With the wife?

- Yeah, I got a wife. - And all of the women?

- Well, yeah, I got a few--

- Where are my children?

- I don't, I don't, let go of me, let--

- This wind, it's all around us!

- What's is this, Diego, she's changin'!

Her skin's falling away like a, like a--

- She's La Llorona, Cassidy.

- Her feet ain't on theground, she's goin' up, she's--

- You'd better answer her!

- I don't have her children!

- [Diego] And the others?

- Yeah, yeah, sure, I done all them other kids but--

(speaking in foreign language)

- [Cassidy] What?

- She says you're cheating on your wife!

- Yes, yes, stop, I can't see!

The air's full of, let go, let go!

I'm goin' up, let go!

Help me, Sheriff, save me!

- I can't see you, Cassidy!

- Don't let her! - I can't!

(speaking in foreign language)

- Diego, help me, Diego, save me!

- Sheriff, where's Cassidy?

- Where's the boy?

- [Calvin] In the patrol car with the doors locked.

- Good, good, good, good.

- What are you lookin' for?

- Watching the sky.

- Where's Cassidy, he got away?

- Oh, he'll be back. - Where'd he go?

(Cassidy shouts)

- She dropped him!

Quick, Calvin, let's find some cover!

- What? - Into the ditch, quickly!


- You see the story in the paper today?

- What?

- Appears they found Cassidy's body in the Rio Grande.

- What was he doin' down there?

- Says here he washed down there from here.

- Alive.

- No sir, turned up dead.

- Hm, like you would.

- Yeah, like you would.

- Fell in then?

- Nope. - Then what?

- Throwed in, by La Llorona.

- Oh, La Llorona, let me see the paper.

- This here's my paper

- Well, when you're done with it then.

- I'm gonna work the puzzles.

- Fine, I got a nickel,

I'll get my own copy out of the pile.

- Can't. - Can't?

- Smack out. - Smack out.

- So, what do you think?

- I don't believe in ghosts.

- I'm afraid I have some bad news.

- What?

- Somebody slashed the tires on the van.

- How about my car.

- That one, too.

I don't think we'll be leaving here any time soon.

At least, not till morning when we can call a garage.

- Well, heck, I can change a tire.

- You got eight spares?

- We could walk.

- Remember, we're 20 miles from nowhere out here.

- At least we have camping stuff.

- Yeah, we were gonna camp anyway.

- Oh, and I can dish up my special chili!

Pass me the big pot over there.

Everybody get a bowl and a spoon!

- You got crackers?

Can't have chili without crackers.

- I do, here in the knapsack.

- Now, everybody line up for chili.

- Another story, another story!

- Okay, I got one.

- Oh, Shelly, you know a scary story?

- I do.

- Is it a true story.

- Well, the guy who told it to me

went to the same school as the people in the story.

A few years later and everybodywas still talking about it.

- Here we go.

- So, anyway, these kids were all getting together

after the dance, see, and they were trying to decide...

- Now that was the best homecoming dance ever!

- Better than any senior prom, Frankie!

- How many senior proms have you been to, Tommy?

- Two, I've been a senior twice!

- But he passed the second time!

- Well sure, Bonnie tutored him the whole year!

- This way he stayed in school till I could be a senior too.

- So, anybody wanna go down to the beach?

Dee Dee and I are going.

- We are, there's a full October moon.

- If I'm not home by curfew, my dad'll kill me.

- Yeah, I'd better get Debbie home

before her old man snaps his cap.

- Oh, look at the time, we'll never make it.

- I know a shortcut.

- Come on, Dee Dee, to the beach!

- To the beach!

- Well, come on, Deb, let's get you home!

(door thuds)

- You ready? - Let's go.

- You weren't wanting to go right home were you?

- What do you think?

- Great, I know a nice place with a great view.

- Of what?

- Trees, right off Dead Man's Curve.

- Buckner Woods? - Yeah.

- Okay. - What?

I mean, okay, woo hoo!

- Hey wait, this isn't a scary story,

it's an Andy Hardy movie.

- Trust me, it's gonna get scary.

So they all left the high school parking lot,

Frankie and Dee Dee heading for the beach,

Dwayne anxious to get Debbie home,

and Tommy and Bonnie's destination?

Buckner Woods, just off Dead Man's Curve.

- This is a good place? - It's so quiet.

- Private, why don't you slide over here.

- Turn on the radio. - What, oh, okay.

(soft music)

- Oh, that's nice, I like that song.

- Why don't we-- - Tommy, stop.

- Aw, don't be like that. - What happened to the music?

- I don't know. - Turn it up!

- Special bulletin,

convicted killer Peter Grachev, known as The Hook,

has escaped from the Dory-Gammon Asylum

for the criminally insane,

recovering the stainless-steel hook

he wore on the stump of his right hand,

severed in an earlier escape.

Citizens are warned to stay in your homes

while police engage in their search.

We now return to our musical program.

- Turn it off!

Take me home.

- He's miles from here by now, I would be.

- But you're not criminally insane!

- Aw, come here. - No, let go!


Somebody's out there!

- It's nothing, probably just the engine cooling.

- Does that sound like the engine cooling to you?

- All right, fine.

- Well that was anticlimactic. - Be patient.

- Good chili, though.

Tomatoes, onions, and a sort of almond flavor, too.

- I'll never tell, secret ingredient.

- Here we are, sitting around a campfire at night

with a crazy caretaker running around, eight flat tires,

and we're talking about chili.

- Well, I could stop.

- No, go ahead.

And the chili's good, anyway.

- So, speaking of flat tires, down the road

Dwayne and Debbie had run into trouble.

- You and your shortcuts.

- I didn't count on a flat tire.

- Well now we're off the main road.

- Well, sure, it's a shortcut.

- Under a huge oak tree!

And nobody's gonna see us or drive by and help us

And the wind blowing the tree branches around

like they're alive, it's scary.

We're going to be here all nightand my dad's gonna kill us!

- He's not gonna kill us.

- You're right, he'll kill you.

- I've got a spare in the back.

- Do you know how to change a tire.

- Sure I do.

- Then what are you sitting here for, my father's gonna--

- Kill you, I know, I know, I know.

I told ya, nobody's gonna get killed.

I'll explain it to him.

- My father doesn't listen to explanations, Dwayne!

He just yells.

You just thought to get me out here alone so you could--

- Okay, okay, I'll change the tire.

You stay here, listen to the radio.

- What a stupid idea this was.

At least he had a spare.

Okay, radio.

- Convicted killer Peter Grachev, known as "The Hook"

has escaped from the Dory-Gammon Asylum

for the criminally insane.

Breaking into security storage

to recover the stainless steel hook

he wore on the stump of his right hand.

- Oh no, oh no, oh no!

Dwayne, there's a crazy murderer loose!

He's got a, Dwayne, can you hear me?

We have to, we have to-- (thuds)

What is that?

What is that, Dwayne, is the tire fixed?

We have to leave, Dwayne there'sa man, we can't stay here!

- That's up on the roof, what's pounding up there?

Dwayne, do you hear me,

I'm frightened, Dwayne, I'm frightened!

Please, oh, that light, I can't see!

- You in the car, you in the car,

this is Sergeant Feign of the State Police!

- Oh, thank God, the police!

- Your vehicle is surrounded,

come out now and walk toward the light.

- We're saved, we're saved!

I'm coming, I'm coming, thank you, I'm coming out!

- Put your hands in the air

and walk slowly toward the light!

- Dwayne, where are you?

I can't see with that light in my eyes.

- Is the light bothering you?

- Yes, I'm having trouble seeingwhere I'm going, I can't--

- Let me take it out of your eyes.

- There was something thumping against the top of the car!

- I'll aim the light up there, yes, yes, I see it!

- What is it?

- Turn around and look at it!

- I'm so grateful you've rescued us, oh, it's so late.

- Later than you think.

- My father will kill me.

- No he won't, turn around and look!

- Okay, I'm turning around,

it may take a minute for my vision to clear.

- Until your vision clears (giggling) I'll describe it.

It's your boyfriend!

It's Dwayne, your precious Dwayney-wayney!

Upside down bumping his head!

But he can't feel it and your father won't kill you, I will!


- Was that scary enough for ya?

- I've got to admit, that was scary.

- Thank you, whose turn is it now?

- Hold on, what about Frankie and Dee Dee?

- And Tommy and Bonnie!

- Tommy and Bonnie were parked in Buckner Woods.

- Just off Dead Man's Curve, right, go on.

- But when they heard all these strange noises--

- Something metal?

- Hitting the car, right, she wanted to get home.

- Fast. - Right,

and he was pretty mad at her.

- Well yeah!

- So, it wasn't long beforethey were pulling into the drive

at her parents' house.

- Okay, here we are.

- Well. - Well?

- Are you going to get the door for me?

- You know, you spoiled the whole evening.

- You mean I spoiled your whole evening.

- You get so scared!

"Take me home, somebody's out there!

"The Hook-handed killer, I'm so scared, blah blah blah."

If I were a crazy killer, I wouldn't hang around!

I'd've jumped a freight andgotten as far away as possible.

- Except that a crazy killer wouldn't do that, know why?

- Why? - Because he's crazy!

Now, are you going to get the door for me?

- All right, fine.

- "You know, you spoiled the whole evening."

He just wanted to--

- Bonnie, could you open the door from inside?

- Why, can't you just do this one thing?

- No, seriously, please.

- All right, Mr. Chivalry.

There. - Come on out.

- Your hand, sir knight?

- My hand?

Yeah, sure, here.

- Thank you.

Tommy, what is it?

- When I pulled away so fast it must've,

it must've been ripped from--

- What are you talking about? - The car door handle, look!

- The car door, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!

- There caught on the door handle was a bloody hook!

- Oh, that's horrible!

Is this real?

- I think it is. - I do too.

- Well, all I can say is,

that was a disappointment, nobody got killed.

- Don't let your chili get cold.

- Oh, you're all ahead of me.

Mm mm, good.

- So tell us about Dee Dee and Frankie,

and somebody better get killed.

- Okay, they made it to the beach

but when they tried to leave, the car was stuck in the sand.

- We're buried pretty good here.

- Really? - yeah, we're dead.

- Maybe we could push.

- We can't push this out.

- What are we gonna do?

- Don't lose your head.

Tell ya what, Buzz's Garage is just down the road.

He's got a bulldozer, he can pull us out.

- He won't be up this late.

- I'll wake him up, he owes me.

- I'll go with you.

- I can move quicker by myself, I'll run.

- But I'll be all alone!

- Hey, it's our beach, it's safe.

Okay, look, lock yourself in.

- Can I listen to the radio? - Sure.

- I'll be right back. - Hurry!

- Turn on the radio, listen to music, be right back.

- Oh, radio.

- The Hook has escaped from the Dory-Gammon Asylum

for the criminally insane, brutally murdering two guards.

Before fleeing, Grachev broke into security storage

and recovered the stainless-steel hook

he wore on the stump of his right hand.

We now return you to our musical program.

- Wait, what?

- Frankie, Frankie don't go, Frankie!

Lock myself in, better lock, better get 'em all.

Just calm down, Dee Dee, he's probably miles away by now.

Any reasonable person would, but he's not reasonable,

he's, what'd it say, criminally insane?

Now, stop it, just stop it, Dee Dee, you don't need to--

- Dee Dee.

- Frankie, oh, Frankie, I was so scared, the radio said--

- Dee Dee.

- I don't see you, Frankie, where are you?

- Down here.

- Close to the car?

- I'm next to the window,

you're down too far, I can't see you.

Frankie, stand up, stand up,

don't tease me, let me see you!

- Here I come.

- Oh, I see the top of your head coming up.

Oh, thank heaven, ah, only your head!

Where's the rest of you, where's the rest of you?

- Only his head, only Frankie's head!

Frankie on a stick, where's the rest of Frankie?

Here's me!

- You killed Frankie! - Let me in!

- No, no! - Let me in!

- No, the door is locked and you can't, you can't!

- Little pig, little pig, let me in!

- No, no, go away, I'm not letting you in!

- Not by the hair of your chinny chin chin!

- I'm not letting you in! - I want in!

- No, the door is locked, go away!

- Door is locked, then I'll huff and I'll puff!

Oh, Dee Dee, lookie lookie lookie here, Dee Dee.

Open your eyes, Dee Dee, lookie, lookie, lookie here.

- The door is locked, it's locked.

- Lookie here! - What?

- I got the keys, little pig, I got the keys!

I'm coming in!


- Okay, that was pretty good.

- Thank you, hey, where's Jack.

- He went to get his football back from Ronnie.

- Guys, I've got some bad news.

- Ronnie lost your football.

- No, Ronnies, Ronnie's dead.

- What do you mean? - What?

- He's back there only about 20 feet into the trees.

His throat's been cut.

- The Gray Man's back!

- What are we going to do, what are we going to do?

- We should get some weapons and split up

and search the woods.

- Good idea!

- Now let's just not lose our heads here.

We can protect ourselves, I've got my hunting knife.

Anybody else have anything we could use?

- I have a knife. - Figured you did.

- I don't feel very well.

- None of us do, but we've got to keep our heads about us.

- We could make clubs out of tree limbs.

I lettered in wrestling.

- That'll be useful.

- I dunno, I'm feeling kinda sick.

- Me too.

- You all will here pretty soon.

- What?

- I poisoned the chili.

- You what?

- The chili, poison, lots of it.

- That almond flavor!

- I was afraid you'd figure it out, Marty.

- I don't, I don't feel so-- - But why?

- That boy you mentioned, Ari Palmer.

- The kid who drowned.

- He was my brother, well, my step-brother.

You were all paid to watch the campers.

But no, Marty had some of you

back behind the mess hall smoking mary jane

and playing that stupid guitar.

- Hey, I was on break!

- Jack, you were shooting baskets with Ronnie.

Marcie, of course, was cheering you on

and oh, I had to kill Ronnie early,

because he'd already had some chili,

and I couldn't chance him tipping you off by dying!

Ari told you, he told you he was going to the lake.

- I thought he was foolin'around, he wasn't good enough--

- I didn't manage to get you when I burned down that cabin.

- That was you?

- I thought you were all in it, oops.

- Why did you kill all those other kids?

They didn't do anything to you!

- To set up my plan, to preparefor tonight, this night.

To cover my tracks.

- All their throats slashed.

You couldn't have been strong enough to--

- Oh no, I never could have overpowered them myself.

- Well then how did--

- First I gave them some of my chili,

everybody loved my chili.

Then, once they were unconscious

but before they were dead(chuckles) I slit their throats.

I used these garden shears, always handy in my knapsack.

What do you say to that, anybody?

Anybody want to respond, anybody?

Anybody have a story?

- You have been listening to the radio dramatization

Midnight Tales in Shadow Wood.

a presentation of The Air Command,

produced at the KTWU studios.

And now, goodnight and pleasant dreams.

(audience applauds)

(suspenseful music)

- [Announcer] To purchase copies of this program

or to view this program online go to


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