The action in THE DARKNESS KNOWS takes place October 27 – 31, 1938. That’s prime Halloween time; so of course, I had to include a masquerade scene. It was a lot of fun to write, but it took some thought to find costumes for the characters that wouldn’t be anachronistic to the time.
Charlie and Vivian’s last minute cowboy attire was borrowed from the “costume closet” at WCHI and more specifically from the Country Cavalcade (a fictional country music program based on WLS’s popular Barn Dance). I got the idea from this photo of Jack Benny and a bunch of lovelies from a Radio Stars magazine article.
Vivian’s friend Imogene is dressed as Maid Marion from the 1938 movie version of Robin Hood (played by Olivia de Havilland).
Imogene’s boyfriend George and Graham (much to George’s chagrin) are both dressed as Robin Hood himself (as played by Errol Flynn).
Head of the radio station, Mr. Hart, is dressed as another famous Errol Flynn role – the pirate, Captain Blood.
Speaking of movies, Frances Barrow is dressed as Snow White (the Disney film was a smash hit in 1937-38). (Frances would have also make a fabulous Scarlett O’Hara, but alas, the movie version of that didn’t come out until the end of 1939.)
Station Engineer, Morty Nickerson, is dressed as Prince Charming from Snow White.
Announcer, Bill Purdy, is The Lone Ranger – a radio hit since 1933 and appearing in movie serials starting in 1938.
Fellow actor, Dave Chapman, is Superman. Superman debuted in Action Comics #1 in June 1938, so he was a brand new at the time of the masquerade. Weird to think that there was a time Superman didn’t exist, isn’t it?
Another actor, Little Sammy Evans, is a court jester. (The photo below is from the 1955 Danny Kaye movie, but imagine the same sort of costume.)
Other various and sundry characters you’ll find at the WCHI Halloween Masquerade of 1938 are Little Orphan Annie, Cleopatra, Queen Victoria, Henry VIII, and The Red Baron.