Main: The Black Mass — All Hallows by Walter de la Mare

Today at 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic Time (19:00 and 03:00 UK time), please join us for the first of our new series of chill­ing land­mark radio dra­mas by some of lit­er­a­ture’s most famous authors — The Black Mass - pro­duced by Erik Bauers­feld and John Whit­ing at KPFA in Berke­ley, Cal­i­for­nia and pre­sent­ed by kind per­mis­sion of Erik Bauers­feld and Bay Area Radio Dra­ma.

We lead off today with the first of the series: a drama­ti­sa­tion of Wal­ter de la Mare’s All Hal­lows, which con­cerns the haunt­ed restora­tion of an ancient cathe­dral — but not by God­ly forces.

In con­junc­tion with the broad­casts, for lis­ten­ers who are res­i­dent of Sec­ond Life, there will be in-world lis­ten­ing par­ties at the Buck­et of Blood Pub­lic House in New Bab­bage:

The Black Mass series was pro­duced between 1963 and 1970. Erik Bauers­feld writes:

This was the first series of radio dra­mas I pro­duced for KPFA, Paci­fi­ca’s radio sta­tion in Berke­ley and its asso­ci­at­ed sta­tions in Los Ange­les and New York City. …John Whit­ing, pro­duc­tion Direc­tor for the sta­tion, worked with me dur­ing those years… He was the dra­maturge for the Black Mass series, select­ing many of the authors and was already expe­ri­enced in pro­duc­ing dra­mat­ic pre­sen­ta­tions at the sta­tion before I came along. So it was a lucky col­lab­o­ra­tion for me in pur­suit of my return after so many years, to a first ambi­tion, mak­ing radio dra­ma. John designed the open­ing for­mat for the Black Mass series, adding homage to ear­ly radio’s The Witch­es Tale, from which I was trans­formed into an omi­nous sto­ry­teller with his “cir­cle of empa­thy”. For a time there­after I was con­fined to the “mon­strous and abhorred” world of the Necro­nom­i­con and its leg­endary Black Mass…

“Orig­i­nal­ly, the series was designed for a broad­cast start­ing at eleven thir­ty PM and end­ing around mid­night. It was to be a col­lec­tion of hor­ror tales, select­ed by Whit­ing and the depart­ment direc­tor. Their sug­ges­tions led me on to mate­r­i­al of sim­i­lar cal­iber, sto­ries I believed to be worth bring­ing to lis­ten­ers. Even­tu­al­ly I did most of the select­ing and all of the adapt­ing, much of the act­ing. The tal­ents already at KPFA and in oth­er Bay Area the­atre work were always inter­est­ed in radio dra­ma, even on a vol­un­tary basis. Soon I would dis­cov­er the fine art of fund­ing from nation­al and oth­er sources with pro­vi­sions for our tal­ents, but the Black Mass remained a non-prof­it enter­tain­ment.”

Read more about The Black Mass on the Bay Area Radio Dra­ma web site.
Our logo for the series was designed spe­cial­ly by Ter­ry Light­foot of To A T Designs.

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme in-world now at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:
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