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“The Midnight Reading” is a weekly summer supplemental series of dramatic readings of lost classics from the world of dark literature that have inspired our show, Fireside Mystery Theatre. We also want to encourage our listeners to embrace the joy of books and to build their own collection of dark literature.

Our first foray into this series ended in September of 2016, but fan reaction was such that we hope to return to this format sometime in the future! Thanks to everyone who listened.

For the final show in our series of dark and dramatic readings, Mary Murphy reads and performs Charlotte Riddell’s strange and unsettling Celtic ghost story “The Last Squire of Ennismore.”

The Last Squire of Ennismore

Man Overboard

Get ready for a suspense thriller penned by the one and only Winston Churchill! It’s hard to believe but old Winston reveals a real flair for the macabre in this grisly little yarn performed by Ali Silva. Plus two stirring and unsettling WWII-era poems by May Hill.

The Riddle

This week Mary Murphy performs Walter De La Mare’s beguiling and disturbing tale “The Riddle” along with his eerie poem “Bewitched.”

This week, in observance of the birthday of French horror maven Maurice Level, we present two tales by the ne plus ultra of “le Théâtre du Grand Guignol:"“The Last Kiss” and “A Madman” — both rendered in writhing and wretched detail by our own Ali Silva.

The Last Kiss & A Madman

Moonlight Sonata

When it comes to macabre and mysterious musings, the name Alexander Woollcott does not immediately come to mind — which makes this week’s tale “Moonlight Sonata” all the more affecting. Dim the lights as you hear James Rieser perform this minor key masterpiece of dread and demented horror.

The True Story

Take a journey this week with our own Mary Murphy for a rare glimpse into the darker side of Dylan Thomas’ psyche with this sordid little tale of madness and murder. Also included in this episode is a reading of Thomas’ evergreen “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

The Oval Portrait

This week Ali Silva treats us to a rich performance of Edgar Allan Poe’s the “Oval Portrait” — perhaps the macabre master’s shortest tale (as well as one of his most haunting and evocative) paired with a recitation of the sinister poem “The Haunted Palace.”


This week we celebrate the birthday (1st of August, 1862) of M.R. James, the Mozart of the modern tale of terror with a special reading of this insidious little chiller. Beware: like the best work of M.R. James this one really sneaks up on you! Not to worry, our own James Rieser is here to walk you through it…

A Fruitless Assignment

Our debut episode shines a spotlight on the horror master Ambrose Bierce with his strange and disturbing tale “A Fruitless Assignment” and his dark poem “Weather.”

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