It’s Hallowe’en

Orson Welles, photographed by Carl Van Vechten

“This is Orson Welles, ladies and gentlemen, out of character to assure you that “The War of the Worlds” has no further significance than as the holiday offering it was intended to be; the Mercury Theatre’s own radio version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying “Boo!” Starting now, we couldn’t soap all your windows and steal all your garden gates by tomorrow night … so we did the next best thing. We annihilated the world before your very ears and utterly destroyed the Columbia Broadcasting System. You will be relieved, I hope, to learn that we didn’t mean it, and that both institutions are still open for business. So goodbye everybody, and remember, please, the terrible lesson you learned tonight. That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian … it’s Hallowe’en.”

— Orson Welles, “The War of the Worlds” radio broadcast, Oct. 30, 1938; transcript from The War of the Worlds, Sourcebooks, Inc.