“In My Tortured Ears There Sounds Unceasingly a Nightmare”: H. P. Lovecraft and Horror Audio

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


From the beginnings of radio drama to digital podcasting, horror has been a prevalent genre, exploiting the parameters and potential of audio form to the uttermost. Within this, the adaptation of literature—from Gothic classics to populist fiction—has been central. One conspicuous absence in early radio is H. P. Lovecraft with only one notable adaptation in the 1930-50’s ‘golden age’. Nevertheless, in multiple series of the era the ‘Lovecraftian’ is detectable, revealing latent adaptive strategies of appropriation, assimilation and allusion. In reading Lovecraft, we see that his plots, themes and cosmos are ideally suited to audio adaptation. In our own time, the transmedia pre-eminence of Lovecraft is evident in audio culture as much as anywhere else and we see the Lovecraftian influence across a wide range of audio, from the generic to the experimental, from standalone plays to serials, from biographical dramas to avant-gardist music composition.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Medial Afterlives of H.P. Lovecraft
Subtitle of host publicationComic, Film, Podcast, TV, Games
EditorsTim Lanzendörfer, Max José Dreysse Passos de Carvalho
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-13765-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-13764-8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Adaptation and Visual Culture
ISSN (Print)2634-629X
ISSN (Electronic)2634-6303


  • radio
  • horror
  • adaptation
  • audio

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