I listened to the “Ghost Stories” on RadioLab. The stories that I listened to were so interesting and drew my attention, which I didn’t expect from audio. I did not only use my ears during the audio stories, I used my imagination. The multiple audio effects, noises, and voices all sparked imagery in my mind. Unlike other stories that we have looked at that contain pictures and video, audio altered the definition of a story for me. It sparked a new way to create story images in my mind using voices and sounds.
The audio stories were interestingly spooky and provided a new perspective on ghosts, death, and nightmares that I have never had. The first story was questioning what happens after we die and where we go. The producers describe an after-death place that people believed in called “Summerland.” They also played soft jazz notes in then background to evoke this supposed happy place. When the producers were explaining victim’s dialect in the stories, they projected long echoes behind their voices which brought a sense of emptiness to the story. When they were talking about the major news story of a woman’s mysterious death in the New York Times, they played the sound that a type writer made, which made me immediately picture reporters typing away. The producers added multiple voices in the background, which made me a more engaged listener, unlike usual monotone audio. “L’innconnue” was the name a dead woman was given after she drowned, which was also supported with water gurgles and bubbles. Inside the morgue, she was said to be a beautiful and delicate woman, and people were in awe. Combining both the low voices and eerie sounds made in this story, I was imagining her laid out in the morgue. Creepy sound techniques were also used during a man’s lucid dream, making me more curious about the details of lucid dreaming. In his dream, he was in front of a guy with a gun, and the rapid music that became increasingly louder provided a real life feel to his story.
All together, the techniques used provided me with more details in order to create this story in my mind. Usually the main purpose of ghost storytelling is to make the listener/watcher cringe or become scared and curious, which is exactly what I felt. Without these techniques, I would have became easily unattached to the story. The sounds were creepy and the voices were low and the producers generated a enthralling ghost story through audio.