Take a listen to what is reported to have caused panic the evening before Halloween in 1938.
The War of the Worlds is an episode of the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by actor and future filmmaker Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H.G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898).
The first two thirds of the 62-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a show that ran without commercial breaks, adding to the program's realism. There were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast.