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Adjust your Dark Dial for spooky stories

Those naysayers who say that COVID-19 has ruined this holiday should steer clear of Ariel Dyer. The community events coordinator for Bitwise Pulse is ready to scare some sense into them with Dark Dial Haunted Radio Hour, coming Friday.

"Scary stories told by compelling actors from the comfort of your own couch — it's the most perfect way I can think of to spend Devil's Night or All Hallow's Eve's eve," she wrote in an email. "I've heard people bemoan Halloween's being 'canceled' this year; but it's not canceled at all, it just looks a little different. Dark Dial Haunted Radio Hour is here to help celebrate that difference, and to make you look twice at that shadow around your hallway's corner or under your couch."

This virtual theatrical evening of scary stories came about thanks to Dyer's passion for scary stuff. (Along with her day job, she's one of the hosts of local horror podcast Not Your Final Girl.) But she said it wouldn't have been possible without UR Here Theater, part of Fresno-based nonprofit Fourth Wall Theatre Co., which is dedicated to presenting theater that reflects diverse community voices.

On tap for Friday's Zoom broadcast are adaptations of "The Monkey's Paw," "The Yellow Wallpaper," and the unabridged Edgar Allen Poe horror classic "The Tell-Tale Heart." 

Dyer said the stories were selected based on their availability — all fall under public domain — and theme.

"Poe's 'Tell-Tale Heart' is such an iconic piece, and short enough that it needed no adaptation," she wrote. "'The Monkey's Paw' and 'The Yellow Wallpaper' are both a bit longer, but we saw something in them that makes them a good fit for virtual performance in particular. 'The Yellow Wallpaper,' for instance, is a diary from the perspective of a woman isolated from society, which I thought would adapt quite well into a vlog recorded during the current pandemic."

Performers are Harrison Mills, Mark Standriff, Terry Lewis, Camille Gaston, Renee Newlove and Randall Kohlruss.

The show is donation-based with attendees paying what they can to watch, and attendance will be capped at 60.

Dyer wrote, "We know that right now especially, the amount of money people can spend on entertainment is different for everyone."

All proceeds will go directly to Fourth Wall.

Dark Dial Haunted Radio Hour, presented by Bitwise Pulse, UR Here Theater and Phantom Stranger Inc., will stream from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Friday. Tickets, which are donation-based, are available at darkdial2020.eventbrite.com.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.