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Two people listening to Darkfield Radio play Visitors
Photograph: Darkfield Radio

Time Out says

Turn out the lights and get spooky with this very creepy radio play

The worst part of a horror movie is the anticipation, of what you can't see, of what's lurking around the corner or hiding in the closet. Innovative radio play creators Darkfield Radio have taken it one step further, with no visuals at all and only a precise soundscape and your own terrifying imagination to bring the scares. The production is running until June 20, 2021.

Darkfield is the company behind immersive soundscape experiences Séance and Flight, which took place in physical shipping containers around the city. In the former, participants were immersed in the world of a séance that summons more than anyone bargained for. The Flight shipping container was fitted out like an aeroplane, with real plane seats and overhead bins and in-flight safety messaging. That made it all the more terrifying when the lights went out and the seats began to shake, but in both cases, a meticulously designed soundscape of terror brought the audience's worst fears to life.

During lockdown, Darkfield kept the spine-tingling events running by creating at-home shows. The first of these was the deeply unsettling Double, which was selected for the prestigious Venice International Film Festival. Darkfield followed it up with Visitors, which turns your comfortable home into a haunted house. 

Visitors is designed for two people to experience at once, through separate headphones, and you'll get much more out of it if you follow that and all other instructions during the 20-minute show. And who is giving the instructions? Why, ghosts, of course. Jean and Alex are dead, frightened, and ever so glad of the invitation into your home. Through precise sound recording, Jean and Alex appear behind you, in front of you and sometimes, in a particularly intimate moment, they whisper directly in your ear. They talk to each other and directly to the audience, whispering, murmuring and giving instruction. Is the other person in your audience of two getting the same instructions? Can you trust them? Can you trust the ghost in your ear?

Visitors is not as macabre as Double, but the format of the audio experience suits the unsettled times in which we now find ourselves. Turning out the lights and closing your eyes to concentrate on the soundscape lets your imagination run wild. And as every good horror director knows, that's the scariest place of all.

You can also experience Darkfield shows Double and Eternal online every Thursday to Sunday until July 11.


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