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Haunted Tales from the Radio Studio

The Curious Case of WDIE-AM


Cover of the pulp magazine Ghost Stories

Cover of the pulp magazine Ghost Stories

Graphic: Public Domain
This time of year always brings out a tale or two about hauntings, poltergeists, and lingering spirits at radio stations. These accounts are generally kept alive by locals in certain communities who are often not very anxious to repeat them. Let me tell you about one of them.

There used to be a radio station in Chaff Hills, North Carolina with the call letters WDIE. WDIE was first put on the air in 1947 by an entrepreneur named Dylan I. Ellington. After receiving a license from the F.C.C. to construct his radio station, Ellington applied for call letters that reflected his name. Hence, the station became WDIE. In any other story, this would be somewhat insignificant except for a few unavoidable facts.

From the time the station operated as WDIE, every single person who did a morning program there died within 3 years of taking the position. And, not only did the morning personalities keep dying but, their deaths were out-of-the ordinary. The first morning man's car was hit by a train late one Saturday night as the deejay attempted to go across the tracks and beat the train. His brand new 1947 Mercury Coupe was dragged for 200 yards before the locomotive could come to a complete halt. It didn't matter.

The next morning deejay died on-the-air in the middle of doing the weather forecast. The coroner's report was inconclusive but it seems the man's heart just exploded even before he could utter the current temperature.

The third morning personality was murdered during a late-night break-in at his apartment. The odd thing is, the local police said nothing appeared to have been stolen. His death seemed to be a completely personal attack and when the man did not show up for his regular shift and police went to check on him they found him in his bathtub with an axe sticking out of his head.

These three deaths all occurred during the first 8 years of WDIE's operation, between 1947 and 1955. Dylan I. Ellington was aghast at the awful luck his young radio station seemed to have had with morning deejays. Then, one morning soon after the third death, Ellington arrived at the station to continue doing the morning show which he had temporarily stepped into. He pulled into the facility's parking lot at about 5:10 a.m. It was quite dark as he exited his vehicle and walked to the door to unlock it.

Ellington, who was a stout man of about 6 foot 3 inches, was not easily intimidated in both business and personal matters. But, as the owner twisted the key in the locked door and pushed it open, there in the hallway - he swears - were three apparitions. Each of the men who had worked as morning deejays eerily floated in place. The first one who had been crushed by the train was almost decapitated by a steering wheel through his neck. The second deejay who had succumbed on-the-air had a hole in his chest where Ellington could see his exploded heart. And the third morning man simply smiled, while displaying an axe almost splitting his head in half.

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