Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Haunted Radio Stations

Some some people believe in ghosts and some don't. This is the kind of topic that old radio men don't usually talk about. We're often engineers and this is not something engineers are prone to believe is real. But some people like to talk about it and that makes sense  It makes for interesting reading and after 100 years, radio certainly has it's share of ghost stories.

Below is a list of a few radio stations that I've heard the claims about multiple times. I can't personally vouch for a single one of them, but we've all worked at least one kind of creepy night shift.

97.7 WGEO-FM
The only FM station Beaverton, MI signed on in December of 1979 as WGEO. they changed calls to WMRX in 1983. For years they have broadcast little more than satellite-fed adult standards and been less than notable. However back in the 80s they broadcast ethnic programming and were much more interesting. They even had live human staff. One of those humans bought the station a mobile home in 1981 for promotional appearances. Poltergeist-like pranks began immediately and many reported seeing phantom children. They ditched the RV immediately. this actually appears in the book Haunted Places: The National Directory by Dennis William Hauck even though the "place" was on wheels and no longer exists.

1360 WIXI-AM
This station have been on air in Jasper, AL since 1946. It was originally built by the Bankhead Broadcasting Company as WWWB. In 1975, the station moved into new studios to a house at 409 Ninth Avenue in Jasper that had been owned by Mercury car dealer George Vines. That house was supposedly haunted by the former car dealer.  The station used the call letters WZPQ starting in 1988. They began using the WIXI call sign in 2005. Various versions of the story use any or all of the three call signs. This one is so infamous that the book Stories from the Haunted South  by Alan Brown spends 4 whole pages of dead trees on it. More here.

1260 KLYC-AM
The McMinnville Broadcasting Company debuted KMCM in June of 1949. The calls changed from KCYX to KLYC in May of 1990 following a change of ownership. The first ghost stories about the station immediately follow this transition. Various sources, (including one "psychic") have claimed the rack room or NOC for the on-site transmitter was haunted.  The station relocated its broadcast tower in 2000 and the former studio building is now a daycare facility. More here.

1080 KWJJ-AM & 99.5 KWJJ-FM
KWJJ was first licensed as KFWV in 1925, founded by radio pioneer Wilbur J. Jerman. the station moved into the Wilcox Mansion, on October 31st, Halloween 1957. The station picked up a roommate from the FM band in 1985 when KJIB changed their call letters to KWJJ-FM. Their house on King avenue was nothing less than a Victorian mansion. It was built in 1893 by Theodore B. Wilcox, a wealthy shipping and banking man.Multiple staff have seen, heard and felt "things" at this creepy facility.  The KWJJ-AM call sign was changed to KOTK in 1997, with a format change to "hot talk". KWJJ-FM continues to air country music and generate the occasional spooked DJ. More here.

105.5 KFMT-FM 
With 1200 watts from Fremont, NE you can almost reach nowhere. They are distantly to the NW of Omaha, and possibly reach some of their outermost suburbs. I've read one account. More here.

106.3 WFMV-FM 
I've also heard vague stories about WFMV but nobody seems to want to talk about it.  People go to the old Blairstown, NJ studios and take pictures. The site has been abandoned for years. More here.