As horror fans I tend to think most of us are fans of the supernatural. Are ghosts real? Have we been visited by extraterrestrials? Is there a giant ape roaming our woods? Even if you ask these questions in jest, it’s still something horror fans love to talk about and, perhaps, the most well known moderator of these questions was the legendary broadcaster Art Bell. However, I’m sad to say, Art Bell has passed away at the age of 72.
Art Bell had been in the radio business for years, but in 1993 he struck upon the idea of creating “Coast to Coast AM.” On this program he discussed conspiracy theories, aliens, people with supernatural powers, and just about every topic under the sun that might’ve been deemed “creepy” or “weird.” If Mulder from the X-Files had a radio show, it would’ve sounded a lot like Art Bell’s program. And much like Mulder, Art Bell was very authentic towards the subjects he covered. He never mocked anyone or propped people up as freakshows. Instead he showed a deep interest in what they had to say and was a willing passenger on the wild ride his guests would often take him on.
Art Bell would eventually “retire” from his show in 2007, but would either show up for guest appearances or set off to do his own thing until he seemingly retired for good in 2015. However, those years of him on Coast to Coast AM will forever haunt me. I remember late nights coming home from work, listening to Art Bell talk about something unsettling like alien abductions, and then I’d finally pull up to my dark driveway and be too freaked out to get out of my car. Whenever I listened to an Art Bell broadcast I’d always be left saying “why the hell am I listening to this right now?!”
Sadly, Art Bell passed away on April 13th at the age of 72. He passed in his home in Nevada, but no cause of death has been released at this time. For now, we send our thoughts out to his family and friends during this time. Here’s to you Art, thanks for all the sleepless nights you gave me.