"The War of the Worlds" was a Halloween episode of the radio series The Mercury Theatre on the Air directed and narrated by Orson Welles as an adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds (1898) that was performed and broadcast live at 8 pm ET on October 30, 1938 over the CBS Radio Network. The episode is famous for inciting a panic by convincing some members of the listening audience that a Martian invasion was taking place, though the scale of panic is disputed, as the program had relatively few listeners.
The episode begins with an introductory monologue based closely on the opening of the original novel, after which the program takes on the format of an evening of typical radio programming being periodically interrupted by news bulletins. The first few bulletins interrupt a program of live music and are relatively calm reports of unusual explosions on Mars followed by a seemingly unrelated report of an unknown object falling on a farm in Grovers Mill, New Jersey. The