When I was a kid in the late 70s and early 80s, I used to hear this strange, eerie tune on the radio late at night. What WAS it? [more inside.]
I used to listen to this radio program called The CBS Radio Mystery Theatre (Twilight Zone-like radio plays). The station I listened to it on was WBBM in Chicago. After I'd been listening for about a year, I started getting this uneasy feeling at certain times during the broadcast, but I couldn't figure out why.
Then I realized what it was: there was a weird little tune playing over-and-over again in the background, so quiet that it was just on the edge of my consciousness. Every night, this tune would start playing, but always at different times. Quiet as it was, after I became aware of it, I couldn't NOT hear it. Sometimes I would drift off to sleep during the show, and then suddenly snap awake when that tune started playing. When I asked other people to listen to it, they generally couldn't hear it unless I taped the show and played it over and over again. Then they'd say, "oh yeah! I hear it now."
Now, this wasn't background music to the radio drama, because sometimes I would hear it WHILE the real background music was playing. Anyway, it wasn't appropriate to the stories. Actually, the music may have had nothing to do with the CBS Mystery Theatre. I might have been something WBBM was playing, and it might have played during other programs too, but at that time, the Mystery Theatre was the only thing I listened to on that station.
It occurred to me that it might be coming from another station close by, and that the sound might be bleeding into WBBM. So I spend hours subtly adjusting the radio dial, but it was pretty clear to me that the tune was coming from WBBM.
It was a short tune that repeated about 10 times and then stopped. It was very quiet, and it sounded like it was being played on the very high keys of a piano (no chords, just a tapped out melody) or maybe even a child's xylophone.
That tune will be stuck in my head forever! I made an mp3 of myself whistling it. It's really bad in quality, because my mic is old and broken, but all of the crackling will simulate the way I used to hear it, because WBBM didn't come through all that clearly.
This is one of the biggest mysteries of my life. If anyone can clear it up, I'll be eternally grateful!