The Wild & Wacky History of Trending

dancemarathonWe’ve all heard of or even participated in the weird trends that go viral – planking, the cinnamon challenge or the ice bucket challenge. But the viral nature of bizarre things is nothing new, it’s been happening for decades, even before the internet. Here are some curious trends that happened long before the world wide web.

Reporting, voicing and reenactments by: Julia Alsop, Sarah Barrett and Steve Trader
Produced by: Gwynne Hogan













Photo via Wikimedia Commons/ Library of Congress.

From the HorrorFiles Crypt

By Caroline Lewis

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I’ve always wanted to be part of the Midnight Society, that rag tag group of ’90’s kids that met up in the woods every Saturday night to tell each other (true) tales in Are You Afraid of the Dark?

This week, I got close. The Audiofiles team set out to find some good old-fashioned campfire stories, I looked up some creaky door sounds and we all gathered to listen and eat S’mores in the spooky fluorescent lighting of Room 330.

Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story…

“The Ghostly Introduction”



“The Licker”
as told by Gwynne Hogan, AudioFiles Producer



“The Math Teacher’s Fate”
as told by Pat Robinson to AudioFiles Producer Kristen Clark



Beleaguered School in Far Rockaway Bounces Back With S.W.A.G.G.E.R.




By Gwynne Hogan

For years, M.S. 53 in Far Rockaway has had a notorious reputation throughout the community as “a madhouse.” One teacher remembers bulletin boards being set on fire and having to barricade her classroom with desks in order to protect her students from other kids who wanted to fight them.

To begin to tame the chaos, a discipline-driven principal started doling out suspensions and generated what some teachers remember as a culture of fear.

But starting in 2011, a new principal named Shawn Rux has managed to turn the school around. Suspensions dropped from 280 in 2010 to fewer than 40 last year. The school’s letter grade climbed from an F to a B. Violent incidents dropped.

Gwynne Hogan gives us a glimpse inside the walls of M.S. 53 for a look at how Rux has managed turn things around.