Auctions | January 26, 2016

Original War of the Worlds Script Draft Read by Orson Welles to be Auctioned


LOS ANGELES, January 26, 2016 - An original typed draft of Orson Welles’ famous Halloween “War of the Worlds” radio broadcast will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on January 28, 2016. 

The famous script was written by Howard E. Koch and titled “An Attack by the Men of Mars,” as an adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic novel War of the Worlds. Orson Welles narrated the script on his radio series Mercury Theater on the Air, produced by John Houseman. CBS Radio aired “War of the Worlds” on October 30, 1938. Welles’ realistic narrative duped many listeners, putting them under the impression Martians were attacking America. The first 40 minutes of the one-hour broadcast were presented as a news bulletin -- without any commercials -- giving many people the impression they were listening to breaking news and being attacked. Welles was unaware of the broadcast’s impact until the next day. Facing public and media criticism, Welles apologized for the panic caused by the radio show. 

Many American radio stations annually air “War of the Worlds” as a Halloween tradition.

The 17-page script is a draft with numerous misspellings, corrections and incomplete sentences. It comes with provenance from the previous owner who purchased the script from radio pioneer James Jewell’s estate. 

Bidding for the script begins at $20,000.

Additional information on the script can be found at

About Nate D. Sanders Auctions

An industry leader in documents and autographs, Nate D. Sanders Auctions has conducted auctions in Los Angeles since 1990 and now holds major auctions on a monthly basis. Owner Nate Sanders is recognized for his knowledge of sports, historical and Hollywood memorabilia. To learn more visit