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One person became convinced that they could smell the poison gas and feel the heat rays as described on the radio, while another became emotionally distraught and felt a choking sensation from the imaginary "gas"
I actually own a tape of the 1938 broadcast. It's very well done and I can honestly see how people might believe the attack was actually occuring (though Welles had a disclaimer at the beginning of the show, many people tuned in after the beginning because some boring dude was playing the piano on the period's most popular network. The people who switched over would have thought that the show -- which pretended to interupt a fake concert of its owan -- was real).