Inner Sanctum Mysteries - Single Episodes
INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIESThe anthology series featured stories of mystery, terror and suspense, and its tongue-in-cheek introductions were in sharp contrast to shows like Suspense and The Whistler. The early 1940s programs opened with Raymond Edward Johnson introducing himself as, "Your host, Raymond," in a mocking sardonic voice. A spooky melodramatic organ score (played by Lew White) punctuated Raymond's many morbid jokes and playful puns. Raymond's closing was an elongated "Pleasant dreeeeaams, hmmmmm?" His tongue-in-cheek style and ghoulish relish of his own tales became the standard for many such horror narrators to follow, from fellow radio hosts like Ernest Chappell (on Wyllis Cooper's later series, Quiet, Please) and Maurice Tarplin (on The Mysterious Traveler). When Johnson left the series in May 1945 to serve in the Army, he was replaced by Paul McGrath, who did not keep the "Raymond" name and was known only as "Your Host" or "Mr. Host" (Berry Kroeger had substituted earlier for a total of four episodes). McGrath was a Broadway actor who turned to radio for a regular income. Beginning in 1945, Lipton Tea sponsored the series, pairing first Raymond and then McGrath with cheery commercial spokeswoman Mary Bennett (aka the "Tea Lady"), whose blithesome pitches for Lipton Tea contrasted sharply with the macabre themes of the stories. She primly chided the host for his trademark dark humor and creepy manner. The Creaking Door: The program's familiar and famed audio trademark was the eerie creaking door which opened and closed the broadcasts. Himan Brown got the idea from a door in the basement that "squeaked like Hell." The door sound was actually made by a rusty desk chair. The program did originally intend to use a door, but on its first use, the door did not creak. Undaunted, Brown grabbed a nearby chair, sat in it and turned, causing a hair-raising squeak. The chair was used from then on as the sound prop. On at least one memorable occasion, a staffer innocently repaired and oiled the chair, thus forcing the sound man to mimic the squeak orally. Guest Stars: Its campy comedy notwithstanding, the stories were usually effective little chillers, mixing horror and humor in equal doses. Memorable episodes included "Terror by Night" (September 18, 1945) and an adaptation of "The Tell-Tale Heart" (August 3, 1941). The latter starred Boris Karloff, who was heard regularly in the first season, starring in more than 15 episodes and returning sporadically thereafter. Other established stars in the early years included Mary Astor, Helen Hayes, Peter Lorre, Paul Lukas, Claude Rains, Frank Sinatra, and Orson Welles. Most of the lead and supporting players were stalwarts of New York radio. These included Santos Ortega, Mercedes McCambridge, Berry Kroeger, Lawson Zerbe, Arnold Moss, Leon Janney, and Mason Adams. Players like Richard Widmark, Everett Sloane, Burgess Meredith, Agnes Moorehead, Ken Lynch, and Anne Seymour, also found fame via the Inner Sanctum Mysteries. Out of more than 500 programs broadcast, only about 200 remain in circulation, sometimes minus dates or titles. Information taken from www.wikipedia.org From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.
Raymond himself is worth the price of admission alone!
a landmark series for suspense and horror - and Raymond's hosting, with his ghoulish puns, are the icing on the cake.Many of the great actors of OTR can be heard on this series throughout its run. And while more of these are mystery than horror, there are suspenseful moments galore - though that doesn't mean there are no good frights along the way! A highly recommended classic.
What happened to the Bromo Seltzer commercials
In looking over these programs, I could only find a few with the original Bromo Seltzer commercials. The one in particular was "The Vengeful Corpse" (1949). When Lipton Tea sponsored the program, the recordings were duplicated for copyright purposes. These recording have since found their way into the hands of collectors. The programs sponsored by Bromo Seltzer were re-released as AFRS recordings and the commercials were edited out.
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This is by far the best of the old timers. I'd heard about this show from my parents and uncles when I was a kid in the 50's but only found it lately through Old Time Radio Research and what a thrill it was listening for the very first time!
it was really sad that there were episodes i had to skip because recorded quality wasnt any good. it is a pity it couldnt have been better preserved, but that is no ones fault. i dont find these as great as other old time shows in areas of acting and story telling.
Didn't Mary B. push soup too (Lipton probably)?
I remember the contrast between the spooky narrator and her nagging ... funny stuff, from a library audiobook. it wasn't this series, though, so the nagging schtick (sp?) was used in at least two radio shows.l. Good stuff, love love LOVE LibriVOX.
I don't understand why this got so many 5 stars. so many of these programs were to distorted to hear. After trying a dozen different episodes I had to give up trying. It's really to bad I was looking forward to hearing these.
Oh what fun it is to hear a creepy story
These are a great listen! Lots of fun, and Raymond's horrible puns make it all the better.
Boomerang by oz authors
Recommended ep for ozophiles by oz michael sklar (sp) and Richard Manov (sp). Among many other rec eps--recommended episodes.