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INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES COLLECTION

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OLD TIME RADIO - 12 AUDIO CD - 24 Shows

Total Playtime: 11:31:33

Inner Sanctum Mysteries, a popular old-time radio program that aired from January 7, 1941 to October 5, 1952, was created by producer Himan Brown. A total of 526 episodes were broadcast.

Horror hosts

The 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, including Larry Haines, Stefan Schnabel, Berry Kroeger and a few who would go on to greater fame in film or television, such as Richard Widmark, Everett Sloane and Burgess Meredith.

Of more than 500 programs broadcast, only about 200 remain in circulation, sometimes minus dates or titles.

Program opening

Sound effect: A door with squeaky hinges is slowly opened. Organ begins to play.

Raymond: Good evening friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is Raymond, your host. I'm glad you came tonight, because we have a very special guest of horror with us. I'd like you meet the late Johnny Gravestone. The most celebrated member of the Inner Sanctum Ghost Society. He's the best haunter of the all. Johnny's the tall figure in the white sheet wearing the blue ribbon. He's haunted everything from a palace to a telephone booth. And uh, if you're very nice to him, he'll be glad to consider giving your house the once over. Who knows? He might even haunt you? Ha-ha-ha-ha!

Raymond: Well, we're about to begin our story. Oh, I forgot to warn you about the Tremblins. They're those pesky, invisible cousins of the gremlins. They uh, saddle up to you, give quick little shoves, and give the false impression that you're trembling. If you're being troubled by a Tremblin, just grab him by his invisible little horns and stick him into the nearest pin cushion.

THESE ARE REGULAR AUDIO CD

CAN BE PLAYED IN ANY CD PLAYER, DVD PLAYER OR COMPUTERS

THIS COLLECTION WILL BE DELIVERED IN A BOX SET WITH ART WORK

We guarantee delivery of your item. If your item doesn't get there or is damaged, please notify us and we'll reship for you.

FULL REFUND IF NOT SATISFIED

SHOWS LIST

CD 1
1945-01-09 Desert Death
1945-01-23 Death Is an Artist
CD 2
1945-02-06 Death in the Depths
1945-04-10 The Bog-Oak Necklace
CD 3
1945-04-17 The Judas Clock
1945-05-01 The Girl and the Gallows
CD 4
1945-05-15 The Black Art
1945-05-22 Dead to Rights
CD 5
1945-06-19 Dead Mans Holiday
1945-09-25 The Lonely Sleep
CD 6
1945-11-20 Boomerang
1946-01-15 The Edge of Death
CD 7
1946-01-22 The Confession
1946-01-29 Blood of Cain
CD 8
1946-02-26 I Walk in the Night
1946-03-26 Death Is a Double Crosser
CD 9
1946-05-07 You Could Die Laughing
1946-05-21 Detour to Terror
CD 10
1946-06-04 Eight Steps to Murder
1949-01-10 Murder Comes to Life
CD 11
1949-01-31 The Devils Fortune
1949-03-28 Appointment with Death
CD 12
1949-05-16 The Unburied Dead
1952-08-24 No Rest for the Dead
 


Add to Cart:

  • Model: OTR-12CDA-InnerSanctumCollection
  • 30 Units in Stock


This product was added to our catalog on Friday 19 October, 2012.

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