The “Inner Sanctum Mysteries” series, was an eerie old time radio showed that aired from 1947 until 1952. The program was an anthology of suspense and mystery shows. Himan Brown was the creator and producer. It aired on Sunday nights and told a variety of macabre stories about lunatics, murders, gremlins, and ghosts.
The eerie sound of a creaking door with a background of organ music started and ended each show. The sound was actually made by an old, squeaking desk chair. Lew White provided the creepy organ music.
It was hosted by Raymond Johnson who was known only as “Raymond”. His dark sense of humor set the tone for the eerie, terror filled stories of the show. His morbid puns and mocking humor was copied by many horror show hosts in the future.
Raymond ended each show with the phrase “Pleasant dreams, Hmmmm?” spoken in a long drawn out voice. In 1945 Johnson left the show and was replaced by Paul McGrath. He didn’t use the “Raymond” name but was known only as “Your Host”.
Each story in the anthology involved a mix of fear, horror, and humor. This made the show an unusual and entertaining mix of themes.
Episodes included Boris Karloff starring in, “The Tell-Tale Heart”. Karloff starred in over 15 episodes of the show. Many other guest stars appeared on the show including, Helen Hayes, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains and Orson Welles. Some of the regulars on the show who went on to success in television and movies were Burgess Meredith and Richard Widmark.
The show was sponsored by the Lipton Tea Company. Ironically, the spokeswoman was a cheery woman named Mary Bennett whose personality was the total opposite of the atmosphere of the series.
In the 1940s, Universal Studios produced a series of low budget movies based on the show and starring Lon Chaney, Jr. A television show was created in 1954.
Only 200 of the 500 original radio shows remain. You can enjoy the thrilling, suspense filled episodes of “The Inner Sanctum Mysteries” shows once again.
After a day of staring at your computer screen, listening to a relaxing, entertaining radio show can be a wonderful break from staring at a television screen.
If you search for old time radio shows on the internet there are several sites that let you experience the excitement, or in the case of “Inner Sanctum Mysteries” the chilling thrills, of popular old time radio shows. When the door creaks open….you’ll know you’ve arrived at the “Inner Sanctum….”.
Visit Mysteryshows.com for thousands of free Old Time Radio shows