Friday, December 1, 2017

The Night When Frank Sinatra Was A Christmas Ghost

It was the evening of December 26, 1949. Radio listeners tuned in to CBS to listen to another spooky story on Inner Sanctum Mystery. In festive mood the cast and crew presented a well-written, heart-warming Christmas story titled “The Enchanted Ghost,” which dramatized the holiday festivities of a mischievous Christmas ghost named Sir Benjamin. 

Avoiding bloodshed, murder and black bats, director Himan Brown hired Frank Sinatra to make a guest appearance and play the starring role of a man who  is plagued by a mischievous ghost named Sir Benjamin. Sadly, a recording of that broadcast is known to exist in recorded form but it was a home recording, the disc was in terrible shape and the wrong needle was used for transfer. As a result, the sound quality is terrible. 

Thankfully, John Roeburt was recycling his old Inner Sanctum Mystery radio scripts for use on Suspense in the early sixties, when director Bruno Zirato, Jr. sought radio scripts at scale. Zirato did not mind if he was recycling radio scripts used prior in the 1940s on The Mysterious Traveler, Creeps by Night and Inner Sanctum. On the evening of December 17, 1961, “Yuletide Miracle” was dramatized with Santos Ortega and Rosemary Rice in the cast, the very same script used with Frank Sinatra in 1949. A recording of that Suspense episode does exist so if you want to hear something novel this holiday season, try to envision the voice of Frank Sinatra – not Santos Ortega – in the role of Sir Benjamin.

To listen to the 24 minute recording, visit the link below.

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