Friday, October 14, 2011

Existing Inner Sanctum Mystery Episodes

Known for its signature opening, a creaking door, Raymond the host invited listeners in for a weekly half-hour fright fest of murder and madness. Werewolves, vampires, creeping vines, walking corpses, dark stormy nights, haunted houses, black cats, vengeful ancestors and even ghosts of gangsters roamed the airwaves. For eleven seasons this horror program frightened listeners and today, remains a popular collector's item for fans of old-time radio.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, episodes of Inner Sanctum Mystery originated from transcription discs, transferred to a feasible listening format, courtesy of a number of OTR vendors. The shows were also licensed and commercially released through companies like METACOM (doing business as Adventures in Cassettes) and Radio Spirits.

About ten years ago, when the mp3 format became a standard for the casual collector (serious collectors still prefer CD and reel to reel format), episodes of Inner Sanctum Mystery began popping up all over the internet at various prices. The mp3 craze, coupled with illegal free downloads (the radio program is still copyrighted), ultimately killed the hobby. Vendors who were willing to spend $100 and $200 for a transcription disc with a formerly "lost" episode, now hesitate in fear that the internet market will kill off any chance of recouping their investment. As a result, unlike other old-time radio programs, no new episodes of Inner Sanctum Mystery have surfaced in collector circles within the past five or six years. This is a sad statement to make, but is nonetheless true. (Those who have debated this fact in the past few years are staunch supporters of the mp3 format, free downloading and file swamping, merely defending their own actions. When the possibility of two new "uncirculated" episodes became available last year, all of the defenders were approached and none were willing to pay for the new episodes -- one even stated he'll wait till he can download it off his favorite web-site.)

Vendors who have been in the hobby for more than two or three decades continue to offer radio programs on CD, audio cassette and reel-to-reel, avoiding the mp3 format altogether. Thankfully, this allows serious collectors the opportunity to collect vintage radio broadcasts without the complications, struggles and frustrations that mp3 customers have experienced in the past. Johnny-come-latelys who are determined to squash their competition faster than The Incredible Hulk, have purposely and unscrupulously offered duplicate recordings with alternate titles, tricking customers into believing they paid good money for the largest collection of Inner Sanctum episodes assembled on a single disc.

Newspaper advertisement
Now to be honest, a number of vendors in the 1980s and early 1990s were offering a handful of Inner Sanctum episodes on audio cassette with alternate titles. Even the casual listeners knows that the announcer gives the title of the episode at the beginning of each episode, and therefore should be no excuse for alternate titles. But the 1952 summer revival of Inner Sanctum was transcribed for the AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) and the titles (and the Pearson Pharmaceutical commercials) were deleted. This caused momentary confusion until a list was created to label the correct title and broadcast date with the AFRS rebroadcasts. Vendors quickly began adjusting their catalog pages, even printing supplements and mailing them out to their customers, who could also make the correction. It would seem at that time the problem was resolved. 

Enter stage left the mp3 format. Customers unaware of how many episodes of Inner Sanctum Mystery are known to exist, began buying CDs with over 200 episodes, in what they thought was the complete series. Sadly, not even 200 episodes are known to exist. Vendors were taking recordings of a South African radio series from 1968, The Creaking Door, and adding them to the Inner Sanctum discs. A number of 1950s Australian radio shows titled Inner Sanctum were also added. But then collectors began hearing the same recording twice -- each file on the CD had a different title! Over the years, the situation got worse. Vendors were unscrupulously duping files and renaming them, tricking customers into believing the vendor had more episodes than his competition. If Vendor A had 189 episodes, Vendor B began offering 190. Vendor A quickly began offering 191 and Vendor B followed with a multi-CD mp3 set with 195 episodes.

As the battlefield grew, customers were getting more disappointed. Having written a book about Inner Sanctum Mystery, I started receiving an e-mail every month from someone pleading for me to review their mp3 files and straighten out the mess. It seems they were getting tired of driving to work and discovering they were listening to the same episode they heard last week -- believing the new title meant a new episode. I can understand their frustration. The requests quickly grew and soon I was receiving the same request every week and I discovered there was not enough time on the clock to perform the favors for everyone. In order to keep peace in a civilized world, I began suggesting they get a copy of my book -- after all, there are plot summaries and guest cast, besides the titles, broadcast dates and episode numbers, and anyone with an I.Q. higher than room temperature could easily determine the correct title and broadcast date. What I failed to reckon with, however, was the nature of the beast. In business, there are two different markets -- customers who buy and customers who aren't. If they were downloading mp3 files of Inner Sanctum Mystery, or buying $5 mp3 discs, then they were not the same crowd that would pay $25 for a book that would solve all their problems.

So in 2003, I created a list of all the existing radio broadcasts of Inner Sanctum Mystery. The purpose of this listing was to encourage both collectors and fans to look back through their holdings, and see if maybe some episodes in their collection are considered "lost." A "lost" episode is considered any radio broadcast not known to exist, or available from collectors in circulation. The second purpose was so collectors of mp3 files would be able to accurately date and title the recordings. The list was updated twice, with additional commentary added in 2007 (featured below this list).

Because it is possible that "lost" episodes could turn up in the future, this list is subject to revision in the near future, as updates are acquired.

The code LOC are marked beside episodes known to exist in the Library of Congress Archives. Many of these LOC entries are not available from collectors yet, but according to the LOC, they do exist. If there is an episode marked Q, that means "questionable." There still remains a few episodes that supposedly exist but I marked a Q because I have not verified the recording with my own ears. Everyone who claims they have a questionable episode asked me to remove the Q, but I did not because they never sent me a recording to verify. If anyone feels they have a recording that isn't on this list, do contact me. However, beware of duplicate recordings with alternate titles and airdates! 

  • "The Amazing Death of Mrs. Putnam" (1/7/41)
  • "The Strangled Snake" (2/18/41) LOC
  • "The Man of Steel" (3/16/41) Boris Karloff LOC
  • "Dead Freight" (5/18/41) Myron McCormick
  • "The Tell-Tale Heart" (8/3/41) Boris Karloff
  • "The Death Ship" (8/10/41)
  • "Hunter From Beyond" (9/7/41) only last seven minutes known to exist
  • "The Stallion of Death" (9/14/41) LOC
  • "The Haunting Face" (9/28/41) LOC
  • "Hell is Where You Find It" (10/19/41) Burgess Meredith
  • "Nocturne of Death" (11/2/41) LOC
  • "The Island of Death" (12/7/41)
  • "The Man From Yesterday" (12/21/41) Myron McCormick
  • "Death Has Claws" (12/28/41) Santos Ortega
  • "The Scarlet Widow" (1/11/42) LOC
  • "Dead Reckoning" (1/18/42) Arthur Vinton
  • "A Study for Murder" (5/3/42) Boris Karloff
  • "Terrible Vengeance" (6/14/42) The Australian version of this script is floating about, not the American.
  • "The Dead Walk at Night" (9/20/42) Donald Buka starred in the 1952 version of the same script. This 1942 version does not have Donald Buka! Does anyone have this episode WITHOUT Buka?
  • "The Black Seagull" (3/7/43) Peter Lorre
  • "The Horla" (8/1/43) Arnold Moss
  • "The Walking Skull" (4/15/44)
  • "The Melody of Death" (4/22/44) Mary Astor
  • "The Silent Hand" (5/13/44) Mary Astor
  • "Death is a Joker" (6/10/44) Peter Lorre
  • "Dead Man's Vengeance" (10/7/44)
  • "Dead Woman's Tale" (10/28/44)
  • "Blind Man's Bluff" (11/4/44)
  • "The Voice on the Wire" (11/29/44)
  • "The Color Blind Formula" (12/6/44) Richard Widmark
  • "Desert Death" (1/9/45)
  • "Death is an Artist" (1/23/45) Lee Bowman
  • "Death in the Depths" (2/6/45) Santos Ortega
  • "No Coffin for the Dead" (2/20/45) Les Tremayne
  • "The Meek Die Slowly" (4/3/45) Victor Moore Q
  • "The Bog Oak Necklace" (4/10/45) Miriam Hopkins
  • "The Judas Clock" (4/17/45) Santos Ortega
  • "Song of the Slasher" (4/24/45) Arnold Moss
  • "The Girl and the Gallows" (5/1/45) Wendy Barrie
  • "The Black Art" (5/15/45) Simone Simone
  • "Dead to Rights" (5/22/45) Elspeth Eric and Santos Ortega
  • "Musical Score" (5/29/45) Berry Kroeger
  • "Death Across the Board" (6/5/45) Jackson Beck and Raymond Massey
  • "Portrait of Death" (6/12/45) Leslie Woods
  • "Dead Man's Holiday" (6/19/45) Myron McCormick
  • "Dead Man's Debt" (6/26/45) Joseph Julian
  • "Dead Man's Deal" (8/28/45) Larry Haines
  • "The Murder Prophet" (9/4/45) Wendy Barrie
  • "The Last Story" (9/11/45) Richard Widmark
  • "Terror By Night" (9/18/45) Anne Shepherd
  • "The Lonely Sleep" (9/25/45) Karl Swenson
  • "The Shadow of Death" (10/2/45) Richard Widmark
  • "Death By Scripture" (10/9/45) Stefan Schnabel
  • "Till Death Do Us Part" (10/16/45) Larry Haines
  • "The Corridor of Doom" (10/23/45) Boris Karloff
  • "Death for Sale" (10/30/45) Boris Karloff Q  A recording of the 1952 version does exist, in AFRS format, and is commonly mistaken as the 1945 broadcast. Does anyone actually have the 1952 version? To my knowledge, the 1945 version does not exist.
  • "The Wailing Wall" (11/6/45) Jackson Beck and Boris Karloff
  • "The Dreadful Hunch" (11/13/45) with Anne Shepard and Richard Widmark Q
  • "Boomerang" (11/20/45) with Martin Gable
  • "The Dark Chamber" (12/11/45) Kenneth Lynch
  • "The Undead" (12/18/45) Anne Seymour
  • "The Creeping Wall" (1/8/46) Irene Wicker
  • "The Edge of Death" (1/15/46) Larry Haines, Mercedes McCambridge
  • "The Confession" (1/22/46) Santos Ortega
  • "Blood of Cain" (1/29/46) Mercedes McCambridge, Karl Swenson
  • "Skeleton Bay" (2/5/46) Betty Lou Gerson
  • "Elixier Number Four" (2/12/46) Richard Widmark
  • "I Walk in the Night" (2/26/46) Larry Haines
  • "The Strands of Death" (3/12/46) Santos Ortega
  • "Death is a Double Crosser" (3/26/46) Lawson Zerbe
  • "The Night is my Shroud" (4/2/46) Ann Shepherd
  • "Lady with a Plan" (4/9/46) Elspeth Eric
  • "Make Ready My Grave" (4/23/46) Jackson Beck and Richard Widmark
  • "You Can Die Laughing" (5/7/46) Santos Ortega
  • "Detour to Terror" (5/21/46) Mason Adams
  • "Eight Steps to Murder" (6/4/46) Berry Kroeger
  • "I Want to Report a Murder" (6/18/46) Santos Ortega
  • "Spectre of the Rose" [Ben Hecht special] (8/19/46)
  • "Murder Comes at Midnight" (9/9/46) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "The Dead Laugh" (9/23/46)
  • "Death's Old Sweet Song" (11/4/46) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "No Rest for the Dead" (11/25/46)
  • "Death Bound" (2/3/47) Richard Widmark
  • "The Ghost in the Garden" (2/10/47) Leslie Woods
  • "Don't Dance on My Grave" (5/5/47) Charlotte Holland
  • "Over My Dead Body" (6/23/47) Larry Haines, Vera Allen
  • "Till Death Do Us Part" (10/27/47) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "Death Out of Mind" (12/29/47) Larry Haines and Ann Shephard
  • "Tempo in Blood" (1/12/48) Mason Adams and Everett Sloane
  • "The Doomed" (1/26/48) Mercedes McCambridge and Karl Swenson
  • "The Magic Tile" (3/8/48) Mercedes McCambridge and Everett Sloane
  • "Lady Killer" (3/29/48) Everett Sloane
  • "Death Demon" (7/5/48) Ann Seymour and Everett Sloane 
  • "The Eyes of a Murderer" (7/19/48) Donald Buka  Just discovered, 11/12/12
  • "Murder Takes A Honeymoon" (7/26/48) Ann Shepherd and Everett Sloane
  • "The Murder Ship" (8/2/48) Mason Adams
  • "House of Doom" (8/9/48) Charlotte Holland and Santos Ortega
  • "Death Rides a Riptide" (9/6/48) Arlene Blackburn and Lawson Zerbe
  • "The Murder Carousel" (9/13/48) Larry Haines
  • "Hangman's Island" (9/20/48) Mason Adams and Elspeth Eric
  • "Murder by Prophesy" (9/27/48) Joseph Julian
  • "Death of a Doll" (10/18/48) Mason Adams
  • "Deathwatch in Boston" (11/15/48) Ted Osborne
  • "The Cause of Death" (12/6/48) Berry Kroeger
  • "Murder Faces East" (12/13/48) Charlotte Holland
  • "Between Two Worlds" (12/20/48) Mason Adams and Ann Shephard
  • "Fearful Voyage" (1/3/49) Elspeth Eric and Arnold Moss
  • "Murder Comes to Life" (1/10/49) Charles Irving and Santos Ortega
  • "Mark My Grave" (1/17/49) Santos Ortega and Lawson Zerbe
  • "The Deadly Dummy" (1/24/49) Mason Adams and Elspeth Eric
  • "The Devil's Fortune" (1/31/49) Jackson Beck
  • "Death Demon" (2/7/49) Everett Sloane and Leslie Woods
  • "Birdsong for a Murderer" (2/14/49) Arlene Blackburn
  • "Flame of Death" (2/21/49) Charlotte Holland
  • "Only the Dead Die Twice" (3/21/49) Larry Haines
  • "Appointment with Death" (3/28/49) Charlotte Holland and Karl Swenson
  • "Death Wears a Lonely Smile" (4/4/49) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "Murder Off the Record" (4/11/49) Mason Adams and Elspeth Eric
  • "The Death Deal" (4/18/49) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "The Unburied Dead" (5/16/49) Leslie Woods
  • "Strange Passenger" (5/23/49) Mason Adams
  • "Death on the Highway" (6/6/49) Ted Osborne and Alice Reinhart
  • "Corpse Without a Conscience" (6/20/49) Karl Swenson
  • "Pattern for Fear" (7/4/49) Cameron Prud'Homme and Everett Sloane
  • "Deadly Fare" (7/18/49) Larry Haines
  • "Dead Heat" (8/15/49) Mercedes McCambridge and Karl Swenson
  • "Mind Over Murder" (8/22/49) Elspeth Eric
  • "Death's Little Brother" (8/29/49) Amzie Strickland
  • "Murder Rides the Carousel" (9/5/49) Leslie Woods
  • "The Vengeful Corpse" (9/12/49) Karl Swenson
  • "Honeymoon with Death" (9/19/49) Mason Adams
  • "Catch a Killer" (10/3/49) Larry Haines and Barbara Weeks
  • "The Devil's Workshop" (10/10/49) Mason Adams
  • "Image of Death" (10/17/49) Jean Ellen
  • "Night is my Shroud" (10/24/49) Ken Lynch and Ann Shephard
  • "A Corpse for Halloween" (10/31/49) Larry Haines
  • "The Wish to Kill" (11/14/49) Karl Swenson and Leslie Woods
  • "Beyond the Grave" (12/19/49) Martin Gabel
  • "Killer at Large" (1/9/50) Larry Haines
  • "The Scream" (1/16/50) Barbara Weeks
  • "The Hitch-Hiking Corpse" (1/23/50) Ken Lynch
  • "Skeleton Bay" (1/30/50) Charlotte Holland (both versions exist)
  • "Murder Mansion" (3/27/50) Arnold Moss
  • "Beneficiary-Death" (4/17/50) Everett Sloane and Barbara Weeks
  • "No Rest for the Dead" (7/13/50) different story from that of the 1946 episode of the same name.
  • "Twice Dead" (11/6/50) Larry Haines and Amzie Strickland
  • "Beyond the Grave" (12/4/50) Mercedes McCambridge
  • "The Smile of the Dead" (2/19/51) Larry Haines, only the first half of this episode is known to exist.
  • "The Man From the Grave" (2/26/51) Ralph Bell and Peter Cappel, only the second half of this episode is known to exist.
  • "The Unforgiving Corpse" (5/28/51) Luis Van Rooten and Lawson Zerbe
  • "Birdsong for a Murderer" (6/22/52) Boris Karloff
  • "Terror By Night" (6/29/52) Agnes Moorehead
  • "Death Pays the Freight" (7/6/52) Everett Sloane
  • "Death for Sale" (7/13/52) Boris Karloff
  • "The Listener" (7/20/52) Agnes Moorehead
  • "The Murder Prophet" (7/27/52) Agnes Moorehead
  • "Murder Off the Record" (8/3/52) Ken Lynch
  • "The Magic Tile" (8/10/52) Ann Seymour 
  • "The Corpse Laughs Last" (8/17/52)
  • "No Rest for the Dead" (8/24/52) Barbara Weeks and Everett Sloane 
  • "Strange Passenger" (8/31/52) Wendell Corey
  • "The Meek Die Slowly" (9/7/52) Arnold Moss
  • "Till Death Do Us Part" (9/14/52) Mason Adams
  • "The Corpse Nobody Loved" (9/21/52) Joan Lorring
  • "The Dead Walk at Night" (9/28/52) Donald Buka
  • "Death Pays the Freight" (10/5/52) Everett Sloane

Sad story to describe the KXOK advertisement featuring Raymond Edward Johnson, pictured on the left. Some time after my book about Inner Sanctum was published, a web-site chose to scan the advertisement and post it on their site. Not that I am capable of scolding them for doing so, but was shocked to learn from their mouth to my ears how, after scanning the ad, altered it. They used computer software to re-design much of the text that appears in the ad, reproducing the art work. Why? At first they claimed they were "restoring" the newspaper advertisement. Later they admitted that they wanted to brand their own work so they can sue other people for reprinting what they considered property they now owned. And it gets worse. Turns out they have been altering vintage newspaper advertisements for years and posting them on their web-site. Gasp! I know we all encourage restoration, but there is a considerable difference between a "restoration" and an "alteration." And it gets worse! The editor of a magazine for the past year or two has been reprinting articles from that web-site and reproducing their "altered" newspaper advertisements. And yes, the story gets even worse than that. A book was recently published through a University Press, reprinting one of the altered newspaper advertisements from that magazine! Which now means that the altered newspaper ad is getting reprinted. Why couldn't the author just dig up a copy of the original newspaper ad? Why couldn't the editor of the magazine listen to the numerous people who warned him about reprinting stuff from that web-site?

Now the funny part of this story. The owner of the web-site in question denied scanning the ad from my book. He boldly claimed he scanned it from some old radio/movie guide magazine. When I corrected him by pointing out that a national magazine never promoted a local radio broadcast, and that such ads (such as KXOK which promoted in the local St. Louis, Missouri newspaper where I flew a great distance to browse the microfilm in the public library and where I copied the ad from originally) were found in local newspapers, they went dead silent except to threaten a lawsuit if I contact them again. Yes, there are nut cases out there and sadly, they are causing more harm than help. With the exception of the watermark I placed in the center of the ad, I am reprinting it without any alterations. I have no doubt if and when the whacko discovers I just posted this ad on the internet, they'll find a way to remove the watermark and replace it with their altered version to deny any wrong doing. (They have a reputation for making up lies and negatively blasting the people they steal from.)

"The Mystery of the Howling Dog" (2/11/41) does not exist. There was such a drama aired over the radio, but there is no recording of this episode known to exist. Someone at one time, during the mid-1980s, took the premiere episode, which is entitled "The Amazing Death of Mrs. Putnam," and labeled it "The Mystery of the Howling Dog." This mistake somehow got carried over into the mp3 format.

Why? Simple. Over the past few years, collectors have taken various recordings and edited them - or in this case, re-labeled them - so other collectors would think, "Horray! A new episode of Inner Sanctum has just been discovered!" This sort of scam (creating or labeling already existing episodes so people think a new episode has surfaced) only adds a little profit to the collectors who start this sort of con game. Sadly, no matter what the hobby, there will always be someone out there like that. But the routine is pretty much the same. By the time a handful of people complain, the seller then stops offering the recording and even if he has to refund money to a couple collectors, he has already made a large profit from the dozens of people who jumped on the bandwagon.

Newspaper advertisement promoting Inner Sanctum.
This has been done for many years. Examples: Many episodes of Arch Oboler's Plays had their opening and closings deleted, replaced with the familiar Lights Out! theme, and whoala - the collector just created a "newly discovered" episode of Lights Out! There are many of these recordings circulating, and innocent collectors have turned around and put the "new" recording into their catalog, and the chain of circulation begins. Before we know it, the same false recording as been handed down through dozens of sources and many hands, and those with a keen ear start complaining because they discover that it wasn't a real Lights Out! episode.

Regarding Inner Sanctum, the episode floating about on MP3s entitled "The Snow-White Scarf" is really an episode from a South African radio program (circa 1966-68) entitled The Creaking Door. There was, in fact, an Inner Sanctum episode titled "The Snow-White Scarf" from 1951, but this is not that episode - it's a recording of the sixties' South African broadcast. If you have this recording and insist that you do have the 1951 broadcast, send it to me and I'll verify for you. But believe me, I've received over a dozen copies of this same recording. The 1951 Inner Sanctum broadcast does not exist. This of course, is just one of many examples floating about. 

So why is Inner Sanctum Mystery one of the few radio programs that is really messed up? Simple.
  1. It's one of the few radio programs out there have really have not received any special treatment of restoration. Look at the Gunsmoke and Suspense series for example, and I guarantee with a few phone calls to the vendors who have been around for decades, you can acquire the entire series in the most beautiful, restored, remastered sound quality from the vendors who have the archival masters in their archives. Inner Sanctum has not yet received that sort of treatment.
  2. It is estimated that of the 100+ episodes of Inner Sanctum known to exist in circulation, about half of them only exist because of the AFRS. Since the AFRS replayed various episodes over the late forties and early fifties, (sadly editing many of these shows into their own format with a closing signature "this is the AFRS, brought to troops over seas."), about half of the circulating episodes are the AFRS broadcasts only. Take "Murder Comes at Midnight" from September 1946. Only the AFRS recording exists, not the CBS aircheck. Although many collectors dislike what the AFRS did to the recordings (like deleting the original sponsor commercials), we do have to thank the AFRS for having done what they did, else we would not have as many Inner Sanctum episodes floating about today.
  3. Like many radio programs, the same scripts were performed more than once, so even if the 1946 version of one episode exists and the 1949 version of the same drama does not, collectors have been (purposely or unintentionally) labeling the same show under two different titles. So if collectors go by the airdates to verify whether or not they have a specific episode of Inner Sanctum or not, they will find that they have only one recording with two different broadcast dates. Each repeat performance had a different cast so beware of this! (Careful listening to the closing of some of these episodes such as the host telling us the Inner Sanctum novel of the month can help narrow down which version of these episodes actually exists.)
  4. Many of the Inner Sanctum episodes, during the mid-late forties, were also repeats of earlier scripts, but retitled and with a different cast. Instead of the female being the victim, the second version to air four years later had a man as the victim. All they did was switch the sex of the protagonist and change the title. The plot may be familiar, but the script was not 100% exact. There are multiple versions of these available in circulation. Sadly, stubborn collectors listen to the first few minutes, say to themselves "Hey, I've heard this before. This is the wrong title and airdate listed on my cassette!" Reality, it's the right date and title, just a repeat of the drama.
Thanks to Gordon Payton, a.k.a. "The Sci-Fi Guy" (one of the few originators in the hobby who jumped ship when the mp3 market began cutting away his expensive efforts to acquire "lost" episodes), enclosed below is a list of alternative titles that have been floating about. Gordon severely fell victim to the plague many Inner Sanctum fans have gone through. He continued to buy and trade for copies of Inner Sanctum that did not match any other titles on his list. He eventually discovered like the rest of us, that he was just getting duplicates of what he already had. So Gordon started detailing the "alternative titles" in his catalog. I expanded on that list three-fold and here they are. If you have an alternate title (though I think we've covered them all by now), please let me know.

  • "Aunt Ellen" is the same as "The Listener" (7/20/52)
  • "Catherine Bryan" is the same as "The Confession" (1/22/46)
  • "Cemetery Hitch-hiker" is the same as "Murder Prophet" (7/27/52)
  • "Chinese Tile" is the same as "The Magic Tile" (8/10/52)
  • "Claudia" is the same as "Murder Prophet" (7/27/52)
  • "Corpse in a Cab" is the same as "The Corpse Nobody Loved" (5/23/49)
  • "Death Rides a Carousel" is the same as "The Murder Carousel" (9/13/48)
  • "Death" is the same as "Detour to Terror" (5/21/46)
  • "El Fortuna Diablo" is the same as "The Devil's Fortune" (1/31/49)
  • "Florida Keys" is the same as "Appointment With Death" (3/28/49)
  • "Ghosts Always Get the Last Laugh" is the same as "The Dead Laugh" (9/23/46)
  • "Highgate" is the same as "Murder By Prophesy" (9/27/48)
  • "Homicidal Maniac" is the same as "Lady Killer" (3/29/48)
  • "Jane Carter" is the same as "The Meek Die Slowly" (9/7/52)
  • "Kathleen Bryan" is the same as "The Magic Tile" (8/10/52)
  • "Lady and the Corpse" is the same as "The Corpse Nobody Loved" (5/23/49)
  • "Lady is a Witch" is the same as "The Black Art" (5/15/45)
  • "Last Refrain, The" is the same as "Murder Prophet" (7/27/52)
  • "Lion Reigns at Hillcrest" is the same as "Murder By Prophesy" (9/27/48)
  • "Raymond Meets Gideon Blake" is the same as "Dead Man's Vengeance" (10/7/44)
  • "Raymond Receives a Call From a Dead Man " is the same as "Dead Man's Vengeance" (10/7/44)
  • "Razor's Edge" is the same as "The Corpse Nobody Loved" (5/23/49)
  • "Richard Fenner" is the same as "The Color Blind Formula" (12/6/44)
  • "Ship of Doom" is the same as "Murder Ship" (8/2/48)
  • "Skull That Walked' is the same as "The Walking Skull" (4/15/44)
  • "Stardust" is the same as "Strange Passenger" (8/31/52)
  • "Switch" is the same as "Death Pays the Freight" (10/5/52)
  • "Terror Out of the Fog" is the same as "Beyond the Grave" (12/19/49)
  • "The Three Steps" is the same as "Murder By Prophesy" (9/27/48)
  • "Thing From the Sea" is the same as "Dead Reckoning" (1/18/42)
  • "Undertaker" is the same as "The Meek Die Slowly" (9/7/52)

Newspaper advertisement
The June 10, 1944 broadcast of "Death is a Joker" stars Peter Lorre in the drama -- not Boris Karloff. This was an AFRS broadcast that played an excerpt of a Karloff performance from a different radio show, after the Inner Sanctum drama. Reference works still continue to list Karloff as the star of the drama. He was featured in the recording, but not in the drama. If someone was to find the original CBS aircheck, you would never hear Karloff in that Inner Sanctum broadcast. 

People insist that the broadcast of October 7, 1944 entitled "Dead Man's Vengeance" was not an Inner Sanctum episode. I can state for a fact that it was an Inner Sanctum episode. Raymond Edward Johnson was not just the host, but an occasional star and lead actor for more than one Inner Sanctum episode, and this is one such example. 

In Closing
Ray Stanich's log on Inner Sanctum Mystery from the early 1980s has been reprinted on numerous web sites without giving him due credit. Starting from scratch, I consulted network files and a large number of radio scripts to compile my own log, published in 2002 in a book titled, Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Behind the Creaking Door. Stanich made a number of errors, obviously corrected in the log I compiled. The difference between the logs (his error and my correction) verifies whether the logs on the internet (which don't contain plot summaries like my book does, by the way), are lifted from Stanich's work, or mine. If you see a log that isn't given proper credit, notify the owner of the web-site. Even if they don't do anything (a number of them prefer to ignore those requests, showing bad character), you have at the very least made an effort to set the record straight. In 2006, someone gave me an mp3 disc with Inner Snactum radio shows that supposedly had about 30 episodes from 1941. After listening to each recording, I discovered that the person who created that disc simply duplicated pre-existing radio shows and unscrupulously labeled each file according to the titles and dates on those logs. This is just another example of a bad scenario getting worse -- and is unforgivable.

What's the solution? Simple. Buy your radio shows from respectable vendors who have been in the hobby for decades. Inner Sanctum is a copyrighted property and licensed through Radio Spirits, Inc. ( and you can feel assured that what you buy from them is pure, digitally restored (better quality than an mp3 can provide) and contains accurate titles and broadcast dates.