Taking its name from a popular series of mystery novels, Inner
Sanctum Mysteries debuted over NBCs Blue Network in January
Inner Sanctum Mysteries featured one of the most memorable
and atmospheric openings in radio history: an organist hit a dissonant
chord, a doorknob turned and the famous creaking door
slowly began to open.
Every week, Inner Sanctum Mysteries told stories of ghosts,
murderers and lunatics. Produced in New York, the cast usually consisted
of veteran radio actors, with occasional guest appearances by such
Hollywood stars Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Claude Rains.
What made Inner Sanctum Mysteries unique among radio horror
shows was its host, a slightly-sinister sounding man originally
known as Raymond. The host had a droll sense of humor
and an appetite for ghoulish puns, and his influence can be seen
among horror hosts everywhere, from the Crypt-Keeper to Elvira.
Raymond Edward Johnson was the shows host until 1945; Paul
McGrath took over the role until the show left the air in 1952.
Producer Hiram Brown would utilize the creaking door again in the
1970s, when he produced and directed The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
Inner Sanctum Mysteries was inducted into the Radio Hall
of Fame in 1988.
courtesy of Photofest.
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