Inner Sanctum

Inner Sanctum

The creaking basement door at a studio producer Himan Brown once worked at inspired what became among the best known opening signatures of old-time radio. After greeting us, the show's host would then inflict a series of ghastly (in both senses of the word) puns on the hapless listeners before introducing this week's story. Stories would generally involve ghosts, undead, and/or the occult, though a "rational" explanation would be given at the end. While implausibility levels could rival those of The Shadow, it was good, campy fun for all. Though the cast was mostly radio actors, in the early years, big name horror movie stars like Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre were regularly featured. The show ran 1941-1952 and was hosted by Raymond Edward Johnson up to May 1945 and by Paul McGrath thereafter (episodes hosted by Johnson are marked with an asterisk).

A Corpse for Halloween

Appointment with Death

Beneficiary- Death

Between Two Worlds

A gangster has annoyed his boss enough to be severely reprimanded, but the bullets somehow miss him. After escaping, he meets a ghost that tells him he's on borrowed time during which he must perform a good deed.

Beyond the Grave

Birdsong for a Murderer

The Black Art*

A man sentenced to be hanged is freed by a woman with some unusual powers who has her own plans for him.

The Black Seagull*

After his wife dies in a boating accident, a man believes that she’s trying to contact him from beyond in spite of the efforts of his friend to discredit the idea. Starring Peter Lorre.

The Blood of Cain

The Bog Oak Necklace*

A woman has been haunted for the past forty years by the voice of the sister she murdered in a fit of jealousy by strangling her with her necklace. Now that the skeleton has been unearthed, it's getting worse.

Catch a Killer

Cause of Death

The Color Blind Formula*

A chemist is developing a pigment which can be seen by a color blind person. But what sort of effect will it have on his test subject to see color for the first time?

The Confession

A shot man staggers into a drugstore carrying $78,000, so the druggist lets him die and keeps the money for himself. It might have served him better if he thought of how that fellow came by that much money.

Corpse Without a Conscience

The Corpse Nobody Loved

The Corridor of Doom

The Creeping Wall

The Dark Chamber

Dead Heat

The Dead Laugh

Dead Man's Deal

Two gamblers playing poker make a bet that the loser must commit suicide right there. The loser instead commits murder but arranges to make it look like suicide and alters his opponent's hand. All is well until he starts receiving phone calls from the dead man and sees him in the street.

Dead Man's Debt

Dead Man's Holiday

Dead Man's Vengeance*

Our host Raymond gets a taste of his own medicine when an old friend who died in a fire ten years back comes calling.

Dead Reckoning

Dead to Rights

The Dead Walk at Night

The Deadly Dummy

Deadly Fare

Death Across the Board

Death Bound

A criminal meets a mysterious man in the park who claims to see the future tells him he has $10,000 waiting for him at home. He finds this to be true, but later receives a phone call from the same man telling him that he’ll die that night. Starring Richard Widmark.

Death by Scripture

The Death Deal

Death Demon

A man who believes that his stepparents were behind the unsolved murder of his father from two years back decides that the best way to make sure is to use necromancy to contact the victim.

Death for Sale

Death Has Claws*

A man who is bothered by the yowling of his neighbor’s cats at night in their tenement gets killed by him when he gets particularly obnoxious with his complaints.

Death in the Depths*

A deep sea diver takes on his first job in quite a while. He has misgivings due to the fact that during his last dive, he had deliberately cut his partner's air hose.

Review: All too often, it seems as if the "rational" explanations for most Inner Sanctum stories are so pathetically lame that the supernatural reason comes across as more plausible. But here, it's fairly believable while still leaving a hint of the supernatural in it.- Webmaster

Death is a Double Crosser

Death is a Joker*

A comic actor loses his temper with an obnoxious colleague and strangles him. He laters learns that his reason for doing so might now be irrelevant. Starring Peter Lorre.

Death is an Artist*

While covering the suicide of a destitute sculptor, a newspaper reporter unearths a sordid tale of murder from twenty years ago.

Death of a Doll

Death on the Highway

Death Out of Mind

Death Pays the Freight

Death Rides a Riptide

The Death Ship*

The survivors of a shipwreck in the Caribbean run into a ship with no one except a dead guy lashed to the wheel on board that is loaded with Spanish gold.

Death Watch in Boston

Death Wears a Lonely Smile

A very large man is rather sensitive about his size, and he can get quite homicidal if he thinks someone is laughing at him because of it.

Death's Little Brother

Death's Old Sweet Song

Desert Death*

A rancher and his Indian hand are driving through the desert when they unwittingly pick up three escaped Nazi POWs.

Detour to Terror

During A Dark and Stormy NightTM when a reporter is heading to the quaintly named Hurricane Cove, her twin brother gets a premonition that something has happened to her, so he goes out to see if he can do anything about it.

The Devil's Fortune

The Devil's Workshop

Don't Dance on My Grave

The Doomed

The Edge of Death

A metalworker receives a sword that allegedly once belonged to Rasputin. Certainly a blade once possessed by such a personality would be cursed, and this one comes into effect every full moon.

Eight Steps to Murder

Fearful Voyage

Flame of Death

The Ghost in the Garden

Ghosts Always Get the Last Laugh

The Girl and the Gallows

Hangman's Island

Hitchhiking Corpse

Honeymoon with Death

The Horla*

A pianist believes that he is being haunted by an invisible being and fears that it will take control over him. Story by Guy de Maupassant.

House of Doom

I Walk in the Night

I Want to Report a Murder

Image of Death

The Island of Death*

When the owner of a plantation in Haiti displays contempt for the practices of the natives, the local witch doctor shows what he’s got by hexing the owner’s wife.

The Judas Clock*

A clock repairman tracks down an Italian Renaissance clock which uses the thirty pieces of silver of Judas Iscariot as a weight. Naturally, this clock has a reputation of dealing death to its owners.

Killer at Large

Lady with a Plan

The Last Story

The Listener

The Lonely Sleep

A department store worker with a few screws loose goes completely bonkers when a woman from Accounting he has a crush on doesn’t take him seriously and strangles her. He then hides the body by making her up as a mannequin. Now he must worry about when she stops looking (and smelling) like one.

The Magic Tile

Make Ready My Grave

A recently wed couple head to the bridegroom's creepy family estate on their honeymoon (how charming). There, the bride learns of a pirate's dying curse that male members of the family would end up stringing up their wives.

Man from the Grave

The Man from Yesterday

The Man Who Couldn't Die

Mark My Grave

A reporter heads to a nearly abandoned town to investigate the recent disappearance of a couple. He instead meets a trio of siblings who believe their dead father is going to come back and kill them.

The Meek Die Slowly

Melody of Death*

A woman is haunted by a haunting melody she’s heard and the gypsy who played it tells her that the only way to stop it is to kill someone for him. Starring Mary Astor.

Mind Over Murder

Murder By Prophecy

Murder Comes at Midnight

Murder Comes to Life

Murder Faces East

Shortly after a man purchases a Hindu figurine at an auction, he meets a strange Oriental telling him of fortunes he can possess by committing increasingly worse crimes.

Murder Off the Record

The Murder Prophet

Murder Rides the Carousel

The Murder Ship

Murder Takes a Honeymoon

Musical Score

Mystery of the Howling Dog

Night is My Shroud

No Coffin for the Dead*

A D.A. and his assistant are attacked by an assailant with a knife, wounding the former and killing the latter. He goes through mug shots and identifies the miscreant as the son of his assistant's housekeeper, who had recently escaped from an asylum for the criminally insane.

No Rest for the Dead

Only the Dead Die Twice

Over My Dead Body

Pattern for Fear

Portrait of Death*

At an auction, a man buys a portrait with a reputation for bringing death to its owners. Naturally, it gets right to work. Starring Lesley Woods.

The Scream

The Shadow of Death

A man believes that when he dreams of a person, that person dies. However, he doesn't mind helping out the dreams a bit.

The Silent Hands*

A journalist gets an anonymous phone call in which he's told the site of the latest murder committed by a mad strangler.

Skeleton Bay

A writer staying in a cabin at a resort stumbles upon a man committing a murder one night and decides to help him dispose of the corpse.

The Skull That Walked*

A man digging holes to plant trees in what he’s been told was an Indian burial comes across a skull and decides to keep it. He’s a down to earth sort who doesn’t believe in curses and the like, but that doesn’t stop the requisite curse from believing in him.

The Smile of Death

Song of the Slasher

Spectre of the Rose

Strands of Death

Strange Passenger

Study for Murder*

A psychiatrist who is studying what causes otherwise law-abiding people to commit murder gets a bit too involved in his experiments. Starring Boris Karloff.

The Tell-Tale Heart*

A man who claims to have exceptional hearing is bothered by the nihilistic attitude of the man he lives with, so he kills him and hides him under the floor. Starring Boris Karloff. Based on the story by Edgar Allan Poe.

Tempo in Blood

Terrible Vengeance

Terror by Night

Till Death Do Us Part

Twice Dead

The Unburied Dead

The Undead

Unforgiving Corpse

The Vengeful Corpse

The Voice on the Wire*

The widow of a composer who lives on an island receives a phone call from a man who plays her husband's last composition and informs her that she'll die at midnight.

The Wailing Wall

Wish to Kill

You Could Die Laughing

A man is driving home one night when he accidentally runs down a gangster. The next day, a rival gangster who witnessed it all comes over with blackmail on his mind, intending to bleed him of what little he has.

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