Boris Karloff Presents "Lost" Tales From The Inner Sanctum

Boris Karloff Presents "Lost" Tales From The Inner Sanctum

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The INNER SANCTUM radio program, famous for the signature opening and closing of a creaking door, offered a weekly dose of banshees who wailed through radio speakers while bats would gibber and thump in their belfries. The intended overtone of the stories was almost always one of supernatural dread, especially when Boris Karloff made a guest appearance on the program playing a man tormented by demons. He read every line as though he was actually the living, breathing counterpart of the villain in the script. He built up a “hate” atmosphere, regardless of the worry and concern portrayed on the printed page.

By comparison with the ghouls and mad scientists he played on the silver screen, Karloff loved performing on radio. The kill-by-kill account over a ghost-to-ghost network quickly became popular and Boris Karloff made a total number of ten guest appearances in 1941. This book reprints nine of those radio scripts from the radio's program first year... chilling stories that are not known to exist in recorded form.


In one episode, Karloff played the weather-beaten waterfront character who murdered a fellow seaman for revenge in “Fog,” the dread scourge of men who go down to the sea in ships and served as the eloquent title for a tale of violent death and retribution in the mists off San Francisco. Another episode, “The Green-Eyed Bat,” is a terrifying tale of a man buried alive because of a doctor’s error, a man doomed to horrifying entombment. A victim of a catatonic trance, his condition of suspended animation is mistaken for death. As the buried man returns to consciousness and discovers his predicament, a friend races to his rescue. But this provides us with a few pages of suspense: even if he is rescued, will the mental torture undergone in those awful hours have been too much for the victim? In “The Man Who Hated Death,” Karloff plays the sympathetic role of a friendless mortician who had to live on the fringe of society merely because he wanted to put death in its place. Things begin to clear when the richest man in town dies and his body is turned over to the humble undertaker. But when the dead man comes to life while the mortician is preparing the body for burial, he has a macabre choice to make.

Included with the nine radio scripts is an essay written by Martin Grams, Jr., documenting the historical and cultural significance of the first year of Inner Sanctum Mystery, and how Boris Karloff's scheduled appearances changed the format of the program... for the better... from mystery to supernatural. If you can envision the voice of Boris Karloff as you read these radio scripts, you will enjoy the "lost" episodes that do not exist in recorded form.

A must-have for fans of Boris Karloff and classic horror.

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