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Martin Grams Jr.



Inner Sanctum:Behind The Creaking Door

INNER SANCTUM MYSTERY is considered one of the best horror programs ever broadcast on the radio. Best remembered for the creaking door opening signature, the host of Inner Sanctum, Raymond Edward Johnson and Paul McGrath invited listeners in for a weekly half-hour fright fest of murder and madness. Werewolves, vampires, creeping vines, walking corpses, thunderstorms and old dark houses, black cats and vengeful ancestors all roamed the hallways leading up to the dripping portals of the creaking door.

From 1941 to 1952, actors from both Hollywood and Broadway played victims and murderers. Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre, Lon Chaney, Jr., Judith Evelyn, Frank Sinatra, Donald Buka, Les Tremayne, Claude Rains, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Lukas, Ralph Bellamy, Raymond Massey, Helen Hayes, Orson Welles and many others!
This 266 page book documents the history of the INNER SANCTUM program, including the origin of the series.


-- An Episode Guide for the radio and television programs with titles, airdates, cast, plot descriptions, and even assorted trivia.

-- Includes documentation about the Australian & South African radio versions of the INNER SANCTUM series and episode guide.

-- An unpublished interview with Raymond Edward Johnson.

-- A highly-detailed list of the Simon & Schuster INNER SANCTUM mystery novels from which the radio show was based.

-- A lengthy chapter about the production of the six Universal Studios INNER SANCTUM movies, the 1948 low-budget movie, the 1991 made-for-television film and the 1998 unaired pilot.

-- Three short stories adapted by the script writers based on radio broadcasts of INNER SANCTUM not known to exist in recorded form so you can enjoy more chilling INNER SANCTUMs!


Warner Brothers created a short Bugs Bunny cartoon in 1946 titled "Racketeer Rabbit" with two villains (Peter Lorre and Edward G. Robinson) and makes reference to the Inner Sanctum.

Robert Bloch's 1959 mystery novel "Psycho" was initially released as an Inner Sanctum mystery novel before Hitchcock made the novel into a major motion picture.

The strangest sound effect that ever evolved, recalled Sanctum's sound man Ted Slate, was that of leeches eating a man. To accomplish the effct, he kept beating a hunk of liver on a marble slab.
. . . and this is just a sample of the tons of trivia that can be found within the book!


"It is my personal view that INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES: BEHIND THE CREAKING DOOR is one of the finest books written on the subject of a single show that has been published to date." - Rodney Bowcock, Jr., October 2003 SPERDVAC RADIOGRAM

"If you are a fan of INNER SANCTUM, and there are a lot of you out there, this is the book to read."- Jerry Collins, THE ILLUSTRATED PRESS

"One of Martin's previous books, INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES made me a convert to that program so there may be hope for me yet." - November 7, 2003 issue of THRILLINGS DAYS OF YESTERYEAR

"A one-of-a-kind find, this is a valuable resource for any library or student of popular culture."- June Pulliam, February 2004 issue of NECROPSY

"This the latest in the Grams' history of old-time radio, but this volume goes quite a bit farther into the details, development and impact of the program profiled, INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES, than his previous tomes. To be concise, whatever you may have dreamed of knowing about this show, you will find it here. Of course, any Martin Grams' book on old-time radio is distinguished by its complete (or at least as complete as diligent research can make it) radio program log. The log for INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES is another splended success story. Here you will find the usual data you've come to expect: Episode number, title and date aired; featured players; even the original copyright registration date. Talk about detail! Additional information as to production crew, sound effects personnel and sponsors are found in separate and very detailed chapters of their own. All in all, this is a complete package for the OTR buff and, especially for those of us whose hair (at least what's left of it) still stands on end when we hear the opening signature of one of radio's best remembered and best loved programs."- Charles R. Sexton, RLL ON THE AIR, September 2003

"In this overview for fans of suspenseful mysteries with frequent supernatural overtones and for students of popular entertainment, a history of the INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES is followed by sections on the long-lasting series as it appeared in movies, television, radio and novels. Another section covers interest in the series in Australia and South America. The book suits both readers looking for factual material as well as ones who would enjoy reminiscing about the series. Mutual on publicity budgets, the publication of novels, casts for some programs, and such is found with synposis of the more than 500 radio programs. This is one of several books by the avid mystery buff Grams on popular mysteries of the early days of radio."- Henry Berry, Nov./Dec. 2033 issue of THE SMALL PRESS BOOK REVIEW.

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