The following is the Nov 15, 1949 broadcast of Three Skeleton Key on the series Escape. This version is is produced and directed by William N. Robson and starred Elliott Reid as Jean. Bill Conrad as Louis and Harry Bartell as Auguste.

I’ve personally felt this was the best version of this radio play (James Poe adaptation) ever done. It was repeated many times and the most well known version starred Vincent Price (done in 1950) which is in more general distribution. The Elliott Reid one is harder to find — and better.

I consider it the best radio play ever produced. You can download the media file here. I recommend downloading it and playing it at night in a darkened room. Or you can just play it on the blog (below) when you feel like it.

Perfect for Halloween! Most kids love this story because it is superbly paced.

click ► to listen:


The original script of the version linked above.

Short Story.Three Skeleton Key: Story by George Toudouze

  1. QB says:

    Excellent choice. Thank you, I haven’t heard this in years.

    I love radio shows, it’s a different kind of scary than movies or TV.

  2. nonStatist says:

    Thank you John. I was looking for it the other day, but I could only find the other version of this radio play.

  3. Zybch says:

    Thanks for this John. I caught it on TWiT Live when Leo played it, and after hearing it was annoyed I didn’t record it, and its far better than the Vincent Price version you can get on the torrents.

  4. banjoboys says:


  5. I says:

    201 episodes in (unfortunately) real audio format.

  6. Mike says:

    Thank you so much, for posting this. I’d heard the Vincent Price version from Relic Radio, and had been frantically searching for this, as soon as you mentioned it on TWiT.

  7. QB says:

    #6 Mike. I had never heard of Relic Radio – I just went to the site and it’s a gold mine.


  8. jobs says:

    I discovered a bunch of online old time radio broadcast when I bought my ipod touch a few weeks back. I’m hooked on this crap now.

  9. brenda says:

    Thanks for the TREAT!!

  10. hanshaw says:

    Thanks John, great radio play. It reminded me of the classic short story “leiningen versus the ants” Here’s a link to it if anyone wants to read it.

  11. Miss_X2b says:

    Radio, theater of the mind. I LOVE IT!! Thanks, John!!

  12. ronb says:

    @hanshaw – Leiningen Vs. the Ants was also made into a radio show – pretty sure it was on the Escape series… Good one.

  13. DonKarstedt says:

    John mentioned on TWIT that he thought this was one of 3 or 4 great radio plays. Does anybody know what the other titles were?

  14. hanshaw says:

    @ronb Thanks for the heads up. Here’s the link to “Leiningen versus the Ants” as a radio play on Escape!

  15. Love OTR, thanks for introducing new folks to it…there is a ton of this stuff at and as much as I love podcasts there is nothing of this quality (OTR) being produced today. It is really the closest thing to a time machine that there is.

    It is funny, the way Leo works his spots into the TWIT network is very similar to the way OTR shows used this technique (Jack Benny, etc). IMO, Benny was the best of this…poking fun at the sponsor but doing a great job for them at the same time.

    Love what you do with TWIT…please keep doing it. May you long get NO SPAM!

  16. wahoo76 says:

    Yes, this one’s the classic. Thanks for making it available!

  17. Lee says:

    Check out this site

    they have a bunch of old time radio shows and they take requests.

  18. Savanna says:

    This was absoultly amazing i did i report on thiss 🙂 hahaa


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