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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
The Crack in the Wall
Plot:
A house fire claims the life of the young daughter of the house. Her bereft parents move to a new apartment but cannot seem to repair a hole in their basement wall. Gradually, cries of a voice that seems startlingly like their daughter's begins to flow through the hole.
Episode:
0094
Air Dates:
First Run - May 20, 1974
Repeat - August 9, 1974
Writer:
Listen:
Rating:
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42 Responses to Episode 0094


The Crack in the Wall is a bit eerie, what with the girl's screams and such.

Sort of a retelling of the Monkey's Paw. It tried to be creepy, with the crack that could not be fixed and the man who called himself The Helper, but it just did not work for me. Move along folks, nothing to hear here.

Hmm - always thought this was a first season classic - TOO creepy maybe? Disturbing elements.

So eerie and sad to begin with the passing of the couples daughter. But all souls should be put to rest at peace.

Pretty cool storyline; a dead daughter who communicates through a crack in the wall. Can it be fixed? By something other than the paranormal itself?

Loved it. Creepy. Especially the end.

A couple loses their 16 year old daughter and while trying to patch a hole in their basement wall, they hear a chilling noise. A "helper" comes along to offer assistance....at a price.

Man, that was scary. Okay, here's the lowdown: Married couple loses their 16 year old daughter in a fiery accident. The mother is so distraught that she begins hearing her daughter calling in the night, from a crack in the wall of the cellar (the cellar of course, the darkest, lowest, scariest room in the whole flippin house). Anyway, is she really hearing this?...When her husband begins hearing it, is he just having a mental breakdown?...Are both of them? Excellent production. It was so scary that I think it was almost too scary (not kidding). If you're seeking true horror, The Crack in the Wall is where you need to start. That has to be the scariest radio broadcast I've ever heard.

Yeah, I listened with my family last night in a dark room (a dark room is the best setting for this, if you're seeking to get scared). My wife and two kids all reached the same conclusion, "Too scary".

After their daughter dies, a couple discover that they can hear her calling out to them...from the crack in the wall of their basement that cannot be sealed! This is a truly scary episode. I wouldn't suggest listening to this one when you are going to sleep. This episode stars Wesley Addy who played the partiarch in the '80's soap "Loving" and is also memorable for his weasley TV executive in the classic film "Network." Genre: Horror

A couple grieves the loss of their daughter in a house fire. A crack in the basement wall of their new house can not be repaired despite several tries. They begin to hear the cries of their deceased daughter through that crack. Well acted, great characters, and spooky story. Highly recommended.

Complicating matters is a mysterious crack in their basement wall that essentially refuses to be sealed. At night, the mother starts hearing a wailing voice that appears to be originating from the other side of the cracked wall...it's the terrified voice of her daughter. Later, when the couple is attempting to investigate the voice a mysterious (and not particularly pleasant) man appears who says the voice is indeed their daughter's and that they can choose to bring her back. The father is uneasy with the man, the woman, while appreciating the opportunity to possibly see their daughter again, may be developing psychological problems. Later, the man meets with the minister of their church and tells them about all the goings on. The man asks his minister if he believes in the devil. The minister replies that many in his profession believe the devil is but a concept of evil. The man disagrees, saying "I think I've met him."

A middle-aged man and his wife are understandably bereaved after their daughter is burned to death in an accidental fire. The mother in particular is having extreme difficults coping with the tragedy...she genuinely wants her daughter back.

After a couple’s daughter dies tragically they hear voices from their basement through a crack in the wall that refuses to be repaired. No matter what they try to do, the repairs disappear. Both parents feel they are going in sane and commit themselves to a sanatorium.

A hopelessly distraught mother agonizing over the death of her daughter becomes obsessed with a crack in the wall of her basement, which defies any attempt to patch it. She claims to hear the call of her daughter coming from the crack, which must be a portal to the next world. Her husband, however, thinks the source of the voice has a far more sinister origin.

This episode is essentially an uncredited theft from W.W. Jacobs' celebrated horror story "The Monkey's Paw." Instead of three wishes, there are only two, but the idea of wishing a loved one back from the dead, failing to take into account the person's mutilated condition after a tragic accident, and wishing that person back to the grave are all much the same. The depressing atmosphere of the episode is well done, and it has some interesting differences from the original tale, but this is really a rewrite of "The Monkey's Paw" and not an original story.

What an excellent selection! It is too often overlooked when there is a discussion of the all time great episodes. Celeste Holm was a veteran of Broadway and delivers a fine performance. Here we get Robert Dryden's straight voice and he delivers one of his finest performances. Listen to this one folks. You will not be disappointed.

The previous post correctly points out that this episode is basically "The Monkeys Paw" redone; I love that story and enjoyed this episode a lot. I prefer the creepier RMT episodes, particularly those with a supernatural element. The voice of the dead daughter was suitably spooky. I found the minister's rejection of the idea of the existence of a devil interesting. It reminded me of the famous Time magazine cover that asked if God was dead.

As a newbie to this site, I haven't listened to most of the CBSRMT episodes and the show of the day helps me to figure out which episodes I should listen to first. 2 down and 1398 to go.

This episode really creeps me out! Between the girl's crying and the parents practically on the breaking point and that weird little guy that shows up...this is one episode I would not listen to alone...in the dark.

You are right. There is nothing abstract about the evil in this story. Our "friend", Helper, tells it like it is immediately with his introduction. The characters, except Nora, resist this to the end. If she didn't believe, would that have prevented her from making a deal? Would she thus be saved? Talk about an abstract thought!

Hmmm. I find myself wanting to split this story. One portion contains the observation that we have a fairly spooky episode. The other portion involves the interpretation of this tale. The combination, methinks, gives a good tale. It is spooky, particularly the howling, yearning pleas from the dead daughter. The recently departed Bob Dryden, as Helper, consistently plays impish devil types with effectiveness. He could sound old, middle aged or devilish most effectively. The crack that mysteriously won’t mend is intriguing. This reminds me: there is an excellent Inner Sanctum, with Boris Karloff, “The Wailing Wall”. It is a masterpiece and if anyone would like a copy let me know and I’d be happy to send it. Back to the story: The wailing is effective. What really is interesting here is what is not said, or demonstrated. The story requires much interpretation. We can take it, that the existence of the “sounds” of the daughter and Helper are real. We can also conclude that Nora and Paul are not “cracked” themselves. The wall nicely represents a couple of things: a crack in Nora’s heart that cannot be filled, and also a split in her religious faith. With these in mind, we see that the “devil” moves in to take advantage of Nora’s yearning for her daughter. Most interesting, and unusual, (though not so unusual for the great CBSRMT) concerns a conclusion that results in the devil winning. We must assume he claims Nora’s soul. Helper told her she could have her daughter back—at a price. Here, as in “The Monkey’s Paw”, a grieving mother wants her dead offspring back and then uses up her last wish to send the offspring back. Why? Because the offspring is pretty much an animated corpse. So, is Nora doomed? Was her daughter caught in the devil’s clutches here, or was he luring the mother with sound effects? In other words, if he had the daughter caught and tormented, why is she not in Heaven? Many questions. It is also interesting to note the wall sealing up after this is over. Ahhh…it sucked up a soul. Or is it closed because Nora wanted her daughter to remain dead? Thus its symbolism transforms. I’m looking forward to hearing some comments on this. I would also like to ask a question of the reviewers in general. When we review these episodes I hope all think it is appropriate to criticize as well as praise. My question is this: do you reviewers agree that an episode should get an honest review? If an episode screams “slam me”, then slam it! I think it is a part of the fun. I have wondered about this in the past.

I gave this one a 4. Nice selection. Dryden is marvelous in his role. The guy plays the hick sheriff so well in so many other episodes, it's incredible his range lets him go to the evil disciple of Satan. If you're a parent, then you can almost imagine those parents' suffering and how badly they must want to communicate with their daughter again. The script brings that anguish to the forefront well. Celeste Holm is also marvelous. She graduated to broadway and apparently never looked back. A play she starred in is advertised frequently on some of the WOR tapes.

In fact, I recently listened to this one and again, it pretty much creeped me out as well. It was a bit o'er the top for my taste, and at moments I actually cracked a smile, but it definitely got the adrenaline pumping! Funny you mentioned it, because as I listened to The Crack In the Wall, I made a mental comparison between the Helper and the "strange man" from Hickory Dickory Doom! Now that's creepy, eh?

I made a mental comparison between the Helper and the "strange man" from Hickory Dickory Doom! Now that's creepy, eh? Yes, and Robert Dryden was really good in Hickory Dickory Doom as that weird man. "I must seeee the CLOCK", with a twisted contortion to his voice that I have so far only heard in this episode.

I was wondering if all who review the shows here understand it is appropriate to discuss the show as a whole, strong and weak points, as it effects the individual listener. It is not a slam of the person who chooses the show to be critical of aspects of a given show. A review in the true sense involves taking it apart to look at the bones (structure). I don't mean to infer to anyone how to review a show. I am wondering if there is reservation with some members to be critical. It's a sense I get. To better understand if this sense is accurate, I figured the best way to find out is to ask! Hope this is clear. I love to read reviews here, almost as much as listening to the shows. This site is so valuable in that we can express our ideas about what is important to us all- the CBSRMT.

Gotta' smile! I remember being absolutely spooked by CBSRMT as a kid on countless occassions ... your creepy commute reminds me of a lot of those times.

I liked this episode but do wish there were more to it somehow. I wish the mother were thinking when she made her second wish--wish for the girl to healthy and alive of course! As an other worldly story, I think this one works. It is odd to have that man in the basement but it is also odd to have him give the mother 2 wishes. On a totally different level though, I love this episode. It is one of the few I remember listening to as a child with my mom. I was FREAKED out and mom had to calm me down. That alone makes this a great episode--it touched me as if it were real. Of course I was a little kid at the time so it makes sense I would be freaked out. However, the memory of this episode over rides any bones I have to pick with it.

I remember listening to this one in the "old days", so yes, I do have my own cassette copy of the show. This is a pretty good encode of the show . . . and it's amazing/amusing how my (our?) original views of the shows stays with us and stays the same over the years. I like this episode, with the proviso that I have with almost all of the supernatural tales. One must have an inkling of a doubt that ghosts cannot not exist . . . or perhaps more clearly, you have to at some subconscious level accept at least the small possibility that ghosts might exist. You must ressurect the fears you felt as a four year old, the monster under the bed, and that usually entails dismissing some part of one's critical faculties. It's like a pebble in my shoe. Of course, that's the fun part of these shows as well! The tale is almost a straight rip off of "The Monkey's Paw" . . . mother wishing dead child back to life . . . multiple wishes used the same way, and so on. Sucking, flowing, vanishing cement is certainly an unusual preternatural device! A weird choce. I think the actors really excell at laying before us the tragedy of losing a child. It's been said that the greatest horror in this life is for a parent to lose a child and RMT shows us this very well in this story. The whole mental asylum subplot seems almost gratuitious, but works to turn a two act radio drama into one three acts long. But I don't really mean to sound negative on this one. All around thumbs up for the episode. 

This is one of my all-time favorites. A nice twist on "The Monkey's Paw". It's a very eerie play, and Celeste Holm is always great. She is one of my top favorite RMT actresses, although she didn't do very many episodes. She was a real old-time pro. Amazing voice.

I can't say this is one of my absolute favorite programs but I'm giving it a 4/5 because I had listened to it previously and it defintely stuck with me. When listening to it a second time, I realized it had made a big impression on me. As a kid, I was always terrified of anything related to the devil so I probably wouldn't have made it through this program. The sound effects are among the creepiest I've heard and the wailing girl sends a shiver up my spine.

This was a real good show, I didn't have an idea how it would end until the end. The contemporary nature and the grimness of the story sets a show like this apart from more traditional gothic horror (like the Conan Doyle shows on RMT), which can sometimes have a quaintness. I didn't give it the highest ranking because I wasn't completely convinced by the motivations of the mother ... seemed to decide to make a pact with the devil abruptly. But the ending made it complete for me and was pretty intense. Was Robert Dryden the Helper? He has a unique voice and can cast it many different ways. Also found myself wondering about the particular circumstances of the daughter's death, I suppose it didn't affect the story line but might have brought her into more focus.

This, to me, is what the Mystery Theater is all about. Though it may arguably not be the best episode of the whole, it is without a doubt among the creepiest tales I've come across. I listened to it very late last night, as I usually do (one of the two headphone "buds" in my ear as I listen with my other ear to the pillow). Almost from the start of the show I was creeped out. Pretty much from the mention of the dead daughter. I knew it was going to be one of "those" episodes. The tale is quite Poe-like, and reminds me of several stories I've read over the years. There's one in particular, I think called The Monkey Paw or something, in which the son returns from the dead after a devastating industrial accident. Things I disliked about this episode: At the beginning, the husband consoling his wife with religious clichés and calmly trying to find the spiritual side of their daughter's death - if someone said that stuff to me while I were grieving, I'm sure I'd consider socking them in the nose. Also, the story took a lot of time going back and forth between believing and not believing, doctors and priests, and such. And the "Helper" seemed almost an unnecessary instrument, but did add that little bit of creep-factor to make him a useful tool, in part. It seemed to me that there was just too much going on and not enough getting to the point. I often wonder why characters in these stories don't just vacate at the first indication of something "odd" going on. Eddie Murphy has a whole bit devoted to this behavior. "Why is it when white folks enter a house and hear a scarily echoing voice telling them to "Get out!" they stay anyway? When black folks hear that same big bad voice, they say, "Too bad we can't stay, baby!" ~ Eddie Murphy The show makes me wonder how I might have handled the situation. My intelligence would tell me this is all wrong, but like the mother, my heart would be swept away with grief for my child and wish by any means to have her back. What a ghastly predicament! I gave this episode a 3.8/5 based on the originality of the tale. It was really well performed and produced, but as I said, I've heard it before. Thank you for choosing such a wonderful selection and for keeping me creeped out from Sunday evening until Monday afternoon!!

Have you listened to Hickory Dickory Doom (790226) yet? If not, you should.

I would also like to ask a question of the reviewers in general. When we review these episodes I hope all think it is appropriate to criticize as well as praise. My question is this: do you reviewers agree that an episode should get an honest review? If an episode screams “slam me”, then slam it! I think it is a part of the fun. I have won dered about this in the past. I'm happy that, after posting my thoughts of the show and then going back to read your critique, we both found a similarity in the Monkey's Paw tale. As usual, a very nice commentary from you. I've come across a few episodes that I've either struggled through til the end or have just skipped after hearing the first ten minutes of.

This story echoes "The Monkey's Paw." The Helper's voice seemed somewhat androgynous to me. Deal with the devil.

Reminded me of the name of that short story this borrows from "The monkey's paw". (There are a couple of other RMTs that use this concept...I think the downbeat "The wishing stone" is one of them). I find myself sometimes thinking "Just wish your loved one back the way they were BEFORE their tragedy! JUST WISH THEM BACK TO BEING THE WAY THEY WERE!" However, remembering the times I've not thought clearly in stressful events, I can fully understand how this could happen. However, this was the thing that stuck with me the most, occurring around the 22:00 mark. It's where Mr. Sandefort speaks with his minister, Dr. Fowler (note how the former doesn't call him "Pastor" or "Reverend"): DR. FOWLER: "My good man, in this enlightened age when we speak of 'Satan' it is usually, uh, well...what I mean to say is we think of The devil as the embodiment of all evil but not as an actually being." MR. SANDEFORT: "I see...well, Dr. Fowler, if you can't help us we may have to go to someone who can. There are groups where they believe in The devil..." DR. FOWLER: "Mr. Sandefort, uh...Paul. Please understand. I cannot believe in The devil as being other than an abstract name for evil." MR. SANDEFORT: "If I can show him to you, will you believe me then? I saw him. I have seen The devil and The devil's work and I am frightened to death." Ladies and gentlemen...without getting into "politics and religion" this is another reason why the RMT was so unique. Those few sentences are a concentrate of a theological argument that I have read exists between post-modern, liberal theologians and more fundementalist, evangelical conservative ones, and the playwright has woven them into the story very well. And, more interestingly, the way this is written we know exactly where the story (if not the author) stands.

Always liked this one ! One of the better efforts and one I don't mind hearing again.

It was late at night, couldn't sleep, laying in the dark with no distractions, and this show was awesome. I listened two nights in a row. The screaming of a burned child from the grave, eerie sound effects, dark imagery, the weird preacher, and Celeste Holme was tremendous. The actor that played the husband creeped me out with his voice even though he wasn't evil. I do wonder why he told his wife to send the child back with the last wish instead of healing her, but I guess that is where she belonged. Be careful what you wish for... Totally creepy, the kind that sends kids screaming into their parents bedroom even though they are supposed to be asleep instead of listening to the radio!

This is an episode that reminded me that my mom and dad would not let me listen to every episode of Mystery Theater. Without a doubt, this episode truly emits the \"fear you can hear.\" 4 stars.

The Crack in the Wall is very creepy

My questions are simple... The mother got 2 wishes: 1. To revive a decomposed corpse of her "daughter". 2. The second she used to send her back. So, my questions are: 1. What about the mother's payment? 2. How did the second wish seal the crack? The story is unfinished. :(

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