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CBSRMT Episode Information
Title:
Shadows from the Grave
('Wilkie Collins classic')
Plot:
A photographer and his wife move into his uncle's house upon his death. When the local priest denies his blessing, the estate grounds soon become haunted by evil spirits.
Episode:
0958
Air Dates:
First Run - February 28, 1979
Repeat - August 21, 1979
Listen:
Rating:
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31 Responses to Episode 0958


I remember listening to this episode as a kid. I was scared to death, with the covers pulled up tightly around me for protection. As an adtult, I got just as many goose bumps listening to it again!

A young man inherits the home and fortune of his eccentric uncle, with the bizarre stipulation that he inspect his uncle's mausoleum daily to insure no one was tampering with the locks. Of course, no one would ever want to—but then who is it that is seen lurking in the shadows around the property? Stars Fred Gwynne.

Always loved this one-- a very strong RMT. Good sound effects and effective use of their music library. A strong, "quirky" central character (Uncle George) which hooks you from the beginning to try and figure out what's going on. First rate performances from Fred Gwynne and Kristoffer Tabori (2 of the series best!). The only drawback is possibly the ending, which feels a bit rushed-- as if they ran out of time. (Which probably did happen from time to time). But the scene in the library-- all the candles burning, and the creatures pressing against the glass and the desperation in Betsy Beard's voice-- that's quintessential RMT! Great Selection-- Hope we get around to "The Threshold" (One of the best starring Fred!) or "The Slave" (where he portrays a truly malicious character!) Until Next time.

Another episode I forgot to mention was "The Magic Stick of Manitu" (One of the best Sci-Fi's RMT ever did!). Fred plays another smarmy villian. He could be very menacing with a really sarcastic-- mocking approach. Has anyone ever read the Wilkie Collins' story this was based on ("Shadows From the Grave)? Or the one "The Dream Woman" was based on? How faithful are these adaptations? Just curious.

I liked this one also. I can't really think of an episode I didn't like with Fred in it. This one sounds great. Especially if you are listening in the dark. Good choice.

This was one of the first episodes that I heard as a kid that got me hooked. I didn’t know the name of it until now. MAN, this is such a GREAT show! The whole production is so well done. Fred’s characters are always believable and interesting to listen to. Again, this show is a real gem for me!

This is a great RMT, drenched in spookiness. When listening to this episode, I am reminded of "Hickory, Dickory, Doom". The last act was RMT at its finest. A great show to listen to in bed at night with a thunderstorm as a backdrop.

OK, I give up -- I'm not familiar with the works of Wilkie Collins ... and I haven't been able to find any reference to a Collins story by this title. If anyone knows the Collins story on which this episode was based, please post the title of the original story. A page at IMDB claims that this episode, "Shadows from the Grave", is an adaptation of Collins' story titled "Brother Griffith's Story of Mad Monkton". That can't be right? "Mad Monkton" is a very different story. The RMT adaptation of "Mad Monkton" (which also starred Kristoffer Tabori) aired on May 1 1975.

It's possible both are based off the same story. RMT took some real liberties with their "adaptations". Just listen to almost all the Edgar Allan Poe adaptations they did. Most are adaptations in name only--they're Good-- but completey rewritten-- bearing no resemblance to the originals. That might be the case here. Just a thought.

Thanks for the info! That's interesting to know! Until next time.

My first thought, when I started listening to this one was "I didn't know Himan Brown hosted any of these shows". This was a cool surprise! Are there more shows hosted by Mr. Brown or other guests? This is a good one to listen to late at night, with all of the lights turned out. It took me back to my childhood, when I first started listening to RMT... it was always after going to bed and the room was dark.

Himan Brown did new recordings of all of E.G. Marshall's intros when they reissued (as well as remastered) a bunch of RMT's for public radio in 1998. According to my Handy-Dandy episode guide they rebroadcasted @130 episodes from the '74, '75 and '79 seasons. Just so you know.

Thank you for the clarification on the 1998 reissued episodes. I had heard that RMT returned for a short time in '98, but didn't know that it was re-runs of the original show, with Himan Brown doing the intros... now it makes sense. Interesting that new shows weren't produced. It would have been a good opportunity to introduce new stories and upgrade the overall production; audio had come a long way since the original run of the show. I am currently away from home for work and don't have my RMT library with me, except for a few episodes on the iPod. So, to listen to this episode I download it from a web-site bookmarked on another computer (not the BitTorrent). Apparently the reissued episode was inserted into the slot for #958. Next time I'll just click on the link that Wade provides to download the episode. Thanks again

In "Shadows of the Grave", the main character takes a nightly stroll on the estate left to him by his dead uncle. His uncle instructed him before he died to make sure that after he died, to check the locks on the crypt where he was laid to rest. He was to check it nightly. Would you be brave enough to go out at night to do this....?

This one really gave me the creeps! I wouldn't listen to this episode at night, especially if you're in the house by yourself. Every little shadow and creak will send you flying to the ceiling while listening to this episode!

Nice one! Just a good old spook fest like we expect to get from RMT. The encode starts out a little shaky, but not bad all in all. This is one I remember from when it originally aired. I especially like the "pressing against the glass" scene . . . this is what radio does best. Our imaginations supply the crypt, the tree, the mansion, and everything else you need. Pretty good supporting sound effects as well. So I put this in the top third of programs; that's as detailed as I'm willing to go. Either I don't like the show (a third), I'm impartial to the show (a third), or I really enjoy listening to the show . . . the top third. Of course I do have my five or ten favorites as well .

This was a great show, thanks for posting it Scotsman. I agree that it was very atmospheric, particularly those shadows stalking around outside in the dark, brrrr!

I agree, Fred Gwynne is also one of my favorites on cbsrmt. We should do a marathon of his best shows sometime.

Quote: I agree, Fred Gwynne is also one of my favorites on cbsrmt. We should do a marathon of his best shows sometime. I could not agree more!!! I love Gwynne's voice and would love a marathon of his episodes!

One of the best. Great pacing as it slowly works to its chilling conclusion-- adding one layer of suspense on top of another. Strong performances by two of my favorite regulars-- Fred Gwynne and Court Benson. And Kristopher Tabori-- always very reliable. He always seems able to create a sympathetic character we quickly bond with. Even when he's a smarmy villian (in "Two of A Kind" for example). This one really exemplifies what great radio drama can and is--as it instantly draws you into its bizarre and frightening story. Great Choice!

This is one of the creepier RMT's. I enjoyed it a lot. I always tend to enjoy episodes that involve the supernatural.

Thanks for the post Scotsman. I'm a fan of Innersanctum Mysteries and am fairly new to listening to CBSRMT but this shows how great a newer production can be.

This particular show is a fine example of just why I fell in love with the CBS RMT as a young boy thirtyyears ago.

A very good show with alot of chills. I love the episodes tried to scare the listener. This episode was made to listen in the dark. There is just no other way. Great selection!!!

Nope. The story we heard in "Shadows from the Grave" really isn't a Wilkie Collins story. It's clearly based on "The Return of Andrew Bentley" by August W. Derleth and Mark (Marc R.) Schorer. The story was first published in Weird Tales in 1933. The story was also adapted for a second-season episode of the TV series "Thriller" (a.k.a. "Boris Karloff's Thriller"), 

I hope at least some of you get a chance to listen the adaptation of the Wilkie Collins haunted mansion story. I've been a sucker for the haunted house since I was a little kid. These are my favorite kind of story. I hope you enjoy it. It's one of my favorites and one I remember from being a kid.

The way this story built up to a third act climax was excellent indeed. I, too, am a sucker for the RMT music and sound effects, and it was well used indeed. This, to me, ties "The white wolf" as best performance for Kristoffer Tabori. Thanks for the great choice!

I don't think Himan Brown explored the realm of sound effects and descriptive text nearly often enough in the RMT. Many times the writers leave out a lot of details, probably because of both time restraints and to keep the story moving along. This tale is a marvelous example of how the use of sound and descriptive commentary just power-packs a tale and takes it to another level. The scene where the two lead characters are in the library, there's a furious storm outside, and the "creatures" are pressing their faces to the glass window is simply horrifying! Not only are the actors describing this scene with voices caught in terror, but the sound effects of them moving around, the phone voice, the storm outside, and finally the shattering glass of the window (only to have them running for their lives) dropped me right into the scene. The ability to create a scene that takes the listener from inside a brightly lit room with a fire in the fireplace, to a room that has been flushed into darkness, to running for dear life outside in a raging storm is nothing short of brilliance. An excellent choice, an excellent story, and an excellent production all over the place! A high-five on this one. Nice selection!!!

This was a very creepy one. The story kept me interested, and I am a Fred Gwynne fan! I did not know why Uncle Zenith felt he had to take his life at this point. Is it because he felt Xavier had agreed to his request so he had to go now? Also, I thought he said the Joshua letter would explain what to do if the locks were disturbed, but later it just seemed to explain what was happening more than what to do. I guess blessing his grave was the solution, but they left it to our imagination at the end if it brought the peace ever after. Maybe if these stories didn't relax me to sleep I would have caught the answers I looked up Wilkie Collins because I don't know much about him. I found that he was friends with Charles Dickens. I enjoyed this modernized adaptation, and I will also check out Wilkie's original version from his day as well.

As a rule of thumb, I tend to like any episode that involves a priest or a psychic. "Shadows from the Grave" ranks as one of the spookiest CBSRMT shows. Fred Gwynne adds weight to the role of the uncle and the third act provides a satisfying conclusion. I enjoy stories that throw in everything but the kitchen sink such as "Hicktory, Dickory, Doom". The story hints at the uncle's past but doesn't leaves the details to the imagination of the listener. More than any other episode, this show called for a prequel which could culminated in the uncle ridding himself (sort of) of his antagonist. I am reminded of another great spookfest, "The Church of Hell".

Christian A. is correct. This is an adaptation of "The Return of Andrew Bentley" by August William Delerth (H. P. Lovecraft's first publisher), from the September 1933 issue of "Weird Tales."

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