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Title

Stephanie's Room

Plot

A married woman moves back to her birthplace in New York when her husband is posted there for work. She visits the house she grew up in and meets a childless old lady. They bond in a strange, symbiotic manner as mysterious things happen to her childhood quarters.

Episode

0187

Air Dates

  • First Run - December 16, 1974
  • Repeat - February 9, 1975

Actors

Writer

Listen

Rating

59
37     22


28 Responses to Episode 0187

Where else but RMT could you hear a completely serious drama in which two grown women sit in a room and sing "London Bridge"?

Ron

Creepy, very creepy. 4 stars. Mercedes McCambridge did an amazing job turning back the years using her "little girl" voice.

Davy Joe

"Stephanie's Room" is an entertaining story that scared me a bit. The voice acting by both ladies was top notch. They really do sell the story. I found the noise that the haunted room made to be quite annoying by the end. EG was on the mark as usual. Not the best, but far from the worst. I give this one four stars out of five.

Vinny Vipla

A woman returns to her childhood home and asks the current residents if she can visit the room she once called her own. The room seems to take on a life of it's own and soon the woman is drawn to the house, her room and her childhood.

Tami

Stephanie, a woman stressed out from the lifestyle she is forced to live by being married to a career-obessessed corporate-climbing husband, returns for a visit to the home she lived in a child. The elderly woman of the retired couple that now live in the home allows Stephanie to tour the house and even visit her old room. Stephanie and the woman soon discover that that the room has a strange attraction for both of them. This is both a bizzare story and a familiar one for anyone who has ever driven by their childhood home and wondered what it would be like to go inside and revisit their past. Genre: Fantasy

Alan Peter C.

Not really ghost related, but a haunting episode for some sad reasons: The ingredients: - A young woman, "Stephanie", who lost her mother as a child. Her husband is an executive moving up to a more stressful job from Los Angeles to New York, near where Stephanie grew up. Stephanie seems gentle enough, but somewhat tightly wrapped in an excellent vocal portrayal by Mercedes McCambridge (the voice of the demon in "The Exorcist".) - A middle-aged to mature woman, who with her husband now lives in the house where Stephanie grew up. She's quietly despondant over the fact that she never had a child. - A house that, while not really haunted, seems to favor certain (former) occupants. When Stephanie is in her room she hears (and often seems to ignore) noises that sound like whispered whistles and feminine "oo-oo" cooing. The house, in particular Stephanie's room, seems to have the power to make time and people regress in their age. This was a truly fascinating plot. (And a sad footnote: I was living in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1987 when McCambridge's son, an economic forecaster with a worldwide bond trading firm in that city, broke under the stress of his job and illegal financial deals, put on a hallowe'en mask and shot his wife, two girls and then himself in a murder/suicide. It made listening to the episode quite poignant.)

Gabriel "Gabb" Gabriel

*SHUDDER* I’ll say one thing for Mercedes McCambridge, she doesn’t always sound like the young sultry woman she’s supposed to be portraying, but in other roles, such as this one, she is absolutely perfectly creepy. A couple transfer from city to city to follow the husband’s career opportunities. They finally return to the woman’s home town where she hasn’t been for over a decade. She decides to take a visit to her old neighborhood and knocks on the door of her old house. So many warm and comforting memories flood over her as the current occupant reluctantly lets her in. The old couple living there now never had any children and at times find their lives a little lonely. As the woman visits the bedroom in which she spent her childhood, she rekindles the old relationship and conversations she had with the room. The room responds with the same creepy sound effects used for the plants in episode 0082 All Living Things Must Die. Despite the warnings and suspicion of her husband, the old woman encourages the visits and they develop a relationship between themselves, and the room, with less than normal consequences…

Darryl

Stephanie's Room is my favorite

Andy

Not much happens in this story, but it's still pretty good due to Mercedes McCambridge's wonderfully creepy performance. Robert Dryden sounds like the world's oldest man.

Phillip M.

The sound used for the haunted room was the same sound used in All Living Things Must Die." It was an adequate but interesting sound nevertheless. I guess it represented multiple voices? Anyhow, it was a good, creepy story, great acting and wonderful writing. Yes, it was not the best but it was certainly fun. I just wonder...how for did both ladies regress in the end?

1nicolem

CREEPY!!!!! The beginning is a little slow but do yourself a favor and listen through to the end, it will be an episode that stays with you for awhile. Not a ghost story, but better,

David Quintana

This was creepy and well done, but I have to take issue with the voice actress of the "younger" woman. Okay, a grown woman _acting_ like a little girl is creepy enough, but with her voice sounding like a 60-year-old woman, it was creepy x 10. It wasn't the intended effect, so I'm docking a star. ;)

Mike

Odd, morbid, ultimately rather depressing example of the statement that "there are no haunted places, only haunted people." In short, it's the sort of psychological horror that I associate with 70s film-making, as a story about a house with an obsessive will of its own turns out to be more about the mental prisons that unhappy people construct for themselves. It really does stick with you, but that's largely because there's such an air of utter sadness to the episode.

Matt Sandwich

Kind of a creepy episode that made me think about how some people make their own mental prisons like Matt suggested. When things are going wrong in your life many people like to think of the better times and how they wish they could relive them. However, what most people need to do is figure out how to make their current situation better rather than think about the past (which is likely better in retrospect than it was at the time). I know I've thought like that in the past, but it doesn't help me feel better - just doing something to change the present and future helps out.

Alec

"Sing a song of six pence" was something sung to me as a child (as well as "London Bridge" of course). Hearing these sung in such an eerie "plot" just added a completely creepy air to them that sends chills down the spine. Both actresses deliver an increasingly eerie performance of women descending farther and farther into a reality built for themselves. It seems "Stephanie" regresses more severely with every visit to "her room", and "Mama" is tagging along for the ride into a reality she wishes she could have lived. Eerie and poignant tale. And to think, I only stumbled upon this for curiosity's sake after seeing links to "lyrics" attached to a page about my name's meaning... yep... my name is Stephanie lol.

Stephanie

The script called for a woman in her twenties to regress to a 12-year old mentality (and even younger), so *of course* Himan Brown cast Mercedes McCambridge, the oldest-sounding actress in his stable. What was wrong with that guy?! As I listen to CBSRMT, it's about even money as to which offender has ruined more episodes: Elspeth Eric with suspect writing, or McCambridge with her dubious and almost always miscast performances. Not that the story is any great shakes here. The titular room is a jerk which wants things back the way they were. Why? Who can say?

jpc

This is a very haunting episode, one that gets to me because I'm very much built as a type who looks to the past and sees her childhood through rose-colored glasses. Unlike a few other commenters, I thought Mercedes was perfect for the role. She's an actress who's always willing to "go there," to be as strange as she needs to be in order to make what she's doing very memorable and stick with you in the same way that some songs become "earwigs." I disagree with commenter jpc and think the story was great, too. I mean, not a lot happens in terms of great epic action, but in that sense, "Moby Dick" was about a fishing expedition, if you get my drift. If you're into drama that has a psychological focus, this one might be for you.

Tracy

Stephanie's room. Only the late Mercedes McCambridge could have done that like she did.

kurt

Because Mercedes McCambridge did 25 CBSRMT episodes, it's inevitable that some of her characters will have the same sounding voice or similar mannerisms. Though I enjoyed this episode, it was difficult not to think of another episode where she talked to her plants who seemed alive and responsive to her. They even used the same sound effect for the plants' communication with her as was used in this episode for the "living" bedroom - the feminine sing-song moaning. Take a listen if you haven't heard it before: Episode 0082 "All Living Things Must Die". If you enjoy Mercedes McCambridge sounding a little "off the beam", you'll enjoy that one, too. A good example in episode 0082 is around the 28 minute mark, though her "plant whispering" is scattered throughout the program.

Dale (timetraxer)

Stephanies Room is my favorite.

Ellen

I love Stephanie's Room

Robert

My favorite episode!

James

one of my faves

Roberts

A couple of my favorites are "Mission from Zython" and "Kitty lol I have all 1399 Episodes still listen to them when I can

Tyson

I rate this episode ★★★★★ for EXCELLENT. “Uncanny,” “Unbelievable,” and “Unforgettable” would be the best 3 words to describe this classic. Bravo to Bob Juhren for writing this Drama-Mystery that added Fantasy in the mix. Bob Juhren wrote so many episodes that were so good, the endings he wrote were spine-chilling, hair-raising, blood-curling, heart-racing, and eye-popping entertaining. And this episode was an eye-opener. Parts of this story reminded me of the 99th episode of the TWILIGHT ZONE: “Young Man’s Fancy” where the main character returns to their old home, refuses to give it up, and magically goes back to their younger years. The title of this is suitable. Another way to title it would be “Only In Crestwood” because that’s where the story takes place. The sound effects of the doorbell, birds chirping, footsteps, rotary phones, coffee pouring, book pages, live music at the party, party guests murmuring, and the thunder storm were good. Not only there were music tunes from the TWILIGHT ZONE series, but the music tracks they used at the 11-minute 45-second felt like Stephanie’s Room was actually alive. Also, the music at the 14-minute mark felt like the room was actually calling. In our Host’s Prologue, E.G. Marshall starts the show off by saying, “Come in through the mysterious door which hides its secrets and sometimes horrors we dare not even think about, but which are never the less brought to the forefront of our imagination by the tale you’re about to hear.” A long sentence for an intro, but one of his best intros ever. In ACT-1, he quotes the first lines of Elizabeth Akers Allen’s poem ROCK ME TO SLEEP: “Backward, turn backward, O time, in your flight, make me a child again just for tonight!” In ACT-2, he quotes Thomas Clayton Wolfe who said, “You can’t go home again” (well, for our main character, she did). Later on, after hearing the characters sang nursery rhymes, our Host points out that there’s a spell of lost love in Stephanie’s Room and the relationship goes far beyond their mortal feelings. In ACT-3, after realizing that some of the characters are not seeing eye-to-eye and then being shocked at what happened to the main character in the final scene, he recommends the fans to think of our old room and say “hello” to it…if we dare. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall goes into Nostalgic mode. From intro to outro, our Host did a magnificent job. And that goes the same with our terrific cast: Mercedes McCambridge (as Stephanie Miller), William Redfield (as Tom Miller), Mary Jane Higby (as Helen Lanning), and Robert Dryden (as Will Lanning and Mr. Ames). The 2 actors played their parts very well, but the 2 actresses are the ones who stole the show! The way Mary Jane Higby portrayed the childless woman and the way Mercedes McCambridge portrayed the motherless woman, both singing nursery rhymes, and treating each other like family, was so creepy, yet so spell-binding. #0187-STEPHANIE’S ROOM needs to be ranked in the Top 10 best Bob Jurhen stories for CBSRMT. The others on the list, should be #0367-THE SUMMER PEOPLE, #1245-THE JUDGE’S HOUSE, #0957-HICKORY DICKORY DOOM, #0265-BLACK WIDOW, #0405-SAGAMORE COTTAGE, #1193-GARDEN OF THE MOON, #1066-YOU’RE GOING TO LIKE RODNEY, #1140-A HOLIDAY VISIT, and #0099-DRESSED TO KILL. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =^D

Russell

My favorite episode!

James

This is my favorite CBSRMT episode, and IMO the most eerie. Throughout the entire episode the plot, music, E.G., and overall feel make for a chilling experience. It is unique in the sense that it accomplishes such a thing without the use of ghosts and murder. All this said, I personally believe that they missed a real opportunity to make this perhaps the most unforgettable psychological episode of the entire series. It bugs me every time I listen to it. How would you guys have felt if instead of her transforming into a baby, she actually remained in her physical adult state while only mentally reverting back to an infant? I feel like this would have made the ending 10x creepier - the two husbands walking into the room and seeing a middle aged woman sitting on the floor cradling and singing to a woman in her twenties who is cooing like a baby. CREEEEEPY. To me this would have made it so much more fascinating. This would have made it about the rooms spell exploiting psychological weaknesses of the two women, as opposed to it just being able to physically alter what is inside of it. The latter just seems too easy, and not as captivating to me.

James

I love this one. All of the actors, except William Redfield were bizarre. Elspeth Eric does an awesome job with the imagery. I could easily picture the house. I think her favorite color was yellow. She makes reference to yellow a lot. By the way, chartreuse curtains sound hideous.

Robert


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