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Mad Monkton


A Gothic family tradition of insanity can be ended by the last heir Stephen Monkton - if he can just find his unce's corpse in Naples and bury it in their family vault.



Air Dates

  • First Run - May 1, 1975
  • Repeat - August 10, 1975





85     12

11 Responses to Episode 0266

Insanity and madness are a Monkton family tradition. Now, Stephen Monkton, the last of the Monkton line, can end the curse by finding his uncle's body in Naples and returning it to the family vault in the States.

Raymund Bagget

A woman is enamoured with a man whose family is rumoured to have a hereditary madness. Despite her brother’s urgings, she stands by her love as he struggles with his own monomania (an obsession with a single thing). There is a legend surrounding the mad man’s family involving burial of their dead, and a prophesy of the end of their lineage. It appears that this young man’s obsession is over the continuation of his family line… something he takes very seriously. But there are strange things he must do to belay the prophesy and ensure the family future.

Brian P.

GREAT use of music on this one. This is the RMT I know and appreciate!


I agree, the musical score added a lot to the effectiveness of the episode. Was this show's music also from "The Twilight Zone" soundtrack library? I believe I've read that the Mystery Theater theme was. Quick aside, I just saw Marian Seldes as the cranky neighbor in "Home Alone 3". Scary, but not CBSRMT scary.

D. Memering

apparently they shared the CBS stock music library. I've read about one or two of the composers...I think you can google and find out more. (Who'm I kidding? You can "google" and find out more about just about anything nowadays.) I enjoyed this one. At first, I wondered how Seldes' character was going to suffer from saying "We'll marry over father's dead body" (cue CBS music) but that was resolved in a better way that I figured was going to happen. I have to say it was amusing considering the "ghosts of the departed monks" (who really didn't play much if any of a role themselves) wandering around the abbey...I'd think said ghosts (like any) would end up in one of two places. All in all, great episode


This was a very enjoyable episode for me. Had all the aspects within the story that I really love - drama, mystery, and a dash of the supernatural. Great ending too. There were a couple of twists and turns, but not many, and the story was pretty easy to follow. The audio was excellent as well. There's nothing worse than trying to listen to a good story only to have the audio fade in and out - which thankfully wasn't the case.


This was a delightful story! I enjoyed listening to it with my bad habits, and aim to "Monkton" out mine!

Scooter D and the Greens with 40z King

This was an enjoyable listen for me. I thought the use of the monks was a little silly, but I would prefer some extra silliness over a slowed down EG Marshall any day.


The storyline follows closely the Wilkie Collins short story ( also called " Mad Monkton " ) except that his girl does not have a child and so the Monkton line definitely ends . Wilkie Collins was good friends with Charles Dickens and Dickens admired Collin's ability to think up wonderful plots for stories . His most famous works are " The Moonstone " and " The Woman in White " .


Gothic storyline includes a cursed family. Ian Martin did a wonderful job with this one.

Gina Schackel

I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. Ian Martin did a wonderful job on writing the adaptation of a Wilkie Collins story. The upside, is that he followed the main plot points of the story that would leave CBSRMT listeners in suspense. The downside, is that the names of the characters and buildings are different. In the original story, the main character’s friend is named Alfred Monkton who has to search for his uncle’s dead body. In this episode, the main character’s friend is named Stephen Monkton. In the original story, the Monkton Family came from Wincot Abbey. In this episode, it’s just called Monkton Abbey. As for the ending, the original story lets the reader decide what would be the outcome of a prophecy of insanity. In this episode, the listeners get to know a shocking discovery and decide what will happen to the remaining Monkton Family bloodline. The title of this story is fitting. Another way to title it would be “The Bloodline of Insanity” or “The Art of Monomania.” In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall begins with a quote on Insanity by Sigmund Freud. In ACT-1, quoting Thomas Carlyle regarding history, which leads to introduce 2 families in this story: the Elmslies and the Monktons; where madness is inherited in the Monkton family. In ACT-2, the definition of Monomania. Later on, discover what has driven the last Monkton family member insane. In ACT-3, figure out how to resolve it. In the end, a shocking realization and wonder if the Monkton curse has been lifted or not. In his Epilogue, close up the story with a decent Resolution – Monkton Abbey gone and the Elmslie family live on. E.G. Marshall’s narrations on the storyline and quotations about insanity were informative and helpful to the plot. Sound effects of birds chirping, howling wind, horse hooves, horse neighing, patrons murmuring, slow door knock, ghastly winds, bell cord, gate bars, ship creaking, roaring ocean waves, and thunder were highly supportive. The music was stupendous! After each narration from the main character, the music comes in with a variety of dramatic and ghastly tunes that fits with the character’s emotions involving friendship, love, death, and insanity. Best part of all, was the cast: Kristoffer Tabori (as David Elmslie), Marian Seldes (as Ann Elmslie), Russell Horton (as Stephen Monkton and the Monastery Brother), Ken Harvey (as the Father Superior and the Sea Captain), and Paul Hecht (as Chip Travers). Both Paul Hecht and Ken Harvey did wonderfully on their parts. Marian Seldes was a delight. Kristoffer Tabori was excellent as the concerned family member and friend. As for Russell Horton, outstanding as the last Monkton family member gripped with insanity. Check this episode out and read the original story by Wilkie Collins. Also, check out his other adaptations: #0120-THE DREAM WOMAN and #0958-SHADOWS FROM THE GRAVE. Until next time…pleasant dreams


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