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A Dream of Death


Reincarnation beliefs of a college professor are accompanied by the dread of having broken an ancient agreement



Air Dates

  • First Run - February 12, 1974
  • Repeat - April 28, 1974
  • Repeat - March 11, 1979





140     41

18 Responses to Episode 0036

Did it really happen or is he just nuts? Kind of hard to hate him: he proposed to his fiancee because his shrink advised him to, even though he didn't love her. And he clearly killed her in self-defense. Surely his attorney could get an acquittal on either self-defense or insanity. Questioned supernatural happenings involving reincarnation.


A college professor is being held on charges that he murdered his fiancee. He plans to plead not guilty, claiming self-defense. He said she was about to kill him to make good on a vow she took after he jilted her 200 years earlier. Fairly interesting story about reincarnation that could have used a better ending.


A professor thinks he's the reincarnation of a soldier from 200 years earlier that jilted his fiancee, and now is engaged to a woman who has taken on her persona and is determined to kill him. Interesting that you should bring the subject of "love gone wrong" up. I'm thinkin' that in old-time radio history, that might have found its way into more plots than any other subject.


The supernatural element has been done and completely warn out. Reincarnation was a popular theme to many television shows of the seventies and eighties. "The jilted lover comes back to avenge a death from centuries before" was done, redone, and completely warn out. This episode may be more original this year than it was in 1974. For me though, it was predictable and boring. This was not one of my favorite episodes.

Davy Joe

I have been listening to these order from episode 1 and this has been my least favorite thus far. Just a little too muddled I think.


A college history professor comes to the realization that he has been reincarnated. In his past life, he had jilted his fiance for another woman. How does he come to this realization? How does he intend to deal with this? Does he know what deja-vu means? I enjoyed this episode, despite it being predictable. Basically the entire story and ending is given away at the beginning and the episode shows how it all unfolded. There aren't many surprises in it, but it's a nice little story. Not spectacular, but not horrible. What I really enjoyed were the lightning crackles throughout the show. It was raining here in Winnipeg today, as it must have been when it was recorded, it was easy to sit in my big papasan chair after work, watch the rain, and listen to this episode. Perhaps my rating is 50% program, and 50% atmosphere. Was a great way to unwind after a day with 14 year old kids.


Robert and Davey Joe, funny how each episode affects each person differently. I guess I never saw many reincarnation related shows in the 70's and 80's. This was one of my favorites, so much so, that I had to tell it to my wife. Like most radio drama's, one always fines areas which could be improved upon, but they really cranked these things out, and I can't fail them for minor infractions. I would like to see a retelling of some of these though, perhaps as a movie, ala "Creepshow", with, BTW, E.G. Marshall in a wicked role. Creepshow was a movie written by Stephen King, directed by George Romero ("Night of the Living Dead") which was inspired by E.C Comics of the 50's but struck me as a throw back to radio dramas of the 30's and 40's.

Don Malzahn

Who is to say reincarnation is not possible? It is an excellent tale for the imagination. The music, sound effects and actors made story most entertaining

Andy Estes

4 Stars.. Was a little better than I thought it was going to be... Has commercials.


I LOVE the episodes with commercials and news snippets, especially during the Watergate era! I can even memorize the Shop Rite and Suburban Savings themes (although I'm embarrassed to admit it). Definitely brings back the mood of the era when the episodes originally aired - and when I was too young to appreciate it!

James Harrison

No need to feel embarrassed. Ad jingles were meant to be catchy and memorable. That was the whole point. They were written so that people would remember the songs, get the tunes stuck in their heads, and then go out and buy the products and services in the ads.


Umm..who repaired the gun? A simple investigation into that would have cleared him..the ending sucked!


I agree with Bryan that a simple investigation of the cleaning of the gun would give much more information. There was already her roommate who said she left college and it was likely known that was his gun. It was also a long time to deliberate on the verdict, but I guess with the crazy information given it may have taken some time.


I had an easier time believing the reincarnation story than I did believing there was a woman named Madeline-Betty.


A little too pokey for my tastes. My mind was wandering during the second act, and the ending was just too abrupt, with the host tying up the loose ends. Three cheers as always for Marion Seldes though


An interesting tale about reincarnation. Good thing we don't have to worry about past lives! One lifetime is enough. Enjoyed the actors and actresses.


Absolutely great story! Loved it!

James Klingenberg

Madeline-Betty/Charity Youngblood was supposed to be "sexy" and beautiful, and yet she was also referred to as a "wallflower". How could both be true? An attractive woman wouldn't be a "wallflower" for long, nor would she be so desperate for attention. If she was so beautiful and attractive, why wouldn't he have been attracted to her at all, at least in the beginning? Also, why couldn't she find someone better after he left her? If Madeline-Betty was supposed to be a plain spinster, I would be able to understand his behavior, but in this case, she was not supposed to be that type at all, so why did she act like such a pathetic reject? That's what bothers me about this story. It doesn't make any logical sense to me at all.


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