The Creaking Door

1958 - 1959 (Australia)

1964 - 1968 (South Africa)

Moray Powell (above, left) hosted the Creaking Door. Some episodes are confused by collectors with its American cousin, Inner Sanctum Mysteries.

In 1952, scripts from the original Inner Sanctum began to be recorded in Australia. The host was named Raymond, but was really Moray Powell. The actors tried to sound "mid-Atlantic" and for the most part, come across as Americans, not Australians (Ogden, 2005). Some of these shows have survived and are mistaken as the original Inner Sanctum Mysteries, but the "Mysteries" part of the title is not included in the Australian version, nor is the host Raymond Edward Johnson or Paul MaGrath. (It's Powell.) About 50 shows were aired with the confusing Inner Sanctum title until a dispute over fees erupted and the show was discontinued.

The series returned in 1958, and to avoid the legal dispute, it was renamed The Creaking Door. "Raymond" was renamed "Your Host" (but it was still Powell). New scripts were written by Australian writers, who wrote variations on the American stories. The series is said to have been 95% destroyed, but one source claims the entire run has been preserved and will eventually find its way into the eager hands of collectors (Grams, 100).

In 1964, South Africa began The Creaking Door, using original scripts that included stories with a heavier emphasis on the supernatural (Grams, 104). The topics ranged from haunted houses to zombie witch doctors, and of course, the typical paranoid murderer so often presented on the original Inner Sanctum. The host for this series was Peter Bloomfield (pictured above). Mr. Bloomfield doesn't sound like Raymond, but he obviously relished the role. Whereas the real Raymond was corny but clever, Bloomfield's voice was dripping with sinister sarcasm. The stories were pretty creepy too.

Killers were haunted by guilt and often betrayed by fate in The Creaking Door.

Artist depiction courtesy of Tune In For Terror © 1992

The Standard Opening

(Hear it in Real Audio!)

(SFX: Music.)

Announcer: "I have flown. I have sailed. I have moved about this world of ours, and ever in search of the finest of its kind, we bring you the tops in spine chillers."

(SFX: Music sting. Squeaky door opens. )

(SFX: Add echo effect to voice.)

Announcer: "The creaking doooooor."

Announcer #2: "The manufacturers of State Express 3-5s Filter King cigarettes, take pleasure in presenting..."

(SFX: Add echo effect to voice.)

Announcer: "The creaking doooooor."

(SFX: Music sting.)

Host: "Good evening, friends of the creaking door."

(SFX: Squeaking door opens.)

Host: "The creaking door is opening... So do come in. Do you subscribe to the view that some of us have power over the life and death of someone else? John does. He knows when people are going to die. And that can be most upsetting for all concerned. (Sinister chuckle.)"

A Typical Closing Narration

Host: "Well, well, well. Policemen can be very suspicious at times, can't they? Anyway, don't worry too much. We'll make John Smith very cozy down here. I'm sure that he'll find he has a few blood brothers, in fact. (Sinister chuckle.)"

The Standard Closing

Host: "This is your host back again. Just a reminder of our rendezvous next week. Where are we going?

(SFX: Creaking door opens.)

Host: "Through the creaking door, of course. (Chuckles.)"

Hear An Actual Episode!

(Courtesy of Relic

A Day of Truce - 10/12/1964

Bring Back Her Bones - 6/22/1964 (Show begins after an introduction from Relic Radio.) A discontent husband asks a witch doctor to eliminate his wife. The Haitian medicine man agrees, but demands an unanticipated price.

The Imposter - circa 1967 (Show begins after an introduction from Relic Radio.) A blind but rich uncle, a $100,000 inheritance, and a mail order bride make up a scam too rich for a desperate con man to resist. But fate keeps throwing him wild curve balls.

The White Scarf Strangler - circa 1967 (Show begins after an introduction from Relic Radio.) A mysterious murderer haunts a foggy coastal town in search of prey. He imitates an old Indian killer cult that murdered victims by strangling them with white cloth.

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rev. 8.9.09 ©2007 Monsterwax Sci-Fi & Horror Monster Cards