The Hermit's Cave

1935 - 194?

John Dehner was probably the most famous of several to voice The Hermit.

The Hermit's Cave was probably inspired by the success of The Witch's Tale. After all, it was basically the exact same concept except it was a cackling old man telling the stories instead of a cackling old woman. It developed a reputation for grisly sound effects and featured several notable future stars, especially John Dehner and William Conrad. Dehner was 28 when he played The Hermit on the West Coast Los Angeles version after 1942. Mel Johnson played The Hermit before Dehner, and he was just 24. William Conrad was the series producer at the ripe old age of 22! (Dunning, 319.) Years later, Conrad became the famous radio voice of Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke and narrated powerful host voices of shows like Escape and The Clock. (He also played the fat detective Cannon on TV in the 1970s.) Other actors who played the old Hermit (on the East coast in Detroit) were John Kent, Charles Penman, Toby Grimmer, and Klock Ryder.

The Hermit's Cave was recorded live during broadcast and syndicated to other stations. It reached a national audience this way and began its Los Angeles West Coast broadcast in 1940 on KMPC (Dunning, 319).

Artist depiction of the Hermit courtesy of Tune In For Terror © 1992


The Standard Intro:

(Hear it in Real Audio!)

(Sound effects: Wind, dogs howling, and cackling laughter.)

Hermit: "Ghoooossst stories. Weirrrrrd stories. And murders too! The Hermit knows of them all. Turn out your lights. Turn them out! Ahhhh. Have you heard the story of (show title)? Then listen while The Hermit tells you the story..."

Announcer: "The Mummers in the Little Theater of The Air present The Hermit's Cave."


A Typical Closing:

(Sound effects: Wind, dogs howling.)

Hermit: "(Cackling laugh.) 'The Plantation Mystery' is solved. A haunted soul did return for revenge. Yes. (Cackling laugh.) Turn on your lights. Turn them on! (Cackling laugh.)"

Announcer: "You have just heard the 410th story of The Hermit made possible through the courtesy of the Carter Coal Company producer of ..." (commercial follows.)

Hermit: "And the Hermit has more stories for you. Listen in again next week for my hounds howling! I'll tell you the story of 'The Haunted Theatre'. I'll be back. Pleasant dreams! Heh-heh-heh-heh!"

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Hear up to 18 different episodes of The Hermit's Cave in RealPlayer!

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Hear up to 32 different episodes courtesy of

Some Suggested Samples!

(Courtesy of OTR.Net)

Author of Murder - A new husband is acting strangely and is so sick that his wife calls on the services of their doctor. But can a man of science believe in the ghost of Shirley Gray?

Mystery of the Strange Thing - A woman, found wandering in the cemetery, dressed in ragged clothing and plagued with insomnia, marries the town doctor but is haunted by a mysterious specter.

The Vampire's Desire - Two men seeking shelter in a creepy old house uncover the home of a vampire.

The House of Purple Shadows - The story of a house that absorbs people, leaving their tormented spirits to haunt it.

Spirits of Vengeance - Spirits of the dead come back to extract a confession.

House of Murder - A scientist's house is haunted by a spirit that doesn't want him to complete his experiments.

Buried Alive - A woman's spirit returns from the grave after being buried alive.


Read more OTR Plot Spot synopis of various episodes from The Hermit's Cave:

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