Mystery Playhouse

w/ Peter Lorre


Peter Lorre hosted the rebroadcast of many OTR mystery / horror classics for the AFRS on Mystery Playhouse.

Mystery Playhouse was an AFRS horror program broadcast overseas for soldiers during WWII. Peter Lorre provided tongue in cheek introductions to popular rebroadcasts of shows like The Whistler, Inner Sanctum Mysteries and others (OTR The regular series themes and introductions were edited out (along with any commercials) for our boys in uniform who were already doing their part for the economy by serving the war effort overseas. To the casual listener, this series sounded like its own production, with Lorre the ringmaster. Considering that he had his pick of the litter in deciding what the best episodes were to play, it was probably a pretty popular broadcast, too. (That, and the fact that most of the other stations were not in English.) The series features fine stories and gives a great tease of what Lorre would sound like playing his very own host persona. It would be another decade before he played a regular horror host again, in Nightmare.

As time wore on, other hosts introduced the series. One was named Jeffery Bonds, as well as another man who was not listed in the credits.


Note: Not to be confused with the 1985 Mystery Playhouse, which also revived older radio shows, as well as original shows productions.

A Typical Intro:

(SFX: Music.)

Host: "Two pairs of footsteps echoed down the alley. He stopped. Waited. Waited for Jack the Ripper to Strike! But this is not London in 1888. No, this is Chicago in 1945! Yet, Jack the Ripper is loose again to knife, to butcher his victims... without a trace!"

(SFX: Music sting.)

Host: "Hello... Creeps. This is Peter Lorre opening the doors to the Mystery Playhouse. If you recall, some 50 years ago, London was terrorized by a one man crime wave. A murderer, who was never captured and never seen. And tonight, we follow the investigations of Sir Guy Holless, who firmly believes that Jack the Ripper is still alive. That it is he that is the fiend, that once again slashes and kills! There is an element of the supernatural in this story, that will amaze you. For it seems that the spirit world has given the black heart of Jack the Ripper, the power of everlasting life!

(SFX: Music sting.)

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(Courtesy of OTR

Yours Truely, Jack The Ripper


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