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The Mysterious Traveler 1944-52

iPhone / iPad
  • Entertainment
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The eponymous host of “The Mysterious Traveler” knows a lot of good stories, but few have happy endings: murderers choose the wrong victim; the dead won’t stay buried; malign insects turn monstrous; a comet brings the end of the world. In one memorable episode, radio’s lack of visuals actually adds to the terror: much of “Behind the Locked Door” takes place in the dark as archeologists struggle with hidden forces in a cavern. It would be impossible to film in '49.

Oddly enough, our travelling companion doesn’t seem too disturbed by these tales—in fact, he always sounds like he’s savoring the prospects:

“This is the Mysterious Traveler, inviting you to join me on another journey into the strange and terrifying. I hope you will enjoy the trip ... that it will thrill you a little and chill you a little. So settle back, get a good grip on your nerves, and be comfortable ... if you can.”

And so, trapped on a train with this unsettling gentleman, you let him go on for the half hour it’ll take to reach your destination. At which point—like one of the doomed characters in his stories—you might decide to stay on board.

• Complete, locally stored episodes—no wireless connection needed to play
• Sleek and simple episode list and playback controls
• Full-width progress/seek bar to quickly jump to any spot
• Background audio support, for switching between apps
• Universal app design—enjoy on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad
• 67 episodes, with running times from 24:11 to 30:23

About the series: Mutual’s “The Mysterious Traveler” competed successfully for a decade against its rivals, running neck-and-neck each week with “Inner Sanctum” and “Lights Out!”. All three shows celebrated the creepy and macabre, but Maurice Tarplin’s taunting “traveler” guide always gave a wry twist to the night’s proceedings.

Writers Robert Arthur and David Kogan worked on several thrillers through the 40s, including “The Strange Dr. Weird” (1945), “The Sealed Book” (1945), and “The Teller of Tales” (1950). Many of the scripts for those shows had their first—and some would argue best—performance on “Mysterious Traveler”.

It was common practice at the time to air episodes more than once. Rather than repeat those shows, this collection provides the recording with the best audio quality.

There’s a different issue with reworked material: three episodes of “The Mysterious Traveler” were produced a second time with different actors and slightly different scripts. These reworked shows are listed with the second title in parenthese, so you can directly compare the two treatments.