Escape – Taboo

Escape’s “Taboo” is a story about the ancient fears of werewolves among the people who dwell in the mountains and forests of eastern Hungary. The radioplay was based on the 1939 short story “Taboo” by British author Geoffrey Household (1900-1988).

Three tourists to a small village named Zweibergen in the Carpathian mountains become involved in a mystery. A few of the local men have disappeared in the forest and the villagers believe that they were killed by a prowling werewolf.

Escape’s version of “Taboo” is a cross between a Hungarian werewolf tale and a British murder mystery. The radioplay was written by John Dunkel and though he did a good job of creating a script from the original work, you may feel that there is something missing. That is because the radioplay only makes subtle references to the reason why this episode is called “Taboo.”

The short story is not really about werewolves. It is about coping with profound shock and the effect that shock can have on the mind and body. So why is this episode called “Taboo?” Cannibalism. (The meat everyone ate wasn’t venison.) This is a story about the horror that results from breaking a taboo.

“Taboo” was produced/directed by William N. Robson. Paul Frees is excellent in the role of Dr. Shiravieff. Morgan Farley played Richard Vaughn. This episode aired on December 3, 1947.