480221 – 028 Ancient Sorceries – West Coast

Escape’s “Ancient Sorceries” is based on the short story of the same name by Algernon Blackwood, a writer who was famous for his tales of horror and the supernatural. The story was adapated for radio by Les Crutchfield, who changed and abbreviated it considerably to fit within a half-hour program. In the radio version, the main character’s name is changed to Arthur Llewellyn, and the setting is a remote part of Wales, rather than France. Escape’s version is good, but it is worth the time to read the short story. The text of “Ancient Sorceries” can be found on the Algernon Blackwood page at

As the episode opens, Mr. Llewellyn is on a train on his way to London. He impulsively decides to get off and spend the night in a small, Welsh village named Malton, despite the warning from his fellow passenger. He takes a room at the local inn, and to his surprise, they seem to have been expecting him. Mr. Llewellyn soon becomes involved with innkeeper’s daughter, Ilse, and discovers the strange world of the townspeople and what they do in their secret lives.

“Ancient Sorceries” starred Paul Frees as Arthur Llewellyn, Kay Brinker as Ilse, Ann Morrison as Madame, and William Conrad as the Doctor and the announcer. This episode was produced by William N. Robson and directed by Norman MacDonnell. It aired on February 15, 1948.