Escape – Three Skeleton Key
If there is one thing that the two namesakes of this blog have in common it is “Three Skeleton Key,” a classic horror tale about rats narrated by Vincent Price. First made famous by Escape, this radio-play was then broadcast two more times on Suspense after Escape went off the air. Based on a 1937 Esquire magazine short story by the French writer George Toudouze, the story was adapted for Escape in 1949 by James Poe.
“Three Skeleton Key” is set on the coast of French Guiana in South America. This is a coastline that is also famous for its penal colony on Devil’s Island.
Quite a bit of information about “Three Skeleton Key” is available on the Internet. You can read more about it at the One Act Virtual Museum. The One Act Players have posted Toudouze’s original short story, and there is also a detailed article by B.A. Peterson at horror-wood.com.
Rats, Vincent Price, and a lonely lighthouse…this episode is a classic of vintage radio.
The performance of this radio-play considered to be the best was one that Escape presented on March 17, 1950. They also performed this story on November 15, 1949, and August 9, 1953, but with different casts both times. Suspense brought back this radio-play with Vincent Price in the lead role on November 11, 1956, and October 19, 1958.
Here is Escape’s “Three Skeleton Key” from March 17, 1950.