H276: Valse Triste by Lights Out


Our horror favorite this week comes from Bob.  He wanted to hear Valse Triste from Lights Out.  This episode was originally done with Boris Karloff in 1938, but that recording isn’t available.  The version we’ll hear features Dinah Shore, Lou Merrill, and Joseph Kearns, and aired December 29, 1942.





  1. I hadn’t heard this in over a year so kind of forgot the end. This is a scary story, quite horrible in fact, but it is fascinating also. Mr O really has a way of touching one with terror. Of course I would have liked to find the woman rescued by the guys and the weirdo changed, but leaving the outcome “out there” is more powerful. I wonder sometimes about Mr O. He surely has a curious thought process I wonder if he slept peacefully. Thanks for the story.

  2. Man… since I started hearing Lou Merrill as the debonair sociopathic announcer in Crime Classics, this was a total surprise to hear. I can’t help but wonder about him for the roles he chose, and acted so fully…

    He seems to have had an influence on the anonymous person who did the voice of the fiendish announcer in Silent Hills 2 and 3.

  3. I haven’t really followed Lou Merrill but you have perked my interest. I will be checking this out. If you have any suggestions about stories or such with him, please post them. what do you think of Mr O? Sunny

  4. Hi Sunny, Crime Classics was where he really shone and had the support of some great actors and actresses, especially one very versatile black widow, Mary Jane Croft. My favorite episodes from that series were “Madeline Smith — Maid or Murderer?”, “Old Sixtoes”, “Widow Magee”, and these three gems: “Bunny Baumler”, “The Lethal Habit of the Marquise de Brinvilier”, and “The Checkered Life and Sudden Death of Colonel James Fisk Jr.”.
    I don’t remember which other Crime Classics episode it was, but he had a hilariously grim intro about a singing cricket.

    There was one brief role he had playing opposite Bela Lugosi in “The Doctor Prescribed Death”, also available on Relic Radio in The Horror!

    In some ways I kind of think Mr. O was a bit of a hack compared to Wyllis Cooper, but he believed in his stories 100%, and sometimes they made it to the right actors. He was just a little more sour around the edges, and there wasn’t a literary element like Cooper’s episodes… “The Haunted Cell”, by the way, is amazing, and you might like it if you like Merrill’s superb deadpan… Skeeter Dempsey has his own unique bleakness.

  5. And I’m sorry, just after I posted I read your original comment and saw you did like Mr. O. Didn’t mean to sound smug or snarky about him, I guess I did. His legacy is still impressive.

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