1. As I was listening to “The House Was a Sphinx” today, I kept thinking I knew the story. I then realized that it’s extremely similar to an episode of the old Alfred Hitchcock show, except, in the Hitchcock version, after the daughter dies and the husband takes ownership of the house, he falls down an elevator shaft. I believe Kim Stanley played the mother and the guy from Hawaii Five O–MacArthur?–played the husband. Any background info on the radio show to learn if it was derived from the Hitchcock episode? It wouldn’t be a blatant plagiarism, would it? Anyhow, good story, and thank you for making them available!

  2. Okay, so it was James MacArthur in the Hitchcock program, and Gloria Swanson played the mother! The episode is called “Behind the Locked Door,” and this is the IMDB synopsis:

    “Dave Snowden elopes with wealthy Bonnie Daniels, and Mr. Spencer sees them break into the abandoned old estate where Bonnie lived until age six. Mr. Spencer informs Bonnie’s mother, Mrs. Daniels, who finds Snowden struggling to open a mysterious locked door on the upper floor. Mrs. Daniels annuls the marriage, because Bonnie’s true age is only 17, not 19, as Dave was told. Three weeks later, when Bonnie reaches majority, she rejoins Dave, and they consummate nuptials, but Mrs. Daniels will not release Bonnie’s trust fund until she is 25. Dave convinces Bonnie to attempt suicide with sleeping pills, in order to convince her mother that she loves Dave. Although she takes only 4 pills, Bonnie dies, because of a history of rheumatic disease. As an apparent gesture of goodwill, Mrs. Daniels grants Dave the childhood estate. Dave proclaims that he only married Bonnie for her money. Mrs. Daniels, hiding in the house, overhears Dave’s admission, then watches as he enters the locked door, behind which is an unfinished elevator shaft. Dave plunges to the bottom of the shaft, becoming paralyzed. He begs Mrs. Daniels to save him, but she just tosses the house keys down to him, and closes the door.”

    The ending is a bit different from the radio play, but, in almost all other respects, it’s the same.

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