CBS Radio, 19 November 1947
Produced for the CBS anthology
series, Escape, "Casting the Runes" was closely adapted
from the short which first appeared in the collection More Ghost Stories (1911).
To the accompaniment of sonorous music adapted from Mussorgsky's "Pictures
at an Exhibition," William N. Robson's vintage adaptation opened with John Dunning (John McIntire), scientist and Britain's
leading authority on medieval life, explaining that only a few weeks ago he would have laughed at the idea that a curse could
kill a man. Now, he can't laugh, because he has been placed under a curse that will kill him in three months.
Dunning's problems began when he wrote a derogatory review
of an article "The Truth of Alchemy," written by a alchemist named Karswell (Bill, later known as William Conrad).
As a result of his review, and the subsequent rejection by the association to which it had been submitted, Karswell was angry
and had decided to "cast the runes" on Dunning - in other words, place a curse usng prehistoric hieroglyphics on him. Dunning
meets Harrington (Ian Wolfe), who had a similar experience, and the two of them set about trying to remove the curse from
The drama unfolds at a great lick, leading to a suspenseful ending taking place
on a suburban train. Designed to be accommodated into a 23 minute slot, Casting the Runes was a well directed
piece, with memorable performances from Ian Wolfe - a veteran character actor who played in all types of film, but most
notably in horror - and a youthful William Conrad, at that time just beginning an acting career that would culminate
in television's most corpulent detective: Frank Cannon.