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A Ring of Roses


A trip to the country to visit a friend turns nightmarish as a couple comes across a small girl being whipped by a man. It's only the beginning of a journey back into an old family curse and a murder - all wrapped up in a ring.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 18, 1974
  • Repeat - December 3, 1974
  • Repeat - January 4, 1980





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51 Responses to Episode 0013

Holland Taylor was the boss on "Bosom Buddies." Interesting that the characters attempted to explain the supernatural occurrences as being a perfectly natural result of photosynthesis! (The characters were lying.) Supernatural thriller with ghosts and cursed objects.


This episode suffers from some idiosyncrasies, like too much exposition, markedly anachronistic gender roles, improbable reactions from the characters, and, ultimately, too much going on. Still, the underlying mystery is interesting enough to keep you engaged, the pseudo-scientific babble presented as an "explanation" to early events is priceless, and the male lead has a terrific radio voice for the calming, manly presence he's written as. Heavy on the supernatural. Not bad, but not great.


A guy and his fiancee go to visit her friend and her friend's mother. On their way they come to a surreal scene on the side of the road in which a historical-looking figure is whipping his daughter as she's jumping rope to the "Ring around the rosary" song. She eventually stabs her father to death. When they get to her friend's house, the friend's mother explains that it was just an illusion they had seen before. Remarkably, the guy and girl buy into it, and a pathos-filled plot involving a cursed ring that mom and daughter try to foist on the girl plays itself out. I was really stunned to find out that Glynnis O'Connor, who I thought was a pretty decent actress, was absolutely atrocious in her role as the guy's fiancee.


I agree. Glynnis O'Connor did a horrible acting job. CBSRMT usually has top shelf performances. She ruined this one for me. Totally amateurish.


I enjoyed the story, but I would have kept the ring and tossed the fiancee out the car window.


I agree with the other reviews here; it's an interesting story marred by Glynnis O'Connor's voice acting. It's amateurish.


A woman and her fiance are traveling to see a friend when they come upon sounds of "Ring a Ring of Roses". The investigate only to witness a horrible scene. Soon, such scenes hit closer to home.


A strange story that ends up muddled, wet and droopy.

Bobby Banners

A young couple stumble across a ghostly scene of a man trying to whip a little girl. They find themselves wrapped up in a family curse and an old murder.

Ramon Christopher

Great story brought down by some silly science and uneven performances.

Bing Rueda

A couple on their way to visit a friend in the country witness the murder of a man who was tormenting a young woman to the point where she took an axe and killed him. The friends put it down to photoleafsensory projection (hahaha) A fun attempt at a scientific explanation of the paranormal. The friend's mother tries to pass on a ring to the young woman that contains a curse claiming it will only affect her own family, and that by taking it, she would be saving the family from a certain fate. The couple flee from the house anxiously wanting to get away from the strangeness. On their way, the daughter appears on the road and convinces them to take the ring. ... which can only lead to bad things. Events are a little too loosely strung together for my liking.


A fun, goofy story. If only all the episodes had such perfect audio quality!


The word "ring" must be mentioned 500 times in this episode. Truthfully, there must be something wrong with me, because despite the repetition of that "ring," I actually liked this episode. I did think that the young Glynnis O'Connor did a very good job. Her fiance was annoying. The drive home was spooky. The ending was spooky, but Ms Eric's voice cracks at just the right ghostly moment, which ruined the whole effect. Yikes.


unfortunatly 40 years too late to recast...Glynnis O'Connor is horrible


Definitely a strange story, but I was wondering about the end of it - SPOILERS - why was it that this woman was dealing with a great-great....-granddaughter rather than her own daughter? I figured out that since the girl was the last to hold the name (unless she gets married) that is why. Still, what happened to her real mother and why would she stick around her grandmother if she's so crazy? Perhaps it's just me...


This episode(and a lot of others) sounds like it could have easily been inspired by EC Comics.


It started out well enough but... Pity Glynnis's character sounds more like George's daughter daughter than his fiancée. Very bad casting on this one. And how did Helena get AHEAD of them in a car? Very unbelievable.


Although I do like Glynnis O' Connor in this episode, I have to agree with Pamela. Glynnis does sound like her fiancé's giggly, teenaged daughter.


There is an intriguingly anachronistic quality to this series - they seem to have been written by radio-play writers who hadn't updated their styles since the 40s. I enjoy them very much, but clearly they were a cash-cow for CBS Radio put together by Hi Brown. Cheaply written and cheaply produced. Often the actors are better than the scripts (Mercedes McCambridge is outstanding) but the actor pool is far too small. I have never heared so many different characters with the same Yiddish accent! Animal sounds and children's voices are also often done (most unconvincingly) by adult voice-actors. Ingteresting articles for "CBS Mystery Theatre" and "Hi Brown". Also for Ms. McCambridge, whose life took a horribly tragic turn.

Bill King

Good episode, but the girl playing Laurie in this episode isn't a very good actor, all her lines seem wooden and stiff like someone in a high school play and her performance isn't convincing.

Joe Mama

When I was a kid it went " ashes, ashes we all fall down". What's with the sneezing ?

Tom d

The "sneezing" is a reference to the Black Plague, (a.k.a. the "Black Death"), which was a horrible pandemic, which hit Europe back in the Middle Ages, and it came back several times. The disease still exists in some parts of the world, but it is largely under control, (so far), due to modern treatments and more understanding of how it is spread. (Look it up for more information and history.) I am not sure when this little "nursery rhyme" was written, but it was about the disease killing everybody. That's why they say "ashes, ashes" and "we all fall down" (dead). The "sneezing" is just a variation. Whether the "sneezing" is included or not, it always meant the same thing. It was really a very grim song, but many people have forgotten what the song is really about. The "ring of roses" was the rash that appeared on the skin, etc.


In the UK we use "atichoo, atichoo" as in somebody sneezing. I've only ever heard ashes used in the ghost song called ashes. The album is a concept about the black death if you're at all interested in the reason for it's inclusion on a metal album.


This is to my memory the most sophomoric episode of the CBSRMT series. It was obvious to me that some of the actors were reading their lines and probably for the first time. I came away with the feeling that I could have done a better job in some of these roles and I have no formal acting training. This episode suffered from an excess of melodrama and a weak plot unraveled by simple-minded characters. Alas, these episodes are for entertainment purposes only but this one failed to entertain and I almost didn't finish it.


A Ring of Roses, simply because it was the first CBSRMT episode I ever heard. I listened to it when it originally aired, staying the weekend with my grandma, who instilled the love of OTR in me.


A Ring Of Roses is my favorite.


'A Ring of Roses' was the scariest CBSRMT episode ever.


We used to listen faithfully at bedtime all those years ago. This is the episode that we best remember after half a century or so. Great to have the access again - thanks!

Terry Ballard

Honestly. I have listened to every episode and am on my second time around. Travel a lot and these are great on trips.


Ring of Roses is defenitly the best one.


This is my most favorite or memorable episode


I listen to CBSRMT daily, and when I've gone through every single one from 1974 to 1982, I start again. There's one that stands out as not quite having the RMT formula - listen to Ring of Roses. There's just something about this one that sticks out from the rest as not being a RMT show somehow. Not sure if it's the vocal delivery (all the actors sound like they were standing on top of the mike in an echoey room) or the absence of the usual SFX. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but when you listen to these shows daily, it's strange to hear something that just doesn't quite fit. Have a listen if you have it, and tell me if you hear it too...


The episodes that have the super, clear, new sound quality sound different than the episodes we're accustomed to hearing, which have low sound quality by comparison. The clear episodes are almost *too* clear, lol! You can hear everything down to the slightest pin drop. It also changes the way the actors sound, and even E.G.'s voice. I think what makes it not quite "fit" is just that we're not used to it. There are a few other CBSRMT episodes that are also so clear, it's unsettling. I think if we were used to the clear episodes, it wouldn't bother us, but I can totally relate to what you mean because I feel the same when I hear these "clear" episodes.


This one is stuck in my head with the line: children's rhyme "Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, achoo-achoo, we all fall down"? It is one of my favorites, but it is so friggin bizarre. Elspeth's voice cracks on the last word, which took some of the scariness away, Glynnis sounded whiny all the way through it, the fiance was a nut job, and the word "ring" must have been said at least 30 times. It was pretty good, but yes, it WAS off in some way. Haven't heard this in 40 years but I remember the explanation they gave for that rhyme. I was a macabre kid.


This one features the children's rhyme "Ring around the rosie, a pocket full of posies, achoo-achoo, we all fall down" It was SOMETHING. Can't put my finger on it, but somehow not the usual RMT formula. And a lot of over-explanation about plants ability to store visual images. I'm going to stop now, sounds like I'm moaning! Just making a case for a deviation from the formula. I really thought that was one of the spookiest, with the disembodied voices in the backfround. Still one of my favs.


Some people are saying this episode is different. Maybe that's because of the writer. This is not one of my favorite episodes, mostly because the plot sometimes doesn't make sense to me and some of the acting is stilted. But the part where we hear the nursery rhyme while they are driving in the car was really scary. It is that scene that one remembers best about this episode, which makes this one a true classic.


Uh, I just have to scratch my head over this episode! SPOILER alert for those who haven't listened to this before, because it is part of the mystery reveal. Did I hear correctly, that like extra sensory perception, when trees and other flora like flowers or posies get TOO much sunlight that the photosynthesis in the leaves is overwhelmed, so that the extra light turns the leaves into a movie camera recording the scene in the past onto negative film stored in the stomata? Then when clouds shade the sunlight, the leaves of the trees replay the past scene like in a movie theater, but as lifelike holographic images?? That has got to be one of the far out tallest tale ever told, worthy of Paul Bunyon and his blue ox. This episode is noteworthy for this very explanation.


I suspect that Elspeth Eric came up with this idea, lol! She was in the episode, so she might have talked to the writer about ideas for the script.


VERY nice sound quality on this. It's also tracking at the right speed. Wonderful!!

Mark James Meli

I agree with most of the posters on here. Too much melodrama, and the acting is uneven. Ms. O'Connor sounds like a teenager, because she was (17), at the time of the production. It was just a matter of being miscast I suppose, as she is not a bad actress. I still love CBSMRT. This was one of the weaker episodes, though the sound quality is excellent.

David Maddox

An 18 year old Glynnis O'Connor, VERY early in her career, as "Laurie" !!! If I'm not mistaken, her only 'appearance' on CBSRMT.....

Mark D.

A Ring of Roses!! THAT was the very first episode I ever heard of CBSRMT in 1974 as a kid and it scared me and hooked me to the show to this day. I later saw Holland Taylor on Broadway in the notoriously 'Moose Murders!' a legendary Broadway flop that ran one night.


If not for CBSRMT It's doubtful I would have had an affinity for Old Time Radio. And I probably never would have enjoyed so many great other Radio series like; Quiet Please, Suspense, Lights Out, The Mysterious Traveler, Gunsmoke, The Whistler. . . .


I never thought about that, but I think you’re right in my case. I caught them occasionally late at night with the radio turned down really low so my mother would know I was still up. That and “The Spider’s Web” on NPR. I’ve looked for those and never have found them.


I think it's wonderful. As somebody that is a huge fan of the original twilight zone, laurel and hardy and most of that old timey stuff I feel like I was born 50-60 years too late. Everything at the time was original and the archived content is a real freeze frame of culture at the time. I'm always thankful to find repeats or recordings even if my friends and family can't understand why I get so excited.


I'm not sure what about this episode just doesn't seem to work. The storyline is great and scary, but i think the whole story of chlorophyll being a movie projector really stretched to thin in believability. They say the leaves repeat what they see, but leaves drop every year so how could that be repeated? Not one of my favorites.


From the comments there is a lot of criticism for the acting in this episode but the writing is even worse. It’s difficult to give life to such poorly written dialogue. And the casting is terrible. Glynnis O’Connor sounds relatively young and George Petrie’s character seems far too old to be her fiancé. The male part is very fatherly in a very weird way toward his fiancée. Ew. That’s the creepiest part and I’m sure it was completely unintentional. If I didn’t know differently I would’ve thought it were written by Elspeth Eric. But she is in it so I think it was doomed to begin with, anyway. I really dislike nearly all her work in the show.


Elspeth Eric was acting in the episode, so I suspect she might have had an influence on the script, lol! She didn't write it, but she might have given the writer a few ideas over coffee, lol!


I tend to agree-the O’Connor performance was not A-level. Given her age, and the stable of veteran radio actors in this work, her inexperience was magnified that much more. Some ridiculous dialogue and goofy situational response further dampened the story and added to the “community theatre” tenor of this production. Despite these serious shortcomings, the story has some supernatural appeal. Rewritten, I think it could be a great piece for a modern troupe to record.


This episode was confusing but what a cast. Holland Taylor and Glynnis O'Connor being the big names but also Elspeth Eric who wrote some of the most intriguing episodes of this series.


I recognized Glynis O’Connor’s voice right away.


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