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Speak of the Devil


A pre-wedding spiritual seance leads to a young woman being tortured by a demon.



Air Dates

  • First Run - January 25, 1974
  • Repeat - March 24, 1974
  • Repeat - January 30, 1979





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27 Responses to Episode 0020

Ah, one of the famous aspects of the Devil in fantasy fiction is that he's dying to have a human woman bear his child. (This episode precedes The Omen by two years; The Omen didn't invent it; neither did The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.) There is no twist to this story, just a standard example of the genre. Thriller with questioned supernatural happenings.


Great, creepy episode with lots of atmosphere. If you enjoyed "Rosemary's Baby," you'll like this one. Set in rural Scotland, this one features some outdoor scenes on the rugged Scottish coast and a superstitious aunt with a lovely brogue (she uses lots of "wee"s) who holds a couple of seances. Watch out for those cloven hooves!


Very creepy and very dark. While there's some hints that she's crazy at the end, the evidence seems to point out some supernatural happenings in my opinion... doesn't leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling, that's for sure,


The devil as a growling rapist in an ok story.


I remember listening to Mystery Theater while laying under my covers every sunday night. Glad i found these...


A young bride is tormented by a demon after attending a seance just before her wedding.

Jones M.

<voice dripping with sarcasm>You know, the first thing I'd do if my beloved niece came to visit me from thousands of miles away with her fiancee is to INVITE HER TO A @W#$#@ SEANCE.</voice> But that's what this scottish lady "Aunt Jeannie" does. She, a friend and his wife all want to contact her "control", a friend from the "other side" who gives them all sorts of information about the departed. The seance starts out so innocently...when the lady asks all the people to "hold hands", the fiance playfully says his bride-to-be will have to "hold both of his", because she can't trust him alone with her in the dark. However, as soon as contact is made, the "control" starts frantically warning them to stop the seance, that there "is evil" nearby. All of a sudden behind his voice there is a horrible, evil sounding male creature who makes a series of guttural, singsong noises and one word sentences. Something is happening in the room...the niece starts making moaning noises and saying "it burned". After the lights are turned back on the niece is asking "what's that smell"? (It's the smoke from the incense). Aunt Jeannie thinks she's "loosed some devil out of hell this night". She swears never to hold a seance again. The niece seems from that point on to be sensitive to any type of smoke, and says that she has a "skin" (an irritation?) She and her fiance are married, but it's not the ideal honeymoon. The niece cannot seem to fall asleep for long without being tormented by the creature that appeared the night of the seance. Then she and her husband learn not long afterward that she's expecting...

Samuel Presley

A newlywed couple in Scotland stay with the wife's old world aunt who is quite invovled with the spirit world. After holding a seance, it appears that certain forces have been introduced into the world of the living and have particularly affected the new bride. The force will stop at nothing to achieve its goals, but what are they? A little predictable, but enjoyable. Play, "Spot the Stereotype" while listening to this episode!

Jason F.

A bit too derivative of "Rosemary's Baby" for me but if the occult, Satanism and Hammer style horror are your thing, this delivers. The acting is good, I just wish there had been more conflict. All I could think of at the end though was exactly what in the hell was the aunt thinking through this whole thing since she set the whole disaster into motion!


This was a mere rip off of Rosemary's Baby and Barbara Eden's, The Stranger Within. Not impressed. :(


Weak start, but it got nicer as it went along. Downright creepy near the end. Familiar story, but overall, well done. As far as the commercial was concerned, well, I'd like nothing more than to buy a six pack of soda for 79 cents and then spend half the night listening to Jean Shepard on WOR. Those were the days, eh?


another reason NEVER to attend a seance !!!

Gina Schackel

A good supernatural story to be sure even if some parts were to be predictable. I did like the small twist at the end from EGM saying that perhaps it was the insanity in the family that caused the issue and may not have been supernatural.


SPEAK OF THE DEVIL is a frightening, dark, and fairly racy episode - with its dealings with satanism, rape, and even abortion. Each role was superbly played, but the Oscar goes to the devil, who's jumbled shrieks thoroughly scared the wits out of me. CBSRMT routinely carries superb voice performances, but less frequent are the terrifying voices or sounds that leave an impression (besides the devil in this episode, Carlotta's experience stranded at night in The End of the Rainbow is particularly memorable). In Speak of the Devil, writer Ian Martin expertly flips you from the warm comfort of young love to the restless terror of satanic dreams (or is it reality?). One of my favorite scenes is the moonlight tidal scene where the heroine's suspenseful delight in the dangerous wonder of nature's power is contagious. It feels as if you are out among the rushing ocean waves with her. An outstanding episode; memorable and captivating. I give SPEAK OF THE DEVIL 4.5 stars out of 5. JUROR #4


This very Dark moody episode, "Speak of the Devil" must have inspired Rosemarys Baby movie and "A Sacrifice in Blood" preceded the movie The Omen but also must have served as inspiration for it. I have commented often on various episodes of Mystery Theater that must have "inspired" ideas for book, movies, and TV Shows by people who are my age and older so I know they listened to Radio programs and must have taken notes! But this episode Speak of the Devil, aptly named if you take note of what happens after a person mentions the Devil, is a really great one in my opinion, the setting, acting, mood are very good. CBSRMT at its dark best. Other dark episodes are "Promise to Kill", "Deadly Hour", "Star Sapphire" and "White Wolf" and perhaps "Cezar Curse".


Rosemary's Baby came out in the 1960s an dit was based upon an Ira Levin novle of the mid-1960s.

Jaime Contreras

I love the spooky, dark episodes and this show falls in that category. The medium of radio is well suited for creating a creepy atmosphere. I would compare this episode to "Nightmare's Nest" and "Shadows from the Grave".


Dan - Thanks for recommending similarly creepy episodes. I look forward to listening to "Nightmare's Nest" and "Shadows from the Grave". My own creepy favorites include grizzly "Dracula" and "The Hand". Less creepy, but with performances of high quality are Poe remakes "House of Usher" and "Masque of the Red Death". - JUROR #4


Great episode! Nothing better than radio for a creepy story of evil! Music and sounds added wonderfully to the show! Never get involved in a seance, it definitely is not something to mess with.


One of my favorite CBSRMT episodes.

Ken Cheshire

This episode was utterly depressing, even before getting to Act Three. Not worth a second listen.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. This episode, written by Ian Martin, was quite creepy and an entertaining story to listen to in the dark and/or during the week of Halloween. However, this Fantasy-Mystery was predictable. It was similar to the story of ROSEMARY'S BABY - a woman has a bad dream of being ravaged by a demonic creature and gets pregnant, carrying something that isn't human. One thing that puzzled me, was the plot line. It says: "A pre-wedding spiritual leads to a young woman being tortured by a demon." Why in the world would the main character & her bridegroom have a seance when their marriage is about to begin?!? And in the first scene of the story?!? This is one mystery that CBSRMT fans would contemplate for days. Another way to title this story, would be "A Nightmare To Remember" or "The Devilish Spawn." In our Host's Prologue, E.G. Marshall states that this is a tale that takes place in Scotland where it's the Natural vs. the Supernatural. In ACT-1, he quotes a line from a Handbook for Travelers in Scotland. Plus, the Scottish nicknames for the Devil. In ACT-2, our main character's life earns something, but loses her lover in the process. In ACT-3, after the epic finale, the story comes full circle. In his Epilogue, E.G. Marshall has 2 explanations on what happened, either ONE: an incubus possessed the girl or TWO: insanity ran in her family. Whatever the reason may be, our Host did an excellent job of keeping us listeners informed about information on Scottish details and the character development. The sound effects of the fingers snap, footsteps, seagulls, howling wind, ocean waves, water splashing in the sink, doors, pouring water into the tea cups, birds chirping, car engine and door, and tapping the rotary phone worked well for this story. The music was great. Not only it had horror tunes, but also had romantic tunes that brought passion, yet sinister feels in every turn. But my favorite thing in this episode, was the cast: Jada Rowland (as Mary Ellen McKay Tilson), Nick Pryor (as Michael Tilson), Bryna Raeburn (as Aunt Jeannie McKay), and Ian Martin (as Dr. Percy Ferguson). Both Bryana Raeburn & Ian Martin were terrific for playing their roles in Scottish accents. Nick Pryor was fitted to play the caring and concerned bridegroom. But major props to Jada Rowland. Not just because she's my favorite actress on CBSRMT, but also because of the way she portrayed her character; a young woman very much in love, who gets frightened by an unknown force with a raspy voice who has changed her life forever and she ends up taking matters into her own hands. All fans of Jada Rowland should tune in to this because this was her was 1st episode to perform on CBSRMT. Also, this has classic commercials of Kellogg's Special K cereal, Suburban Savings, Shop Right, Budweiser, and time slots for the shows Barry Barber & Jean Shepard. Until next time…pleasant dreams. =0)


He says, "Holy Maloney" in this clip. He mentions my surname. However, it was a rip off of Rosemary's baby.


It is interesting to see just how many of these early CBSRMT episodes feature engaged couples or newlyweds. Is it that the writers all thought that that heightens the terror...or was the person who approved the scripts just working through some personal issues of his/her own at the time?


Everyone else has reviewed it about in line with my own opinion about it. There are definitely far better episodes of this fine series, but I think it's an enjoyable episode, as most of them are (some of them are pretty mediocre but only a few strike me as bad enough to be unlistenable/unenjoyable). This one is, as everyone has already mentioned, fairly underwhelming, not terribly logical, and definitely derivative of the then-current Satanic panic assailing entertainment, especially Rosemary's Baby and its brood (no pun intended). But it's not bad, just pedestrian, and fun enough if you're just indulging in a little nostalgia for the era. I must say I also got a kick out of the technical issues with the affiliate station crossover giving that disorienting delay/echo doubling effect of the news headlines at the start of the recording. Those difficulties lead to a few minutes of easy listening/muzak which I have always enjoyed as well, so kind of a bonus for me. :) I just really dig vintage radio airchecks and off-air recordings, with ads, glitches and 'dated' material intact and on full display. It takes me back to a happier time.

Mike C

Creepy and tragic. Worth listening to. I echo a few of the above comments about just one more reason to avoid seance. :) Listen to it in the evening or if the sky is overcast. It adds to the ambiance.

Mr. Ore

Jada Rowland was terrific 👍 in this story.

Gemini lady Jackson

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