Escape — The Grove of Ashtaroth

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For the second week in a row we turn to Escape for our weekly Old Time Radio episode. “The Grove of Ashtaroth” aired on February 29, 1948 and comes from the John Buchan novelette first published in the June 1910 issue of Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine. Buchan (1875-1940) aside from being the 15th Governor General of Canada from 1935-40, is perhaps most well known for his novel The Thirty-Nine Steps, which Alfred Hitchcock made into the classic 1935 b&w film.

“The Grove of Ashtaroth” concerns two explorers in deepest Africa who stumble upon a hidden grove of unimagined beauty. One leaves while the other succombs to the charms of this lovely oasis. Several years follow until the traveler who left his friend returns, only to discover his friend in sorrowful straits, both physical and mental. Tales from a friendly native tribe reveal that the grove is cursed and it is up to the returning explorer to extricate his friend and destroy the beautiful and seductive “Grove of Ashtaroth.” So what exactly still survives in and haunts this secret place, what is its dark history, and how does our hero break the spell and save his friend? You are about to find out…should you possess the courage to click the little green button below.

Play Time: 29:30

{After listening to the horror of “The Grove of Ashtaroth” readers old and young alike could sate their thirst for even more vivid and exciting adventures with some of their favorite reading in early 1948.}

[Left: Amazing, February 1948 – Center: Planet Stories, Spring 1948 – Right: Weird Tales, March 1948]