The Mysterious Traveler aired on the Mutual Broadcasting Network for almost nine years (Dec. 5, 1943–Sept. 16, 1952) and, oddly enough, never had a sponsor. It ran the gamut from science-fiction, fantasy, and horror, to mystery and suspense. “The Man the Insects Hated” is an early episode, airing on October 7, 1944. A professor who has turned his home into his laboratory has invented a secret formula that destroys all insects. Through a series of strange circumstances the insects–spiders, wasps, bees, beetles, giant ants…and termites–every imaginable species of insect, converge on his house. Not only must the professor quickly make more of his formula to stave off the swarming threat–the destruction of his home and possibly all who dwell within–but the author has (if you’ll pardon the expression) tossed another fly into the ointment by way of a stranger with plans of his own.
Will the professor ward off the deadly horde of insects before they consume his house and himself? What becomes of the stranger’s evil designs? Did we mention the professor’s loving and faithful wife? Secret formulas, clouds of murderous insects, a loving wife, and a murder plot all inform this tense episode “guaranteed to thrill you a little and chill you a little.”
For more about The Mysterious Traveler‘s radio history–its tremendous popularity amidst the controversy that ultimately removed it from the air, and a brief letter to us from the only remaining author of the series mere weeks before his death, please see our introduction to the show here.
Play Time: 28:07