Three Skeleton Key – A Lighthouse Play


Three Skeleton Key is a one act play I have never heard about before today. It was written as a short story by George G. Toudouze and was first published in 1937 in English.


This is a short story about three men who operate a lighthouse miles offshore of the South American coast.  They love their job untill one day a strange ship arrives.  Suddenly they are unsure if they will survive to see the next day.


This story is set on a “key” or small island several miles offshore of French Guianna in the early 1900s.  Lighthouse operators whould spend months at a time isolated out on their tiny islands without any contact with the rest of the world.

Radio Drama

This short story was made into a radio drama (back before T.V.) that became very popular because of its compelling plot. – English 9 Enriched 

On the English 9 Enriched page above is an mp3 file of the play.

In the 1950s the play was performed on radio with Vincent Price narrating. I managed to find a three part episode of this on Youtube. Part One is below:

 Part Two:

Part Three: 

Here is a PDF file of the text of the play. (original PDF source)

You can also download an mp3 copy of the 1950s short play starring Vincent Price here, plus other MP3 files.

And finally, on this SSF Audio page is a modern version of the play Three Skeleton Keys.

Another audio version . . .

Enjoy it! I sure did!

Another text version . . .

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