"The Vanishing Lady" is an old urban legend about an international conspiracy at a World's Fair. It is also known as "The Vanishing Hotel Room."
The setting is the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. In this urban legend, an Englishwoman and her daughter stop in Paris on their way from India to England. The mother becomes ill shortly after they arrive and the hotel doctor sends the daughter out for medicine. When she returns, her mother has vanished!
Escape dramatized this Victorian horror legend with only a few changes. Their version is taken from the story published by author/critic Alexander Woollcott in his book While Rome Burns in 1934. Woollcott was himself a bit of a horror legend for dying onstage during a radio show, but he is best remembered as the inspiration for the character of Sheridan Whiteside from the play and movie The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942).
In the urban legend the daughter goes insane as a result of the conspiracy and ends up in a British mental hospital, but Escape's version has an odd ending that leaves you wondering what happens next.
Suspense only presented the original legend of "The Vanishing Lady" once. They recycled the same radio-play that Escape had used in 1948 but shortened it considerably. Instead of playing the story out, the announcer talks us through the history of the legend. Alexander Woollcott's thoughts on the subject are also discussed. The radio-play was based on Woolcott's 1934 short story and adapted for Suspense by William N. Robson. On the whole, Escape's was the better presentation.