Suspense's "The Sin Eater" is a creepy episode about city people and hillbillies. The story is centered upon the Welsh custom of sin-eating, but it takes place in an unspecified, remote part of the Appalachian Region. Sin-eating involves ritual drinking of ale and eating bread to absorb the sins of a deceased person. Welsh/English immigrants brought the ancient custom to Appalachia in the 18th century.
The story begins near a town named Pierre, in the home of the last of the local sin-eaters. Although the old man is on his deathbed and in agony, he has resisted succumbing to death because there is no one to eat his sins. The mother tells her husband and son to fetch someone who can perform the ritual so grandpa can die in peace.
They soon find someone. Mr. Reed, a specialist in folk music/ballads, and his young wife are driving through the area hoping to find undiscovered songs from the region. A policeman stops them to give them a warning about driving through this isolated, dangerous area. He suggests they drive through to Pierre as quickly as possibly, but they don't listen. Instead, the father and son, who overheard the conversation with the officer, lure the couple back to their house on the pretense of hearing local folk ballads.
"The Sin Eater" was written for Suspense by Bob Corcoran. It starred Jim Boles, Herbert Duncan, Ethel Everett, Ivor Francis, Rita Lloyd, Doug Parkhurst and Guy Repp. This episode was produced and directed by Fred Hendrickson and aired on July 8, 1962.