31 Days of Halloween-Day 14: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

Even the most hardcore horror fan needs a break from the intense, non-stop month of mayhem that October can be. It also helps to lighten things up for those friends of ours who may not appreciate a good horror movie. So, enter The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, the 1966 Universal Pictures classic starring the legendary Don Knotts as aspiring news hound Luther Heggs. Set in the mythical small Kansas town of Rachel, the movie is complete with the local haunted Simmons house that was the site of murder/suicide. Now, on the 20th anniversary of the crime, the nephew is back in town with hopes of finally acquiring the house and tearing it down. After being a witness to what he thought was a sure fire story on “murder and mayhem”, the easily scared Luther is coaxed into spending a night in the house only to hear all the spooky sounds one would expect, including a bloody organ and bleeding photograph. Don’t worry, the movie is not graphic but is, instead, hilarious. Made a year after Knotts left his role of Deputy Barney Fife on TV’s The Andy Griffith Show, he is clearly still channeling all the funny expressions and mannerisms that made him a TV legend. In fact, the original idea was an expansion of an early episode of The Andy Griffith Show. Joan Staley played Luther’s’ love interest Alma Parker. The rest of the cast is made up of familiar character actors including Dick Sargent (the second Darren on Bewitched), Skip Homier (the leader of the space hippies on the Star Trek episode The Way to Eden), and even Hal Smith (Otis the drunk from Andy Griffith). With a fun soundtrack and running gags (“That a boy Luther”), I guarantee you will have a fun time with this one. As a child, I instantly fell in love with this movie and now it’s easily found on DVD for annual viewings.

One thought on “31 Days of Halloween-Day 14: The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966)

  1. Pingback: Time To Lighten Up With Don Knotts in How To Frame A Figg (1971) « Monster Movie Kid

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