Don Knotts in “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken”

October television programming in the 80’s was always fun. The few TV networks that existed (pre-cable of course) would bring out all their Halloween and Horror movie programming and play them round the clock it seemed. I could flip on the tube on a pleasant Sunday afternoon and catch a Vincent Price film, a bizarre oldie from Elvira’s Movie Macabre, or other movie that seemed perfect for the season. One that brings back fond memories is The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starring Don Knotts. This movie came out in 1966, but the networks played it religiously every October in the 80’s…and I watched it every time. Don Knotts stars as Luther Heggs, a newspaper typesetter who is challenged to spend a night in the Simmons mansion, a supposedly haunted house. No one respects him and thinks him a goof. However, Luther demands to be paid attention to, and when he reports strange organ music coming from the old house, he gets laughed at by the local townsfolk. In order to prove what he saw and heard, Luther decides to spend the night in the mansion. But he’s not alone. Will Luther last the night and gain the respect of his town? This movie is great. It is a lighthearted comedy, with enough mystery and creaking doors to get you in a really good mood. And Don Knotts has enough scare scenes to bring out the best of his…what I call Mr. Furley face. Definitely a kid friendly movie that should not be forgotten!

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