My Halloween evening presentation today covers a television series in the mid-1970s, which I watched faithfully and was sorry to see it go.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker was an American television series that aired in 1974. It featured a newspaper reporter, Carl Kolchak, played by Darren McGavin, who investigated crimes with mysterious and unlikely causes that the proper authorities would not accept or pursue. The series with twenty episodes was preceded by two television movies, The Night Stalker (1972) and The Night Strangler (1973).
The series version was set in Chicago and featured Kolchak as a reporter for the Independent News Service (INS). The series also featured Simon Oakland, again appearing as Kolchak's editor; Ron Updyke (Jack Grinnage) as a supercilious rival at INS; and Emily Cowles (Ruth McDevitt) as an elderly advice columnist (and the only character who is sympathetic toward Kolchak). Each week Kolchak investigated murders involving supernatural and science fictional creatures. The series was light-hearted black comedy and placed Kolchak in an office setting with quirky co-workers. Other recurring characters included Monique Marmelstein (Carol Ann Susi) as an intern whose father owned the INS, Gordy "The Ghoul" Spangler (John Fiedler) as a helpful morgue attendant who ran lotteries based on corpse statistics, and Captain "Mad Dog" Siska (Keenan Wynn), a Chicago officer who found his efforts to reign in his temper through group therapy constantly thwarted by Kolchak's abrasive nature. McGavin's wife and behind-the-scenes assistant, Kathie Browne, appeared in the final episode as Lt. Irene Lamont, who found herself forced to deal with Kolchak.
Episode 9 “The Spanish Moss Murders” was aired on December 6, 1974. A dreaming host conjures up the Creole legend of Pelemafair moss monster willing to kill anyone who threatens its survival.
The following are excerpts from this episode.
This last one is close to the ending.
Charles Gramlich began posting about Halloween last week in writing flash fiction stories. His link can be found under "Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Writer Connection" on the sidebar.
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