Luther Heggs aspires to being a reporter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He gets his big break when the editor asks him to spend the night at the Simmons mansion ...
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Luther Heggs aspires to being a reporter for his small town newspaper, the Rachel Courier Express. He gets his big break when the editor asks him to spend the night at the Simmons mansion that, 20 years before, was the site of a now famous murder-suicide. The case has aroused local interest not only because of the anniversary but due to the fact that the family heir, Nick Simmons, has returned to Rachel aiming to tear the mansion down. Luther's account of his wild, ghost-ridden night in the house leads Simmons to sue for libel, but with the aid of his friend Kelsey they determine what exactly happened that night long ago and the identity of the real killer. Written by
Don Knotts became a household name and Academy Award Winner for his creation of the blustery, cocky and nervous Deputy Sheriff Bernard P. Fife. In one episode in particular of The Andy Griffith Show, Knotts was in top form as Fife went into a haunted house. His nervous shaking and twitching in that episode almost surely led to this movie being made. Playing a type-setter at a local newspaper, he gets his chance to be a reporter when his editor elects him to spend a night in the local reputedly haunted murder house. Scared silly by what he sees there, he writes his article and becomes the local celebrity and a hero to the local ladies paranormal society in one of the movie's funniest running gags. The article, however, gets him into trouble as the house's owner sues for fraud and libel. The house, though, looks like every stereotype of what a haunted house is supposed to look like as it sticks out like a sore thumb in the otherwise prim and proper neighborhood. The back story of the murders is a bit contrived, as is it's "solution." The "hauntings" aren't very scary, but then this was meant to be a family picture. Killing the ghost story almost completely leaves me to suspect that the creators don't believe in ghosts, or didn't want to go out on a branch to suggest they do. Otherwise, this is a very good and enjoyable family picture and among one of my favorites.
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