Kolchak discovers the murdered spirit of a gangster is incinerating his former enemies, and is trying to take over the body of a music conductor.



(created by) (as Jeff Rice),

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ryder Bond
Sgt. Mayer
Mrs. Markoff
Alice Backes ...
Mrs. Shropell
Lenore Kasdorf ...
Joshua Shelley ...
Carol Veazie ...
Mrs. Sherman
Patricia Estrin ...
Felicia Porter


Kolchak looks into several instances of spontaneous combustion, where the victims were suddenly incinerated as they dozed. He finds that the apparition of a renowned orchestra conductor was spotted at the scenes of the crimes, but the catch is that the conductor isn't dead. With the help of a gypsy, Kolchak learns that a vengeful ghost known as a "doppelganger" is at work, impersonating the conductor in an attempt to take over his life. When Kolchak himself is marked for incineration, he must avoid falling asleep until he can stop the ghost once and for all. Written by acidxian

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Release Date:

8 November 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The position of Ryder Bond's Rolls Royce beside the funeral procession changes from scene to scene. See more »


Carl Kolchak: Now do you know anything about these kinds of things?
Maria: Oh, well, it's a, it's, uh, a malicious and lost spirit of the dead person who's, uh, trying to wear down a living human being and take over his body, someone he envies and... what spirit would envy you?
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Edited into Crackle of Death (1974) See more »

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User Reviews

Rather odd--even for a Kolchak episode!
4 December 2013 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This episode of "Kolchak: The Night Stalker" has a very unusual plot--even for this series. It seems that a man has died and his spirit has left his body and assumed the shape of another--sort of a doppleganger. However, this doppleganger has a nasty habit of making people and things spontaneously combust! And, in the process of investigating, Kolchak ticks off the doppleganger and it's coming to kill him as soon as he falls asleep. How Kolchak rids the world of this evil being is pretty creepy--and amazingly easy...once he digs up a body!

All in all, despite being very unusual, it's a pretty typical style episode of the series. Vincenzo thinks Kolchak is a nut, Kolchak turns out to be right and ultimately he destroys the monster. An unusual but very usual sort of show! No better or worse.

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