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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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

Hostile takeover literally
14 September 2017 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

We never really get a good explanation as to why the spirit of a gangster recently rubbed out is trying to take over the body of a prominent symphony conductor. Still that is what Darren McGavin is dealing with in this episode.

We don't even get one from Madelyn Rhue playing a gypsy fortune teller and we do know gypsies are the experts here. We do know they do it in your sleep and like on the Highlander can't do their thing on sacred grounds.

I had a lot of trouble following this one, it's not as good as other Kolchak episodes.

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