5 eerie episodes of The Waltons that are not like the rest

Yes, even the Waltons had a poltergeist.

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The Waltons is wholesome family entertainment, known for its generational drama and American values. After all, the most familiar catchphrase from the series is "Good night, John-Boy."

That being said, The Waltons is also a product of the 1970s, a decade that gave us The Exorcist and Stephen King. The horror genre dominated pop culture that decade. Remember, scary flicks like The Night Stalker, When Michael Calls, Bad Ronald and Trilogy of Terror were made-for-TV movies shown on networks. ABC aired a film called Satan's School for Girls featuring two soon-to-be Charlie's Angels.

Fans of the genre and those nostalgic for moody '70s stories will find some gems scattered about in the nine seasons of The Waltons. Watch the video above for proof. Ghosts, nightmares, fires, Ouija boards… look for the following on The Waltons.

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1. "The Fire"


Season 1, episode 16

Series creator Earl Hamner did not wait long to write his first dark script. This early tale centers around religious fanatics who threaten the school over its teaching of evolution. "My pa says if you go on teaching it, you're going to burn in the fires of hell," a girl threatens the teacher. Sure enough, an arsonist hits the schoolhouse.

2. "The Ghost Story"


Season 2, Episode 22

John-Boy receives a "spirit board" — essentially a Ouija board. Meanwhile, the Waltons have taken in a boy named Luke, who recently lost his mother. The kids then try to commune with the dead, as a message comes back: "Luke… must not…" Spooky!

3. "The Ferris Wheel"


Season 5, Episode 15

Two of the most sinister stories center around little Elizabeth. In this one, the young redhead keeps having recurring nightmares in which she falls from the top of a shadowy carnival Ferris wheel. She plummets to the ground — only to wake up in the real world, having fallen, as well. The director, who also helmed the classic Star Trek episode "Charlie X," filmed the nightmare scenes at psychedelic angles, added to the unsettling mood.

4. "The Changeling"


Season 7, Episode 6

Elizabeth again. This time, the Waltons girl is turning 13, which is giving her anxiety. Is what's causing the strange happenings around the house — or is there a poltergeist? The piano plays itself, a vase floats off the mantel, and — eeriest yet — her Raggedy-Ann doll creeps towards her bed. Ah!

5. "The Whirlwind" / "The Tempest"


Season 9, Episodes 9 & 10

These back-to-back episodes, late in the series, tell one story. Mary Ellen believes that her husband died at Pearl Harbor, in the prior season. Just as she is ready to move on, she learns of a doppelganger for her ex-husband living in Florida. Mary Ellen heads south to confront the man, who feigns amnesia. He finally fesses and admits he is, indeed, her former lover. But what's quite strange is that The Waltons recast the part with a different actor. So it's her old husband — but a totally different guy!

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Randall 52 months ago
There was an episode showing John Walton the father being the draft warden for Walton's mountain we also learn that his brother Ben was killed during the first world war this episode showed the reluctance and fear of going into a second world war This to my Knowledge was the only show or movie of any kind that mentioned this whenever we see something about WW 2 it seems as if we all just jumped all in it was nice to see a more real showing of the sacrifice that the greatest generation and there families were going to make for the world we tend to gloss over history some times and that is not fair to us or that generation love the Waltons!!!
Jdsmom 53 months ago
What about the war vet who paints Erin with no.eyes!?
Tammy 53 months ago
The ghost story love that one ! and the other eerie ones like The Changeling... I wish The Grandparents would have been in that one lol
cookiegirl1957 Tammy 37 months ago
why is that funny?
Tammy cookiegirl1957 37 months ago
The "lol" is more for myself saying/wishing it .
Christinerobertson25 Tammy 13 months ago
The "Ghost Story" episode is one my favorites of the Waltons too !
JeffBaker 53 months ago
"The Changeling" was one of a very few episodes of the show I saw first-run; I loved it!
Stoney 53 months ago
Earl Hamner Jr. also wrote some episodes of "The Twilight Zone," so I guess he wasn't a complete stranger to the eerie.
OldTVfanatic Stoney 51 months ago
He sure wasn’t. My favorite TZ he wrote was also immortalized by Rush in their song “The Twilight Zone” called Stopover In a Quiet Town: “You wake up lost in an empty town/Wondering why no one else is around. Look up to see a giant boy/Just become his brand new toy.”
KathyMcKinny OldTVfanatic 37 months ago
It was a giant girl giggling that she had a new toy, not a boy.
OldTVfanatic KathyMcKinny 32 months ago
I guess Neil Peart forgot that when he wrote the lyrics.
Lantern 53 months ago
I was in jr. high when The Waltons was on in the 70's, and there was a boy in my class named John Walton. Of course we all called him John-Boy. He didn't seem to mind though.
Utzaake Lantern 53 months ago
There's also a John Walton who's one of the exceedingly few players to have appeared in the WFL, NFL and USFL.
cperrynaples 53 months ago
Anyone who saw Hamner's TZ episodes should not be surprised by these entries! After all, he did write "Jessbelle", a story about a love-obsessed witch which could have been a Waltons episode!
Coraline 53 months ago
"religious fanatics"

There was ONE, the girl's (Lois May) father who was also the 'arsonist'!

RedjacArbez Coraline 37 months ago
There were TWO......father and daughter.
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