Your guide to the spookiest Western episodes
We're scared saddle-less over these episodes!
There's ghosts in them thar saloons!
Just when you thought it was safe to tie up your horse for a refreshing sarsaparilla...
We're taking all your favorite classic TV Westerns and shakin' them upside down until their scariest episodes fall out of their chaps.
Fear not though (or maybe just a little bit), for we're here to provide you with a handy-dandy guide to the most haunted episodes in the wild, wild West!
So, take a read, and make sure to tune in. It'll leave you shakin' in your boots, partner!
1. Wild Wild West - "Night of the Man-Eating House"
The dudes from Wild Wild West transport a treasonous old man to the hospital. He's spent 30 years in solitary confinement! They get weary on their journey, and looking for somewhere to stay the night, come across a haunted old mansion. What could possibly go wrong? Well, plenty, as West and Gordon find out why it's called "The Man-Eating House"
2. Wagon Train - "Little Girl Lost"
Everybody gather 'round the campfire for a good old-fashioned ghost story. This one concerns a mysterious little girl who shows up every night, crying. But, all may not be what it seems. Everyone can hear her, but only Charlie can see her. Is she a ghost from the infamous Donner Party? Tune in to find out!
3. The Big Valley - "A Noose is Waiting"
As if the episode's title wasn't scary enough, the story is pretty darn terrifying, too! The Barkleys are in some serious danger in this one when a strange doctor rolls into town. As our favorite family welcomes this newcomer, they're unaware that he's actually a crazed killer on the loose. Uh-oh! Look out Barbara Stanwyck!
4. Gunsmoke - "Legal Revenge"
Jeez, Cloris Leachman sure is scary! That's because Doc catches her in a web of lies when he rides out to her. Leachman plays the incredibly named Flory Tibbs, who lies and says her husband is out in town. Doc hears a man call out and finds Mr. Tibbs (no, not the In the Heat of the Night one) hiding inside with a busted leg. But the story changes again when Marshall Matt Dillon rides to the site. Creepy!
5. Gunsmoke - "Night Incident"
Two Gunsmoke episodes? The show kept the creepies comin' with "Night Incident." Nobody believes Little Timmy Wyatt when he comes to Marshall Dillon saying he overheard a series of bizarre murders. However, because Dillon is such a good lawman, he decides to investigate anyway. What he learns may shock and disturb!
6. Bonanza - "Dark Star"
Cool your jets, Deadheads, this one isn't about the Jerry Garcia composition. Instead, "Dark Star" is a season one episode of Bonanza that sees Little Joe encountering a gypsy woman who's been ousted from her community. But, wait! Is she a witch?! Be careful Little Joe, or the whole Cartwright clan could end up hexed!
7. Rawhide - "Incident of the Murder Steer"
Nope, it's not a PETA campaign. This is a real episode of Rawhide. It could've been called "Booovine," cause that's one creepy cattle! Is it a terrible omen, or did the bull do it himself? "Steer" clear of the MOO-udder (read: murder) with this one!
8. Have Gun, Will Travel - "No Visitors"
Our main man Paladin is at the center of a moral dilemma in this one. Will his egalitarian views somehow convince the utilitarian prairie town that a mother and child are worth saving? The townspeople have condemned the outsiders to death, scared to let typhoid into their village. It's a witch-hunt metaphor in this first season episode!
9. Wanted Dead or Alive - "Witch Woman"
Speaking of witches, this one's a little spin on the classic tropes. This time, Josh (Steve McQueen) is protecting a couple from a woman that everybody knows is a witch. It's a reverse witch-hunt, as Josh does his best to protect the expecting parents from La Curandera!
10. The Rifleman - "Face of Yesterday"
In this episode, it's not a haunted house (or haunted horse), but a haunted man as Lucas McCain recounts a tale that has tormented him since the Civil War. Lucas is called out by a young man who is the spitting image of a Confederate soldier Lucas killed during his time in the army. The ghosts of the past bedevil North Fork in "Face of Yesterday!"
11. Rifleman - "Hostages to Fortune"
Here's a classic TV rarity: A Western that's actually a straight-up bona fide Halloween episode. Mark McCain and his posse of pals don masks to do pranks. But, wait! A band of ruffians sport similar get ups in order to cause more than mischief, knowing the boys will be blamed. It's a case of mistaken identity in "Hostages to Fortune!"