Ep.21 - The Ghost Story

  Original Airdate: February 14, 1974
Writer: Nigel McKeand
Director: Ralph Waite


  "I suppose at one time or another in the course of our lives many of us have experienced an event or occurrence which could not be explained, and at the same time was shrugged off as a co-incidence or a trick of the mind. I remember a series of such events, and even today many years later I still can't help wondering just how much of it was co-incidence. It all started one afternoon in late Fall..."


  The Walton's are watching Luke for Tom Enright who is looking for work in Richmond. He has been watching after his son Luke since Allison his wife passed away 5 years ago. John-Boy stops by Ike's to see if there is a letter from Luke's dad. Inside he finds Ike and the Baldwin sister's consulting a Spirit Board to see whether they should order their Mason jars from Ike at full retail when they can get them elsewhere at wholesale prices. Ike asks John-Boy if he will take the board home as it has been distracting foe his business having it at the store. Ike's dog Charity has had puppies and they are all spoken for except the runt of the litter. Elizabeth asks if she can have it.

  During dinner John-Boy tells Grandpa about the Baldwin's and the spirit board. After dinner the children play with the board but Olivia and Esther are wary of it. Later that night Jason and John-Boy play with it in John-Boy's bedroom. The board spells out Luke's name when they ask it if it has a message for someone. Later Olivia tells how an unexplainable event happened at Luke's birthday a few years ago after his mother has passed away. People at the party said that they felt Allison's presence and could smell violets, her favourite flower. After the party a wild violet was found in the house even though it was the middle of February.

Jason and John-Boy continue to consult the board in secret. It says that Luke should n ot take the train to Richmond. The family gets Luke ready but a series of strange events seem to slow down their progress. Luke's train ticket goes missing as does the framed photograph of his mother. When they finally find the ticket they miss the train after John drives the truck off the road while trying to avoid some object that he believes has run in from of the truck while driving down the road. Later they hear on the radio that train had derailed on it's way to Richmond. They contact Luke's father to say that he is safe and that they will send Luke to Richmond in the morning. Now that he is safe they discover that his Mother's portrait has reappeared on mantle of the fireplace.


  "There are forces in our lives that we can understand and explain, there are others that mystify and confuse us, but who is there to say that the strong bond of love that existed between a mother and her child had to be severed by death. For love is a force that lives, without beginning, without end. It is an energy that brings sustenance and nourishment to the human spirit. Of all endowment, the ability to love is the most enobling and such is it's mystery that the power of love can be felt beyond death, beyond time."

Episode Notes and Interesting Facts:

  • This is Horace Brimley's first appearance on the show.
  • This is the first episode directed by Ralph Waite which explains a few uncharacteristic differences in style of this episode. This episode starts with an unusual scene between 2 locals, Horace and Roswell who are sitting out front of Ike's store.

Additional Cast:


Helen Kleeb (Mamie Baldwin), Mary Jackson (Emily Baldwin), Joe Conley (Ike Godsey), Kristopher Marquis (Luke), Jim Gammon (Roswell), Wilford Brimley (Horace Brimley)

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