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The Haunted House

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Barney Fife and Gomer looking for the lost baseball in The Haunted House - The Andy Griffith Show season 4
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Barney is sent into a reputed haunted house to retrieve Opie’s baseball. There, he sees things that make even the skeptical Andy wonder if there really are ghosts.  Until Andy discovers who’s really doing the haunting. Original airdate: 10/07/1963 

The Haunted HouseThe Andy Griffith Show season 4

The Haunted House is a cute, funny episode of The Andy Griffith Show.

Otis Campbell: [Sees Barney with a jump rope] You’re not gonna string me up for a little drinkin’, are ya? That ain’t right.

After Opie and his friends lose their baseball inside the “haunted” Rimshaw house, they’re scared off by mysterious things. Later, Barney’s sent to retrieve it. It’s a funny scene, that I frankly think was the inspiration for Don Knott’s film, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. There are some “ghostly” shenanigans that send him heading back to the court house at top speed! And town drunk Otis, warns anyone of going there, after the late Mr. Rimshaw decapitated someone with an axe …

Barney Fife: All I’m saying is that there are some things beyond the ken of mortal man that shouldn’t be tampered with. We don’t know everything, Andy. There’s plenty goin’ on right now in the Twilight Zone that we don’t know anything about and I think we oughta stay clear.

In the haunted house

Gomer Pyle: [looking at a picture of Old Man Rimshaw] Ain’t he the one who put chains on his hired man and then done away with him?
Barney Fife: With an axe.
Gomer Pyle: An axe? Shazam…

But, Sheriff Andy decides that they need to investigate. With Gomer, they all go in. And they all get frightened, including Andy. They seemingly all leave, but Andy lingers behind.

Barney to the rescue

In a fine moment demonstrating Barney’s loyalty, the still-frightened Barney decides to go back inside, by himself, for his friend’s sake. The audience sees that Barney’s earlier suggestion, that there could be vagrants inside, is partly right. But it’s a moonshiner instead …. Who’s in league with Otis! But then, they’re frightened off by the same ghostly manifestations. Which, of course, turn out to be Sheriff Andy, who’s discovered their scheme for keeping people away from their still.


The finale is very funny, as a government man comes by to congratulate Andy on capturing the dangerous moonshiner. Andy invites the man inside, to meet his “brave” partners …. Who are playing jump rope!

Cast of characters

  • Andy Griffith (A Face in the Crowd, Matlock) … Andy Taylor
  • Ron Howard (The Music Man, Village of the Giants) … Opie Taylor
  • Don Knotts (The Incredible Mr. Limpet, The Apple Dumpling Gang) … Barney Fife
  • Hal Smith (Million Dollar Duck, Adventures in Odyssey) … Otis Campbell. The town drunk, who knows about the still. And, he’s spreading false rumors about the late Mr. Rimshaw. To keep his steady supply of moonshine.
  • Ronnie Dapo … Arnold Winkler. Opie’s friend.
  • Nestor Paiva (Creature from the Black Lagoon) … Big Jack Anderson. The criminal, who’s using the “haunted” Rimshaw place as the perfect hiding place for his still.
  • James Seay (Phantom from Space) … Agent Bowton. The agent who comes by at the end to congratulate Mayberry’s finest. Jump rope?
  • Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle: USMC) … Gomer Pyle

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