Nisha Rathode (Editor)

The Ghost and Mr Chicken

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
7.8/101 Votes Alchetron
1 Ratings
Rate This

Rate This

Director  Alan Rafkin
Initial DVD release  September 2, 2003
Language  English
7.4/10 IMDb

4.7/5 Amazon

Genre  Comedy, Family, Mystery
Music director  Vic Mizzy
Country  United States
The Ghost and Mr Chicken movie poster
Release date  January 20, 1966 (1966-01-20)
Writer  James Fritzell, Everett Greenbaum
Cast  Don Knotts (Luther Heggs), Joan Staley (Alma Parker), Liam Redmond (Kelsey), Dick Sargent (George Beckett), Skip Homeier (Ollie Weaver), Reta Shaw (Mrs. Halcyon Maxwell)
Similar movies  Poltergeist, Witness for the Prosecution, Crimson Peak, A Time to Kill, Insidious: Chapter 2, Inherit the Wind

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken is a 1966 American comedy-drama film starring Don Knotts as Luther Heggs, a newspaper typesetter who spends a night in a haunted house, which is located in the fictitious community of Rachel, Kansas. The working title was Running Scared. The title is presumably a humorous variation of the film The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947).


The Ghost and Mr Chicken movie scenes

The ghost and mr chicken running scared 1966


The Ghost and Mr Chicken movie scenes

Luther Heggs (Don Knotts) is a typesetter at the Rachel Courier Express (the local newspaper in Rachel, Kansas), but he aspires to be a reporter. One night, observing what he believes to be a murder outside of an old, supposedly haunted house known as the Simmons Mansion, Heggs rushes to the police station with his scoop. Unfortunately, as he relates the details of his story to the Chief of Police, the murder "victim" walks into the room, a local drunk who had merely been knocked unconscious by his irate wife, who had brought him in to be jailed. The next morning, Heggs walks downstairs to the dining room at the Natalie Miller boarding house and overhears Ollie Weaver (Skip Homeier), a full-time reporter at the newspaper, mocking Luther's mistakes of the night before. Ollie is also dating Heggs' eventual love interest, Alma Parker (Joan Staley). According to local lore, the Simmons Mansion was a "murder house" 20 years earlier, when Mr. Simmons murdered his wife (with some unknown sharp instrument that was never located — ultimately revealed to be a pair of gardener's pruning shears), and then jumped to his death from the organ loft. Legend has it that the ghost of Mr. Simmons can still occasionally be heard playing the organ at midnight.

The Ghost and Mr Chicken movie scenes

To increase newspaper sales, Luther is assigned to spend the night in the house on the 20th anniversary of the murder/suicide. At midnight, Heggs sees the old organ begin to play by itself. There are a few other mysterious happenings, including Luther's discovery of a secret staircase to the organ loft, hidden behind a sliding bookshelf, and a pair of gardener's shears in the throat of a painting of Mrs. Simmons. His eerie story gets the town abuzz and causes a delay in the plans of Nicholas Simmons (Philip Ober), nephew of the deceased couple, who intends to demolish the mansion. In retaliation, and to discredit Heggs, Simmons sues both Heggs and the Rachel Courier Express for libel.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken wwwgstaticcomtvthumbdvdboxart4240p4240dv8

In the courtroom, Heggs' credibility is impeached by damaging testimony from his grade school teacher (Ellen Corby) who testifies that Luther was "keyed up" as a child, prone to telling tall tales for attention. Luther's own testimony is twisted by Simmons' attorney, suggesting that Luther concocted the story about his spooky night in the mansion in order to win a job as a full-time reporter. Luther's dramatic denial prompts the judge to order the jury and all interested parties to appear at the Simmons house at just before midnight to allow Heggs to prove his story. But with everyone now inside the mansion, nothing happens, and they conclude that Luther made up the whole story. Everyone leaves the mansion except for Alma, who lingers behind in secret, hoping to find evidence to restore Heggs' reputation.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken The Ghost and Mr Chicken Wikipedia

Outside the mansion, alone and dejected, Luther begins to walk home. However, he hears the old organ playing the creepy music again. Courageously, he re-enters the mansion and discovers his friend, Mr. Kelsey (Liam Redmond), the newspaper's janitor, playing the organ. Kelsey, the former gardener for the Simmons family, confesses to being responsible for the mysterious happenings Heggs witnessed (including playing the organ remotely from an additional "tuning" keyboard located under the pipes). He tells Luther that Herkie, the overzealous police officer and acting security guard, kept him from entering the house earlier to help Luther confirm his story for the judge, jury and interested parties. Upon hearing a scream, they both descend the secret staircase to find Nicholas Simmons holding Alma captive. Kelsey confronts Simmons for killing his aunt and uncle for their fortune and leaving Kelsey's pruning shears behind to frame him (Kelsey had removed them before the police arrived to avoid being implicated in the murder). Nicholas Simmons' planned demolition of the house was an effort to destroy the hidden staircase that would ruin his alibi. Luther rescues Alma by knocking Simmons unconscious with a full body lunge ("made my whole body a weapon") from behind.

The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Black Gate Articles Old Dark House Double Feature VI The Ghost

Nicholas Simmons is arrested and tied to a chair. Kelsey explains the details to the police chief and other persons (who have now returned to the mansion), and the case is closed. Alma takes Luther's hand, grateful for his heroic act in saving her. In the final scene, Heggs marries Alma at a small ceremony. At the end, the wedding's organ music suddenly changes to the spooky organ music of the Simmons' mansion. Everyone turns to see the small organ's keys moving by themselves, hinting that there really is a ghost after all.


The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Amazoncom The Ghost and Mr Chicken Don Knotts Joan Staley Liam
  • Harry Hickox played the Anvil salesman in The Music Man feature film. He is also credited as Harold Hill in the touring production of the stage play version.
  • Home media

    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken The Ghost and Mr Chicken Retroland

    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken was released on VHS on April 30, 1996. Universal released the film on DVD September 2, 2003 and again on January 9, 2007, and on Blu-ray on October 4, 2016.


    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr Chicken The Ghoulie Guide

    On July 12, 2005, Percepto released the soundtrack on Compact Disc. Composer Vic Mizzy used the old tune Mr. Ghost Goes to Town as his main theme. Mizzy's haunted house organ theme also appeared in the film Games (1967).

    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Amazoncom The Ghost and Mr Chicken VHS Don Knotts Joan Staley
    1. Gaseous Globe (Universal logo intro)
    2. Main Title
    3. Luther Has a Scoop
    4. Laugh's on Luther
    5. Bashful One
    6. Kelsey's Tale
    7. Twenty Years Ago
    8. Super S'Luther
    9. Clock Watchers
    10. Oh, Chute
    11. Rickety Tik Phono
    12. Creepy Jeepers
    13. Haunted Organ
    14. Hero to the
    15. Hero's Picnic
    16. Picnic Table
    17. Speech Is Over
    18. Alma Matters
    19. Back to the Mansion
    20. Chick-Napped
    21. Plucky Chicken
    22. Wedding & Finale
    23. When in Southern California, Visit Universal City Studios (promotional tag)


    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken Wikipedia
    The Ghost and Mr. Chicken IMDbThe Ghost and Mr. Chicken Rotten TomatoesThe Ghost and Mr. Chicken Amazon.comThe Ghost and Mr Chicken