The Ghost and Mrs Muir

1968 | United States

Somewhere along the picturesque coastline of New England lies Schooner Bay and there could be found a charming little house by the name of Gull Cottage. It would have been an idyllic setting for any of the families that Claymore Gregg tried to rent it out to...except for one drawback: Gull Cottage was haunted. 

The ghost of Captain Daniel Gregg, who had died 100 years before, didn't rest peacefully whilst people inhabited his humble abode, and therefore he set about scaring each one of them off. Until that is, the arrival of freelance writer and attractive widow Carolyn Muir, her two children (Jonathan and Candy-played by Harlen Carraher and Kellie Flanagan), their housekeeper-Martha (Reta Shaw) and dog (Scruffy). When Mrs Muir refuses to leave, the good Captain materialises in front of her, but rather than scare her away it only makes her more determined to stay, until, over a period of time the two became somewhat romantically involved, even though a proper relationship doesn't stand a ghost of a chance. 

The Ghost and Mrs Muir movie
Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison in the original movie.

This popular and fondly remembered sitcom was based on a 1947 movie (of the same title) directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Rex Harrison as the Captain with Gene Tierney as Mrs (Lucy) Muir. The movie was itself based on a novel by R A Dick. One of the highlights of the series was Charles Nelson Reilly's rubber-faced performance as the skipper's idiotic nephew, Claymore. The delicious Hope Lange starred as Mrs Muir and the Captain was played by Edward Mulhare, years before he appeared alongside David Hasselhoff in Knight Rider

Richard Dreyfuss made an early screen appearance in the 1969 episode Buried on Page One, which revealed the truth behind the Captain's tragic death, which was brought about when he kicked a faulty gas heater in his sleep, causing the pilot light to go out. With the windows of the cottage closed because of a storm, he inhaled the gas and died. For 100 years it was thought that he committed suicide, but finally Captain Gregg managed, with a little ghostly magic, to get the story retracted on the front page of the Schooner Bay Beacon.

Published on December 18th, 2018. Written by Laurence Marcus (Additional material Mary Patricia Casey) for Television Heaven.