I came across “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir” the other day on Instant Watch on Netflix and stopped and thought to myself, “when was the last time you saw that movie?” This 1947 movie is really unbelievably romantic. I fell in love with the old sea captain ghost immediately, played by Rex Harrison with unbelievable flair. The lead character played by Gene Tierney was everything you want a heroine to be.
Set in a picturesque and barren part of the English coastline, this movie takes place at the turn-of-the-century. A lonely widow and her daughter move into a captain’s cottage left empty after his death. Every prior occupant has rushed from the premises immediately, but this woman (who used to cower from her in-laws) is not about to let a grumpy possessive ghost scare her from her new nest.
It has all the romantic elements of a great love story with a couple brought together, completely mismatched, and find that they bring out the best in each other. Although they can never be together (her being corporeal and he, well…not), they breeze through the short course of human lifespan to spend an eternity together in their little cottage by the sea.
This is now going onto my list of top ghost stories of all times. I know a lot of people loved “Ghost” (I did not), but if you enjoyed the romance in that one, you’ll certainly love it in this movie. It’s timeless and priceless and I adore it. Every woman should have her own sea captain. He’s a perfect hero.
“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is probably my favorite childhood ghost movie. Probably because it was one my parents actually allowed me to watch and I didn’t have to sneak into my sister’s room and watch it on her tiny black-and-white TV.
This 1966 movie starring Don Knotts is a classic kid-friendly movie. With it’s adorably bouncy music and Don Knotts quivering jaw, it’s a combination made in 1960s/70s heyday of tongue-in-cheek movies starring the same (“The Incredible Mr. Limpit” and “The Reluctant Astronaut”).
Poor Luther is a timid nervous reporter for a tiny town newspaper who stumbles onto a find—the local haunted house. In a typical Scooby-Doo manner, there’s shenanigans doing on in the background, but poor Luther is pulled into what he believes is a seriously angry ghost-fest. Now, he has to spend the night in the house alone! Will he impress the girl and make the town believe it’s haunted or will he run away with his tail between his legs?
Sometimes, horror doesn’t have to be all that serious. Look at “Shaun of the Dead,” or the upcoming movie “Zombieland.” Yeah, this is a childish and fun piece of fluff, but “The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” is also a beloved memory for all of us around in the late 60s/early 70s who cut our teeth on it as we laughed and then hid under the blanket, shivering as much as Don Knotts. If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s worth a fresh re-see. It’ll remind you of much simpler times and a really great comedic actor (RIP).
Honestly, I think both of these are worth a watch before Halloween for the mix of nostalgia, romance, and humor.