‘The Waltons’: How Judy Norton Feels About That Creepy Poltergeist Episode

by Keeli Parkey

With Halloween only a few days away, it’s a great time to rewatch some of the creepiest episodes of your favorite television series. We suggest that you add an episode of “The Waltons” to your list of spooky viewing.

Now, it might seem a bit odd that we are suggesting an episode of “The Waltons” to watch for Halloween. The show is much more famous for its family-focused storytelling – not anything creepy. However, there is at least one episode that at least one of the show’s stars finds very spooky.

According to MeTV, that star is Judy Norton. She played Mary Ellen, the oldest of the Walton daughters in the beloved drama. The episode that scared the now 63-year-old actress was “The Changeling.” It aired during the show’s seventh season.

So, what happens in “The Changeling” that Norton found creepy? Well, let’s take a brief look at the episode’s synopsis. In it, Elizabeth Walton (Kami Cotler) – the youngest daughter of the family – turned 13 years old. Like most people her age, she finds herself feeling not like a child. But she also doesn’t feel like an adult. She’s worried about her life and under a lot of stress. Things get worse for Elizabeth when it appears that she is being haunted by a poltergeist.

This is definitely not your typical episode of “The Waltons”!

Judy Norton Said There Are ‘Some Pretty Creepy Moments’ in ‘The Changeling’ Episode of ‘The Waltons’

Judy Norton shared her thoughts about this episode of the series on her YouTube channel. The actress frequently posts videos during which she shares information about the making of the series. She titles these videos, “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons.”

“At the time that we filmed it, I don’t know that any of us particularly thought about that,” Norton said about the creepy and supernatural aspects of “The Changeling.”

However, when she watched the episode more recently, Norton found herself to be spooked by it. “I have to say, there were some pretty creepy moments there. … I found myself jump once or twice when I was re-watching the episode,” she also said.

So, does Judy Norton believe in the supernatural? Here’s what she had to say on the matter.

“There are a lot of things that perhaps exist that we can’t prove. … I’ve certainly had some creepy things happen in my life that I didn’t have good explanations for,” Norton shared.

Earl Hamner Jr. was the creative mind behind “The Waltons.” It was his book, “Spencer’s Mountain,” that was the inspiration for the beloved drama. In addition to writing about family, Hamner also enjoyed branching out and writing creepy storylines. In fact, he wrote eight episodes of “The Twilight Zone,” which is one of the creepiest television shows of all time.

You can watch Judy Norton discuss “The Changeling” episode of “The Waltons” below.