‘The Waltons’ Star Judy Norton Reveals Details About One of the Show’s Spookiest Episodes

by Keeli Parkey
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Halloween is only days away. That means it is a perfect time to watch some of the scariest episodes of your favorite shows. And, according to one of the stars of “The Waltons,” an episode from the second season of the show is perfect spooky viewing.

That star is Judy Norton. She played Mary Ellen – the oldest of the Walton daughters – in the beloved family drama. The now 63-year-old actress talked about this spooky episode of the series during a recent installment of her YouTube series, “Behind the Scenes of ‘The Waltons.'”

This spooky episode is titled “The Ghost Story.” According to Norton, this episode was written by Nigel McKeand. The director of this episode is someone who is very familiar to fans of the show – Ralph Waite. He, of course, played John Walton.

This episode of “The Waltons” is quite different from a typical episode of the series. It also puts the family member in a situation that is very unusual.

“This episode is a little darker and a little creepier,” Judy Norton explained. “It all centers around, basically, a Ouija board. They call it a spirit board. And when the Waltons end up bringing home this spirit board, they go down a very dark, interesting, and questionable path in terms of what they’re – what they believe in, how superstitious they are, whether or not it’s possible to stay in contact with people who have passed on. So, it raises all those questions. But it is an apt Halloween special for us.”

The spirit board that is at the center of this episode came to the Waltons’ home thanks to shopkeeper Ike. He insisted that John Boy take it home with him in order to keep the Baldwin sisters from coming into his store to use it. Once the board arrived at their home, the Walton children asked it questions.

One Star of ‘The Waltons’ Directed the Show’s Halloween Special

One thing about this episode of “The Waltons” that stands out to Judy Norton is Ralph Waite’s work as a director.

“I could really feel Ralph’s hand in this episode. He really liked to create realistic settings and have real life happening,” Norton also shared. “So early on at this dinner table scene, he has created a circumstance where multiple conversations are going on.”

The dinner scene in this episode also stands out to Norton because of the camera angle Waite chose to use. In this case, Waite decided that watching the family have dinner from outside the kitchen window was the shot he wanted.

“So, he did some really interesting camera choices within this episode, and this was one of them,” Judy Norton also shared.

There is another shot from this episode that is memorable for the Mary Ellen actress thanks to Ralph Waite’s skill as a director. This scene took place in the barn and showed the children using the spirit board.

“(Ralph) chose to shoot (this scene) from above,” Judy Norton also said. “This reminded me of the shot in ‘The Homecoming’ when we were in the barn and we were cracking walnuts for mama’s applesauce cake and the camera shot the circle of the children from above.”

You can watch Judy Norton talk about “The Ghost Story” episode of “The Waltons” below.

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