One of the most beloved and humorous episodes of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW is 'The Haunted House' which aired in October 1963 during season 4 of the popular series. Opie Taylor's baseball accidentally goes through the window of an abandoned home that is known as the Rimshaw House. This property was once owned by a local man, now deceased, who is referred to as "Old Man Rimshaw." Legend indicates that he chained up his 'ired man" and hacked him with an ax.
It is implied that this house sits on the outskirts of town but the Rimshaw home actually is located to the right of the Taylor house. A lot of shrubbery and foliage was applied to the exterior of the home in order to disguise it. When you look at the image below you can see Andy's garage is to the left of this house that was also used as the homes of Mrs. Wiley and Mayor Roy Stoner. A lot of improvising was done on this set to give the appearance of Mayberry being a traditional hometown.
In "The Haunted House" a moonshiner by the name of Big Jack Anderson has secretly set up his bootlegging operation in the basement of the Rimshaw home. He along with town drunk Otis Cambell uses the legend of the house being "haunted" to their advantage to keep their still a secret. When Opie and his friend try to retrieve the baseball they hear ghostly sounds coming from the house and run to the sheriff's office. Otis who is just about to be released from jail perpetuates the legend of the haunted house with a floating ax.
The exterior of the Rimshaw home was featured as belonging to Aunt Pittypat in Atlanta in the 1939 classic movie GONE WITH THE WIND. A number of the buildings and scenery that make up the community of 'Mayberry' were first used in GWTW. Both were filmed on the RKO 40 Acres lot in Culver City California where the props were used as the exterior for a number of films.
In 'The Haunted House" Andy, Gomer, and Barney go to the Rimshaw place and after initially being frightened figure out that moonshiners were using the place and that there were no ghosts. There is a photo of old man Rimshaw where the moonshiners place their own eyes in the slots and it looks as if people are being followed. Andy actually scares Otis and Big Jack who believe the home really is haunted and run for their lives. This is because Andy laced his eyes in the slots in the portrait and the drunks thin Rimshaw is watching. The sheriff also rigged an ax to appear to be floating and frightened the two men and later did the same to Barney.
This particular episode of THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW and the events that took place inside the alleged haunted house led to Don Knotts, (Barney) starring as Luther in the movie THE GHOST AND MR. CHICKEN. Although a different house was used for the movie, the interior as well as what went on inside were based on the Rimshaw house. 13 actors who had roles on the television series were also in the film. Some of them did not appear on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW until after the movie.
Here is a listing of the actors that should be most recognizable to Mayberry fans. Hal Smith who portrayed town drunk Otis played a similar character Calver Weems in the movie. Hope Summers, (Clara Edwards) was Susanna Blush, Burt Mustin, (Judd/ Jubal) was Mr. Deligondo, and Rita Shaw, (Eleanora Poultice) was in an uncredited role. Cliff Norton who appeared once as Wally the garage owner on THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW was the Ballif in the movie and Ellen Corby, (Grandma from THE WALTONS0 was one of the townspeople. In Mayberry, she was the woman who sold Barney the clunker car.
The man who was Luther's lawyer was Robert Corntwaite who portrayed Mr. Somerset, the state investigator, in "Dogs, Dogs, Dogs." Charles Lane was another lawyer in the film and ON THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW he was Mr. Frisby a farmer who had a still in his henhouse. One of the funniest movies of all time gave roles to many character actors of the day and it all came about because of the Rimshaw house.
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Cheryl is a poet, freelance writer, published author and former Newspaper columnist. She has degrees in Psycology and Biblical studies. She enjoys sharing natural cures, and Nostalgia related info. Tips are greatly appreciated.