Night Gallery – The Phantom Farmhouse (S2E5)

Like the unwatchable Whispers last season, this segment is hard-core 1970s.

At a new-age (well, new in 1970) high-priced sanitarium, Dr. Winter is holding a session outdoors around a large tree which has several colored platforms built around it.  I don’t know how beneficial it is for therapy, but as set design, it is awesome.

Another 1970s relic, David Carradine is strumming a repetitious tune on his guitar. When one of the other patients takes offense, he goes all Pete Townsend and smashes it.  When another patient asks him a simple question, he responds in the third person, “Gideon takes the fifth.”  A more welcome response would have been “Gideon takes a bath.”

He complains to the doctor that his parents are paying $39,000 a year to keep him locked up there.  That’s $228,000 in 2014 dollars; what a rebel.

ngphantonfarmhouse08The sheriff shows up with a note found at the scene of the death of one of Winters’ patients.  Carradine wrote the note which was an introduction to a mysterious Mildred. Carradine claims he and all of the group are in love with her despite never having seen her.  He says that Mildred is a “super-groove”  who lives in a farmhouse in the woods with a picket fence and old-fashioned well.

The dead patient had gone in search of Mildred and ended up torn to shreds.  Winter retraces his path and ends op at the farmhouse despite the fact that the sheriff had said it did not exist; that there were only ruins there.  There is a young blonde woman there dressed in white who offers him a drink from the well.

Back at the sanitarium, Carradine has pulled together several books of lycanthropy, werewolves.  He believes that is what killed the other patient. The sanitarium’s inexplicably beret-wearing French caretaker also believes that werewolves have killed some of their sheep.

ngphantonfarmhouse12Winter goes back to the farmhouse to see Mildred.  Then returns to the sanitarium where he learns another patient has been torn to shreds.

Then returns to the farmhouse.  Then back to the sanitarium.  Honestly, this story could have used some tightening up.

The next day, before sunrise, he returns to the farmhouse.  Mildred had asked that he read a funeral service over three unmarked graves.  He collapses in mid-psalm and is later found by the caretaker.  Where the farmhouse had stood a few moments earlier, there are only ruins.

So he goes back to the sanitarium . . .  presumably still as the doctor.

Sadly, less than the sum of its parts.  The actors are great — Carradine is the typical sanctimonious hippie, but he is perfect in the role.  Mildred was not very well cast, but the others were fine.  It just went on for too long with not much of a payoff.


  • Twilight Zone Legacy: None really, but Bill Quinn was in the TZ Movie.
  • Skipped Segment: Silent Snow Secret Snow.  This is segment is based on the Conrad Aiken story that everyone used to have to read in school.  Oddly, Aiken’s daughter Joan wrote the Marmalade segment of the previous episode.
  • How can lycanthropy not be in spell-check?
  • Kudos on the subtle indication that Mildred is a werewolf:


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