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The Wild Wild West: The Night of the Returning Dead

Jim and Artie are called in to help a rancher who it turns out is being haunted by the ghost of a Confederate colonel. The key to the hauntings lie with a stable boy, Jeremiah, who has a strange ability to control animals.

Episode Info  

Episode number: 2x5
Production Number: 3224-0305
Airdate: Friday October 14th, 1966

Director: Richard Donner
Writer: John Kneubuhl

Special Guest Stars
Sammy Davis, Jr.Sammy Davis, Jr.
As Jeremiah

Guest Stars
Peter LawfordPeter Lawford
As Carl Jackson
Hazel CourtHazel Court
As Elizabeth Carter
Ken LynchKen Lynch
As Tom Kellogg

Co-Guest Stars
Alan BaxterAlan Baxter
As Ned Briggs
Frank WilcoxFrank Wilcox
As Bill Mott

Whitey HughesWhitey Hughes
As Thug in Alley
Main Cast
Robert ConradRobert Conrad
As James T. West
Ross Martin (1)Ross Martin (1)
As Artemus Gordon


Jim rides up to the mouth of a cave near Mill’s Creek, draws his gun, and goes inside. Artie is waiting with rancher Carl Jackson and Sheriff Ned Briggs. Jackson insists that if they want to see the horseman, the cave is the best place to be. Briggs reminds them that it has shown up for the last three weeks, and Jackson’s stable boy Jeremiah has seen it. Jackson is skeptical of Jeremiah’s claim, noting that he believes in spirits. When Jim wonders why Jeremiah comes to the cave at night, Jackson says that he goes there to be alone and plays the flute. Artie asks if Jeremiah might be waiting for the horseman, but Jackson doesn’t know why the stable boy would do that...

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Episode Notes
Corner Slides
Upper Left: Jackson reads the hatband saying "Col. Beaumont Carson."
Lower Right: Jackson clutching his gun while Mott informs him that he has to kill his fiancée.
Lower Left: Jackson looking down from the stairs as the others take away Jim and Artie.
Upper Right: Jeremiah rides off, looking for his place in the world.

ArtistSong TitlePlayed When
(Unknown artist)No More Auction BlockJeremiah singing in the smokehouse

Episode Quotes
Elizabeth Carter: You know, Jeremiah, sometimes I think they really understand what you say to them. You're quite wonderful.
Jeremiah: Well, life speaks to life, Miss Elizabeth, and all life is one. You know, when I go into the hills at night and I play my music, my brother the coyote answers me and tells me of his yellow day. And in the cool of evening my sister the mockingbird sings, tells me of her joy of being alive. And in the first heat of the morning, my brother the lizard tells me of his...

James: Artie?
Artemus: Hmmm?
James: Can you play one of these things?
Artemus: It's a musical instrument, isn't it? Of course.

Jeremiah: The dead only walk to seek out evil, Mr. Jackson... and I have done no evil.

Artemus: I want to know what happened to the Barbados accent. The voodoo, the witchcraft, the whole act.
Jeremiah: Well, don't you think that would be putting it on a little thick, huh?
Artemus: You can't do a Barbados accent.
Jeremiah: Now wait a minute, Artie, I didn't say I can't do a Barbados accent. I can do any accent in any voice.
Artemus: Ah...
Jeremiah: I can do your voice. (as Artie) "I want to know what happened to the Barbados accent. The voodoo, the witchcraft, the whole act." Or Jim's. (as Jim) "You got in a few good licks of your own."
Artemus: You know, that smokehouse has improved him. Smoked ham.

(after Artie jokingly lets Jim handle the brawling)
James: What happened to you?
Artemus: Fighting on the Sabbath? Never on Sunday.

Artemus: Oh, I remember this recipe now--powdered potpourri surprise. Specialite de la maison of the hotel desperation, right?

James: Where are you headed for now, Jeremiah?
Jeremiah: Home.
Artemus: Where's that?
Jeremiah: I don't know yet.
James: Why don't you come to Washington and work with us?
Jeremiah: Thanks, but no, Jim. I... well a man's got to look until he finds his place. And I'm still looking.

Episode Goofs
When he first meets Jeremiah, Jim says that "last night someone threw a knife at me." However, it was broad daylight when Jim rode up to the cave, and a few minutes later when he and Artie ran out of the cave and saw the night rider.

Elizabeth hears Jeremiah singing in the smokehouse, on or about the same time that Jeremiah is actually out at the caves posing as the night rider.

It's not clear why the Secret Service would be involved in solving Colonel Carson's murder. He's a Confederate officer, so Grant wouldn't have been interested. Investigating murders, even massacres like the one that is described here, isn't within the Secret Service's remit.

When Kellogg and the others enter the cellar, they all come in and turn their backs on Jim and Artie, their prisoners.

When Jim lights the makeshift cannon, there is nothing on top of the pipe. However, in the next shot, one of the bags is now on top of the pipe.

When Jim and Artie take on the three middle-aged businessman, freeze-frame clearly shows that they have been replaced by much younger stuntmen.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorMichael Garrison
Associate ProducerLeonard Katzman
CastingJames Lister (2)
Unit Production ManagerLee H. Katzin
MusicMorton Stevens  |  Harry Geller
Set DecoratorRaymond Molyneaux
Director of PhotographyTed Voigtlander
Art DirectorAlbert Heschong
Film EditorAlan Jaggs
Assistant DirectorMike Moder
Assistant To The ProducerJoe Kirby
Story ConsultantHenry Sharp
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