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The Ghosthunter

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“The Ghosthunter”

S1 E14

Production 44426
Original Airdate: May 26, 1976
Amanda awakens from her paranormal slumber
Produced by
Kenneth Johnson
Written by
Kenneth Johnson
Justin Edgerton
Directed by
Kenneth Johnson
Guest Cast
Guest Star(s)
Paul Shenar as Alan Cory
Kristy McNichol as Amanda Cory
Bo Brundin as Emil Laslo
Merry Loomis as Nurse
Broadcast Order
Season 1
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"Mirror Image" "The Return of Bigfoot (Part II)"

Jaime becomes governess for a girl in the small New England town of Essexville, Massachusetts when the top-secret project the girl's father is working on is disrupted by supernatural forces.




Jaime: Ghosts?
Oscar: You said that, not me. I didn't say "ghosts". I just said "something". Some force; some energy. I don't know what it is. All I know, it's something that's interfering with a very important OSI project.
Jaime: So how do I fit in?
Oscar: You are going to do some bionic snooping, my dear. This force is getting the townspeople upset, and I think Alan Cory knows what's going on, but for some reason, he won't tell me.
Jaime: What makes you think he's going to let me play detective in his house?
Oscar: Because the OSI has supplied him with a new governess for his daughter.
Jaime: What happened to the old governess?
Oscar: She left after the last... uh... "incident".

Jaime: Where is Essexville, anyway?
Oscar: Along the coast of Massachusetts, between Boston and Salem.
Jaime: Salem? (cackling like a witch) Maybe I should just gas up my broomstick, huh?

Alan: Well, it seems that several of Elizabeth's ancestors had, uh, unusual abilities. One of them - Rebecca Putnam - died in jail. She'd been put there for practicing witchcraft.
Jaime: And you attribute, uh, this to witchcraft?
Alan: Well, the superstitious call it that. Parapsychologists call it telekinesis - the ability to move objects with the mind.

(The energy detector is going crazy)
Amanda: It's Mother. I know it's Mother. She's been trying to interfere with Daddy's work; trying to get him to spend more time with me.
Jaime: Amanda, that acid fell on me.
Amanda: Maybe she's jealous because Daddy kissed you goodbye.
Jaime: I don't believe in ghosts. There's got... there's just got to be another explanation for this.

Oscar: Jaime, we've got to leave or we won't stand a ghost of a... (Jaime rolls her eyes) chance to catch that airplane.
Amanda: (gives Oscar the thumbs up) That's the spirit, Mr. Goldman!


  • The voiceover actors in the witch trial scene are uncredited.
  • The skin used on Jaime's bionic feet can withstand being doused in sulfuric acid without apparent damage.
  • The collapsing bridge was first included in the Universal Studios Backlot Tour in 1974. It was also used in Target: Steve Austin. Now it's at Disney World as "catastrophical attraction".
  • According to Johnson's DVD commentary, the opening establishing shots of the bridge were the last filmed for the episode, and for the season.
Real World
  • The supernatural themes of this episode appear to have been inspired by "The Exorcist" ("the scariest movie ever made"). For example, Laslo's silhouetted arrival at the Cory estate resembles the movie cover art, and the bedroom scenes in which the 4-post bed shake uncontrollably appear to have been lifted and re-created from the 1973 cult classic which featured Linda Blair.
  • During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, 20 men and women were executed (19 by hanging), and four died while imprisoned. One man, Giles Corey, was crushed to death with heavy stones. Rebecca Putnam was not one of those killed, but Ann Putnam was one of the first and most voracious accusers.
  • The painting in Jaime's room at the Cory Mansion is labeled "The Trial of Rebecca Putnam". The painting is actually "Trial of George Jacobs, August 5, 1692". The original painting is in the possession of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. For this episode painting, the figure of George Jacobs has been repainted to be the figure of Rebecca Putnam, right lower foreground. The rest of the painting is the same, except not in color. Interestingly, George Jacobs is believed to be buried in the cemetery of the Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Salem, MA.
  • According to The Bionic Book, and Johnson's commentary, Valerie Bertinelli, then co-starring in the sitcom One Day at a Time, was considered for the role of Amanda. According to Johnson she was passed over for coming off as too sexy for the more innocent look required of Amanda.
  • According to Johnson's commentary, the episode was filmed in May 1976.


  • When Jaime helps out by lifting the bookcase and then reshelving the books, as she is leaning down to stack the books, the bottom shelf already has books on it, when she hasn't replaced those yet.
  • The items on the bookshelf move around from shot to shot. Jaime's last item to put on the shelf is a ball, next to a double picture frame. To the left of that is a shelf with just one picture in a frame. Just below the center set of pictures is a partially empty shelf. In the next shot, the ball is next to the single picture, on the left, now with some books also on the shelf, and the first shelf that had the double picture now has books on it. Also, the partially empty shelf now holds the large book that is later revealed to be the Putnam history. The double picture is now one shelf higher, in the middle.
  • When Jaime is talking to Alan Cory, the middle shelf looks empty, yet it is the one with the Putnam history on it that Cory pulls off of the shelf.
  • Later, when Jaime is talking to Emil Laslo, she can be seen standing next to the bookcase again. This time, all of the shelves are just like they were after Jaime put all the items on them.
  • When Jaime leans over Amanda's bed to calm her down and stop her powers running amok, objects are slamming into Jaime's back and she doesn't react in pain.
  • While at the hospital with Laslo, Jaime reads through a book about Poltergeist. However, page 87 of the book details a man named Bill and his thoughts in the early morning hours.



An outtake originates from a scene in which Jaime pulls up in an automobile. In the blooper, the director calls for Lindsay Wagner to turn off the car's radio. Wagner and the director exchange some words about what she's to do when she stops the car. "Action!" is called, but Wagner suddenly finds herself unable to exit the car because she forgot she'd locked it, and the take breaks down in laughter. This outtake was later edited into a gag reel which subsequently found its way onto the Internet and the 2010 DVD release.

Other bloopers included on the DVD include Richard Anderson stumbling over his "ghost of a chance" dialogue, and several takes of Lindsay Wagner trying to get through the scene where she confronts Amanda on her bed.


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