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Cheap Thrill: Joan Crawford on The Sixth Sense

Here at Chez Scrubbles we’ve been getting a few jollies from a new channel that popped up on our DirecTV lineup earlier this year — Chiller. Chiller broadcasts lots of heavily edited ’80s vintage fright flicks, but constant repeats of Friday the 13th: The Series, Tales from the Crypt and shows of that ilk form the bread and butter of its programming. My favorites are the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents and Night Gallery, a show that I haven’t seen in ages. I didn’t realize until now that the Night Gallery repeats also include the full run of The Sixth Sense, a short lived paranormal series hosted by blow-dried future talk show host Gary Collins.

Joan Crawford, 1972Which brings me to the episode we saw last night — Dear Joan: We’re Going to Scare You To Death. This one was originally broadcast on September 30, 1972 and wound up providing the final onscreen role for Joan Crawford. In it, she plays a lady who is haunted by images of her daughter’s drowning death. She gets lost and ends up stranded in a house run by Mansonesque hippies who want to use her as a guinea pig for a fatal psychic experiment! Poor Joan spends the whole time trying to escape her captors and having asthma attacks, tentatively breathing from an inhaler as if using a Binaca breath freshener (maybe she didn’t want to smear her lipstick or something). As if that weren’t enough, the whole thing has that migraine-inducing early ’70s look — lots of polyester ensembles, foo-foo furniture and grossly mismatched colors. Joan is a big hoot throughout, but actually she delivers a pretty good performance. There’s also the hilarious coda in which Miss Crawford, out of character, discusses with Gary Collins her own experience with psychic powers. I’m sure other Sixth Sense episodes don’t have the same impact, but what a doozy this one was. Watch out for it!

5 Thoughts on “Cheap Thrill: Joan Crawford on The Sixth Sense

  1. MATT

    I seem to remember this episode…especially Joan puffing and wheezing…once in a while I still still Gary Collins and Mary Anne Mobley on something or other…usually a telethon. I’ll have to see if we get Chiller.

    On another note, I know you like music and I know you like TV…I just posted the 1976 album by “Good Times” kid star Ralph Carter (AKA Michael Evans)…it’s called “Young and In Love” and it’s very good music – extremely high energy disco!! He actually has a great voice and lots of talent. Apparently a couple of cuts off the album were minor hits…and he does a Supremes song AND a Jackie Wilson cover.

    thanks – keep up the great work – KB

    here are the mp3s…

    Ralph Carter – Higher and Higher

    Ralph Carter – Extra Extra (Read All About It)

    Ralph Carter – Love Is Like An Itching In My Heart

    Ralph Carter – When You’re Young and In Love

    Ralph Carter – Love Doesn’t Grow On Trees

    Ralph Carter – Baby It’s True (Cause I Love You

    Ralph Carter – As Long As There’s Love (We’re Gonna Make It

    Ralph Carter – A Song In My Heart

    Ralph Carter – Number One

    Ralph Carter – cover art

    The album is permanently available at my blog – –


  2. i watched this the other day. what a hoot. especially the interview at the end. definitely made my skin crawl… from watching all that polyester.

  3. jason on June 28, 2007 at 7:27 pm said:

    Ralph Carter was SO CUTE back then!!! I loved hearing the songs on the record that you posted, Kurt! Is that the only LP that he made? Is it for sale, or do you know where I can buy a copy? Or photos of him? He was sooooooo cute! Does anyone know if he is gay? I sure wish I could talk to him….I always admired his activism for black people!


  4. jason on June 28, 2007 at 7:33 pm said:

    Oops…I forgot to leave my email address. Please contact me if you have any info on Ralph Carter. Thanks! :)


  5. Thank you so much for putting that Ralph Carter LP up. I heard it once on the radio and I wanted to sample some of it for a song, but I wasn’t able to find it anywhere. Thank you so much.

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