Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.22 “The Phantom of Herald Square” (dir by James H. Brown)

Tonight, on Circle of Fear, Sheila Larken plays Holly Brown, a young artist who meets and falls madly in love with James Barlow (David Soul).  Unfortunately, this leads to her being harassed by a frightening old man (Victor Jory) and it turns out that James has got a terrible secret of his own.

This melancholy story was the final episode of Circle of Fear, which was cancelled after its first and only season.  This episode makes for a good note for the show to go out on.  It originally aired on March 30th, 1973.

Circle of Fear may be over but Horrorthon continues!  We’ll be back with more televised horror tomorrow!

Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.21 “The Ghost of Potter’s Field” (dir by Don McDougall)

While doing research for a story at Potter’s Field, a reporter (Tab Hunter) sees a stranger who looks much like him.  At first, the reporter thinks that it’s a coincidence but then the reporter starts to run into the stranger everywhere.  His friends think that he’s getting upset over nothing.  His girlfriend thinks that he’s in danger.  The reporter knows that he has to figure out who the stranger is and why he’s haunting him.

The second-to-last episode of Circle of Fear aired on March 23rd, 1973.  Tab Hunter is a bit of a bland hero but the episode still had creepy moments.


Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.20 “Spare Parts” (dir by Charles S. Dubin)

On tonight’s episode of Circle of Fear, Susan Oliver plays the widow of a doctor who allows his hands, eyes, and vocal chords to be used in transplants.  Unfortunately for her, the spirit of her dead husband is still inside of his donated body parts.  Because he’s convinced that she murdered him, the dead doctor seeks an elaborate revenge on his wife.

This episode originally aired on February 23rd, 1973.  It was written by Jimmy Sangster, who is best known for his work with Hammer Films.


Horror On TV: Circle of Fear 1.19 “Graveyard Shift” (dir by Don McDougall)

On tonight’s episode of Circle of Fear, John Astin plays a former actor who now makes a meager living as a security guard at the studio where he once worked.  Unfortunately, the studio is shutting down.  John Astin will be out of a job but, as he discovers one night, he’s not the only one who fears being forgotten.  This is the type of story that could only have been told in the days before physical media, streaming sites, and cable.

Patty Duke, who was married to Astin at the time, plays his character’s wife.  Playing their baby is John and Patty’s newborn, future actor MacKenzie Astin.  William Castle, who served as executive producer of Circle of Fear, appears as the head of the studio.

This episode originally aired on February 16th, 1973.

Horror On TV: Circle of Fear 1.18 “Legion of Demons” (dir by Paul Stanley)

Shy Beth (Shirley Knight) is now to the city and still struggling to make friends.  Fortunately, her friend Janet gets her a nice corporate job.  Unfortunately, Janet then vanishes and Beth discovers that her co-workers are more than just office workers,  I won’t spoil the twist, since the title of this episode already did that.

Legion of Demons aired on February 2nd, 1973 and it undoubtedly led to a lot of viewers saying, “I think they filmed that at my office!”


Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.17 “Doorway to Death” (dir by Daryl Duke)

Tonight, on Circle of Fear, bratty Robert (played by Leif Garrett) discovers that an upstairs door in his family’s new apartment building leads to someplace very unexpected.  His older sister, Peggy (Susan Dey), doesn’t believe him but she soon learns the error of her ways.  

This episode is really creepy and atmospheric and I don’t want to spoil too much of it.  It was written by Jimmy Sangster, who also did several Hammer films, and it was directed by Daryl Duke.  To be honest, this episode reminds me of the episode of Lost where Jack stumbles across the ghosts of Ben’s parents outside of the cabin.  It has a similar, dream-like feel to it.

The episode originally aired on January 26th, 1973.

Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.16 “Earth, Air, Fire, and Wind” (dir by Alex Singer)

On tonight’s episode of the show that was once Ghost Story, six artists rent out a space to create and show their art.  Unfortunately, they also find a trunk, one that contains six ancient glass containers.  Everyone’s work starts to take a dark turn as the artists become more and more obsessed with the containers.

That plot description might not sound like much but this is a pretty good episode, one that’s full of atmosphere and sly humor.  The script was by Harlan Ellison and D.C. Fontana.  Anyone who has ever spent any time in a commune will be able to relate!

This episode aired on January 19th, 1973.

Horror on TV: Circle of Fear 1.15 “Dark Vengeance”

In today’s episode of Circle of Fear, Martin Sheen plays a construction worker who finds a box at a site.  He brings it home to show his wife, Kim Darby.  When they open the box, they discover only a mirror and a toy horse.  Hey, that doesn’t seem too bad, right?  But then Darby starts to have nightmares that indicate that the horse might be cursed!

This episode aired on January 12th, 1973.  It’s always a little bit jarring to see Martin Sheen playing a regular guy, back before The West Wing brought out his pompous side.  Young Martin Sheen was quite a good actor.  His resemblance to Emilio Estevez is uncanny.  I wonder if they’re related.

(That’s a joke, everyone.  Calm down.)


Horror On TV: Circle of Fear 1.14 “Death’s Head” (dir by James Nielson)

Circle of Fear!?

What happened to Ghost Story!?

Fear not, they’re the same show.  Apparently, Ghost Story was struggling in the ratings so William Castle changed up both the show’s format and the title.  Ghost Story became Circle of Fear and, sadly, Sebastian Cabot was dumped as the show’s host.

The first episode of the new Circle of Fear era featured Janet Leigh as the wife of a man who loves insects.  Unfortunately for him, Leigh hates insects.  This, along with an adulterous affair, can only lead to murder and that, of course, can only lead to the moths coming for revenge.

That may sounds silly but let me tell you, I totally agree with Janet Leigh when it comes to moths.  If you want to see me run out of a room, just point out that there’s a moth flying around.  Agck!

This episode originally aired on January 5th, 1973.