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The Spanish Moss Murders 

A research experiment in dream deprivation produces a corporeal Cajun boogeyman covered in Spanish moss.


Gordon Hessler


Jeffrey Grant Rice (created by) (as Jeff Rice), Alvin R. Friedman (teleplay) (as Al Friedman) | 2 more credits »

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Episode complete credited cast:
Darren McGavin ... Carl Kolchak
Simon Oakland ... Tony Vincenzo
Keenan Wynn ... Capt. Joe 'Mad Dog' Siska
Severn Darden ... Dr. Aaron Pollack
Randy Boone ... Gene the Fiddler
Johnny Silver ... Pepe LaRue / Morris Shapiro
Jack Grinnage ... Ron Updyke
Ruth McDevitt ... Emily Cowles
Ned Glass ... Superintendent
Richard Kiel ... The Monster
Virginia Gregg ... Dr. Hollenbeck
Brian Avery ... Record Producer
Maurice Marsac ... Henri Villon
Elisabeth Brooks ... Lab Assistant
Don Mantooth Don Mantooth ... Sleep Subject (as Donald Mantooth)


A pair of seemingly unrelated deaths are connected by the fact that each victim had a small amount of Spanish moss on the body. When more murders occur, Kolchak is able to determine that each victim is indeed connected to a comatose Cajun man who is part of a sleep experiment where he is denied the ability to dream. The man's subconscious is able to physically manifest a vengeful monstrosity, the "Paramafait," a legendary Cajun boogeyman who dispatches anybody who wronged the sleeping man. Kolchak's intention to stop the Paramafait marks him for death, unless he can stop the creature before it kills him. Written by acidxian

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Release Date:

6 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Pere Malfait was played by Richard Kiel, who also played the Diablero the previous week in "Bad Medicine." Producers liked him so much in both roles, they asked him to be available for a second season of the show. When ABC flip-flopped on whether to renew the show, Kiel opted for a role on the short-lived "Barbary Coast" instead. See more »


When Bobby Ray Solange is in the recording booth, he isn't wearing any headphones. He's also standing too close to the mic and the booth is missed wrong for an instrumental only track. See more »


Carl Kolchak: Listen, h-how'd your speech go?
Tony Vincenzo: Oh, like calamine lotion at a poison ivy ward. I actually got a standing ovation!
See more »

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User Reviews

Kolchak: "The Spanish Moss Murders"
19 April 2018 | by WuchakkSee all my reviews

PLOT: Kolchak encounters a series of murders linked by Spanish moss found at the scene. He traces the slayings to a Cajun man undergoing dream deprivation in a research experiment, which somehow releases a legendary swamp boogeyman, Père Malfait.

COMMENTARY: The monster recalls Marvel's Man-Thing and DC's Swamp Thing, both of which were popular in comics at the time. Richard Kiel returns from the previous episode to play the hulking id-driven creature. The monster-costume is pretty effective for early 70's TV, except for its obviously-human hands. Too bad no one could obtain some boggy-ish gloves. The climax in the Chicago sewers is notable.

The sharp dark-haired lab assistant was played by Elisabeth Brooks, best remembered for her role as the villainess Marsha Quist in "The Howling" (1981). She prematurely died of brain cancer at the age of 46 in 1997.

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