Little House on the Prairie

Season 3 Episode 6

The Monster Of Walnut Grove

6
Aired Wednesday 12:00 AM Nov 01, 1976 on NBC
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
155 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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On Halloween night, Laura and Mary get permission from their parents to walk into town and pull off a little prank at the mercantile. Laura's imagination runs wild when she peeks into the Olesons' window and witnesses Nels committing an unspeakable crime. Scarred by what she has seen, Laura can't seem to get anyone to believe her.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A Halloween Favorite

    10
    For me, watching this Little House episode every Halloween is as essential as watching It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown as well as other Halloween episodes, like The Waltons' "The Ghost Story," "The Nightwalker," and "The

    The episode begins on a seemingly innocent Halloween night. Laura reads The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow to her younger sister Carrie before going into town to soap windows with her older sister Mary. While in town, Laura witnesses what appears to be Nels Oleson cutting his wife's head off with a sword. It turns out to just be a mannequin's head but it's easy to see why Laura's imagination would run wild. The mannequin's profile from the back is very similar to Mrs. Oleson's (dark hair in a bun), not to mention the creepy events of the story that Laura read to Carrie are still floating around in her head. Laura tries to tell other people what she saw, but no one believes her, telling her that even on Halloween, this story is a stretch.

    Mrs. Oleson just happens to leave Walnut Grove the following day to visit her mother. This only gives Laura more cause to believe she really saw Mr. Oleson commit a horrifying act. Laura tries to warn Nellie and Willie, believing that they may be in danger. At first they don't believe her, but when they see their mother's apron that their father just happened to spill sauce on (they don't know it's sauce), they begin to get worried. Nels clears it up for his kids and Nellie "promises" that she will explain the situation to Laura. Knowing Nellie, the viewers know that this means no good.

    Nellie and Willie take their mother's soiled apron and show it to Laura, only feeding her imagination. Willie also claims to have heard "digging noises in the cellar all last When Laura sneaks into the store and sees Mrs. Oleson trying to stuff the broken mannequin into a black bag, she knows he's a threat to the community. All these coincidental events lead up to the show's ending. I won't give away the ending, but I will say that this episode is a must-see for Little House fans.moreless
  • There was a nice Halloween theme running through this one and the premise was funny. Unfortunately, for me, the script didn't quite deliver.

    6.5
    Nels is showing off in front of Harriet with a sword when he accidently cuts off the head of an expensive store dummy. Seeing this through the window, Laura is convinced that Mr.Oleson has beheaded his wife! The trouble is, she can't get anybody to believe her but Nellie and Willie certainly have fun stringing her along as THEY are fully aware that their mother is temporarily out of town and go out of their way to encourage Laura's belief that their passive, gentle father has committed murder!



    Nels was funny her in several places, as was Harriet, but there was something wrong with the script for me and that's why I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked. Good work from all the youngsters, though.moreless
  • very funny

    10
    being a halloween episode i found that this episode was hilarious especially the scene when mr oleson chops the manicans head off and laura thought it was mrs oleson also when nellie and willie find sauce on mrs olesons apron which they mistake for blood when they finally find out what it is they decide to play a mean trick on laura and carl. At the end laura throws the manicans head down the stairs at nellie and willie...Needless to say nellie and willie are terrified...Just a funny episode... a must watch for little house fans. this goes in my top 10 episodesmoreless
Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert

Laura Elizabeth Ingalls/Wilder

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson

Mary Amelia Ingalls/Kendall (1974 - 1981)

Richard Bull

Richard Bull

Nels Oleson

Charlotte Stewart

Charlotte Stewart

Miss Eva Beadle/Mrs. Simms (1974 - 1978)

Michael Landon

Michael Landon

Charles Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Karen Grassle

Karen Grassle

Caroline Quiner Holbrook Ingalls (1974 - 1982)

Milton Parsons

Milton Parsons

Thaddeus Moon

Guest Star

Candy Moore

Candy Moore

Sarah

Guest Star

Jack Lilley

Jack Lilley

Homer Bjorgson

Recurring Role

Brian Part

Brian Part

Carl

Recurring Role

Ruth Foster

Ruth Foster

Mrs. Foster

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: When Nellie showed Willie the apron and told him that it was blood, Willie said that Laura told him that Ma wasn't on the stage. But it wasn't Laura who said that; it was actually Carl.

    • The sound of the same coyote howling is played nine times during this episode. Aside from being redundant, coyotes aren't heard at night in other episodes, so this seems oddly out of place, despite the "horror" type theme.

    • In the scene where Laura and Carl meet up at the cemetery, Laura spots Carl from a distance of about five feet and tentatively says, "Carl?" Carl is standing in the open, and in the light of the full moon; in fact, the two of them comment on its brightness just a minute later. Why would she be unsure as to who he was from a well-lighted distance of just a few feet?

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Caroline: What's wrong, Carrie?
      Carrie: Something moved in my bed.
      Caroline: Where?
      Carrie: Down there, underneath the covers.
      Caroline: Carrie, those are your feet!
      Carrie: I'm afraid of feet.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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