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.