Peril on the Screen: The Hardy Boys Mysteries "The Mystery of the Haunted House"
So, tonight, my inner 8-year-old decided to take control of my viewing for the R.I.P. Peril on the Screen--choosing the suitably titled premier episode of the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries which debuted January 1977. I remember being glued to the television set every Sunday night at 7 pm ready to watch Frank and Joe or Nancy solve mysteries just as they did in the books I was reading.
"The Mystery of the Haunted House" is the first appearance of Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy as Frank and Joe Hardy. The boys are worried when the receive word that their father who is supposed to be out of town on a fishing trip was spotted at a nearby hotel. They stake out the hotel and wind up following their father to a cemetery and then into a mystery involving a navy officer who has lost his memory and a dance club called the Haunted House that has mazes, trapdoors, and secret passageways.
So, how was the episode viewed through the eyes of a 40-something-year-old? Just as much fun as it was nearly 30 years ago. By today's standards, the action is a little slow (we had longer attentions spans then), but it was still fun to watch the squeaky clean Hardy Boys run to the aid of their father and help him clear the name of a naval officer. The Haunted House didn't seem near as spooky as it did to my 8-year-old self and now I'm curious to watch "The Disappearing Floor" (which I remember finding kindof creepy), the Nancy Drew episode "The Secret of the Whispering Walls" (which as I recall really captured the feel of the ND books), and "The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Meet Dracula" (which first brought the three together and, again, has a suitable title for the R.I.P. Challenge).