Finding the Way Back to Mayberry

Episode # 98, “The Haunted House”

Introduction:  Opie hits a baseball into a “haunted house,” and Barney and Gomer are sent to retrieve it.  They flee to Andy, assuring him the house is indeed haunted.  Andy goes back with them, and he sees and hears eerie things, too.  When Gomer and Barney make another run for it, Andy discovers that the “ghosts” are actually Otis and a moonshiner who has set up a still in the basement.

Lesson Points:
Temptations of Unholy Fear – Proverbs 1:7 and 29:25, Job 15:24 and 18:11
        Everyone gets scared sometime, right? – Job 3:25-26, Isaiah 35:3-4, Psalm 118:6
        What frightens you? – Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:4-5, Psalm 91:4-8 and 27:1-3
        How can we turn our fears into something much greater? – 2 Timothy 1:7-14, Galatians 5:22-23

Testaments of Godly Fear – Ecc. 8:12-13, Proverbs 15:16, 19:23, Lev. 25:17, Genesis 26:24, Psalm 33:4              
        Who is our refuge and strength? – Psalm 46, Psalm 23, Genesis 15:1, Isaiah 41:10
        What should we do when we’re afraid? – Psalm 56:3-4, Proverbs 1:33, John 14:27
        What does our conduct say about our relationship with God?–Philippians 1:27-28,Hebrews 13:5-6,        
                                Romans 16:19-20, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Do You Believe In Ghosts? – Luke 16:19-31 and 24:37-43, 2 Corinthians 11:14-15
        What happens in death? – Lk. 23:39-43, Php. 1:21-23, Heb. 9:27-28, Job 16:22, Ge. 3:19, Mt. 5:29
        Is there a world of spiritual darkness and fallen angels? – 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 6, Rev. 12:7-9, Jn. 8:44
        Can God’s angels appear to us? – 1 Ki. 19:5, Acts 12:7-11, 27:23-24, Ps. 34:7, 104:4, Heb. 1:7, 14
        Are Christians, living in rebellion, vulnerable to Satan’s deceptions? – 1 Samuel 15:23, Jude 10
        Under God’s power and protection, can we discern Satan’s tricks? – Luke 10:17-20, James 4:7-10

1) Opie and his friend were afraid to go into the old Rimshaw house.  In what ways did Barney and Gomer (the adults) behave just like them?  Why did Barney think Andy should have made the boys go back after the baseball?  Why was he reluctant when Andy asked him to do it?  Why did he get Gomer to go along?  Was Andy later afraid, or only pretending?  How can fear help us, and how can fear defeat us?  Why should Big Jack Anderson stay away from the abandoned house?  Why should Opie and his friends stay away? 

2) What could be scary about the old Rimshaw place without Big Jack in there or stories about what might have happened to Rimshaw’s servant?  How can your mind play tricks about the things you see and hear when you are frightened?  Why was everyone except Andy so easily frightened away?  What do you really think happened to Mr. Rimshaw and his hired hand?  How do you suppose those rumors got started?  What relationships can you see about moving from fear to faith and about turning from our problems to our God?

3) Otis and Big Jack thought they were very clever in their spooky plan.  Why did they become scared after laughing about Barney and Gomer running away?  If Big Jack knew the boys had been on the premises, why do you think he didn’t toss the baseball out the window to keep them or anyone else from going inside the house?  Aren’t there some people who might go there after hearing the scary tale, just for the thrill of it?  What do you think might happen during Halloween?  Why do some people like scary books and movies?

4) Do you believe in ghosts?  If there are two spiritual forces in the world (God’s and Satan’s) and the moonshiner was breaking the law but wasn’t really evil, could there have been real ghosts in the house?  Could it have really been haunted?  When someone actually believes he sees a ghost, what could it be?  Could it possibly be evil spirits working for Satan?  If people want to believe Satan’s lies, couldn’t they perhaps see his “fallen angels” as ghosts?  Is it dangerous to believe in the occult and the supernatural?

Final Thought:
Andy:  Wasn’t it you that said, “There’s nothin’ to fear but fear itself ”?
Barney:  Well, that’s exactly what I got – FEAR ITSELF!!!