One of Spokane’s favorite sons, Darren McGavin – television’s Kolchak; The Night Stalker – is making a creepy comeback.
The popular character actor has reportedly made a string of spine chilling appearances recently.
Which is more than a little strange; McGavin died in 2006.
In the 1970’s tv classic Kolchak: The Night Stalker, McGavin fleshed out Carl Kolchak; an investigative reporter who routinely stumbled upon the strange, the supernatural and the just plain scary.
Now it seems McGavin is inhabiting the character again…. a decade after his death.
McGavin was born and raised in Spokane, being cared for in a succession of orphanages after running away from a troubled home life.
Convenience store owner Roger Kleptoon is convinced McGavin materialised right in front of him asking for directions to one of them, Dyslin Boys Ranch in Tacoma.
“It was late, maybe 1:30am or so, Sunday morning, and I was reading a magazine at the counter,” recalls Kleptoon.
“I didn’t hear the tone that means someone’s entered the store but when I looked up, there he was, as large as life.
“He just appeared.
“I literally did a double take. But it was McGavin all right. And the weirdest thing was he was wearing that crumpled white suit from the show and the same straw hat pushed back on his head the way he always did.
“He asked how to get to the ranch. He was really earnest about it too. I must have turned away for a split second because when I looked his way again, he’d disappeared into thin air.
“No sound. Nothing. He just plain vanished.”
Two nights later, McGavin was apparently on the prowl again.
Cab driver Marty Farn says he was hailed by a wraith-like McGavin as Farn cruised his regular downtown beat.
“I was in that twilight autopilot mode you get into when you’ve been driving for a few too many hours. But I know what I saw. And it was Darren freakin’ McGavin hailing me from the sidewalk outside the Davenport Hotel.”
“He looked kinda strange, like indistinct, but I thought it was just the rain playing tricks on my windshield. He was waving his arms in the air and gesturing for me to pick him up. Pronto. He was jazzed, man.
“When I pulled into the kerb he got even more agitated and starting yelling about how I had to take him to the orphanage or he’d be in big trouble.
“I was just about to tell him to cool it, get a grip when he, like, dissolved. That’s the only way I can describe it. One minute he was there. Then he was growing fainter by the second. And then…. poof! Nothing.”
Farn and Kleptoon say they know people won’t believe their otherworldly encounters but don’t care.
As Kleptoon concluded with an earnest smile; “if anybody could come back, who better than the Night Stalker?”