How CBS' Ghosts Decided On Who To Bring Back For Hetty's 'Problematic' Halloween Episode, According To The Co-Showrunner

Hetty and Alberta in Ghosts' Halloween episode Season 2
(Image credit: Bertrand Calmeau/CBS)

Ghosts guarantees that the comedy on CBS is always at least a little bit spooky, and the show is embracing the spirit of the season with its second Halloween episode. While the first Halloween episode last year involved Thor and a burning gazebo, Ghosts will turn up the heat on Hetty this time around, and according to co-showrunner Joe Wiseman, it’s going to get “problematic” for the former lady of the house. And since this is Ghosts, it’s safe to say that what’s problematic for her will be funny for fans!

The trouble will start when Sam and Jay perform a séance at their Halloween party, trying to summon a spirit to spice up the night. Co-showrunner Joe Wiseman reveals that “the séance works and actually summons someone,” and the Ghosts team had to figure out who they could bring back to complicate Hetty’s afterlife. Wiseman spoke with CinemaBlend about the Halloween episode and explained how they made the decision: 

Very early on, it became like, 'Okay, it should be someone that has a connection to one of our ghosts now, and so it's probably someone who has a connection to the house.’ This was Hetty's house, so she has probably the deepest connection to the house. So we started just asking questions like, 'Who from the past could we see?' In last year's episode, we set up the maid, who was mentioned a couple times as someone that her husband Elias was having an affair with, so we thought that would be very problematic for Hetty if suddenly she were to come face to face with this person that she hated from her past.

Yes, the Halloween séance at Woodstone will result in the summoning of Molly, the maid who had an affair with Hetty’s husband back when they were all still among the living. Even though Hetty and Elias didn’t exactly have a loving relationship, that doesn’t mean she’s not going to hate Molly from beyond the grave! Maybe Molly should just hope that she’s not sent to Hell like Elias was. 

The episode is clearly going to be complicated for Hetty, but what about the rest of the ghosts? Will they be fully Team Hetty or enjoy watching the drama unfold in front of them? When I asked Joe Wiseman if the other spirits are going to have fun spectating, the co-showrunner shared:

For sure! The ghosts are bored, they have nothing to do. Now that Sam's around they have a little bit more to do, they can at least request TV shows and movies, but a lot of the ghosts thrive on watching drama. They also ultimately just care about each other and want to make sure that things are resolved, but for sure, this is definitely something that's very exciting for the ghosts. Hetty's not too excited, but all the other ghosts for sure are enjoying this.

Who needs a movie when a séance brings back the ghost of a woman who had an affair with their friend’s husband? The upstairs ghosts of Woodstone generally have each other’s backs (and are united in wanting the cholera ghosts to stay down in the basement), but that doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy watching the drama as it unfolds. It’s not every day that somebody new enters the house who can actually see and hear them, so perhaps that will work in Molly’s favor.

All things considered, the episode – fittingly called “Halloween 2: The Ghost of Hetty’s Past” – sounds like it’s going in some completely different directions than last season’s fiery Halloween venture. Joe Wiseman weighed in on doing something different this time around:

We're a supernatural comedy and since it is Halloween, we always feel there's a little bit of pressure to make a Halloween episode a little extra. So we started thinking about ideas, like what are some ghost or supernatural tropes that we haven't done yet that we could explore? The idea of a séance had come up a few times in the room at other times, and we thought maybe Halloween might be the time to do that. We started thinking about different ways that the séance could be pulled off and how it would work and what would happen. But yes, we did sort of want to make the Halloween episode extra ghosty.

Depending on whether the arrival of Molly (and Hetty’s reaction) causes trouble for Sam and Jay, the married couple may not rush to do any more séances in the future. Season 2 has been a pretty wild ride for them already, with everything from taking a misguided stand to save a tree to Sam and the ghosts having to save Jay from a cult to Jay’s short-lived hopes that he too would be able to see the spirits after his injury. If the séance is a disaster, maybe Hetty won’t have to worry about them bringing back anybody else from her past.

Tune in to CBS on Thursday, October 27 at 8:30 p.m. ET for the second annual Halloween episode of Ghosts (opens in new tab). If you want to revisit Thor and the flaming gazebo from the first season’s Halloween extravaganza, you can do so streaming with a Paramount+ subscription. The show is still going strong and presumably very safe from joining the list of shows ending this season, and even has a Christmas episode on the way, so keep making room for Ghosts in your 2022 TV schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel, but will sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation.