Occult Detective Countdown 1/20: Carl Kolchak

If I’m going to countdown my 20 favorite Occult Detectives, I’d best start with the guy who started it all for me — Carl Kolchak.

The tv movie, The Night Stalker, aired in January of 1972, two months shy of my sixth birthday. I was enthralled, to say the least, and while I didn’t know it at the time, the adventures of the intrepid reporter sparked a love for the occult detective genre that still has me in its clutches almost 50 years later.

When I started my paranormal investigation group in 1983, it was this to which I looked for inspiration for the group’s moniker.

I owe a lot to Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson, and to Darren McGavin of course. They took Jeff Rice’s unpublished novel and made something truly remarkable, something that improved upon the source, and sparked the imagination of a child living in the rural Midwest, promising that those things that go bump in the night were worth pursuing.

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