Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt) appears to lead a perfectly quaint life. With a handsome husband and an adorable antique store — not to mention flawless clothes and make-up (but that is courtesy of CBS) — she lives a quiet existence in the picturesque town of Fairview. However, like most suburban women, Melinda has a secret. She sees dead people (minus Haley Joel Osment and Bruce Willis).
Having been able to communicate with earthbound spirits since she was a little girl, Melinda helps troubled ghosts with unfinished business so they can cross over to the afterlife. Adding to the plotline, Melinda recently found out her young son, Aidan, has a similar gift.
In "Head Over Heels," season five's Halloween episode, she encounters a ghost that is haunting her son’s teacher, Caroline. Melinda senses a spirit attached to some personal belongings Caroline brings to her store to sell, but keeps it to herself. Caroline explains that her father just passed away and they are getting ready to sell their family’s horse farm. A box full of riding gear and extravagant Halloween costumes gives Melinda very strong visions of a troubled spirit on a horse.
If you’ve seen Ghost Whisperer, you know every episode’s obligatory “nightgown scene” in which Jennifer Love Hewitt is awakened in the middle of the night by a ghost while wearing a billowy nightgown of the sort no woman would ever wear other than on her wedding night. This episode is no different. Taking a page from "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," the ghost first appears to Melinda as a hostile headless horseman while she is standing in her front yard in said nightgown in the middle of the night, surrounded by immaculate Halloween decorations.
I admit I love any holiday episode of a TV show. If only we all had the time and money to decorate like they do. Ghost Whisperer is a show that’s perfect for overindulging at Halloween and set designer Roy Forge Smith does not disappoint. From perfectly placed pumpkins to grandiose Halloween soirees, the audience never forgets what holiday they are celebrating.
While trying to find out who the ghost is and what it wants, Melinda struggles with how she will tell Aidan’s teacher about her gift. It’s a common obstacle throughout the series, because she is often met with resistance. However, I’ve always been perplexed by how Fairview has defied the odds and been the only small town in America that can apparently keep a secret. Everyone she helps seems to be previously unaware of her talent.
Caroline is completely spooked by the ghost’s shenanigans one night when she is alone at the school and turns to Melinda for help. As Melinda explains her ability to see ghosts, she and Caroline work together to find out what the ghost needs to cross over.
While examining the tangled and complicated relationships of Caroline’s family, they uncover a secret, solve a mysterious death, and help a troubled ghost. If only we could all be so productive on Halloween.