My first knowing of the CANDLE COVE lore came out on the NetNostalgia Forum back some time, however many of the episodes have never been found and many of the props are either long gone or spread out over the world, however after this mention of the show, I had to dig further into it.
What I discovered over my round trip was something dark residing within the studios itself...
The show, originally called "Pirate Place" was loosely based on an old, quite lost short story called "The Nickerbocker's Tale" from 1767 about a little Irish boy arriving to a land of pirates to find his way back home. The story's writer, a man believed to be named Collin Caulkry, vanished into the dark. Stories about it say that he was a madman who married well and had a daughter who vanished without a trace near his home. This inspired him to write the story and shortly after, he was found dead by his wife.
The story was lost for several years until in 1970, when a local TV station in Ashland found the rights to the story and converted it into a children's series. I managed to find some of the studios workers but none of them were able to tell me about it...Well, there was one...
Asking this woman to nearly relive her nightmare of 1971 was nearly impossible. But thankfully she decided to, reluctantly anyways...
"Ok Ms..." "I'm not comfortable giving my last name OR my first." Okay then, mind if I call you 'Jane'?" "No, I don't." "Okay then. Well Jane, I understand you had a part in the kiddie show 'Candle Cove' correct?" "Set designer, well part of it. I helped in the construction of The Laughingstock and many of the characters as well." "I see, was it a good experience?" "Oh very. It was a great one, until towards the end of the show itself." "How so?" "Well that damn Grimes, that's what it was." Grimes? Emerson Grimes, the show's director? "Is there another Grimes you know on the series?"
Here she lit a cigarette, something that from her appearance and fear of Grimes fortold, I actually expected from her.
"Well how did he manage to scare you?" "How did he...HE WAS A NUTJOB! A LOONEY! He forced a five year old girl (Jodie Silver) to near heatstroke, changed scripts. Everything was fine until the show grew darker and darker." How dark was it getting?
Now this I kind of knew about, the infamous question to the Skin-Taker and his answer to Janice.
"When a skeleton named the Skin Taker proclaims that the reason for his mouth to move weird is for grinding your skin, you will have some problems. Grimes was insane. But the last straw was the LAST episode of the series."
I knew about this and moved onto her designs of the show. She explained that it was a damned kiddie show that turned into a "puppet show from hell" overnight. She wanted to end the conversation but not before I asked about any surviving members or crew...
"There are a few of them still around but you'll have to find them on your own..."
I did however manage to find Jodie Silver, who played Janice on the show, now an adult of 45. She resides with her husband, Damon Louis and her two kids. If you see her now, she has lost all of that childhood spunk that she had on the show. She works as a writer of Pirate stories and haunted mysteries. I managed to record, on tape, an interview with her...
"Um, are you Ms. Jodie Silver?" "Why I haven't been called that in years. Yes, I am Jodie Silver, but people call me Jodie Louis nowadays." Oh, I'm sorry about the mixup, I'm (censored) and I am writing a book on an old kiddie show you used to be on." "Jesus Christ. Please tell me you are joking!"
It was here that I noticed she seemed agitated at the sound of a book being written on something she was trying so hard to put behind her.
"It's no joke Mrs. Louis." "Well I won't warn you that you are a total nutcase for doing it. That show has given me bad dreams, ruined my childhood and I have even had therapy because of it. I don't wish to speak about..." "Please Jodie, just one interview, that's all I'm asking for. Just one. Hell, if you have to go through therapy again for it, I'll personally pay out of pocket."