( ...AND EVEN WHEN SHE DIDN'T )
When Marion Lorne [Aunt Clara] passed on during the fourth season, there was a definite gap left in the Bewitched humor package. The kind, well meaning, but ineffectual and bumbling old witch that got Darrin into so much trouble with her well intentioned goofs was sorely missed in the story lines. For whatever reason, the producers chose not to have another actor step into the role as they did when they lost Louise, Gladys, Frank Stephens, and Darrin.
It was not until the sixth season that the producers reached back to the second season [episode # 53] and looked at the bumbling and inept maid Naomi [played by Alice Ghostly]. This gave them the basis for Esmeralda, the ultra shy, bumbling, inept witch who could not get her spells right nor make them last. And when Esmeralda sneezed, look out!
Alice Ghostly basically reprised her part as Naomi and appeared as Esmeralda, Samantha’s “Yoo Hoo” maid, in 15 episodes between #172 and #250 - eight in the sixth season, three in the seventh, and four in the eighth.
# 172, "Samantha’s Yoo-Hoo Maid"
|The first view of Esmeralda as she fades in after coming through the front door.|
|We do not see her first sneeze, but we hear it, and see the result as Samantha and Endora are levitated.|
|We do see her second sneeze...|
...that results in a tree in the living room.
|Later, while reading to Tabitha about unicorns, she sneezes one up.|
|Of course, she really upsets the client when a sneeze levitates him.|
# 173, "Samantha’s Caesar Salad"
|A typical Esmeralda fade in after Samantha calls her. Samantha asks her to make a Caesar salad, but what Esmeralda zaps up is the real Julius Caesar. Naturally, she can’t remember the spell to send him back to Rome. Part of the problem is he doesn’t want to go. Samantha zaps up Cleopatra as bait, and Caesar goes back to Rome.|
# 182, "Samantha’s Double Mother Trouble"
|While reading to Tabitha about Mother Goose, she sneezes up the real thing. As usual, Esmeralda can’t reverse her spell. It finally wears off and Mother Goose fades out, but not before causing a rift between Frank and Phyllis.|
# 184, "Santa Comes to Visit and Stays and Stays"
|While talking to Tabitha about Santa Claus, Esmeralda sneezes, and in pops Santa. The timing could not be worse, since this is the height of his busy season. When Santa finds that Esmeralda can’t send him back home and the spell may not wear off for two days, he freaks out. Samantha finally solves the problem by zapping Santa’s toy shop, complete with elves (one of whom gooses her) to her kitchen. Samantha finally has to zap Santa’s sleigh and reindeer to her front lawn.|
# 186, "Samantha’s Lost Weekend"
|Esmeralda casts a spell on Tabitha’s milk to make her want to eat. Samantha gets the loaded milk by mistake and begins gorging herself. Esmeralda can’t reverse her own spell so she goes to the apothecary to get a potion to cure Samantha.|
# 195, "Okay, Who’s the Wise Witch?"
|Believe it or not, Esmeralda does not cause any trouble in this episode. Samantha calls her to see if she was the cause of the vapor lock on the house, which she was not. She pops in wearing a robe and with a mud-pack on her face. She is getting ready for a date with Ramon Verona, whom we learn is the salad chef at the Interplanetary Playboy Club.|
# 199, "Turn on the Old Charm"
Esmeralda does a fade in at Samantha’s call to announce that she cannot baby sit. She later pops in and zaps the amulet used to control Endora out of Darrin’s pocket, thinking it is a love charm. After she finds it does not work on her boyfriend, she returns the amulet. Another episode where she does not sneeze or goof up a spell.
# 200, "Make Love, Not Hate"
|In this episode, Esmeralda is the victim, not the source. Samantha, trying to help Esmeralda with her love life has Dr. Bombay whip up a love potion to make a warlock fall for her. Things get really messed up when the warlock falls for Samantha, Samantha spills the love potion into the clam dip, Esmeralda eats some of the dip and falls for Darrin before the dip is served to the guests in general. Then the real confusion begins. In this episode we hear that Ramon Verona is the salad chef at the Warlock Club.|
# 206, "Paul Revere Rides Again"
|Samantha asks Esmeralda to send a Paul Revere teapot from 1164 to her hotel room in Salem. Esmeralda goofs up the spell, and instead of the teapot, she zaps the real Paul Revere to the hotel room. Trying to correct her mistake, she zaps his horse to him.|
# 208, "Samantha’s Old Salem Trip"
|Samantha walks out of the witches’ convention over their treatment of Darrin. The Witches’ Council orders her back to Salem. Esmeralda intercepts the message, and being afraid Samantha will be stubborn, sends Samantha back to Salem. But, Esmeralda messes up the spell and sends Samantha back to Old Salem  during the time of the witch hunts.|
# 226, "Samantha’s Magic Mirror"
|Esmeralda is very nervous when she fades in because she is meeting Ferdy, an old boy friend she has not seen in 400 years, and doesn’t want him to know her magic is mostly gone. She asks Samantha to do her magic for her while Ferdy is there. As usual when nervous, she sneezes a lot. Her first sneeze zaps a palm tree into the living room. The tree soon fades out. She then sneezes up a baby elephant just as Larry arrives. Larry can’t believe his eyes when he sees the elephant fade out. Ferdy arrives and impresses Esmeralda with his magic. The only problem is his powers are gone too, and his nephew is standing outside the window doing the magic for him. When a cop scares the boy off and Samantha gets distracted, both Esmeralda and Ferdy are on their own. Esmeralda tries to zap a Scotch On The Rocks cocktail for Ferdy, and gets a bagpiper standing on a rock pile, instead. When she tries for smoked salmon, she gets a fish with a pipe in its mouth. Esmeralda tops everything off by sneezing up a pair of performing seals while Ferdy, in restoring Esmeralda’s pearls, zaps a string of oysters around her neck.|
# 232, "Samantha’s Not-So-Leaning Tower of Pisa"
|Back about the beginning of the 13th century, Esmeralda had an erstwhile boy friend, Bonano Pisano, who worked as a builder on the Leaning Tower of Pisa. While trying to zap up Bonano one of her “Tower Special” sandwiches made with lean beef, she orders “One tower and make it lean.” As to be expected, the tower leans, instead of a sandwich appearing. Now in the 20th century, she casts a spell to straighten it up. This causes such a ruckus that Samantha takes her back to the earlier time to cast her first spell over to make the tower lean again.|
# 243, "Samantha’s Magic Sitter"
|Esmeralda is tired of being useless and wants to turn herself into something useful, like a punching bag. Samantha convinces her that she has more talent than that. An offer to baby sit brightens her up. She draws a real brat, and in keeping him quiet, makes his water pistol squirt him rather than her. [Aunt Clara did exactly the same thing in # 27]|
|A two-part episode. Tabitha has to take something to school for Show and Tell. She wants to take a belt buckle and a button that Darrin has that belonged to George Washington. Of course Darrin is not going to let her take anything as valuable as those items to school, so Tabitha is faced with taking only pictures from a collector’s book. Esmeralda offers to zap the buckle and button out of the book for the day so Tabitha can take them to school. Esmeralda goofs up the spell and brings George Washington out of the book instead of the buckle and button, and then can’t remember the spell to get him back.|