Top 10 Creepiest Twilight Zone Moments

Credits: Rebecca Brayton Andrew Labelle
These were the dimensions of sound, sight..and abject terror. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Creepiest Episodes of "The Twilight Zone." For this list, we'll be ranking the most spooky, terrifying and downright creepy episodes from the original run of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone." We're keeping our focus on the darker stuff here, so if you're looking for our thoughts about the series as a whole, then please check out WatchMojo's Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes. Oh, and we're also going to be delving into spoiler territory here, so you've been warned! Written by George Pacheco
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These were the dimensions of sound, sight..and abject terror. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Creepiest Episodes of "The Twilight Zone."

For this list, we'll be ranking the most spooky, terrifying and downright creepy episodes from the original run of Rod Serling's "The Twilight Zone." We're keeping our focus on the darker stuff here, so if you're looking for our thoughts about the series as a whole, then please check out WatchMojo's Top 10 Twilight Zone Episodes. Oh, and we're also going to be delving into spoiler territory here, so you've been warned!

#10: "Mirror Image" (1960)


What happens when the mirror looks back? The episode "Mirror Image" uses this idea to a profoundly creepy effect, as star Vera Miles begins to think her reflection is stalking her, and trying to take her place in the world. "Mirror Image" achieves its creep factor slowly, via the misplacement of Miles' luggage, and disturbing shots of her reflection she leaves a women's restroom. It all comes to a head near the end, however, when a fellow passenger at the bus stop where Miles is waiting sees his own reflection in the flesh, and attempts to chase him down.

#9: "Elegy" (1960)


Death is an eternal mystery, and the notion of it is usually creepy enough for the average person. "Elegy" takes this notion one step further, using a sci-fi setting to set up a galactic graveyard full of stoic corpses, frozen in what seems to be moments of eternal joy. It seems comforting at first, but the three astronauts who land in this cemetery are more confused than anything, until they run into the cemetery caretaker, Jeremy Wickwire. The trio is tricked by Wickwire into drinking "eternifying fluid," after which all three astronauts join the planet's silent statues, forever locked in this panorama of the deceased.

#8: "The Midnight Sun" (1961)


There's a palpable sense of panic and fear brought to the table by "The Midnight Sun". The last two neighbors in an apartment complex are brought together when the earth detaches from its orbit and begins moving closer to the sun. The episode remains in the apartment complex for its duration, and there's a sense of horrible claustrophobia as the pair not only fend off their own fears of death, but the more immediate threat of looting and violence outside. Combine this with a downbeat twist ending, and you have a "Twilight Zone" episode that still instills fear remarkably well, even decades later.

#7: "Little Girl Lost" (1962)


Picture it: you're a parent, and you wake up in the middle of the night to screams from your frightened daughter. That situation alone is troubling enough, but add to it the fact that the child in "Little Girl Lost" seems nowhere to be found, and you have a parent's absolute worst nightmare. Although this "Twilight Zone" episode does have a happy ending, the early scenes featuring the disembodied pleas of a girl lost in a parallel dimension are beyond creepy, and help start the episode off at maximum tension.

#6: "The After Hours" (1960)


If you suffer from pediophobia, don't watch "The After Hours" alone. Actually, you might not want to watch it at all, as it just so happens to be one of the creepiest installments in the entire series run. Shots of emotionless mannequin heads and scary, faceless voices punctuate the tale of a young woman who forgets she's actually part of the decor at the department store where she's shopping. In this episode's universe, mannequins are allowed one month out of the year to be human, but for some reason, Anne Francis' character needs to be reminded...by being frightened out of her wits, of course.

#5: "Perchance to Dream" (1959)


Was this an influence for "A Nightmare on Elm Street?" Perhaps. "Perchance to Dream" features Richard Conte as a sleepless man who's terrified that his nightmares are out to get him. Conte hasn't slept in days, because when he does he's tormented by a creepy fun house. The nightmares also feature a seductive woman named Maya, and when he sees Maya's face in the real world, he jumps out of his psychiatrist's window in sheer panic. It's not until the end that we see that he has actually never left the doctor's couch, and died in his sleep.

#4: "Night Call" (1964)


"Night Call" follows a series of scary, late night phone calls to a wheelchair-bound woman named Elva. A moaning voice on the line is disturbing enough, but when Elva learns that the calls have been coming from the cemetery, there's no dialing back the creepiness. The mystery man does eventually stop calling, but the tragic twist is that the calls have actually been coming from Elva's deceased fiancée, who died years ago from the same car accident that put Elva in her chair. Finally realizing this, Elva can only mourn her lost opportunity at speaking with her beloved one last time, adding a tinge of sadness to the terror.

#3: "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" (1963)


Sure, the gremlin costume in this "Twilight Zone" episode may seem dated now, but it absolutely terrified audiences when it first aired in 1963. "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is successful because of its near-perfect pacing, as it teases the gremlin as a product of William Shatner's fractured mental state. He sees it attempting to sabotage the plane, but no one believes him, and the gremlin's behavior on the wing is both humorous and disturbing. This episode receives many accolades from fans, and it's easy to see why, as Shatner's unhinged performance and the gremlin's still-creepy design make "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" a timeless classic.

#2: "The Hitch-Hiker" (1960)


"The Hitch-Hiker" is often cited as one of the series' classic episodes, and with good reason – this one's an all out creep-fest. The dread is palpable as the episode's protagonist becomes increasingly panicked and paranoid about an old hitchhiker who appears all along her cross-country drive. Inger Stevens is brilliant in the role of Nan, while the titular hitchhiker delivers the scares, often appearing out of nowhere, jumping into frame with a sad, blank look on his face. Things get sadder still when we realize that Nan has actually been dead all along. It's suspenseful, disturbing stuff.


Before we name our number one pick, here are a few disturbing honorable mentions!

"Twenty-Two" (1961)

"Number 12 Looks Just Like You" (1964)

"Eye of the Beholder" (1960)

#1: "Living Doll" (1963)

The O.G. of deadly doll nightmare-fuel, "Talky Tina" was giving audiences the creeps way back in 1963. Tina basically gives us the shivers from the first moment she appears, first as a loving doll to young Christie, then as the bane of her stepfather's existence. Tina taunts and threatens him incessantly with a malevolent, deadpan delivery, as he tries, in vain, to destroy the doll and get it out of the house. Finally, he trips over the doll, and falls down the stairs to his death, where he's discovered by his wife. Tina's final words? "My name is Talky Tina, and you’d better be nice to me."
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