Twilight Zone – The Hitch-Hiker

★★★★★  January 22, 1960 Season 1 Episode 16

If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.

There are episodes that are hard for me to rate but some…like this one…is really easy…it’s a 5 star classic without a second thought.

A beautiful young lady is traveling across the country and has a blow out. After she gets the tire fixed she is back on the road but keeps seeing this hitch hiker everywhere she goes. The lady (Nan Adams) is perfectly played by Inger Stevens. This has everything you would want out of a Twilight Zone. Great suspense, a little horror, and a Twilight Zone twist.

Lucille Fletcher got the idea for this story in 1940 when she and her husband Bernard Herrmann were driving cross-country from New York to California. On the first day of the trip they saw the same odd-looking man on the side of the road it two different locations. She found the occurrence rather eerie and thought it might be a good concept for a story.

In the original story, the character of Nan was a male, Ronald. Rod Serling believed that a female in the situation would be reacted to with more feeling by audiences. She was named after one of his daughters.

This show was written by Rod Serling and  Lucille Fletcher

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

Her name is Nan Adams. She’s twenty-seven years old. Her occupation: buyer at a New York department store. At present on vacation, driving cross-country to Los Angeles, California from Manhattan…Minor incident on Highway 11 in Pennsylvania. Perhaps, to be filed away under “accidents you walk away from.” But from this moment on, Nan Adams’ companion on a trip to California will be terror. Her route: fear. Her destination: quite unknown.


Nan Adams is driving across country from Manhattan to Los Angeles. Apart from a blown tire, the trip has been more or less uneventful. That is until she begins to see the same man, over and over again, hitchhiking along the highway. No matter how far she goes or how far she drives, the hitchhiker always seems to be ahead of her. She also seems to be the only person who can see him. When Nan decides to call home, all is revealed.

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Nan Adams, age twenty-seven. She was driving to California; to Los Angeles. She didn’t make it. There was a detour… through the Twilight Zone.


Inger Stevens … Nan Adams
Adam Williams … Sailor
Lew Gallo … Mechanic
Leonard Strong … The Hitch-Hiker
Russ Bender … Counterman
George Mitchell … Gas Station Man


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “Twilight Zone – The Hitch-Hiker”

  1. Yes totally agree – a classic! The hitchhiker keeps popping up looking harmlessly menacing. I love how all the elements to explain what happens are there but you never see the twist coming – at least I didn’t! And it even had a couple jump scares! Was not expecting that

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It has to be top to the best Twilight Zone. This one could have been a great Hitchcock movie.

      No I didn’t see the ending either the first time.
      Even with the twist endings that you know after the 5th viewing or whatever…they STILL are great!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a good one for sure! I agree, from description it sounds like Hitchcock. I’m going to look for it. As an aside, do you think anyone born after the ’70s would have a clue as to what “the hitchhiker” means? Not something you tend to see along roads anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea you need to see this one Dave.

      Oh I know…I think the 80s and 90s were the last decades of hitch hiking at all and it was getting thin then.


  3. Oh, yeah… This is one of those episodes that I saw when I was young. My dad used to watch the re-runs in the 70s. Even as a kid, when I saw this and the guy wouldn’t leave her alone, I remember thinking to myself “she’s already dead and he is the angel of death or something.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well you guessed it early! It’s been so long since the first time I watched it…I forgot what I was thinking at first…she is a gorgeous girl…BUT… a tragic life story…look her up.


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