★★★★★ November 4, 1960 Season 2 Episode 5
If you want to see where we are…HERE is a list of the episodes.
This one was included in my top 10…but it’s been months now so I thought I would post this with some changes. This weekend will be the best for Twilight Zones so far…two classic episodes. Warning…it’s almost impossible writing this review without spoilers for this particular episode.
This one is not one of the comedic episodes…it is deadly serious, haunting and chilling. The Howling Man doesn’t have a lot of action but you feel sorry for David Ellington…he realized too late that he has set the devil loose in the world. The special effects of the ragged looking man turning into the devil was spot on. It would look good now in todays time. One well known actor was in this one, John Carradine played Brother Jerome.
This is very much a classic Twilight Zone episode. The set reminds me of those Universal Monster movie sets of the 40s and 50s. The episode tells us that evil can come in many forms and appeal to human weaknesses. As far as David Ellington… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Charles Beaumont had originally envisioned the monks would keep the Howling Man imprisoned by putting a cross in front of his cell door. Fearful of a backlash in the religious community, the producers substituted the “staff of truth,” over Beaumont’s objections.
This show was written by Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling
Rod Serling’s Opening Narration:
The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regrettably, finder of truth. A man who will shortly arise from his exhaustion to confront a problem that has tormented mankind since the beginning of time. A man who knocked on a door seeking sanctuary and found, instead, the outer edges of The Twilight Zone.
David Ellington recounts a story, one that began just after the end of World War I. He was hiking in Europe when he sought refuge during a violent rain storm. The residence is isolated and its head, Brother Jerome, tells him he cannot stay. Ellington is ill however and during his short stay meets someone who is being kept prisoner and howls constantly through the night. Ellington believes the Howling Man is being kept there for no good reason but Brother Jerome tells him of the man’s true nature. The decision Ellington makes will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:
Ancient folk saying: “You can catch the Devil, but you can’t hold him long.” Ask Brother Jerome. Ask David Ellington. They know, and they’ll go on knowing to the end of their days and beyond — in the Twilight Zone.
Rod Serling … Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
H.M. Wynant … David Ellington
John Carradine … Brother Jerome
Robin Hughes … The Howling Man
Frederic Ledebur … Brother Christophorus
Ezelle Poule … Housekeeper