Twilight Zone – The Jungle

★★★★  December 01, 1961 Season 3 Episode 12

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

This episode is very eerie and suspenseful. It combines  environmentalism and a voodoo curse that reaches around the world from Africa to New York City. The character actor John Dehner plays Alan Richards who has come back from Africa, where he’s helped organize the construction of a dam. The dam will destroy homes and the land of the local tribes.

The local witch doctors put a curse on everyone connected with the dam project. Richard’s wife knew about the curse and collected items from Africa to protect them but Richards throws them away…calling her superstitious. This is not among the best episodes by any stretch of the imagination but is entertaining.

John Dehner was in about everything in the 60’s-90’s…he had 288 acting credits to his name.

From IMDB: Rod Serling personally shared Alan Richards’ disbelief in superstition and the supernatural. According to Reverend Ernest Pipes of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church, “Theologically speaking, Rod was what we call a naturalistic humanist, and that was the underlying philosophy of my pulpit.”

The original story by Charles Beaumont was first published in the December 1954 issue of the pulp magazine If: Worlds of Science Fiction.

This show was written by Charles Beaumont and Rod Serling

Rod Serling’s Opening Narration: 

The carcass of a goat, a dead finger, a few bits of broken glass and stone, and Mr. Alan Richards, a modern man of a modern age, hating with all his heart something in which he cannot believe and preparing – although he doesn’t know it – to take the longest walk of his life, right down to the center – of The Twilight Zone.

Summary

Alan Richards and his wife are back in New York after living in Africa where he was in charge of a major construction project. His wife was deeply affected after a local witch doctor placed a curse on them and has taken to keeping charms to ward off evil spirits. While Richards doesn’t discount the power of the witch doctor entirely, he dismisses her fears as unfounded. Having a drink in a bar one evening he finds that his wife left a protective amulet in his coat pocket. He leaves it on the bar when he leaves – and as a result has a dangerous and frightening walk home, only to find something there waiting for him.

The Full Version of the episode on Dailymotion

Rod Serling’s Closing Narration:

Some superstitions, kept alive by the long night of ignorance, have their own special power. You’ll hear of it through a jungle grapevine in a remote corner of the Twilight Zone.

CAST

Rod Serling…Narrator / Self – Host (uncredited)
John Dehner…Alan Richards
Walter Brooke…Chad Cooper
Jay Adler…Tramp
Emily McLaughlin…Doris Richards
Hugh Sanders…Templeton
Howard Wright…Hardy
Donald Foster…Sinclair
Jay Overholts…Taxi Driver
Zamba…Lion (uncredited)