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The Twilight Zone: Nightmare as a Child

A teacher has an encounter with herself as a child with an attempt to unlock her memory of witnessing her mother's murder.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x29
Production Number: 173-3635
Airdate: Friday April 29th, 1960

Director: Alvin Ganzer
Writer: Rod Serling


Guest Stars
Joseph V. PerryJoseph V. Perry
As Police Lieutenant
Michael FoxMichael Fox
As Doctor
Morgan BrittanyMorgan Brittany
As Girl with the Doll
Janice RuleJanice Rule
As Helen Foley
Shepperd StrudwickShepperd Strudwick
As Peter Selden
Terry BurnhamTerry Burnham
As Markie
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


Schoolteacher Helen Foley notices a strange and serious little girl named Markie sitting on the steps of her apartment. This little girl seems to know her and tries jogging her memory about a man she saw earlier that day. The man arrives at Helen's door and Markie leaves though the back door. The man is Peter Selden, who worked for Helen's mother when she was just a child, and claimed to be the first to find her mother after she was murdered. Helen witnessed the murder but has blocked it out of her memory. She mentions Markie, and Selden tells Helen that it was her nickname as a child, then shows her a picture of herself. This makes her realize that she and Markie are one in the same. Selden leaves and Markie reappears. She tells Helen she is indeed Helen and that she is there to help her remember her mother's murder. Selden returns and confesses to the murder, and says he has tracked down the only witness to the crime. Helen manages to run in to the hallway and pushes Selden down the stairs to his death...

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Episode Notes
Rod Serling named the lead character Helen Foley after a favorite schoolteacher of his.

Joe Perry returns in "The Gift."

Michael Fox was a veteran actor of both TV and films. He would return in "Mr. Dingle, the Strong" and "Sounds and Silences" but may be best known as Sasha, the Bartender in Casablanca.

Morgan Brittany would return in "Valley of the Shadow" and "Caesar and Me." She was a child actress who as an adult had a role in the long running Dallas.

Michael Fox (not to be confused with Michael J. Fox) also appears in the 1985 version of the Twilight Zone in "A Message from Charity."

Episode Quotes
Opening Narration
Month of November, hot chocolate, and a small cameo of a child's face, imperfect only in its solemnity. And these are the improbable ingredients to a human emotion, an emotion, say, like fear. But in a moment this woman, Helen Foley, will realize fear. She will understand what are the properties of terror. A little girl will lead her by the hand and walk with her into a nightmare.

Markie: You STILL don't understand, do you!
Helen Foley: Understand WHAT?!
Markie: That I'm you, Helen! I'm you! I am you. I'm you when you were ten years old, when you were called Markie! I'm you when you lived with your mother in the apartment house! And a man came into the house that night, and he was arguing with mother downstairs! Then he picked up something heavy and he hit her on the head! And she tried to get away, but he caught her. And he choked her. Helen? Remember? He choked her! And then she fell, and then you screamed! The man looked at you! The man looked at YOU! You screamed so loud, Helen, you screamed SO LOUD…

Markie: Do people look familiar to you sometimes?
Helen Foley: What do you mean?
Markie: I mean when you pass people on the streets or see them in a bank or they walk by you. Do they look familiar to you?
Helen Foley: Sometimes.
Markie: Today?
Helen Foley: Today?
Markie: Yes, today. Did someone go by you today who looked familiar?
Helen Foley: No!
Markie: Really?
Helen Foley: It's not polite to contradict people, I told you that I didn't.
Markie: Did you remember?
Helen Foley: Yes. Yes, there was someone.
Markie: Outside the school when you were crossing the street. There was a man in a car.
Helen Foley: There was a man in a car. He stopped for a red light. I looked at him through the windshield.
Markie: And you recognized him?
Helen Foley: No, I didn't recognize him. He looked so...
Markie: So familiar to you, that he made you frightened, didn't he? (a beat) Of course he did.
Helen Foley: What are you talking about?
Markie: I know he looks familiar, and I know he frightens me, just like he frightens you.
Helen Foley: Who are you? What's your name?! Where are you from?!
Markie: I live around here and I have a nickname. People call me MARKIE. That's not my real name but that's what people call me. MARKIE! Did you hear?
Helen Foley: Yes, I heard, MARKIE. It's a very pretty name.
Markie: Is that all you've got to say?
Helen Foley: It's a very cute name. What more did you want me to say?
Markie: Nothing. I just thought...feeling warm?
Helen Foley: Yes. It is a bit warm, don't you think?
Markie: I don't think so. I think it's very comfortable. Someone's coming!
Helen Foley: We're not the only people on the floor, there are four other apartments.
Markie: I know that, but whoever is coming is coming here. I'm going out the back door! I don't want to be here!
Helen Foley: Look honey, there's nothing to be afraid of!
Markie: Yes there is! Goodbye, I'll come back later!

Closing Narration
Miss Helen Foley, who has lived in night and who will wake up to morning. Miss Helen Foley, who took a dark spot from the tapestry of her life and rubbed it clean, then stepped back a few paces and got a good look at the Twilight Zone.

Episode Goofs
When Helen pushed Seldon to his death, his body was facing to the right. But when the next segment started, it was facing to the left.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorBill Mosher
MusicJerry Goldsmith
Set DecoratorHenry Grace  |  Keogh Gleason
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorAlexander Golitzen  |  Merrill Pye  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson
Sound EditorFranklin Milton
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorDonald C. Klune
Sound Effects EditorVan Allen James
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