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The Twilight Zone: The Howling Man

A man swears that he can hear someone howling inside the monastery that he has taken refuge in during a storm. After first denying the claim, the inhabitants reveal that they have the Devil himself captured inside.

Episode Info

Episode number: 2x5
Production Number: 173-3642
Airdate: Friday November 04th, 1960


Guest Stars
John CarradineJohn Carradine
As Brother Jerome
H.M. WynantH.M. Wynant
As David Ellington

Co-Guest Stars
Ezelle PouleEzelle Poule
As Housekeeper
Robin HughesRobin Hughes
As The Howling Man
Frederic LedeburFrederic Ledebur
As Brother Christophorus
Main Cast
Rod SerlingRod Serling
As Narrator/Host


On a stormy night, an elderly David Ellington warns that people may not believe him but he must explain what happened...

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
John Carradine was the father of actors David, Keith and Robert Carradine; and the grandfather of actress Martha Plimpton. Twenty-six years later, he would appear in the TZ revival series in the episode "Still Life," with his son Robert.

Ezelle Poule returns in "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank."

Charles Beaumont protested when his original script was changed. He had a cross on the cell door which was keeping the devil at bay inside. But a "staff of truth" was used instead to keep religious factions from becoming upset.

This episode is based on the short story "The Howling Man" by Charles Beaumont in Beaumont's collection Night Ride and Other Journeys, 1960.

Episode Quotes
David Ellington: I know. It's--it's an incredible story. I, of all people, know this. And you won't believe me. No, not at first. But I'm going to tell you the whole thing. Then, you will believe, because you must. You must believe. It happened many years ago, after the First World War. I was on a walking trip through central Europe. But one night, I... one night, I got lost in a storm.

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.

Brother Jerome: I must ask you to leave the hermitage, Mr. Ellington. We have no facilities for the care of the ill. Arrangements can be made at Schwandorf.
David Ellington: Now just a minute...
Brother Jerome: No, not a minute, not another second, Mr. Ellington! Now!
David Ellington: Why?
Brother Jerome: I've already explained that.
David Ellington: No, you've explained nothing. No one asked me to come here, I realize that, but that's no excuse for your behavior.
Brother Jerome: My son...
David Ellington: I'm not your son.
Brother Jerome: You don't understand.
David Ellington: That's right. I don't. So why don't you tell me? Why in such a hurry for me to leave? What are you afraid I'll find out? It's the man you have locked up in the cell, isn't it, Brother? Well, that isn't a secret anymore. I know about him.
Brother Jerome: What man is this, Mr. Ellington?
David Ellington: The one we just left. The one who's been screaming his head off.
Brother Jerome: I'm not sure you know what you're saying.
David Ellington: Look, Brother, I don't know much about this cult of yours, what's permitted, what isn't permitted, but I seriously doubt if you have the authority to imprison a man against his will.
Brother Jerome: That is quite true. We have no such authority.
David Ellington: Then why have you done it?
Brother Jerome: No man has ever been imprisoned in the hermitage, Mr. Ellington.
David Ellington: I was just talking with him.
Brother Jerome: You talked to no man. You have been very ill, Mr. Ellington. You've suffered delirium.
David Ellington: (The Howling Man howls) Alright, don't tell me you didn't hear that. Honest men make unconvincing liars. I'll find out eventually, you know.
Brother Jerome: What do you mean?
David Ellington: Just what I said. And the police will be very interested to learn that you people are keeping a man in prison here.
Brother Jerome: I tell you there is no man!
David Ellington: Fine, alright, forget it. (Starts to walk out)
Brother Jerome: Mr. Ellington?
David Ellington: Yes?
Brother Jerome: Would you really go to the police?
David Ellington: Would you?
Brother Jerome: Very well. I have told you the truth but only a part of it. Now I see I shall have to tell you the whole truth. Shut the door, Mr. Ellington. (The Howling Man howls)
David Ellington: Then you do hear it.
Brother Jerome: As I have heard it every hour of every day for five long years.
David Ellington: Why did you lie?
Brother Jerome: I didn't. When I told you that no man held at the hermitage, I was being perfectly honest. What you saw is not a man. It is the devil himself!

Brother Jerome: The Devil hath power to assume a pleasing shape. I had seen him before, in all parts of the world. In all forms and guises. Wherever there was sin. Wherever there was strife. Wherever there was corruption. And persecution. There he was also. Sometimes he was only a spectator, a face in the crowd. But, always, he was there.

Brother Jerome: I'm sorry for you, my son. All your life, you will remember this night. And you'll know, Mister Ellington, whom you have turned loose upon the world.
David Ellington: I didn't believe you. I saw him and didn't recognize him.
Brother Jerome: That is man's weakness... and Satan's strength.

David Ellington: It took many years but I did it. See? I have him in there now. You understand now. You understand why you must not under any circumstances go near that door. You see how important it is that he stay locked up? Good. I'm sending him back to Brother Jerome. He'll do a bit of howling but, heh, pay no attention to that. It's a trick. I know. Yes, I must go now. Must go. I have preparations to make. I'll be back in just a few minutes. Remember. Remember. Keep that door locked.

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.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorRod Serling
Executive ProducerRod Serling
ProducerBuck Houghton
EditorBill Mosher
CastingEthel Winant
Set DecoratorH. Web Arrowsmith  |  Henry Grace
Director of PhotographyGeorge T. Clemens
Art DirectorPhilip Barber  |  George W. Davis
Production ManagerRalph Nelson  |  Sidney Van Keuren
Sound EditorFranklin Milton  |  Charles Scheid
Main Title ThemeMarius Constant
Assistant DirectorE. Darrell Hallenbeck
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