31 Days of Halloween with The Kelly Society Day 18 - Rod Serling & The Twilight Zone
31 Days of Halloween with
The Kelly Society
“You are about to enter another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination. Next stop, the Twilight Zone!”
Rod Serling’s voiceover for TheTwilight Zone introduction Season 1
No one can read that quote and not hear Rod Serling’s deep, rich, voice. More often than not, when people are asked “Did you ever watch the Twilight Zone?” they say, “Yes! I loved the Twilight Zone!” Then, they start in on favorite episodes and famous actors who got their start on the zone.
Hi, my name is Ron and I own Java Hut coffee house on Main Street in Half Moon Bay. I always tell Vivien and Neal I had a gut feeling they would get together. Before they started dating, I would see them come in separately, but for some reason, my mind would put them together in an image. This was before I even owned the store, back when my friend Matt owned it. So, I keep reminding Vivien that she is not the only psychic in town! Anyway, on to my post.
I asked The Kelly Society paranormal team if I could add my love of Rod Serling to the mix, and they said “Yes!” So here it is:
The two most popular TV series that Rod Serling created were The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery.
Twilight Zone 1959-1964 (5 Seasons)
Night Gallery 1969-1973 (3 Seasons)
Each series brought forth mind bending supernatural stories from ghosts, aliens, time travel, other dimensions, and beyond.
One of my favorites was an episode called Little Girl Lost, in which a little girl goes to bed one night, and the next thing we know, the parents are hearing her calling for them, but is nowhere to be found.
The girl and her dog are gone, but her sweet voice echoes from the walls of the bedroom. The frantic parents call a friend to come over and help. Soon they discover their hands go through the wall just behind the girl’s bed. A door to another dimension. The father reaches in (many elements of this episode were used later in the film Poltergeist) and retrieves his daughter after much coaxing, because she is so frightened. The dad’s friend urgently calls out to them to come back, and they do. After the girl is reunited with her mother, the friend begins pounding the bedroom wall with his fist. The interdimensional door had closed, and was closing while the father was rescuing his daughter. They spilled out of the wall just in time!
That’s the thrill of The Twilight Zone. Also, to give credit, the episode referenced above was adapted from a short story by Richard Matheson. He wrote many episodes for both shows along with Rod Serling.
As a pre-teen, what kept bringing me back to this show time and time again, was how it affected me. Some stories sent a spidey tingle up my spine, while others made me want to cry, or laugh. Rod Serling had a bit of everything in his writing. But what I loved with jumps of fright, was a message of hope or justice. Many times the ending to an episode held a twist of fate—for good or bad.
For instance, who can forget the true purpose of friendly meaning aliens in “To Serve Man.”
I found comfort in Rod’s fascinating creativity and intellect during each episode’s introduction, and his summing up of the moral at the end. It made me feel like he took us on a magical journey, and then we came back home. Every now and again he uttered, “Submitted for your approval” before a show began, and that made me feel like I was part of the creative process—which being audience members—we are. He made me feel a part of his universe and that we all existed there together in unity. A message that rings true today.
Here are stills from some of the 156 twilight zone episodes
Terror at 20,000 Feet
Nothing in the Dark
Can you identify the famous faces of these actors who inhabited the Twilight Zone?
About Rod Serling:
Emmy Award–winning television and film writer Rod Serling created and hosted the sci-fi fantasy series The Twilight Zone and co-wrote Planet of the Apes. In 1968, Serling co-wrote the screenplay for the original movie version of Planet of the Apes. Serling spent his later career hosting Rod Serling's Night Gallery and teaching screenwriting at Ithaca College. Over the course of his career, Serling wrote an estimated 252 scripts and won a total of six Emmys.
Night Gallery brought forth similar paranormal storylines as The Twilight Zone, but also delved deeper into darkness. Fans have told me they feel Night Gallery was a bit scarier than The Twilight Zone, and I tend to agree.
In each show, Rod walked up to the camera with an introduction and stopped next to a painting. That painting stood as the metaphor for the story we were about to see.
Artist Tom Wright painted the bulk of paintings on the Night Gallery set.
Here are just a few of the Night Gallery episodes that made us quiver back in the day, and still do!
Well, I need to wrap this up since I’m brainstorming with my manager Patsy to create a brand new All Hallows Eve coffee flavor. We shall announce it when it’s ready! And don’t forget Syfy channel airs a Twilight Zone marathon every New Year's Day!