The 10 Creepiest Twilight Zone Episodes for a Halloween Marathon

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The 10 Creepiest <i>Twilight Zone</i> Episodes for a Halloween Marathon

[Note: for maximum entertainment and enchantment, please read the following introduction in Rod Serling’s voice with appropriate dramatic pauses.]

It’s getting late. You’re trying to start a Halloween marathon. You’ve exhausted all your streaming services, flipped through pages upon pages of movies. Nothing feels right. But then a bright, bold idea pops into your brain to take a dip into the world of television. The series of choice? Rod Serling’s horror classic The Twilight Zone. Maybe it’s your first introduction, maybe you’ve seen it several times over. But the episodes to choose from? Seemingly endless.

But if you could find only the spookiest offerings, your journey to a frightful night could be made simple. A list is needed, a tight list, filled with horror from across space and time that will send a chill down your spine and your heart pulsing against your chest. Yes, a list like that is possible—necessary even—to navigate your way through… The Twilight Zone.

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“Living Doll” (Season 5, Episode 6)

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Before we had Chucky and Annabelle, the scariest doll around was Talking Tina. If her cheery voice and ever-watching eyes don’t creep you out, her murderous intentions certainly will. “Living Doll” caused a generation of parents to avoid talking dolls like the plague and for good reason. Everything will be fine, just make sure you’re nice to her…


“Eye of the Beholder” (Season 2, Episode 6)

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“Eye of the Beholder” is a masterclass in building tension. What horror will be revealed under Miss Janet Tyler’s bandages? Why is every character’s face cast in shadow? “Eye of the Beholder” is one of The Twilight Zone’s best mysteries, accompanied by a haunting original Bernard Herrman score.


“It’s a Good Life” (Season 3, Episode 8)

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The creepy child is as much a fixture of the horror genre as serial killers and demons. And no child will put fear into your heart like 6-year-old Anthony Fremont, a boy with the powers of a god who holds the town of Peaksville hostage to his whims. “It’s a Good Life” is the Twilight Zone at its best: mysterious and oh so dreadful. You don’t want to know what happens when you get sent to the cornfield…


“Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” (Season 5, Episode 3)

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If you didn’t have a fear of flying before “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” you’ll soon develop one. William Shatner stars as a man having a nervous breakdown while being terrorized by a creature on the wing of a plane no one else will see. And under Richard Donner’s direction, Shatner makes an excellent scream queen. Jumpscares, paranoia, and a truly strange creature make “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” one of The Twilight Zone’s most horrific entries.


“The Masks” (Season 5, Episode 25)

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A dying man, a strange demand, and some incredibly creepy costumes make “The Masks” a perfect watch in any spooky marathon. “The Masks” works both as a tirade against greed and an atmospheric walk through a house that will soon be haunted. Welcome to the creepiest Mardi Gras celebration you’ll ever witness!


“The Dummy” (Season 3, Episode 33)

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If everyone in the world had to decide on something that’s just universally scary, I’d say a ventriloquist dummy would be an easy choice. Enter Willy, the titular doll in “The Dummy” who seems to move according to his own whims and perhaps has a mind of his own. Willy’s face alone is the stuff of nightmares, but “The Dummy” escalates beyond its design to create 25 minutes of pure fear. Just make sure you’re the one still in control by the end…


“Twenty Two” (Season 2, Episode 17)

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Sometimes a nightmare feels stronger than just a fear, it feels like a premonition. That’s the hell Liz Powell finds herself in, haunted by dreams of entering a hospital morgue to the voice of a nurse declaring “Room for one more, honey!” Powell’s descent into hysteria and the increasing horror of her dreams alone would make “Twenty Two” one of The Twilight Zone’s creepiest offerings, but Rod Serling and Co. struck gold with that nurse’s shrill yet friendly voice. I will hear “Room for one more, honey!” when I see the number twenty-two until my dying day.


“To Serve Man” (Season 3, Episode 24)

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No episode of television has scared me like “To Serve Man” has. The arrival of the Kanamits, 9-foot-tall aliens with unknown motivations, sends Earth into a spiral, but the horror has just begun. The design of the Kanamits alone is horrifying: giant people with huge skulls who communicate via telepathy. But the final twist and the eventual fate of this section of humanity (and perhaps, one day, our own) will make your appetite instantly disappear.


“The Hitch-Hiker” (Season 1, Episode 16)

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Nan Adams is on a long drive and someone (or something) wants to come along for the ride. The tale of the hitchhiker who follows Nan across the country is a chilling mystery that escalates into overwhelming fear. Whether you know the twist or you don’t, “The Hitch-Hiker” will have you looking in your rearview mirror with caution for the rest of your life.


“Mirror Image” (Season 1, Episode 21)

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One of the major inspirations for Jordan Peele’s Us, “Mirror Image” is a solid paranoia thriller that makes you more uneasy as it goes on. A woman’s doppelganger lurks around the corner in a dark bus station, but no one will believe her. Is she just a look alike or something much more sinister? Will anyone help her? Are you next? It’s impossible to know for sure without also stepping foot into the Twilight Zone…



Leila Jordan is a writer and former jigsaw puzzle world record holder. To talk about all things movies, TV, and useless trivia you can find her @galaxyleila

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