Twilight Zone: Season 1, Episode 29

Nightmare as a Child (29 Apr. 1960)
"The Twilight Zone" Nightmare as a Child (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 746 users  
Reviews: 7 user | 5 critic

A schoolteacher keeps seeing a strange little girl in her apartment building.



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Episode complete credited cast:
Narrator (voice)
Helen Foley
Shepperd Strudwick ...
Peter Selden
Terry Burnham ...
Michael Fox ...
Joseph V. Perry ...
Police Lieutenant (as Joe Perry)


Helen Foley is a school teacher who when arriving home one day meets a little girl, Markie, sitting on the steps just outside her apartment door. Helen invites her in and gives her a cup of hot cocoa. Strangely however, Markie seems to know a great deal about her - that she doesn't like marshmallows in her cocoa or that she has a scar on her elbow. She also knows what Helen did earlier that day including seeing a somewhat familiar man, Peter Selden, behind the wheel of a car. When Selden arrives at her apartment a few moments later he says he worked for her mother but Helen has no memory of what happened to her mother all those years ago. As her memories return however, she finds herself in grave danger. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

29 April 1960 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Acting debut of Morgan Brittany. She was uncredited even though she had several lines near the end as the little girl with the doll. See more »


When Markie and Helen are arguing about Markie's real name, Terry Burnham mouths Janice Rule's lines along with her in between her own. See more »


Narrator: [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.
See more »


Referenced in Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) See more »


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star
Written by Jane Taylor
Performed by Terry Burnham
See more »

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User Reviews

Very good...
3 October 2009 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Helen Foley is a strange lady because most of her childhood is missing. She isn't sure why, but she has no recollection of the time up until her mother was murdered. When a child just shows up at her apartment unannounced, she invites the girl in and they begin having a rather bizarre conversation. It's obvious that this is no ordinary kid--she knows details about Helen's life that even Helen isn't aware of--and Helen seems nervous and disturbed by this. A short time later, the child leaves and a man who identifies himself as a friend of the family arrives. At this point, it seemed pretty obvious what was occurring, though Helen kept denying who he and the little girl are.

The story is about suppressed memories of trauma and works very well. I won't say more about it and the symbolic nature of the episode but I do think that towards the end, the writing suffered a bit. In the scene with the two cops talking, they essentially explained exactly what had happened to the audience--even though the audience (unless they are quite dumb) should have surmised this already. This exposition is like telling someone a joke and then explaining the punchline and why it is funny--at that point you've said too much. Aside from this one scene, an excellent and interesting episode.

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