Seeking refuge from a storm, a traveler comes upon a bizarre abbey of monks, who have imprisoned a man who begs for his help. When he confronts the head monk, he is told that the man is the Devil, and he must decide whom to believe.
David Ellington recounts a story, one that began just after the end of World War I. He was hiking in Europe when he sought refuge in an abbey during a violent rain storm. The residence is isolated and its head, Brother Jerome, tells him he cannot stay. Ellington is ill however and during his short stay meets someone who is being kept prisoner and howls constantly through the night. Ellington believes the Howling Man is being kept there for no good reason but Brother Jerome tells him of the man's true nature. The decision Ellington makes will haunt him for the rest of his life. Written by
Charles Beaumont had originally envisioned that the monks would keep the Howling Man imprisoned by putting a cross in front of his cell door. Fearful of a backlash in the religious community, the producers substituted the "staff of truth," over Beaumont's objections. See more »
Although Ellington walks into the monastery in the midst of a thunderstorm, he is perfectly dry. See more »
The prostrate form of Mr. David Ellington, scholar, seeker of truth and, regretably, 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.
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This is a simple story that probably has its roots in Melmoth the Wanderer and The Monk. A man finds himself on a snowy night at some kind of monastery (hermitage). He meets a group of staff carrying bearded men. The man is not welcomed by his hosts and is about to be turned out into the cold. He passes out on his way out the door. They tend to him and when he awakens, the begins to search the building. He runs across a man in a cell who asks for help. That is what sets up the story. This is a story about trust and about evil. It is carried out very well. While the men who live in the hermitage may seem threatening, their role in life is greater than any one of them. I have always had a great interest in the idea of how literature portrays the idea of evil as an entity, as a Satan, as a corporal being. I found this a very satisfying portrayal of the mythos.
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