Tales from the Crypt (1989–1996)
9 user 2 critic

Television Terror 

A TV shock journalist gives an on-air tour of an eerie haunted house.


Charlie Picerni (as Charles Picerni)


Steven Dodd (creator), Randall Jahnson (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview:
Morton Downey Jr. ... Horton Rivers
Dorothy Parke Dorothy Parke ... Sam
Peter Van Norden ... Booth
John Kassir ... Crypt Keeper (voice)
Warren Burton Warren Burton ... Roland
Michael Harris ... Trip (as M.K. Harris)
Ami Rothschild Ami Rothschild ... Lisa
Candace Savalas Candace Savalas ... A.D.
Jeannie Epper ... Ada Ritter
Victor Paul Victor Paul ... Rudy Deluca
Wally Rose Wally Rose ... Man in Tub
Steve Picerni Steve Picerni ... Man on Staircase
Ted Grossman Ted Grossman ... Weird Old Man with Camera


A TV shock journalist gives an on-air tour of an eerie haunted house.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Not Rated | See all certifications »






Release Date:

17 July 1990 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Spoofs The Morton Downey Jr. Show (1987) See more »


Tales from the Crypt Theme
Composed by Danny Elfman
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User Reviews

Nice Adaptation of Robert Arthur, Jr. Short Story
24 August 2009 | by sk_zizelmann_kofcSee all my reviews

"Television Terror" was one of the better episodes from the "Tales from the Crypt" television series. Although its source is supposedly "Television Terror!" from the SEP/OCT 1950 issue of the "Haunt of Fear", its roots appear to go back about 9 years previous to that. Although not credited as such, it appears to be loosely based on the short story, "The Believers", by Robert Arthur, Jr. from the JUL 1941 issue of "Weird Tales". It can be found more readily in the anthology, "Ghosts and More Ghosts", listed as "Do You Believe in Ghosts?", published in 1963 with reprints through 1972.

The storyline is essentially the same, following a blow-hard radio show ghost hunter (Nick Deene of "So-Pure Soaps present Dare Danger with Deene!") in pursuit of his fictitious, ratings-induced "Carriday Curse", a "Thing" with a "face like an oyster", supposedly lurking the grounds of the 18th century Carriday mansion. The broadcast takes place on Friday the 13th, with Deene being handcuffed to the four-poster bed (sans the key) where 3 generations of Carridays allegedly died under mysterious circumstances. With 10 million listeners all believing the faked live broadcast in unison, it doesn't quite end the way Deene had intended.

The "Tales from the Crypt" version follows a television ghost hunter, Horton Rivers (Morton Downey, Jr.) of "Horton Rivers Live!", in pursuit of the ghosts in a house that is supposedly haunted in the aftermath of the mass slaying of a dozen elderly people who used to live there.

Both stories end on a very similar note.

"Television Terror" is a nice adaptation of the original short story by Robert Arthur, Jr. It is unfortunate that he is not given the credit he rightfully deserves regarding the original storyline itself. Movie plots, more loosely adapted than this, have credited the original source material for their screenplays.

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