"Thriller" Pigeons from Hell (TV Episode 1961) - Plot Summary Poster

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  • Two stranded motorists and a local sheriff battle evil forces that inhabit a run-down, abandoned mansion in the middle of a swamp in the middle of nowhere.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • This episode was adapted from a Robert E. Howard (Author of Conan the Barbarian) short story. Directed by John Newland (former Director and host of the creepy series "One Step Beyond"). It was set in a lonely old mansion in the southern swamp lands. Two brothers, John (David Whorf) and Tim (Brandon De Wilde) find themselves stranded there after their car breaks down nearby. Traveling through the swamps they find the old abandoned Blassenville mansion. As they approach it a strange cry causes scores of pigeons to burst into flight to swirl eerily in the gathering twilight. Spending the night in the gloomy old place is the only option as the sun is setting and so they settle down in sleeping bags on the lower floor. One brother (Tim) is awakened in the middle of the night and finds he is alone. He hears a terrible scream and climbs the stairs only to see a terrifying sight. He runs from the mansion in abject panic and collapses in the swamp.

    Awakened by Sheriff Buckner(Crahan Denton) he's taken back to the old mansion and there they find the body of his brother, he is accused of the murder and must return to the mansion again to try to explain what happened the night before and clear his name.

    Sheriff Buckner:

    "They say the pigeons are the souls of the Blassenvilles, let out of hell at sunset. The Negroes say the red glare in the west is the light from hell, because then the gates of hell are open, and the Blassenvilles fly out.

    The short story is available on line and is well worth finding, this episode of Thriller is a very good adaptation of it.

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