Perspectives

Cross-posted from LiveJournal

In 1962, when I was about to turn 11 years old, I watched what at that time was probably the most terrifying TV episode of The Twilight Zone I had ever seen: “Little Girl Lost”.

What I remembered:

  • A little girl falls through a portal in her bedroom wall and ends up in another dimension.
  • Her parents hear her crying, in different parts of their house, but they can’t see her.
  • The portal keeps getting smaller and smaller, as measured by chalk marks on the wall.
  • She never gets out.

This, of course, was enough to keep me away from walls at night for a long time, never mind the whole separation anxiety thing.

Well, a few years ago, on a whim, I watched the episode again on DVD, and comparing reality to memory was an interesting adventure.

What I experienced:

  • My general recollection was relatively accurate.
  • We never see the portal shrinking – it’s only implied at the end.
  • The girl and her dog are rescued by her father.
  • The girl is voiced by a whiny, petulant adult.
  • The acting was so bad I wanted to slap all three adult characters, each of which had the intelligence of your median ditchdigger.

I had forgotten about Rod Serling hawking the pleasure of smoking Chesterfields at the end of each episode.

In a way, it was nice. Because now the childhood memory can be updated, and any residual creepiness has vanished forever. This was very similar to the experience I had with Terror from the Year 5000.

On a side note, I was also seriously creeped out by “The Thing,” which was a staple on “Million Dollar Movie” in New York; later viewings actually confirmed that I had good reason to be so. It remains a masterpiece of frightfulness to this day.

The Old Wolf has spoken.


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