As a fan of Rod Serling’s seminal, damn-near-perfect experiment in fiction, ‘The Twilight Zone,’ I am always thankful for the way I first encountered it.  When I was young, TZ was either on late at night (which made my basement room even more creepy and tomb-like) or early in the morning (which gave everything a dreamlike, disconnected feeling.)  Seeing these morality plays in black and white, on a vintage Magnavox TV, at strange times made the show even more alienating, more engaging and more personally haunting than it already was, leading to today’s macabre query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) still finds ‘A Kind Of A Stopwatch’ utterly chilling, asking: What story or series gave you the strongest, most disturbing, disconnected feeling?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. As much as I love the Twilight Zone, the black-and-white nature made it seem.. less real?.. to me at the time I caught it in syndication. Sure, the stories are winners, and Serling’s narration spot on, but what truly affected me was the X-Files, preferably the stand-alone monster-of-the-week stories.

  2. Probably the first time I saw “Ghostbusters” as a kid going through chemo, sitting up in bed in a dark hospital room while heavy drugs flowed through my system (including both a strong painkiller and the remnants of anesthesia). I loved the movie, but the whole experience was very, very surreal.

  3. Honestly for me it was a film I don’t even necessarily consider a good one, at least not a favorite, and have not watched since the few times I did when it came out when I was a young lad of 14. This would be 2001’s “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence”. The whole film was slightly unnerving in its core concepts and painted a bleak future for humanity. However the part that really overwhelmed me was the very end. Mankind’s existence and influence is literally buried in an avalanche of the ages, a relic for more advanced races of the cosmos to idly reflect on in passing like we would ants. I would liken the feeling I had to a full-body pain experienced in an out of body sense; my soul hurt from its new found smallness.

  4. This year I read Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle, the end left me feeling like this for a long while. I actually recall having to read Douglas Adams to come back down from it.

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