The Hunt (The Twilight Zone)

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"The Hunt"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 19
Directed by Harold Schuster
Written by Earl Hamner, Jr.
Featured music Robert Drasnin
Production code 4810
Original air date January 26, 1962
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"Dead Man's Shoes"
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List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The Hunt" is episode 84 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It originally aired on January 26, 1962 on CBS.


Hyder Simpson lives with his wife and his hound dog, Rip, in the backwoods. Mrs. Simpson does not like having the dog indoors, but Rip saved Hyder's life once, and Hyder won't be parted from him. Mrs. Simpson has seen some bad omens recently and warns Hyder not to go raccoon hunting that night. When Rip dives into a pond after a raccoon, Hyder jumps in after him, but only the raccoon comes up out of the water. Next morning, Hyder and Rip wake up next to the pond. When they return home, Hyder finds that neither his wife, the preacher, nor the neighbors can hear him or see him—they seem to think that he and Rip are deceased.

Walking along the road, he encounters a fence he doesn't recognize, and decides to follow it. Presently, both come to a gate tended by a man. Simpson asks him if he is Saint Peter. Explaining only that he is a gatekeeper, the man explains that Simpson can enter the Elysian Fields (Hell in disguise). Simpson is appreciative, but disheartened to hear that there is no raccoon hunting there, nor are there any of his other usual pleasures. When he is told that Rip can't enter and will be taken elsewhere ("up the road"), he declines and angrily goes on down the "Eternity Road" rather than enter the gate without his beloved dog. Simpson states "Any place that's too high-falutin' for Rip is too fancy for me." Later, after stopping to rest, Simpson and Rip are met by a young angel whose job is to find and bring them to Heaven.

Simpson tells the angel about his experience at the first gate, commenting "Son, that'd be a helluva place without Rip!" The angel replies "Mr. Simpson, you ain't far wrong—that is Hell! Heaven's up yonder a piece," pointing up Eternity Road. When asked by Simpson why the gatekeeper at the gate to Hades wouldn't let him bring Rip inside with him, the angel explains that the reason Rip was not allowed in was because the dog would have been able to smell the brimstone and alert Simpson that something was wrong. The angel says "You see, Mr. Simpson—a man, well, he'll walk right into Hell with both eyes open. But even the Devil can't fool a dog!"

The angel also tells Hyder that there will be a raccoon hunt in Heaven that night "right after the square dance" and assures him that his wife, who will be coming shortly, will not be misled into entering Hell.



Opening narration[edit]

Closing narration[edit]


The plot is based on a 1953 episode, "The Hound of Heaven", Hamner wrote for The Kate Smith Hour.[1]


  1. ^ Person, Jr., James E. (July 28, 2012). Earl Hamner: From Waltons Mountain to Tomorrow: A Biography. Cumberland House Publishing. p. 276. ISBN 1620454092. 
  • Zicree, Marc Scott. The Twilight Zone Companion, Bantam Books, 1982. ISBN 0-553-01416-1
  • DeVoe, Bill. (2008). Trivia from The Twilight Zone. Albany, GA: Bear Manor Media. ISBN 978-1-59393-136-0
  • Grams, Martin. (2008). The Twilight Zone: Unlocking the Door to a Television Classic. Churchville, MD: OTR Publishing. ISBN 978-0-9703310-9-0

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