The Jungle (The Twilight Zone)

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"The Jungle"
The Twilight Zone episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 12
Directed by William Claxton
Written by Charles Beaumont (adapted from his own short story)
Featured music Stock from "King Nine Will Not Return" by "Fred Steiner" and African tribal music
Production code 4806
Original air date December 1, 1961
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Still Valley"
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"Once Upon a Time"
List of season 3 episodes
List of Twilight Zone episodes

"The Jungle" is episode 77 of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone. It first aired on December 1, 1961. It is often considered to be among the series' worst episodes.


Alan Richards and his wife Doris have recently returned from Africa, where Alan's company is constructing a dam. He discovers she has secretly kept several items given to her by a local shaman for protection. When he confronts her about them, she says she is frightened by the natives opposed to the dam and begs him to stop construction. He dismisses her pleas and opens the door to leave for work. In the hallway of his apartment building, just outside his door, is the carcass of a dead goat.

Alan attends a board meeting, where they discuss the dam and the fact that, although the natives will benefit from it in the long run, they are upset that they will be displaced in order to build it. He warns that the local witch doctors have threatened to use black magic against anyone associated with the project. When the other board members scoff, he points out their own superstitions: one carries a rabbit's foot, another practices astrology, and even the building does not have a 13th floor.

Later, he is in a bar having a drink with a friend before heading home, and shows him a lion's-tooth charm his wife has given him. Supposedly the tooth will protect him against a lion attack. Alan begins to head home but finds his car won't start. He attempts to return to the bar but it is locked and he has forgotten his lion's-tooth charm inside. He attempts to use a pay phone, but it's out of order. As Alan walks away, the phone rings. He answers it and hears nothing but the sounds of the jungle.

He heads home on foot, still hearing the sounds of the jungle all around him (including tribal drums), becoming more and more nervous and jumpy. He tries to take a taxi home, but the driver dies suddenly while stopped at a traffic light. Alan meets a bum and asks him about the jungle noises, which the bum claims not to hear. He offers the bum money to escort him through the park, but the bum disappears while Alan's back is turned.

Alan continues on, and finally reaches the safety of his apartment. The noises suddenly stop. Relieved, Alan enters and pours himself a drink. He hears a lion's roar from the bedroom. When he opens the bedroom door, he finds a lion on the bed, as well as Doris' presumed-dead body. The episode ends as the lion leaps towards Alan for the kill.



Opening narration[edit]

Closing narration[edit]

Episode notes[edit]

  • The original short story by Charles Beaumont appeared in If Magazine in 1954[1]
  • End-titles screen features the image of the lion's tooth protective charm


  1. ^ The Twilight Zone Companion. Bantam. 1982. p. 238. ISBN 0-7607-5634-1. 
  • 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
  • Zicree, Marc Scott: The Twilight Zone Companion. Sillman-James Press, 1982 (second edition)

External links[edit]