The Twilight Zone

The Howling Man –  Original air date:  November 4, 1960

Seeking refuge from a storm, a traveler comes upon a bizarre abbey of monks, who have imprisoned a man who begs for his help. When he confronts the head monk, he is told that the man is the Devil, and he must decide whom to believe.


Tailypo, an Appalachian Folktale (illustration by Katherine Coville from the Robert D. San Souci collection Short & Shivery: Thirty Chilling Tales) 

There are many versions of this tale. Here’s how I tell it:
Old Man Fletcher lived in a log cabin, up a dark holler, deep in the mountains of West Virginia. He had three dogs that kept him company on the long lonely nights. Their names were I-Know, You-Know and Calico.

The cabin only had one room. Old Man Fletcher had his bed one on side of the room and his fireplace was on the other. His dogs slept in the crawlspace under the porch. On cold winter nights Old Man Fletcher liked to sit by the fireplace and warm his bones.

One winter night, Old Man Fletcher was feeling mighty hungry. The weather had been bad for several days so he hadn’t been able to hunt and all he had left to eat was a handful of dry beans. He threw them into his cast iron pot where they landed with a hollow rattle, poured in some water from his gourd dipper, added a pinch of salt and put them over the fire to cook.

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