The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 54

Devil's Alphabet

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Mar 28, 1986 on CBS

Episode Recap

On November 2, 1876, the Devil's Alphabet Society begins its final meeting before graduation. Their names begin with the first seven letters of the alphabet, a "Devil's Alphabet." They read their charter in turn, then Frederick suggests an annual reunion. Grant takes it one step further by extending it to eternity, cancelable only by majority vote. He writes the final charter in a mixture of wine and his own blood.

Twenty years later, Deaver has lost everything in a wager. In his former house, emptied of furniture, he puts a gun to his head. The others honor him at the meeting, then notice that the scroll they sign each year already has Deaver's signature, in ink not yet dry. They pour him a glass of wine in jest, which soon empties.

A year later, two chimney sweeps arrive at Andrew's house, finding him hung from the high ceiling. They want to cut him down, but find nothing to stand on. The remaining five arrive for the meeting. Four decide to cancel the meeting. Grant mocks them, saying he will remain anyway as a matter of honor. Looking on the scroll, he finds the signatures of the two dead men in fresh ink. As he signs, a ghostly apparition confronts him. Outside, Eli and Brian board a coach driven by a man wearing a society ring. He drives the coach like a man possessed. Frederick pursues the coach on foot while Cornelius re-enters the house to call for help. He finds Grant dangling from the high ceiling. The coach races down the street, suddenly aflame. Down one final alley, it becomes completely engulfed.

In 1898, Frederick and Cornelius meet. They cannot dissolve the meeting. After nightfall, Frederick finds Cornelius the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot. Frederick alone attends the meeting, finding the scroll already signed by the others. He signs the scroll then sees the ghostly others filling their seats. He proposes that they dissolve the charter. Grant alone dissents. Frederick convinces him that the society was supposed to be a loud, happy place, not the silent, sullen affair it has become. The society disbanded, Frederick removes his ring and tosses it beside the others lying on the scroll, which bursts into flame.
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