The Twilight Zone

Season 1 Episode 16

The Hitch-Hiker

Aired Unknown Jan 22, 1960 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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out of 10
224 votes
  • great

    scares me every time when i watch it at night it makes me stay up till 3am just thinking about being alone in the dark streets where noone will belive you
  • Creepy!

    This is one very creepy episode. Just reading the recaps gave me chills!
  • creepfest


    Wonderfully creepy, with the atmosphere of dread and suspense well-sustained throughout. This was one of the first TZs I ever saw (if memory serves), and it's still one of my favorites. The phone call back to her parents was particularly well-done. We also get to see in a cameo the guy who played Anthony Perkins' psychiatrist in Fear Strikes Out. The only knock is the rather hammy VO's, which I thought could've been dispensed with.

  • Nan Adams recovers from a traffic accident and she begins seeing the same hitch hiker everywhere she goes.

    In my humble opinion, the scariest and most tense of all 'The Twilight Zone' episodes. It is a normadic episode which adds to the urgency of the situation and the lack of ideas Nan Adams must have. The Hitch-Hiker himself seems perfectly harmless: which is what makes him more terrifying. It is also quite refreshing to have Adams have narrative soliloquys; highlighting the fact that she is alone. Fortunately for her she meets a sailor, however he seems to be no help when Adams loses her mind. When Adams phobes home, it is one of the more chilling scenes as she realises her fate and how it is now secured. And the final line from the Hitch-Hiker cements it: 'I believe you're going my way.'
  • In five seasons, 156 episodes and over 4,500 minutes of black and white drama, The Hitch-Hiker is unquestionably my all-time favorite to watch when I'm in a Twilight Zone mood. If you watch no other Twilight Zone episode in your life, watch this one.

    Of all the Twilight Zone episodes I've ever watched in my life, none scared the ____ out of me more than this one. I know that terms like "chilling" and "spine-tingling" tend to get used a lot with these Twilight Zone episodes, but there really aren't many words that epitomize them quite as well. The story begins in Pennsylvania with Nan Adams, a woman who has been in a car accident on a cross-country road trip from New York to Los Angeles. She gets fixed up and laughs the experience off as being "cheaper than a funeral." As she's about to leave, she notices a scrawny man with his thumb up, trying to hitch a ride. Nan just takes off, pretending not to notice him. However, this hitch-hiker keeps appearing and reappearing on the streets she happens to be driving. With each time she sees him, she gets more and more terrified and perplexed until he's all she can think about. A few scary moments are thrown in for good measure during the episode. In one scene, she's stopped on the road by a foreman telling her there's a delay and she'd need to stay put. She sees the hitch-hiker approaching her car and she freezes in fear. He pokes his head in her passenger side window with his thumb outstretched and asks, "Heading... west?" She flips out and high-tails it out of there. Eventually, she reaches Arizona and decides that if she doesn't call her mother to hear a warm, familiar voice, she's gonna lose her mind. She calls her own number on a pay phone and an unknown woman answers. This woman reveals that her mother has been hospitalized on account of a nervous breakdown. Then comes the zinger. (SPOILER COMING)

    The mother's breakdown was caused by... the death of her daughter. The eerie music starts playing as the woman on the phone goes on to explain that Nan Adams was killed in a car accident in Pennsylvania six days ago, when the car she was driving blew a tire and overturned. At this point, Nan realizes the truth and an inner monologue takes place as she slowly walks back to her car. Her voice is heard talking about how she's all of a sudden become this numb, cold shell of a person. She goes on to say, "Ahead of me stretch a thousand miles of empty mesa, mountains, prairies, desert. Somewhere among them he's waiting for me. Somewhere I'll find out who he is. I'll find out. I'll find out what he wants. But just now, for the first time, looking out at the night, I think I know." As the creepy music hits a high point, you see Nan back in her car. The camera swivels from her face to the back of her head as she is seen getting ready to adjust her rear view mirror. All you see in the mirror once it's adjusted is the Hitch-Hiker's face and knowing smile as he delivers the mother of all freaky lines: "I believe you're going... my way." The camera shows Nan's defeated, yet calm face. You only see her in the car, but her eyes are fixed on the rear view mirror as the episode ends. The music for this episode is perfect, especially at the end. It's the kind of episode that'll make your bones quiver. I'm not even a woman and I'm freaked out at the very thought of that happening to me. If you want to entice someone into becoming a Twilight Zone fan, show them this episode. Seriously. There's no way they won't come away from it without saying something to the effect of, "Wow, that is seriously messed up!"
  • Spooky, atmospheric ride through 1950's American noir.

    "The Hitch-Hiker" is the Twilight Zone at its best: Eerie, unsettling, nightmarish. The ending made my wife scream! I especially liked the sailor charactor and his transformation from wolf to mouse. It's almost a comment on the way people react to those struggling with mental illness. The best horror stories tap into our most elemental fears and this concept is perfectly realized when Nan makes her phone call home. I also liked the episode's restraint and understated treatment. It doesn't bludgeon the audience like so many modern, lesser offerings, but the chill stays with you. Easily in my top ten of favorite Twilight Zone episodes.

    For more in this vein, see Herk Hervey's great cult hit, "Carnival of Souls" (1962).
  • Scary but awesome.

    The Hitch Hiker is an absolutely amazing example of just how great The Twilight Zone is. I love this episode so much! Truth be told it used to really scare me when I first watched it when I was younger. It was always so freaky to see that guy standing there. Then at the end when we learned that he was actually "death". That was great. It was a really good twist that I never even saw coming. I also think that it is cool because it reminds me of the Final Destination movies. Because after all you can't cheat death.
  • Massively overrated...

    I created an account on specifically to vote for this episode. By far the most overrated episode of (the absolutely classic series) The Twilight Zone. I do not understand why people think this is a good episode. It's boring, predictable, and nothing at all happens. I think people vote based on nostalgia for the radio play.
  • I love this episode!!!

    I personally love this episode of the Twilight Zone. I really like the idea of it. It's a cool storyline. Kind of creepy, but it's still cool, nonetheless. I didn't expect the ending at all. That was twisted! I never thought that the "hitch hiker" would turn out to be death. That was so cool. This show had awesome writers! Especially Rod Serling who is one of my role models! I loved the ending narraration for this episode:

    "Nan Adams, age twenty-seven. She was driving to California, to Los Angeles. She didn't make it. There was a detour through the Twilight Zone."

    The part about her not making it is kind of eerie. But then again, this is the Twilight Zone.

    Anyways, wonderful episode. Loved it!
  • This was one of my FAVORITE episodes of The Twilight Zone, it was wonderful and so full of suspense, I absolutly loved this episode you just never knew what would happen next and truthfully my favorite part was at the end when the man said "going my way?"

    This was a wonderful episode full of excitement every second of the way. One of my many favorite parts was when Nan got stuck on the track, it was a close call, but she made it!! I LOVED this episode, I just can't tell you how much I enjoyed watching this exciting episode of The Twilight Zone. I just can't put it in words how much I loved it!!
  • Running on empty!

    One of the earliest episodes of "the Twlight Zone," is a woman name Nan adams, a woman who was driving to Los aqngeles. Along the way she keeps runing to this Hitch hiker. who also on the side of the road with his thumb out. He utter those word "going My Way!" The episode was being narriated by Adams herself as go down a lonely road to los Angeles. But according to the epiosde she never made it. The Question isn't the identity of the Hitch hiker, but why is Nam Adams never made it to Los angeles? The episode will tell you.
  • A well written combination of suspense, thriller, and mystery, this episode plays upon one of humanity's most complex emotions: paranoia

    Wherever the main character goes, she sees the same hitch-hiker ahead of her...very quickly and early on, the suspense and mystery begin to build aa this "Twilight Zone" episode turns a very quaint and simple looking man into a creepy and disturbing one, even though he really does little, and he says nothing until the very end.

    With every spot the woman passes she sees the same hitchhiker, and she begins to grow more paranoid as she slowly slips into an ominous madness. Like in many of the episodes, she is alone and her growing fear coupled with her being alone begins to play with her mind and her emotions. Without having to use aliens or monsters or gore, Serling manages to creep us out to the bone, until we realize, as the woman does, that she has been dead all along. Left without her state of denial, she accepts her tragic fate.

    An episode that would make Hitchcock smile.
  • A woman is traveling across country, but she is not alone. A certain hitch-hiker beats her to every one of her stops. Coincidence?

    The episode starts off with a woman at the side of the road, with a man who is helping her fix her car. She had just had a blowout on her way across country. Before she leaves with the repair man, she sees a thin gray-looking hitch- hiker. She thinks nothing of it. That is until she sees him again at the repair station. She makes a comment about the hitch-hiker to the repair man, but when he looks around, the hitch-hiker is gone. She continues on her way, but is constantly seeing him along the road. But how is it possible for him to beat her to every stop? She is forced to stop to let oxen pass by, eventually. Once stopped, she's sees the hitch- hiker in her rear-view mirror coming up to her. He knocks on her window and asks if she is heading west. Frightend, she speeds away. She tries to take a side road, to lose the hitch- hiker, but her car runs out of gas in the middle of the night. She walks to the nearest town, gets gas, and picks up another hitch-hiker for company. She is terrified to travel alone. She sees the hitch-hiker again, and tries to run him over. The hitch-hiker, who she picked up is startled by her behavior. She asks him if he saw the hitch-hiker, but he said he didn't see anyting.Freaked out by the lady's bold attempt to seemingly kill another hitch-hiker, he leaves her. Confused and frightened, the lady decides to call her mother. To her surprise she finds out that her mother has had a nervous breakdown, due to the death of her daughter. The woman on the other line tells her that the daughter died in a blowout on her way traveling across country. The last scene we see the lady return to her car, only to have the hitch-hiker be in the back seat. The last thing he says is, "I believe you are heading my way."

    So, you see, the woman, had been killed in the first scene of the episode during the blowout. That is when she first began to see the hitch- hiker. The hitch-hiker represented death and was there to help her move on. She finally realizes and accepts this in the final scene of the episode. As the announcer puts it at the end, she had taken a detour through the Twilight Zone.
  • Look out for those hitch hikers. They could be everywhere. Imagine if it was the same one too. Everywhere you turned.

    What a creepy idea! A woman traveling across the country all alone. Until she\'s kept company at every glance on the road by the same man. A creepy hitch-hiker. No matter what this woman does (Stopping for gas, Taking a stranger with her) this man is just somehow always at her sight. And she can\'t escape him. The scariest part is the end where she gets back in her car, looks in her mirror, and he\'s in the backseat. The man is a stalker. A stalker she can\'t get away from no matter how far she travels. Now that\'s scary.