Nightmare as a Child

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Janice Rule: Helen Foley
Terry Burnham: Markie
Shepperd Strudwick: Peter Selden
Michael Fox: Doctor
Morgan Brittany (Suzanne Cupito): Little Girl (uncredited)

"Nightmare as a Child" is an episode of the American television anthology series The Twilight Zone.


Schoolteacher Helen Foley (Janice Rule) finds a strange and very serious little girl named Markie (Terry Burnham) on the stairs outside her apartment. Despite her stoic appearance, she is humming the tune to a nursery rhyme. The little girl seems to know her and tries to jog her memory about a man she saw earlier that day.

The man arrives at Helen's door and Markie runs out the back way. The man is Peter Selden (Shepperd Strudwick), who worked for Helen's mother when Helen was a child, and claimed to be the first to find her murdered mother's body. Helen witnessed the crime, but has blocked it out. When she mentions Markie, Selden tells her that was her nickname as a child and shows her an old photo of herself. She then realizes that she and Markie are one and the same.

When Selden leaves, Markie reappears. She tells Helen that she is Helen herself, and that she is there to force her to remember her mother's murder. Selden returns and confesses to the murder. He is afraid that Helen is starting to remember and has decided to kill her. She manages to run into the hallway and push Selden down the stairs to his death. After talking to the police and returning to her apartment, Helen hears a young girl's voice humming the same tune as Markie. She tells the little girl she has a beautiful smile...and advises her never to lose it.


  • 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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