The Twilight Zone: Unveiling the Enigmatic Song in the Diner

The Twilight Zone, an iconic American television series, is known for its unique blend of science fiction, horror, and mystery. Each episode presents a standalone story, often ending with a surprising twist. One such episode, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” begins with a scene in a diner, where a hauntingly beautiful song plays in the background. This song has intrigued fans for years, leading to numerous questions about its origin and significance. In this article, we delve into the enigmatic song in the diner, unveiling its name, composer, and the role it plays in the episode.

The Song’s Identity

The song that plays in the diner at the beginning of “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is called “Dressing Room.” It’s a soft, melancholic tune that perfectly sets the tone for the eerie events that follow in the episode.

The Composer

“Dressing Room” was composed by the renowned French composer, Bernard Herrmann. Herrmann is known for his work in many famous films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and “Vertigo.” His compositions are characterized by their atmospheric quality, making them a perfect fit for the suspenseful and mysterious world of The Twilight Zone.

The Role of the Song in the Episode

The song “Dressing Room” plays a crucial role in setting the mood for “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet.” As the episode begins, we see the protagonist, Robert Wilson, sitting in a diner, looking anxious and disturbed. The melancholic tune of “Dressing Room” mirrors his emotional state, creating an atmosphere of unease and foreboding. This effectively prepares the audience for the terrifying ordeal that Wilson is about to face on his flight.

Why is the Song Significant?

The use of “Dressing Room” in the diner scene is not just a random choice. It’s a deliberate decision by the creators to enhance the storytelling. The song’s melancholic tune reflects Wilson’s inner turmoil, making the audience empathize with his fear and anxiety. Moreover, the song’s eerie quality adds to the overall suspense of the episode, making it one of the most memorable in The Twilight Zone series.


The Twilight Zone is a masterclass in storytelling, with every element, including the background music, playing a significant role in the narrative. The song “Dressing Room” in the diner scene of “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” is a perfect example of this. Its haunting melody not only sets the mood for the episode but also enhances the storytelling, making it an integral part of the Twilight Zone’s enduring legacy.