"It Crawled Out Of The Woodwork" is an episode of the original The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 9 December 1963, during the first season.

Opening narration

His name is Warren Edgar Morley. For the past six months, he has guarded this gate from eight in the morning until six at night, at which time he is replaced by another just like himself. These are the last few moments of his life.


A cleaning lady attempts to vacuum up what appears to be a dust-bunny, but as soon as it is in the vacuum cleaner it explodes into a bizarre energy entity.


A security guard at the gates of N.O.R.C.O., a physics research center, is brusque when the Peters brothers drive up, even though Stuart is taking a job with the company. Oddly, the guard slips them a matchbook on which he has scrawled, "Don't come back, NORCO doomed." When the brothers leave, a monstrous explosion of energy appears and the guard disintegrates.

The next day at N.O.R.C.O. Stuart meets his boss, head scientist Dr. Block, and mentions the note, which Block dismisses. Block leaves Stuart in the laboratory with a coworker, Dr. Stephanie Linden. Linden directs Stuart into an adjacent corridor then locks him in, releasing a grotesque energy entity that kills him instantly.

Days pass, and when Stuart does not return his brother Jory grows worried, confiding his concerns to his girlfriend, Gabby. However when Stuart reappears the two men fight, and Stuart falls in the bathtub where he is electrocuted. It proves that Stuart was wearing a pacemaker that he did not have when the brothers arrived.

The police investigate and Sgt. Siroleo confronts Block at N.O.R.C.O. However it is Linden who reveals the truth: a Being composed entirely of energy has been accidentally formed. It can consume anyone with a mere touch, and is so threatening that those who encounter it at close range die instantly. Dr. Block found a way to control the entity and is keeping it contained while he tries to study the monster. When the other scientists demanded its destruction, Block had the Horrid Being frighten them to death, then restored them to life with pacemakers, which will cease to function if Block directs the creature to draw the power from them.

Dr. Block reappears with a gun, and, holding Siroleo and Linden at bay, releases the Horror. Siroleo, however, wrests away the gun and shoots Block. Now he, Linden, and Peters must face the Energy Being. Since the creature needs energy to sustain itself, they resort to cutting all power within a large area, thus forcing the Energy being to withdraw back into the energy chamber where it has been contained so far. Unfortunately, this also causes Dr. Linden's pacemaker to fail, killing her. As things settle down, Peters turns around to look with uncertitude towards the energy chamber where the Energy being is - now once again contained, but still alive...

Closing narration

The Conservation of Energy Law — a principle which states that energy can be changed in form but that it cannot be either created or destroyed. And this is true of all energy — the energy of genius, of madness, of the heart, of the atom. And so it must be lived with. It must be controlled, channeled for good, held isolated from evil… and somehow lived with, peaceably.



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