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The Town that Dreaded Sundown (1977)


Filmed by Charles B. Pierce and set in the late 40s, the semi-documentary is loosely based on a string of murders in 1946 that happened in and around Texarkana, Texas/Arkansas area.  The movie was shot in the Garland and Texarkana area. Some local landmarks included in the film no longer exist, specifically the old Texarkana College Auditorium. The old church is abandoned but still there.

The citizens are left terrorized by a mysterious hooded killer who is stalking victims during the evening and leaving the local police at a loss. The murder spree became known as the "Texarkana Moonlight Murders" and ultimately would claim five lives and injure many others. The only description of the killer ever obtained was of a hooded man. To this day no one has been convicted and these murders remain unsolved.

Academy Award-winning veteran actor Ben Johnson plays the Texas Ranger, Andrew Prine is a local deputy and Gilligan’s Island’s Dawn Wells is one of the victims.

An account of the actual events can be found on


Internet Movie Database


Garland is approximately 15 miles east of Texarkana, Arkansas.

The church is located at 14th and Bowie Streets in the old Beverly section of Texarkana.


Director and Arkansas native Charles B. Pierce also appears on screen as the inept cop "Sparkplug" Benson, and screenwriter Earl E. Smith is in the movie as Dr. Kress.