Why didn't I just wait until my wife was ready to watch it with me, so that she could reassure me that the doors and windows rattling around the house was just the wind playing tricks on my mind?
But no, I just had to sit and watch it all by myself. I was too impatient.
And now I don't think I'll get to sleep tonight.
Or tomorrow night, for that matter.
Folks, this was about as scary as television can get.
Not since the episode of the X-Files called "Home" in 1996, with the disturbing issues of incest, physical deformities and murder thanks to a family of Pennsylvanian in-breds, have I felt so uneasy watching a show on terrestrial TV.
I can barely describe how freaked-out I still feel by the goings-on in this episode, which started with a girl being stopped on a country road late at night, then attacked in her car by an unseen assailant.
The Torchwood team then embarked on a countryside mission to find out why a series of people had disappeared in unexplained circumstances in the remote Brecon Beacons.
Of course, from the start, the team were being watched as they set up camp, and aside from a moderately distracting side-story with Owen and Gwen reluctantly rekindling their pseudo-affair from the 'Cyberwoman' episode, I quickly found myself tempted to reach for the remote control and watch this episode at a later date. Perhaps during the hours of daylight.
The discovery of a body stripped of its organs and flesh led to the team's SUV being stolen, which was then tracked to an abandoned farmhouse pub, where the team found a terrified young man holed up inside -- but not before he blasted Gwen in the abdomen with a shotgun.
Wounded (but not fatally), Gwen and the team then set about barricading themselves into the pub, while Toshiko and Ianto found themselves trapped in an underground prison with coolers full of body parts.
And then the freak show really started.
Tosh and Lanto appeared to find themselves rescued by a woman claiming to be a nurse, but were quickly mistaken -- as the woman only led them to an upstairs kitchen where her crazed husband set about preparing their bodies for butchering, claiming it was part of a 10-year cycle called 'The Harvest'.
Tosh escaped, thanks to Ianto's bravery, but failed to make it through the woods before being caught again and strangled to within an inch of her life. Then Gwen and Owen arrived on the scene with a local policeman and a stand-off ensued.
Unfortunately, the policeman was in on the whole affair, and soon the entire gang -- minus Captain Jack -- were about to be chopped up at the hands of the entire kill-crazy village.
However, Captain Jack arrived in the nick of time on a tractor, smashing his way into the farmhouse and blasting everyone to hell with a shotgun. Well, he knee-capped the lot of them and summoned the real police.
When Gwen sat down in the pub and interrogated the ringleader of the mad village, she could gain no insight into the insanity which had been going on all around them, other than a whisper from the madman to inform her that "it made him happy".
Cue the end credits, and not a minute too soon either, along with the confirmation that Gwen and Owen were conducting a sexual relationship in an attempt to cope with the things they encounter as members of Torchwood. (Better to get the romantic angle out of the way before it takes over the show, I suppose).
It's worth noting that this was the first episode in the series not to feature a supernatural or extraterrestrial element -- at least, not that we know of -- and I can't think of anything I've watched on TV in a long time which could match it in terms of sheer terror.
Sure, zombies and crazy people stalking down us normal folks in a menacing Dawn of the Dead fashion will often get the pulses going, but I sincerely hope there aren't too many more episodes of Torchwood like this to come.
Otherwise, I'll have to hold someone's hand and watch through gaps in my fingers from now on.