Much of the general weirdness was likely inspired by Quatermass and the Pit, a 1958 television serial that was later adapted into a 1967 film.
The plot revolves around a scientist who is tasked with examining a long-buried spaceship containing alien skeletons. These are ultimately revealed to be remants of a hive mind capable of creating a powerful telekinetic link with humans. (The latter produces a violent, uncontrollable shaking in the subject.)
It's eventually theorized that the aliens arrived on earth and began influencing humanity, possibly bestowing psychic powers upon us in the process.