I was probably the perfect age when Are You Afraid of the Dark? was on TV–the age where I was afraid of the dark. If anything, this show taught me how to be afraid and what I should be scared of.
Every episode started with the Midnight Society gathered around a fire in the woods. I don’t know how these 13 year olds got permission to go into the woods every weekend. Who dropped them off? Maybe one of them could drive? Nevertheless, each episode a different member of the gang would tell a scary story that they made up or hear from another source. Even when I was 9 I refused to believe that these kids were making up creative yet scary stories.
The opening credits were just a bunch of creepy settings complied into one black and white scene that would make me feel like I should be scared. I wasn’t normally scared of swings or boats, attics, or window shutters, but the intro was basically saying, “Hey look at this stuff! Isn’t it scary? Aren’t you SCARED?!”
Here are my top three favorite episodes from the show:
The Tale of the Chameleons: A story about a girl (Tia Mowry or maybe Tamera…I can’t tell the difference) who gets bitten by a chameleon (played by a normal lizard because Nickelodeon couldn’t afford an actual chameleon I’m guessing). The saying goes “bite you once, bite you twice, a little water—pay the price” which basically means that if a chameleon bites you twice they’ll turn into an exact image of you and pour water on you which would cause you to morph into a chameleon so they can kill you. Makes sense, right? Moral of the story: don’t pet reptiles. And Tia and Tamera are basically the same person and we don’t really need both of them in this world.
The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float: A story of science and pool monsters where kid’s end up drowning in their school’s pool. A hottie and a nottie team up to kill the beast that’s haunting the pool. The loser guy is into chemistry but he can’t swim. His name is also Zeke which makes me want to blow chunks. The hottie named Clarice (seriously what are these names?) is on the swim team and promises to teach Zeke how to swim if he helps her with her chemistry grade. They almost get taken out by this invisible pool monster when they realize that the phantom is made of acid. They pour some chemicals on him that react with his acidic pH level and he turns into this terrifying red skeleton man. They eventually find a chemical that makes him blow up with the help of a janitor named Bobby.
The Tale of the Doll Maker: This story wasn’t that scary, but it was intriguing to a young girl like myself. The main character Melissa would go over to her aunt and uncle’s house occasionally on the weekends. She would always have fun playing with their next door neighbor’s daughter Susan. One weekend Melissa arrived wanting to play with Susan and she was gone. Her aunt and uncle said that she moved, but they were really just lying and being obnoxious. Susan had entered her doll house through a portal in her attic and started morphing into a doll. When Melissa found her, Susan’s hands were made of glass and her transition into a doll was almost complete. The doll house was really a replica of Susan’s house so Melissa had to find her way through it and figure out how to escape. She ended up finding the secret door through the attic window and saving the day. The only weird thing about this whole story is that Melissa’s aunt and uncle are white and Melissa is definitely some sort of brown ethnicity. Maybe her dad is black or something.
The actors in the Midnight Society didn’t amount to much. The two that did are Tucker (played by Daniel DeSanto) and Sam (played by Joanna Garcia Swisher). The rest of the cast members were just there to make the show culturally diverse.