Craving some retro binge-worthy TV from your youth this holiday season? Let’s revisit Are You Afraid of the Dark’s first season, which is now available on YouTube channel Encore+. (BTW, all seven seasons are also available on the show’s official YouTube channel here).
It was announced last month that a film adaptation is in the works from Paramount with It writer Gary Dauberman set to write the screenplay. The film is scheduled to be released just in time for Halloween 2019.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? made its debut on Halloween 1990 as part of YTV’s iconic Halloween night programming (which would later be known as “Dark Night” in a couple of years). The first season cast members of “The Midnight Society” included Gary (Ross Hull), Betty Ann (Raine Pare-Coull), Kiki (Jodie Resther), Frank (Jason Alisharan), Kristen (Clueless and You Me Her’s Rachel Blanchard), David (Codie Wilbee) and Eric (Letterkenny co-creator Jacob Tierney).
Let’s revisit my top five episodes from the first season below. You can access the entire Are You Afraid of the Dark? season one playlist here.
Season 1, Episode 2 — “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”
Ready or Not’s Laura Bertram appears as Amanda (clever) who is sent to stay with her aunt and her awful cousin Beth. In order for Amanda to hang out with her Beth’s crew, she has to spend the night in the abandoned house next door which is haunted by a deaf girl.
Season 1, Episode 4 — “The Tale of the Twisted Claw”
Although it’s the fourth episode, this is the first episode of the series that was broadcast on YTV on Halloween 1990. “The Tale of the Twisted Claw” is about two friends (Dougie and Kevin) who play a trick on an old lady in their neighbourhood. The boys receive a magical twisted claw which grants them three special wishes. The episode is based on W.W. Jacobs’ supernatural short story “The Monkey’s Paw.”
Season 1, Episode 5 — “The Tale of the Hungry Hounds”
Pam (Mia Kirshner) and her cousin Amy find an old horse-riding jacket in the attic and when Pam puts the jacket on, she becomes possessed by the spirit of her dead aunt, naturally.
Season 1, Episode 8 — “The Tale of the Nightly Neighbours”
A new family moves next door to Emma and Day Day from… the “Ukraine.” The neighbours only come out at night, always wear black and members of the community started getting sick. Yup, vampires! The “nightmare” sequence was pretty scary.
Season 1, Episode 10 — “The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun”
All he wanted was some tea! Life imitates art after Jake starts turning into a leprechaun after taking part in a play about an elf saving a boy by changing him into a leprechaun. Fans will notice that Jake is played by Ready or Not’s “Monkey Ears” aka Michael (Benjamin Plener).