Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (Nickelodeon)

There are certain things in our childhood that make us fans of what were are today. Those shows and movies keep a special, nostalgic bond with us no matter how much better today’s versions are produced.

Such is this case with Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?, a children’s TV series from the 90s about a group of kids from different walks of life telling ghost stories around a campfire every week. It aired on the 9:30pm slot of SNICK, Nickelodeon’s Saturday night TV block for adolescents. This led to many of us moving on to Gilbert Gottfried’s USA Up All Night and Joe Bob Brigg’s MonsterVision to get our more adult horror fixes until we got driver’s licenses and forgot that we even had TVs on the weekends.

We continue our episodic recap of Are You Afraid of the Dark? with “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost.”

Episode 1-3: The Tale of the Lonely Ghost

Series Plot-line: Love is in the campfire smoke of The Midnight Society as David flirts with Kristen the only way he knows how: tell a ghost story and give her a creepy gift for her birthday.

Storyteller: David

Story Type: Ghost

Segment Plot-line: Amanda Cameron goes to stay with her aunt Dottie, cousin Beth, and their Nanny for the summer. When Beth sends Amanda to stay in the haunted house next door, Amanda stumbles upon the ghost of a little girl, and begins to unravel the mystery of the house and Nanny’s connection to it.

AYAOTD: Lonely Ghost (Nickelodeon)

Scene of Awesomeness: “Help Me” is written backwards on the wall and read by looking in the mirror, an awesome homage to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining.

Scene of Ridiculousness: Aunt Dottie props the “For Sale” sign back up and doesn’t even bother to watch it fall back down right away. Yeah, she really wants to sell that house.

Actors/Actresses of Note: No one of any relevance. Laura Levin (playing Beth) had a cameo in a soft-core crime dramedy, Red Silk, and Nanny looks a lot like James Remar. So, there’s that.

Episode Grade: C+

The story was a bit hokey and random, but this episode did have a great kiddie-ghost. Ghost-kids always creep me out, especially when they’re silent, so I had to bump this episode up.

By Pat Emmel

Patrick began collecting a library of VHS tapes, DVDs, and CDs when he was young, and continues to build a library that could easily double as a video store and/or a revitalized Tower Records.