Are You Afraid of the Dark was such an iconic kids show from the late 90s and early 2000s. There wasn't much better than sitting around on a Friday night to watch the latest episode, hoping that it wouldn't be so creepy as to give you nightmares. It was one of my favorite shows as a kid, but now as I sit there and watch episodes with my own kids, I can't help but wonder how it was ever a children's show in the first place.
Sure, some of the episodes are cheesy and more than a little bit stupid, but more times than not, the episode would end up being terrifying, leaving children hiding under the covers to escape the monsters, ghosts, and villains out there in the dark.
Let's take a look at 7 episodes from this iconic show that makes us all wonder how it was ever deemed appropriate for kids. (But we still all love it).
1. The Tale of the Quicksilver
We shall start off this list with the fear that inspired me to write this piece. As a child, I saw this particular episode, and it gave me nightmares for a long time.
The episode begins with a young girl attempting to perform a magic spell to trap a creature that has been haunting her. She is unsuccessful, and ends up accidentally dying in a house fire. A young boy moves into the house later on, and discovers the secrets that the house has been hiding. He eventually meets the twin sister of the girl who died, and together they manage to succeed where she had previously failed. In the end, they see the spirit of the dead girl who is finally free of the demon's control. Creepy and sad at the same time.
2. The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner
The Ghastly Grinner is a super villain come to life, with the ability to turn everyone into drooling morons. It's not so much his power that is creepy, but his overall appearance. It's more than enough to send even the most stalwart child screaming for the safety under the blankets of their bed. When the Grinner escapes from the pages of his comic book, he starts trying to terrorize an up-and-coming artist named Ethan who must figure out how to save himself from the Grinner.
3. The Tale of the Frozen Ghost
Death is hard enough for children to process. Now imagine them watching a creepy story about being haunted by the ghost of a child who only has one thing to say "I'm cold." The ghost comes out to haunt Charles Pemberton-Shilling III, a spoiled rich kid who doesn't think of anyone but himself. He and his babysitter, Daphne, head out to the country to spend a weekend with Charles's aunts. It is here that they encounter the ghost of the frozen child, who they think is out to scare them, but in reality, he just needs their help. It is enough to send shivers up an adult's spine, let alone a child's.