AYFOTD Retro Review: “The Tale of the Captured Souls”

the-10-scariest-are-you-afraid-of-the-dark-tales

On August 15th, 1992, Nickelodeon debuted Are You Afraid of The Dark on their Saturday night lineup, SNICK. It’s been more than 20 years, but you can still remember the eerie opening crawl and kids wanting to start their own Midnight Society. Throughout October, Deadscreen will be looking at episodes from the first three seasons.

A lot of this is looking back in retrospect, but some of these stories were actually scary as a kid. To set things up on “The Tale of the Captured Souls,” Danny and her parents go on vacation. Everything seems kosher, but there’s a strange boy named Peter who is the caretaker of the house that they are staying at. Other than his inability to play catch and apparent apprehension to cameras, there’s just something strange about a ten year old that dresses like a 1920’s paper boy. Even the interaction between Danny and Peter in his room was strange. When Danny asks Peter how long he’s been living in the house, in a very soft speaking way, he utters, “possibly longer.” This kid has no parents around – no red flag yet?

Mirrors are in every corner of the house. We come to find out that Peter has a rather elaborate setup in his room. He uses the mirrors to steal the souls from whoever stays in the house. This is complete with secret levers and a big circular tub where he soaks up the souls to stay young. It’s the early 90’s, so it wasn’t going to look like the batcave.

So, this episode took place in the course of a couple days. Danny’s parents go from their mid 40’s to their 80’s in that time span. None of them seemed to be freaked out about rapidity aging. The dad looks in the mirror and instantly gets grey hair and is like, “well, ok.”

Danny’s super-sleuthing leads her to find the cemetery in the back of the house. (He even took souls from animals?) She also sees his true look through the cameras hidden in the house. Peter’s plan is thwarted and the parents receive what’s left of their youth back. From there, an older Peter comes to the door and lets out the lesson that you should enjoy your youth while you have it. Perhaps, you’ll think twice before you book that Airbnb before you go on vacation.

Image Credit: Nickelodeon

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Author: Murjani Rawls View all posts by
Writer | Photographer | Beast

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