If you were a kid growing up in the 1990s, you will most likely remember a show called Are You Afraid of the Dark?. This was a show that aired on Nickelodeon, and was aimed at kids – but in some cases was a genuinely terrifying program! This Canadian horror anthology show was just about the scariest thing we’d ever seen when we were kids, and caused many a sleepless night during its 10-year run.
The simple but effective format had kids hooked, and, while it might seem tame to adults, this show was actually pretty darn scary in its day. We thought it was time to take a look back at this classic staple of kids Saturday night television in the ‘90s. So, without further delay, here is a list of some of the scariest episodes to ever air on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
The Tale of Dead Man’s Float
We’re pretty sure this episode put kids off the swimming pool much more than the thought of actually drowning! As always on the show, it was the monster that could make or break the episode, and the freaky water ghost in this episode was actually terrifying as a child. Centering on an abandoned school swimming pool built on top of an ancient burial ground (because, of course), the episode has two kids who must confront and defeat this gnarly water ghost/zombie/thing.
The Tale of the Night Shift
This has got to be one of our favorite episodes of the whole show, but it was also downright terrifying as well! Check out a young Emmanuelle Chriqui as Amanda, who works a night shift at the hospital, only to find it crawling with vampires. They begin to pick off her friends and turn them into bloodsuckers. The show is incredibly violent and gory, but also one of the most ambitious episodes of the whole series.
The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner
Now, this is an episode that shouldn’t be remotely scary, but it is because of the creepiness of the titular grinner. The story follows a kid who wants to be a comic book artist and visits a strange shop, buying the only copy of a comic called The Ghastly Grinner. He gets the book wet and pops it in the microwave to try (really dude?), unleashing The Grinner, and his spewing green acid. Truly terrifying.
The Tale of Laughing in the Dark
When we were kids, two things put us off clowns for life – Pennywise the Dancing Clown, and this episode! TTOLITD is one of the spookiest episodes of the whole series. It follows three kids who head to the amusement park, and go to the spook house, where they are terrorized by the ghost of Zeebo the Clown. It sounds like a much more terrifying version of a Scooby-Doo episode. Be warned, this one will give you a crippling fear of clowns for the rest of your life!
There have been so many unsettling and genuinely scary episodes in this series. And, with over 90 episodes to choose from, there were always going to be some pretty big scares here. But, we feel that these episodes represent probably the scariest in entire series; they are even pretty scary when you’re an adult too!