Recap: The Haunting Hour aka: The Haunting Hour The Series
The Haunting Hour is a Canadian-American half-hour horror anthology series adapted from R.L. Stine's The Haunting Hour and The Nightmare Hour anthology books (though most of the episodes aren't based on either of them and play out as Goosebumps stories with a dark side to themnote "Scarecrow," "Brush With Madness," and "My Imaginary Friend" are pretty much Darker and Edgier takes on "The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight," "Attack of the Mutant" and "My Best Friend is Invisible" or are based on legends and mythsnote "The Weeping Woman," "Red Eye," "A Creature Was Stirring," "Pool Shark," and "Terrible Love" or classic literaturenote "Headshot" and "Bad Feng Shui" are based on The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Joy Luck Club, respectively). The series started on October 29, 2010 with the two-part episode, "Really You," but the actual series started on Christmas (December 25) of 2010 with "A Creature Was Stirring."This show has now completed its fourth season (or, more accurately, the second half of season three, as the episodes from "Seance" to "Uncle Howee" have been produced for the third season, but in America and Canada, aired as season four episodes. Children's and family cable networks in Israel, Brazil, and some Spanish-speaking countries air season three as one entire season instead of splitting them in half). Currently, it's unknown whether this show will come back with new episodes or if it has ended (there is strong evidence to the latter, as Spooksville has become more popular and is airing more reruns and new episodes on The Hub).
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"Really You": Spoiled brat Lily gets her own life-sized doll from the "Really You" life-sized doll company and names it, "Lily D.," but when her mom starts to care for the doll more than her own daughter, the doll begins making Lily out to be the villain and turns her into plastic.
"A Creature Was Stirring": All Timmy wants for Christmas is for his soon-to-be-divorced parents to stop fighting and come together — and a demonic present known as the Krampus may be the solution to the problem.
"The Dead Body": Will meets a new boy named Jake Skinner, who helps him fight back against some bullies, but Will soon learns that Jake isn't exactly a new student...or a living one.
"Nightmare Inn": Following her father's mysterious disappearance, a girl named Jillian stays with her mother at an inn run by werewolves.
"The Red Dress": A teenage country club worker named Jamie accidentally makes off with a beautiful red dress she finds at a vintage shop run by a blind woman with a strange payment plan for those who chose to steal her merchandise.
"Ghostly Stare": Lauren and Mark visit a cemetery that's about to be moved to make room for a mini-mall — and learn that it's not a good idea to disturb the dead.
"The Walls": Jeffrey and his family's new house may still have a visitor in it — one that lives in the walls and may have murdered its previous owner.
"Game Over": Video gamers Kelly "Kell-Raiser" and his friend, Gooch, buy a game called "Zee Town" that comes to life and pits players against each other in a Zombie Apocalypse.
"Alien Candy": Walt is a nerd obsessed with aliens, so naturally, he has few friends and is a constant Chew Toy for the bullies at his school. That all changes when he befriends Greg and Bonnie, two students who share his belief in aliens and want him to join their club — so they can put him on the menu for real aliens.
"Fear Never Knocks": Jenny and Jack, the grandchildren of a renowned psychiatrist, play around with an ancient recording device that has the power to bring people's fears to life — and summons Fear incarnate, who reveals an embarrassing truth about Jenny and Jack's grandfather.
"Best Friend Forever" (a.k.a "My Best Dead Friend Forever"): In this, the series' first comedic horror story, Jack Pierce accidentally resurrects a zombie (after using a car battery and jumper cables to get some worms) and decides to keep him as a pet, since a zombie is already dead and Jack's mom won't be mad at him for killing yet another pet — but Jack soon learns that caring for an undead human is just as bad as (and grosser than) caring for an animal — especially when said undead human has an ulterior motive.
"The Black Mask": Three troublemakers (Bill, Julie, and Robbie) break in to an old house and find a mask that shows visions of colonial-era kids dying in an accident caused by a repairman, so they set out to break the mask's curse by changing the past.
"Afraid of Clowns": It's every cuolrophobic's nightmare when Chris is being stalked by clowns from a freaky circus that just came into town, but is Chris just anxious over his upcoming 13th birthday or do the clowns have something sinister in store?
"My Sister The Witch": Pete's sister, Alice, comes home from boarding school — and a chain of strange events makes Pete think his sister picked up a new hobby while in boarding school: witchcraft.
"Wrong Number": The two meanest girls at school, Steffani and Taylor, use their cell phones to crank call an old Russian woman who dies the next day — and isn't letting a little thing like death keep her from teaching these mean girls a lesson on respecting others.
"Catching Cold": A fat kid named Marty becomes obsessed with tracking down a ghostly ice cream truck.
"Pool Shark": High school hunk Kai is haunted by images of a shark lurking in the rec center's new pool — but the shark may be the key to Kai finding his long-lost father.
"Lights Out": After watching a crummy paranormal reality show, three kids decide to create their own ghost-hunting show to prove that ghosts exist. Their first site: an abandoned mental hospital said to be haunted by an evil surgeon who punished his patients with late-night operations (and continues to do so even after death).
"The Perfect Brother": Nobody's perfect, but try telling Josh and Matt's parents that, especially their mother, who only cares about perfection and will settle for nothing less. And when Matt begins acting weird, Josh's mother takes him to a strange warehouse where the line between man and machine is blurred. Can Josh save his brother from being scrapped?
"Scary Mary": In this two-part finale, a self-conscious girl named Hanna becomes possessed by a mirror ghost named Scary Mary (who once was a vain girl who died in a house fire), who abducts girls from the real world and steals their beauty.
"Creature Feature": In this two-part season premiere, a classic film addict named John, his friend, Nathan, and John's crush, Lisa, go to an abandoned drive-in theater showing a 1950's B-movie called I Was A Teenage Tick, and John finds himself in the film (without so much as an actor's union card) and fighting a pun-spouting Mad Scientist and the teenage tick he created.
"Swarmin' Norman": Bug lover Norman discovers that he has godlike powers over insects and uses his ability to get back at the bullies who push him around — and learns the hard way that absolute power corrupts absolutely, especially when creepy crawlies are concerned.
"Flight": A boy on his first plane ride discovers it may be his last, as he's in the middle of a battle between a millionaire playboy who refuses to accept that he's dead and an old woman who may be The Grim Reaper.
"Pumpkinhead": Despite some recent incidents of kids vanishing, three siblings visit the pumpkin patch of a crazed farmer who may be behind the disappearances on Halloween.
"Brush With Madness": Corey meets his favorite graphic novelist, Alan Miller, at a comic book convention, but when Miller gets mad over Corey's obsessive questions, Corey steals the brushes Miller left behind, and sets out to create his own graphic novel, but the brushes hold a power that may be bringing a dangerous figure to life.
"Sick": Reality and imagination get very blurred in this tale of a sick boy named Alex who discovers that his house is plagued by a slimy alien creature and the cheery, morning-show hosts on his TV were trying to warn him that his mom is in cahoots with government agents... who are all plotting to eventually quarantine his whole house to control his weird infection. Can Alex solve this dilemma in time?
"Big Yellow": Willie and Drake hate their school mascot, Big Yellow (a freaky, yellow nondescript monster), and decide to replace him with something more traditional (like a gray wolf). But after the gray wolf mascot disappears, Willie and Drake must break into the school after hours to find him — and soon discover what happened to the wolf and what Big Yellow truly is.
"Bad Feng Shui": It's The Joy Luck Club as envisioned by R.L. Stine when a Chinese girl named Jessica and her mother's strained relationship worsens when Jessica rearranges the feng shui in her room and conjures up demons who possess her mother.
"The Hole": In this homage to The Amityville Horror (with a little bit of Paranormal Activity thrown in for good measure), a new family discover a strange hole in the yard that may have been behind the deaths of the family who once lived in their new house.
"Scarecrow": Two farmers' kids, Jenny and Bobby, are having trouble removing the crows from their corn crops, so they buy a scarecrow from a mysterious vendor — who's planning on ridding the world of all life.
"Dreamcatcher": Girls at a summer camp are too scared to sleep, thanks to a recurring shared nightmare about a mutant spider who traps people in their dreams.
"The Most Evil Sorcerer": Another two-part episode, in which two teens living in a medieval English town set out to dethrone a corrupt sorcerer, and end up battling the sorceress who taught the deposed sorcerer everything he once knew.
"Stage Fright": A high school drama club is doing a musical play based on the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel, but a chain of strange events all point to a witch who may be cursing the production.
"Night of the Mummy": A rare Egyptian exhibit comes to town, and Seth takes a job as a museum volunteer. However, the more Seth becomes drawn to the exhibit, the more he finds out that he may be connected to the Boy Pharaoh (in more ways than one).
"Headshot": In this homage to/modern-day retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray, a teen ice cream shop worker named Gracie Wilde leaps at the chance to enter Teen-Teen magazine's Prettiest Face contest, but spending time with her photographer, Cassandra, may be turning her into something she's not — and costing her something vital.
"The Return of Lilly D.": In this Sequel Episode to "Really You," a kind-hearted girl named Natalie finds the discarded Lilly D. doll and brings her home to restore her. The dollmaker from the first episode commends Natalie for purifying Lilly D's soul with her goodness...until strange things begin happening around Natalie's house.
"Grampires": Christopher Lloyd guest stars in this two-part season premiere about a brother and sister who come to visit their grandfather in a retirement neighborhood where everyone is out for their blood — literally.
"The Cast": A dorky kid named Lex gets in trouble for egging an elderly cat lady's house, but gets out of trouble by pinning the blame on the two bullies who pushed him to do it. Despite a broken arm, Lex seems to be in the clear — until his cast begins itching, he sees a skinny tail slithering in and out of the plaster, he hears rat-like squeaking, and the neighborhood cats begin haunting him.
"The Weeping Woman": A Mexican boy named Chi stays over his friend's house, despite his friend's mother being overprotective, bitter, and depressed over her husband not being home — and things get worse when her negative feelings bring to life the spirit of a hooded woman known in Hispanic urban legend as "La Llorona" (The Weeping Woman), a beautiful woman who killed herself and her children by drowning them in a river after her husband left her and now walks the Earth trying to drown children who have been neglected by their parents.
"Intruders": Feeling left out ever since the birth of her baby brother, a girl named Eve runs away to the woods, where a forest fairy named Lyria reveals that Eve is a changeling (a forest fairy adopted by humans) and must kidnap her baby brother in order to return to her true home.
"Spaceman": A lonely boy named Aaron is given a vintage toy space helmet from a neighborhood woman who is cleaning out her attic — and ends up hearing a voice from someone — or something — trying to make first contact.
"Red Eye": A girl who gets postcards from her traveling father (who's in Germany on business) discovers a shadowy figure in her father's latest collection of pictures and fears that he may bring it home.
"My Imaginary Friend": Shawn's brother, David, is worried that his brother's new friend, Travis, is a bad influence, but what's an older brother to do when his younger brother's best friend is a figment of his demented imagination?
"Poof de Fromage": In this light-hearted (yet very cheesy) episode, Bobby and his family are chosen to house a French exchange student named Jean-Louis, but the exchange student's bizarre behavior and late-night calls to the mothership all point to signs that Jean-Louis is an exchange student from another planet, but is Jean-Louis out to destroy Earthlings or is there a more sinister alien bent on annihilating mankind? And why would it be hiding in Bobby's kitchen pantry?
"The Golem": In this two-part episode, when Jeremy's great-grandmother, Nadia, dies, she leaves Jeremy her ashes and orders to return to her Russian village and spread them, but the villagers (who have been living in fear of the Golem they created to fend off German soldiers in World War II) believe that Jeremy's sister, Bonnie, is Nadia and plan to have her murdered to keep the Golem from tormenting them.
"The Girl in the Painting": Tired of her drab room, a girl named Becky finds a painting of a girl looking out the window of a Victorian-era bedroom and becomes so enamored with it, she decides to go inside the world of the girl in the painting — only to find that life on the other side isn't as perfect as what's been painted.
"Checking Out": On a family trip with their parents, bratty kids Jeremy and Chelsea stumble upon a strange hotel headed by a cult of child-hating adults who have brainwashed their parents into despising them and are planning to have them sacrificed to a white void hidden behind a large painting of the hotel's founder.
"Terrible Love": The Cupid mythos gets a dark, yet hilarious R.L. Stine twist when an insecure girl named Maggie encounters the Greco-Roman god of love himself note (depicted as a middle-aged man in a white and red suit as all of those depictions of him as a baby or a young man with wings are old photos) and accepts his offer to make a boy in her chemistry class named Brendon fall for her, but when Maggie worries that the love potionnote actually a mix of very real and very volatile human hormones associated with human emotion — dopamine, serotonin, and adrenaline will wear off, Cupid is forced to grant Maggie's ill-advised wish of a second dose — and Maggie is forced to deal with Brendon's love-induced insanity, which gets worse when Maggie breaks up with him.
Season Four/Season Three, Part Two
"Sťance": Naomi tries to scare her sister Carla by summoning the spirit of an evil man named Cyrus Clayton (a violent sawmill worker who was fired for drinking on the job and killed his boss before he lost his leg and died from exsanguination) as a joke, but the joke's on her and her friends when Carla goes missing and the spirit is let loose in the house.
"Detention": A snooty homecoming queen (Kate), a loveable, but dim jock (Halftime), and an apathetic Goth girl (Audrey) are stuck in detention, and when Kate goes missing and strange images and noises begin haunting them, Audrey and Halftime soon realize that their after-school punishment is from a higher power, who wants them to atone for a homecoming court voting scandal and a parade accident that claimed all of their lives.
"Funhouse": Bitter and angry over his father abandoning his family and his mother too busy with work to care, a boy named Chad becomes addicted to visiting a traveling funhouse, where he can let out his familial frustrations with sadistic glee by smashing a model replica of a family arguing at the dinner table, but the more time Chad spends at the funhouse, the meaner and more addicted to the violence he becomes. Is the funhouse turning Chad evil or are his inner demons making a monster out of him?
"Worry Dolls": As a souvenir from her traveling parents, Jordanna receives a box of knitted dolls known as "Worry Dolls" that magically fix people's worries — which prove disastrous when the worry dolls' magic does too good a job at fixing frets, like smashing Jordanna's violin, making the live-in nanny disappear, and turning Jordanna's parents from jet-setting business workers into clingy and obsessed stay-at-home parents.
"Lovecraft's Woods": Three kids take a shortcut through a patch of woods that trap all of them into a "Groundhog Day" Loop — with an unseen creature who scratches and infects one of them.
"Coat Rack Cowboy": After his father creates a coat rack out of the old tree in their backyard, Ethan and his brother, Brett, find themselves back in the days of the Wild West, where an outlaw named Mad Dog McCoy, who was hanged on the very tree Ethan's father cut down, challenges the boy to a showdown at high noon.
"Long Live Rock and Roll" (f.k.a "Doom Metal"): Holden is a boy with a garage band, but no talent when it comes to playing lead guitar, so when a Keith Richards-esque former rock star-turned-music shop owner named Sir Maestro offers him 50% off a golden electric guitar that used to belong to Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrixnote which may sound cool, but keep in mind, those rock guitarists died young and from horrible circumstances, Holden takes it — only to learn that Sir Maestro wants more than cash for his wares and that Holden's friends have been tempted with similar offers.
"Dead Bodies": In this, the highly-anticipated sequel to "The Dead Body" from season one, Jake (now mortal) is being haunted by Will (who is now a ghost) and a Grim Reaper-esque wraith curses Jake to rot. And when Jake has Will's crush, Anna, targeted as his latest victim, Will must muster the energy to stay solid in order to save her.
"My Robot": Phillip is a middle school science nerd with a big secret: he has a robot that he ordered online and programmed himself, but the robot turns out to be the one ordering Phillip around (to the point that even Phillip's real parents have run away, leaving their child alone with the metal monster) and Phillip needs his friend Tim's help in destroying it.
"Bad Egg": When a batch of mutant eggs from a government biochemistry lab accidentally get shipped to a school for use in an egg-sitting project, an irresponsible boy named Jason (who must pass his egg-sitting project or risk getting shipped to military school by his strict father) discovers the monster inside and must keep his father from knowing that he accidentally broke the egg and keep two government agents posing as pest control workers from taking the monster back.
"Toy Train": Logan and his father head to their grandfather's house to clean it out, and Logan discovers a train set that has connections to an accident Logan's father wants to keep buried.
"Uncle Howee": An apathetic older brother named Jared learns a lesson in caring for his little sister when his sister's favorite TV character, a loud, energetic kids' show host (played by Tom Kennynote the man behind Sponge Bob Square Pants, the Ice King, and other characters) begins communicating with Cynthia and escapes from the television to torment Jared.