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Nightmare Fuel / Are You Afraid of the Dark?

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Wanna go for a swim?

"The episode that still haunts me to this day, and I mean this, was 'The Tale of the Dead Man's Float'. The one with, like, the zombie skeleton who would pull you down if you went swimming and drown you? I mean, that is—look at this! Look at this! They showed this to KIDS!"
JonTron, talking about the same monster depicted in the page image


For a children's series that had to go light on the gore, Are You Afraid Of The Dark? had more than a few legitimate scares that hold up to this day.
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Please add only examples, not your own experiences.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned.


Overall

  • The show's intro. Everything is awash with a chilling blue, and the genuinely eerie theme song accentuates unnerving imagery like abandoned swings, an abandoned canoe, and a scary-looking doll. Not outright scary, per se, but creepy to a T.
    • There's an interesting difference in the intro for Season One. While both versions end with a close up of a door handle before the title, the later seasons cut are cut short. The room just seems to have a draught. In the original version, something tugs at the door handle, trying to get in.
  • Like Tales from the Crypt, we don't know if these stories actually took place in the storyteller's world. Are these stories made-up, or are they based on actual events? If these stories are true, then that means monsters, ghosts, and demons exist in their world.

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     Season 1 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_02_05_at_054119.png
"Whaddaya think I am, some kinda clown?"
  • In the opening episode, "The Tale of the Phantom Cab", young hikers Denny and Buzz get lost in the woods. When night falls, they run into friendly yet disquietingly out of place Flynn. He leads them to the remote woodland cabin of a reclusive doctor, only to suddenly vanish at its door. As nearby bushes suddenly quake, as if in a breeze, tormented, disembodied voices wail across the air.
    • In the cabin, Dr Vink, with his exotic specimens and jovial insistence on riddles for use of his telephone, is decidedly unsettling. On Buzz's failure to solve a riddle, Dr Vink offers use of the phone in exchange for... a specimen. He then holds up a jar in which floats a severed human hand.
    • Denny and Buzz then board a woodland taxi, driven by none other than Flynn, who suddenly seems distinctly pale. He then reveals his role of driving to a repeated phantom car crash people who failed to solve Dr Vink's riddle.
  • The whole atmosphere of the funhouse in "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark" is off-putting enough, evoking memories of any kid who'd been dared into a haunted house ride. The scares are cheesy, but they set an unsettling tone. The real terror comes later when Josh realizes that Zeebo is in his house with him.
    • As a kid, the idea that Zeebo was just the carny pulling a trick might come as a relief. As an adult, it comes off far worse.
    • Aside from quick scene (pictured above), Zeebo himself is never actually seen. The closest we get is when Josh sees the shadow of his feet outside his bedroom door, confirming that someone is definitely in there with him.
  • "The Tale of the Twisted Claw":
    • The episode devoted to this tale opens with a scene from an unfinished story by Eric, in which an unnamed boy lies awake in the middle of the night to see an ethereal mist seep into his bedroom, followed by a black-cloaked, hooded, faceless apparition which groans unnervingly, and drifts over to the bed. Next morning, the boy wakes up, glad to be free of his recurring nightmare, only to look up and find the bloody thing is still there, groaning away.
    • One non-supernatural scary moment is when the teenagers in creepy plain white masks surround the two kids who are trick-or-treating and circle them, teasing and threatening them. The ep also gives us a nice Nothing Is Scarier moment when the kid wishes for his grandfather to come, before remembering he's dead. And then they see his car...
  • "The Tale of the Super Specs":
    • The eponymous objects give their owner the ability to see really creepy shadow people that no one else can, even when they put the same glasses on.
    • Disturbed by having twice seen such an apparition of veiled woman, Mary Beth throws the Specs in a bin, only to later find them back in her bag. She then pushes them through the letterbox of Sardo's Magic Mansion, and returns to her empty house to find them in her bag again. Both fearful and curious, she puts them on, and sees a previously absent steaming kettle, which her hand passes seamlessly through, and in the previously clear fireplace, a blazing fire. Upstairs in her parents' bedroom, she once again sees the Dark Lady, and two more shadow people. In broad daylight, previously absent domestic furnishings; faceless silhouetted apparitions, and Mary Beth's perplexed, despairing dread make for one of the most unnerving scenes in the whole series.
    • During the climax, while the protagonists Weeds and Marybeth work frantically with Dr. Sardo to keep the shadow people from crossing over into their world, we get this terrifying shot of the lead shadow woman's eyes hovering over them. And scariest of all? The episode ends with Marybeth, Weeds, and Sardo trapped forever inside the Lady in Black's crystal ball and the implication that the shadow people have taken over our dimension. Yikes.
  • "The Tale of the Captured Souls":
    • Peter is shown to spy on Danielle and her family through his mirrors as part of his plan to steal their youth. The cameras include views of the tub in the bathroom and the bedroom. Does this mean Peter has watched Danielle and her parents undress when changing, to take a bath, or go to bed?
    • Peter has signs outside which have crossings on them to indicate how many lives he's taken to stay young. One sign depicts a woman, then a man, a kid, and a dog.
    • If Danielle hadn't stopped him, she would've been an orphan and Peter would've continued to take souls to stay young, using Danielle herself if she refused to join him.
  • "The Tale of the Dark Music":
    • The completely out of the blue appearance of the giant, talking doll. The prop somehow manages to be half "The Geezenstacks" and half "No Strings" in terms of what the fuck. What's worse is that Andy seems to be hypnotized, rather than unnerved, by the doll until the music stops.
    • The sheer inscrutability of the otherwise unnamed "Boogeyman in the Basement." In response to music on the basement radio, the root cellar door rattles ominously, and opens to reveal, in a patch of concentrated darkness, two glowing red eyes, with a thunderously echoing voice. In response to any form of music, it conjures such phantasms as that of a thriving carnival, whose Barker, after offering Andy such delights as popcorn and prizes, turns into a skeleton and tries to suck him in: the Root Cellar initially seems undecided whether to use Andy as a means to get more prey, or just to eat him. It otherwise manifests as an either red or blue glow, and has the power to conjure any solid item, such as a new bike, in exchange for prey. Just what is this thing?
    • The ending counts too: he sics the monster on the bully that's been tormenting him all episode. However, he accidentally gets him eaten in the process. In return for this... the monster gives him a new bike (the bully destroyed his old one) and promises to give him anything he wants as long as he keeps feeding him. The final kicker, though? The last shot of the episode implies that he's more than willing to give the monster what it wants with a subdued Slasher Smile and that his sister is next to go. Even worse with his sister's last line of dialogue. Hannibal Lecter would be proud.
      Little sister: Andy! Mom says you have to make me dinner!
    • Of course the nightmare is subdued when one of the narrators mentions that he didn't completely go through with feeding his sister to the monster. Yet it still adds a dose of Fridge Horror when said narrator continues that he used the monster as a form of intimidation towards his sister. Which still screams He Who Fights Monsters territory.
    • What's worst of all is that the concept behind the episode can be considered an example of one of the worst and most horrifying parts of human nature, as it shows that with the right motivation, anyone can be talked into killing people for their own personal gain. Even you.
     Season 2 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_01_30_at_104421_5.png
"Who are you?! How did you get here?"
  • "The Tale of the Midnight Madness", where none other than Orlok himself comes out of the movie and starts coming after the kids. Fascinated by the old film, usher Pete, while watching it, dozes off. Onscreen, the film's climax unfolds as usual - and then, Nosferatu turns to stare at the screen. Slowly, he approaches - until the monochrome figure bulges seamlessly from the screen in full colour, 3D glory. With his floating gait, icy stare, reaching talons, deathly face and monstrous fangs, this silent filmic phantasm seems virtually unstoppable. When Pete and Katie find the unconscious body of Mr Kristoph, with two bloody marks in his neck, they find themselves up against a very real threat: the line between fact and fantasy has been horrifyingly breached.
  • The aliens in "The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor". Their faces are featureless, stone-colored things with no eyes, mouth or anything. This on its own would be creepy enough, but what really sells it is the way they move. The director had the rather brilliant idea that a creature with no face would have to communicate entirely through body language, and directed the actors playing them accordingly. As a result they all move in a very twisted, puppet-like manner because of all the information they need to convey to each other through their gestures. The way they're all wiggling their fingers at the end is especially bizarre. It might look silly on anything else, but considering how creepy the things are to begin with...
  • In "The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle", Mike, tortured by having been unable to save his friend Ricky from falling from a bridge and drowning, starts to see, in various, unexpected places, his dead friend. Bedraggled, silent and bleached ashen white, this ghostly iteration of Ricky is a very frightening example of Came Back Wrong - later subverted, however, when Ricky more closely reaches Mike, thanks his friend for trying to save him, and warns him of the imminent danger of Mike's brother Ben.
  • "The Tale of the Dream Machine" examines the disturbing potential of Reality Warping. Stories written on a typewriter manifest as vivid dreams, and later as actual events. Unassuming Sean briefly becomes a surprisingly sinister vampire. His friend Billy finds himself in a graveyard where a hooded spectre steers him into its currently vacant grave and proceeds to bury him alive.
  • "The Tale of Old Man Corcoran". You never find out how or why the leader of the group of Hide-And-Seekers keeps gathering more and more kids to play these games, yet once the old grave digger explains that all those kids have been dead for years, the Fridge Horror comes in buckets.
    • First, the girl who tries to keep those boys out of the group was just trying to make sure they didn't end up like her: a ghostly participant eternally bound to a game of hide and seek in the graveyard.
    • Second, the leader of the group who was trying to get the two boys to come into his open grave was likely just going to somehow kill them and bind them to said eternal game of hide and seek.
    • Third, that's why you never see the hide and seek group ever change their clothes during the new day, and why they are always colored in blues and whites during the night sequences. They are all dead.
    • Even worse? When the leader called out everyone to start their game all over, the kids each came out from hiding behind (possibly their own) graves.
     Season 3 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_01_30_at_104650_4.png
"WHY DID YOU BREAK YOUR PROMISE?!"
  • In "The Tale of Apartment 214", young Stacey befriends Madeline, the lonely elderly occupant of the eponymous residence. On failing to visit on time as promised, Stacey, in the now bare apartment, is suddenly confronted by a despairing Madeline, who rails at having been abandoned on the anniversary of her death, and materialises throughout the deserted building to berate Stacey. Until Stacey explains and apologises, the fury of the forlorn spirit is a horrifyingly relentless force.
  • While "The Tale of the Phone Police" is pretty mundane compared to the other examples, there are still nightmare-inducing factors. Imagine a secret origination that can take you away regardless of law and human rights, erase all record of your existence, and even go as far as to have members of your own family not remember you. To make matters worse, you have to spend eternity inside a jail cell with nothing but a phone to call the outside world. And these guys do all that to people who abuse the phone (i.e. prank calls). Makes excellent Paranoia Fuel on top of that. On top of that, Jake is the only one who has ever escaped, and likely the Phone Police will be ever vigil to prevent it from happening again.
  • "The Tale of the Dollmaker":
    • Melissa realizes that the dollhouse replica of the house found in Susan's parents' house holds the key to finding her missing best friend. Her first attempt has her trying to jump out of an attic door, which she is only deterred from doing by her uncle, and good thing he did. Otherwise, as we see from her perspective, she would have fallen off of the roof and to her death in the middle of the night.
    • After she finds Susan, they're trapped in the dollhouse and are slowly turning into porcelain dolls, and Susan is already so far gone that her skin is ashen white (like a porcelain doll), her voice lacks any real inflection or range, and her hand falls off when she tries to help move a heavy piece of furniture. Surprisingly, although she is almost no longer able to walk under her own power without assistance, she still recognizes Melissa and has retained some sentience, but she still has been enduring this ordeal for about a year.

      What really makes this scene is how it's delivered. Melissa asks Susan to give her a hand to move the furniture. The girl doesn't even change her facial expression, but simply pulls her hand out of the sleeve. Not knowing what else to do with her friend's hand, she simply puts it back in the girl's pocket.
    • The Framing Device of the story is creepy as well. In the beginning, Tucker is annoyed that Betty Ann's story (which he was looking forward to, being Betty Ann and all) is going to be about dolls. At the end, Betty Ann forgets the doll she brought along. When Kiki picks it up, instead of the female doll she had before, suddenly it looks exactly like Tucker, including what he's wearing that night. When Tucker wonders where she got it, Betty Ann emerges from the shadows and, in a Creepy Monotone for the ages, says "That's a whole other story."
  • That gosh darned ghost from "The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter". His overall design, although pretty creepy, is also fairly typical (black robe, pale white face and hands — you get the idea). What really makes him scary, though, is that otherworldly, agonized wailing he makes. It will give you shivers when you see that bastard, coming at Ricky in the corridor. The way he extends his hands, as if begging for help, also add up to creepy factor.
    • What appears to be Belinda, the titular babysitter, suddenly turns around with the carnivorous maw and demented screech of the witch mentioned in another of the books. This thing apparently wants to eat Ricky.
      • More disturbing is the way she melted and screech in agony after Ricky cuts her.
  • Or what about the little girl who says she's lost and asks Ricky for help. She's acting off, and Ricky only really understands when he reads what the book says next:
    Ricky: "'She seemed out of place, as if from another time...'"
    By now, the girl's head is hanging down, so that her face is hidden. That's never good.
    Ricky, realizing: "Or another story! Hey, you're not a little girl, you're-"
  • The possessed camera in "The Tale of the Curious Camera" brings destruction to all it shoots. The subtle but undeniable proof of supernatural malice, courtesy of the destruction and each photo's sinister etching of a gremlin, constitute a chillingly inscrutable villain. Taken Up to Eleven when it threatens to kill.
  • "The Tale of the Dream Girl"
    • Johnny hears Donna calling for him. He walks around the bowling alley to find her, but she disappears. As he's leaving, we cut to a bowling ball rolling, and the sound of it becomes very loud, like an approaching train. The ball hits the pins, and suddenly Johnny hears a girl screaming. He covers his ears and turns back to see a female bowler screamed because she made a strike. We learn that both Johnny and Donna were run over by a train.
    • Wistful, softly-spoken Donna is, at least at first, subtly yet genuinely unsettling: sudden arrival and disappearance of an unfamiliar girl to whom Johnny finds himself mysteriously drawn; who doesn't seem entirely aware of her surroundings, and who entreats him to accompany her somewhere, rouse Johnny to near-panicked fear of whatever ether this might be. The source of his fear turns out not to be Donna, but of his suppressed memory of the accident that killed them both. His and sister Erica's acceptance of this devastating truth succeed the chills with a potent combination of poignancy and tenderness.
  • "The Tale of the Quicksilver":
    • The episode opens with a girl trying to summon a demon to the real world so she can get rid of it. Not only does she fail at it (due to using steel instead of silver), but she ends up accidentally setting her room on fire. Creepy music, a ritual being performed by a scared but determined girl in a white nightgown... As the ritual progresses, we see everything go wrong with that long white candle - when she accidentally knocks it over, when it rolls towards the curtains, and then finally as the room begins to burn, we hear the girl's screams as the demon comes closer. Then, of course, we later on find out that she died. Brrrr.
    • Later in the episode, it's revealed that the girl who died was a living girl's twin, and the house that her new friend has moved into was her old house until her sister died. She revealed that his sister was sick, her friend's little brother has caught the same illness, and the demons comes after him as well.
    • The demon speaks for itself, especially its Slasher Smile.
  • "The Tale of the Crimson Clown": That god damn Crimson Clown that won't go away until the younger brother vows to be good. It first appears as a lurid doll in a slightly creepy ornament shop. On learning younger brother Sam to have stolen the money with which Mike planned to buy their mother a birthday present, Mike warns that misbehaviour may incur the vengeance of the Crimson Clown. Sam scoffs - and sees the doll's eyes flash blue. At home, he finds it to have instantaneously appeared by his bed, only to suddenly vanish again.
    • When watching a scary movie, Sam hears the soundtrack to be disrupted by a demented cackle. A giant doll's hand then reaches through the screen towards him...
    • That night, Sam dreams of being trapped in the ornament shop. The shopkeeper approaches. His head has been replaced by a huge white spherical clown head, from which issues a deep, gloating voice. A purple ribbon then flies into place around Sam, wrapping him up. He wakes in bed, to find himself tied to the bed with the ribbon. In Mike's bed, he finds a huge white balloon, again in the likeness of the Crimson Clown, accompanied by the deep, disembodied voice. Finally, a life-size version of the Crimson Clown corners Sam in bed. This thing is a chilling hybrid of Monster Clown and Creepy Doll: a looming, lumbering figure whose huge, spherical head is painted with a scornfully laughing clown face, and issues a disembodied growling voice. And just what had it planned to do to the kid? Judging by Sam's dream, the Clown may have had in mind some kind of imprisonment in the ornament shop...
     Season 4 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_01_30_at_104950_5.png
"Fire's like a wild animal... it lives, it dies, and it thinks."
  • "The Tale of the Water Demons" discusses salvaging ship-wrecks as a form of grave-robbing. It's creepy as a kid, downright twisted as an adult. The freaky part is how the ghosts don't appear unless the man who stole from them goes to sleep. Every time he nods off, they emerge from the water and march towards his home. It gets to the point where he has to figure out how to time his sleep before they can get him.
  • "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner":
    • The idea that something evil can reduce absolutely anyone to a giggling, drooling imbecile simply by staring into your eyes. Simply put, the guy is basically The Joker, except with hypnotism rather than gasses.
    • The part where the bus driver turns his head 180 degrees to face the protagonists and starts laughing.
    • Adding to the fuel is the immediate foreshadowing the kids are subject to - each time they look in their comic to see what's next, they're treated to a new terror before it happens in real life.
  • In "The Tale of the Fire Ghost", the Society put out the fire by throwing dirt on it since Tucker accidentally spilled the water bucket. After they leave, some smoke starts seeping out of the dirt mound and a growling is heard. Did they not completely put the fire out (and will cause a forest fire), or is it a fire ghost?
    • The concept of fire as a sentient, potentially predatory entity makes chilling use of Primal Fear. In the abandoned fire station, retired firefighter Jake warns Jimmy and Roxy of the ghost of such a fire put out by their dad. A sleepless Jimmy briefly sees phantom flames blaze across the darkened walls. A coarse, deep-voiced phone call then threatens vengeance. The Fire Ghost eventually manifests as a charred, smoke-blackened police officer, who, with calmly gloating sadism, threatens their incineration.
    Fire Ghost: 'I am fire!'
     Season 5 
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"It's been feeding on everybody!"
  • "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float". Just like Tim Curry's portrayal of Pennywise, this episode will make you afraid of shower drains, not to mention swimming in the deep end of the public pool. It's considered one of the scariest episodes of the series.
    • The page picture depicts this episode's monster. As if the lovely visage of a decaying red corpse trying to drown people in the pool built over where it was buried isn't enough, it also bears mentioning this monster is normally an invisible, acidic creature. The only way to know it was in the water with you before Zeke got the idea of dyeing it red with Methyl Orange was its sulfuric stench. You could be in the pool alone with this thing and think nothing's wrong until it's far too late and it brings you down to a watery grave.
  • In "The Tale of Station 109.1," Chris' fascination with death leads him to visit the inside of a vacant hearse, whose radio suddenly receives a broadcast offering aid to lost souls. He finds and visits the station's address, where funeral wear-attired people await admittance to a huge set of cherub-engraved doors. These open to reveal a glowing blue void, into which two towering, black-cloaked and hooded wardens fling a horrified client. It's implied that whatever lies beyond will parallel this man's earthly deeds.
    Roy: {*smiles*} He led a nasty life. And it's gonna be a much nastier afterlife.
  • The ending of "The Tale of the Chameleons", when it's revealed that Sharon didn't choose the right Janice. Yep that's right, she turned her helpless best friend back into a chameleon and threw her into a well to drown. And her parents and loved ones have no idea. And meanwhile the impostor Janice remains undetected and is probably planning to do the same to Sharon.
  • Every episode with vampires, "The Tale of the Night Shift" for one.
    "There's no use in running. I'm far too good a hunter!"
    • At one point, the vampire is in the guise of a normal-looking young woman. What makes "her" unnerving is the Faux Affably Evil Cheshire Cat Grin she's giving her next victims, who momentarily think she's their ally. While he's in his disguise, he also says this:
      Vampire: And isn't the hospital a great place for it? It's like... a candy store.
    • One of the most disturbing quotes in known history comes from the vampire after he's caught the main character. Holy shit.
      Vampire: I should drop you and then lick up what's left!
  • The eponymous goblin in "The Tale of Badge". A leering, growling, humanoid rat-type thing, on release from his chest prison, brings into the heroine's house his "garden," a swamp strewn with rotting foliage and bleached with lurid pink light, into which he abducts her brother.
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     Season 6 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_01_30_at_105905_1.png
"There are bodies all over the lodge."
  • “The Tale of the Wisdom Glass” has one of the most scary endings of the latter season episodes.
  • “The Tale of the Zombie Dice” isn't nearly as scary as most of the entries on this list, but there is quite a bit of Fridge Horror when you stop to think of the premise. Kids who lose Mr. Click's game are shrunken down and sold to wealthy buyers as pets. Imagine being one of those kids, having your freedom and future stripped away and being reduced to a giant's pet just because you made a bet. While the episode ends on a happy note with Mr. Click being shrunken himself and unable to kidnap any more kids, there are still probably dozens of kids out there trapped in their situation forever. Not to mention all of the kids who didn't survive the journey to their buyers.
  • In "The Tale of the Secret Admirer," Meggie, alone in the darkened house on a windy night, is severely spooked by a distant knocking, and mistakes a shower-hung suit for someone lurking in the bathroom. Following a visit from Nick, the lights come back on - but in the darkened bathroom, the mirror is smeared with a luridly dark pink heart-shape. Meggie turns around to see the suddenly manifest ghost of Teddy, half of whose face is a mass of charred gristle.
  • "The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge" has to be one of the scariest latter-season episodes. A girl finds that her lost friend has been trapped in an isolated cabin where a creature called "The Umbra" resides. If you make eye contact with it, it'll drain your life, causing you to become older and older until you're nothing but a pile of dust and bones. Especially creepy given the setting: a perpetually dark, isolated cabin, in the middle of a snowstorm, littered with the skeletal remains of the creatures victims. Nothing scary there.

     Season 7 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2021_01_30_at_110525_2.png
"No... No! My face!"
  • "The Tale of Many Faces" - what the girls look like when Madame steals their faces. And they're forced to wear masks to cover themselves up, which is actually creepier.

Carnival of Doom

  • In what could be described as a dark shout out to Something Wicked This Way Comes, the Carnival of Doom is responsible for making people disappear and the people who disappear are eventually erased from their friends' and families' memories. And then there's the ringmaster himself, Mr. Tophat. Like Mr. Dark from Something Wicked, he's a shapeshifting demon who has an affinity for arachnids, scorpions specifically. He makes an impressive Nightmare Face at the end of Part 1, too.
    Mr. Tophat: Sssssssh....it's all. part. of. the. ''show.''
    • Mr. Tophat is often flamboyant, childish, or pitiful more than he is truly terrifying...but then we get his death. With a Psychotic Smirk, he tells the Midnight Society kids that they're never going to forget this as he bends down in agony, rapidly ages, and turns to dust before their eyes.
  • The Missing Persons Posters. When we first see Adam's poster, off-screen, Mr. Tophat uses his dark magic to make the print ominously melt off, as though effectively wiping him away.
  • The scorpions that swarm Hideo in the bathroom. That is all.

Curse of the Shadows

  • The opening title of the mini-series, showing a montage of the Shadowman's shadow tendrils creeping in and snuffing out every light source they find, as though the darkness is taking over the show itself. If the show's theme isn't safe from the Shadowman, are we?
  • The Shadowman in "The Tale of the Haunted Woods" is downright terrifying in just the first episode as it is. With skin resembling tree bark in texture, long sharp fingers and a skull face, its appearance alone is enough to land it on this list, but then there's its modus operandi. Whoever steps into the woods after dark becomes cursed to be hunted by the Shadowman, until it captures its prey to drag them with it into the darkness. Only able to come after its victims at night and in the dark, they're only safe as long as there is light... except that it grows stronger with every day that passes, up until it has the power to sabotage sources of light, making it just a matter of time before its victims can avoid it no longer. The way the episode utilizes shadows, camera angles and silhouettes to display the Shadowman stalking and coming after its prey are downright nerve-inducing, and just the sight of the Shadowman standing there glaring at its would-be victims with empty eye-sockets leaves quite an impression, and as the episodes move along, the more terrifying the Shadowman becomes, as it becomes more relentless in it's efforts to capture th Midnight Society, including making a shell of their leader, Connor, so he can stalk and hunt them even in the light, and as it can talk in this form, he also taunts them with no mercy as it comes after them.
    • At one point Luke and the others see a memory of the Shadowman's origin, only for it to notice and take after them inside the memory itself. Think you're safe if you see it in a dream or memory? Think again!
  • Zoe's backstory. She was one of the last kids to ever be claimed by the Shadow Man. When Sardo tells the legend of the Shadow Man, Zoe is used as an example of what happens to those who dare enter the haunted woods after sunset. It started with small moments of seeing shadowy shapes in the darkness, and gradually escalated to points where even a mere few moments of twilight quickly summoned the hungry shadows. On the final night, the storm took out the lights protecting her and rendered poor Zoe at the Shadowman's mercy...
  • Jay learning first-hand his comic ("Night Fright") has mysteriously become a future-seeing item when it shows him sleepily sitting in his bed like he's doing right then. Some of illustrations are uncannily accurate, like Jay standing at the top of his basement door, while shadow tendrils are ominously poised to claim him.
  • Jay's realizing that despite their belief that they could visit the haunted woods as long as it was light out, he made a grave miscalculation: the curse affects those who are in the woods after sunset. According to his research, twilight is a time when there's still light out, but the sun's already set. In other words, they were already cursed before they even knew it.
  • The Phantom Light hinting the audience that "Connor" may not be who he is...
  • When Seth blabs that Luke indeed used the Book of Shadows despite warnings, Sardo reveals that despite their belief that that spell would protect them from the Shadow Man, it actually protects the Shadow Man from light. Thus, it allows him to freely roam about in broad day light unharmed.
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