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Nightmare Fuel / Tales from the Darkside

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WARNING: Per wiki policy, all spoilers are unmarked on Nightmare Fuel pages. As such, this page will contain no spoiler markings of any kind. You Have Been Warned.

  • The opening introduction music/narration. That is all.
  • The closing credits music/narration. Especially that element where The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You.
  • "Trick or Treat": A hated and spiteful old man with an obsession for documenting and exploiting debts owed to him offers trick-or-treaters the chance to search his house for their parents' mortgages, only to terrify them with animatronic "spirits". Unfortunately for him, the old man finds himself the victim of a particularly frightening trick-or-treater, namely a real demon.
    The Devil: You're getting warmer...
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  • "The New Man": A strange boy is harassing a recovering alcoholic, claiming to be his son. The alcoholic has no idea who this boy is and desperately tries to find out whether he's real or not and get him out of his life. The boy is actually out there ruining the lives of recovering alcoholics For the Evulz. In the end, our protagonist has returned to alcoholism and lost his family. The boy is now targeting his coworker.
  • "Slippage": The episode follows a man who's slowly slipping from reality. He does all he can to remember who he is, but to no avail. When his wife moves on with another man in the end of the episode, we see the door to their house suddenly fly open and close with nobody seen in the room.
  • "Inside the Closet", featuring a mysterious, child-sized door in a woman's bedroom. A touch of Uncanny Valley at the reveal, but horrifyingly suspenseful until that point. Made all the worse when her landlord dismisses her death to her parents and reveals that the monster in her room was his pet. Not to mention that the poor girl was not and won't be the last victim.
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  • "Anniversary Dinner": A girl ditches her Jerkass boyfriend and runs to an elderly couple for a place to stay since she has no way of returning to town. The couple treat her like their own child and ask her to stay forever, which she gladly accepts. Then on their anniversary, the two kill the unsuspecting young girl by boiling her alive in their "hot tub" and prepare to eat her for their anniversary dinner. The husband later reveals that they never raised children, only ate them. The last shot shows the collection of skulls from all the unsuspecting people they ate.
  • "Snip, Snip": The Villain Protagonist breaks into a mysterious woman's apartment to take her lottery ticket and get himself out of trouble. However, the woman also has connection to the dark arts just like him. She proves to be more powerful than he is and kills him. The last shot shows that she took his head and turned it into a model for her hairdressing business, with all the other men who threatened her.
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  • "Answer Me": The malevolent presence in the adjacent room, a telephone, was trying to break through the wall, right where the protagonist's bed is. Just the whole idea of strange, persistent noises coming from a next-door apartment you know is empty and whose occupant recently died violently. And then there's the protagonist's conversation with "the operator"...
    Operator: [Creepy Monotone] She strangled herself.
  • "Madness Room": A sleazy couple trick an old husband into having a heart attack by playing a Ouija board to lead them to a dark hidden room, only for the husband to drop the (only) key to outside into a crack of the room's floorboard... Then a fire suddenly starts up, and they're all locked in the hidden room. Cue screaming and coughing. Even better? The only reason why he did that was that, due to the couple's scam, he was led to believe that getting rid of the key would fix everything. Whoops.
  • "Levitation": The ending has Frank finally convincing his idol to perform a levitation trick on him, only to have the magician suffer a fatal heart attack and accidentally cause Frank to ascend out of control into the sky while unable to do anything to stop it.
  • "The False Prophet": Throughout the episode we follow a Dumb Blonde who listens to a creepy fortune-telling machine. The episode gets more and more disturbing when the machine comes across as a rapist and a Domestic Abuser that refuses to let the girl leave. The machine is soon revealed to be a Yandere and absorbs the girl inside of it so she will be with him forever. Ironically, she originally came to it so she could search for her true love and the machine tells her that now she has it. Unfortunately, not in the way she dreamed of.
  • "Lifebomb": The protagonist gains a special device so he can't die... ever. It's revealed in the end that his insurance company intended to prevent him from dying so they could save themselves from paying his family when he would die.
  • "Parlour Floor Front":
  • "Halloween Candy" is believed by many to be one of the most disturbing episodes.
  • "Ursa Minor": A little girl blames her new teddy bear for various pranks in her parent's house. They do not believe her — until giant claw marks on the walls and lumbering sounds at night convince them. The mother destroys the teddy, but forgets one of the most basic rules of the wild — harm the child, and you must meet the mother...
  • "Effect and Cause": The protagonist has learned to control the fabric of reality inside of her home. However, the universe starts falling apart within her own house, creating random chaos in her room. Fearing for her life, the protagonist rushes to the door to escape, but the knob breaks off and she sees her discarded portrait looking right at her, which is followed by a horrific scream. Then, the gas line goes off and sparks start shooting from the doorbell, making the entire house explode.
  • "A New Lease On Life": After tons of Paranoia Fuel, the protagonist finds out that his new apartment building is alive. The episode ends with him getting Eaten Alive by the building, along with the other tenants who didn't cooperate with the building.
  • "The Shrine": The episode has Christine's mother loving an evil spirit in the form of her daughter when she was younger. Young Christine is the embodiment of a Creepy Child, especially her desire to take real Christine's mother away from her to places unknown to be with her forever.
  • "The Last Car":
    • A woman who just wants to catch a train for her home boards the last car. She meets a playful child, a nice old woman, and an old man. She starts to notice strange things occur on the train car. Her reflection disappears, the people with her are afraid of tunnels, and the train hasn't stopped since she boarded. It turns out that she was taken by a ghost train and is forced to ride the rails forever, or alternately may have died and wound up on an Afterlife Express.
    • The Conductor's horrific smile when he announces another "tunnel" is imminent. Said tunnel shows the passengers as they truly are — corpses: ancient, dusty skeletons.
    • The woman's final line: "Tunnel.... tunnel.... tunnel..." The dread and despair in her voice shows she understands what this all means... and what it means for her.
  • "The Casavin Curse": During the climax, Tina reveals that she turns into a monster before killing unsuspecting lovers unfortunate enough to fall for her. She shows this by revealing her Nightmare Face while rising from under her bed covers. While feral, she kills her cousin with a Neck Snap.
  • Tons of it can be found in "The Circus":
    • The ringleader feeds a feral vampire a lamb so it won't be so hungry during the show (where it "only" feeds on things like rats and snakes) and want a more substantial bite... like the audience. Makes you wonder how long it took them to figure that out, and how many accidents happened before it did.
    • After being disgusted by the monstrous attractions at the circus, the ringleader shows the reporter one last exhibit, the source of fear. We're shown a a gruesomely, unidentifiable body pasted on the ground, still alive and breathing. The reporter leans in for a closer look, only to spot its one good eye glaring at him all around the room. Suddenly, a headless zombie jumps him from behind, causing him to be scared to death. The last time we see out protagonist, his head has been stitched to the formerly headless zombie body, now a sideshow in the circus forever.
  • "I Can't Help Saying Goodbye". A young girl has the power to sense when people are going to die. She does this by putting her hands to their faces and saying goodbye to them twice. Her mother, her best friend, and brother-in-law die in gruesome ways. Her mother lights a match in the kitchen while the gas stove is on, causing an explosion; her best friend has her scarf get caught in the door, snapping her neck; and her older sister's asthmatic boyfriend throws out his inhaler and doesn't remember where it is, then suffocates from an asthma attack. The ending has her older sister plan to drown her young sister in the pool since she doesn't know how to swim. The young girl looks in the mirror and sees the vision of the water rising up to her neck as she says goodbye to herself. Counts as Tear Jerker as well.
  • "The Geezenstacks": A father realizes his daughter's dollhouse can change their family's future when the dolls are played with, yet only he believes in it. Things become strained in the household until near the end... when the dollhouse transports the whole family into it, like all of its other owners. Also, the violin music doesn't make things better.
  • "Baker's Dozen":
  • The end of "Seasons of Belief", with the Grither's enormous long arms coming smashing into the family's home and killing the parents by squashing their heads.
  • "The Milkman Cometh": The protagonist and his neighborhood write notes to a man called the milkman, who grants wishes for them at no cost. However, nobody actually sees the milkman and the audience barely gets a look at what he looks like. Unfortunately, if the wisher does not give clarification on what they're wishing for they're met with disastrous results. The protagonist finally confronts the milkman, asking to provide his family with another child. The milkman complies... by raping his wife. When the baby is born, we get a clue on what the milkman might look like.
  • "My Own Place": An investment banker, Sandy, is convinced by an Indian realtor to rent an apartment (albeit with a hole in the bedroom window) for $235 a month, practically a steal for 1987... only for a mysterious Indian man, Ram, to show up in the middle of the night, revealing that he is his roommate. For a while, nothing outwardly creepy happens (excluding the occasional off nightmare Sandy has) as Sandy becomes more and more frustrated with having a roommate... until one day he happens upon the idea of barricading Ram inside the bedroom, and then leaving for the day. When he gets back later at night, it turns out that Ram fell through the window to his death. After trying to confirm if Ram really did fall, Sandy reluctantly goes to bed... whereupon he's bombarded with various nightmarish imagery of Ram's home country, ultimately culminating in the spirits of Ram's relatives grabbing Sandy, and throwing him out the window. And to make matters worse, the episode ends with another yuppie being shown the (now empty) apartment by the realtor, and she notices a bird by the hole in the window, only for it to disappear. The implication of this is that what happened to Sandy probably wasn't the first, nor the last time this occurred...
  • "The Swap": The ending has Bubba raping his wife while possessing her lover's body. Panning over to the portrait of his mother smiling.
    "You're gonna play house for the rest of your life..." [evil laugh]
  • "Beetles": The ending has our protagonist die from being swarmed by the insects and killed. When the police come to check it out, we get a close-up of the beetles all over his face and climbing out of his mouth. Apparently, they're still eating him.
  • "No Strings": As if making your former partner's corpse into a puppet wasn't bad enough, the mob don's "old friend" possess a Monster Clown puppet and causes a gunfight between the mob don and his associate. The associate and his girl get killed while the puppet is shot through the head. The mob don survives and confronts the puppet master on how he did that trick. Then his friend's corpse rises behind him, begins choking him, and then a hook lowers down from on high and impales him, as the puppet master watches in horror. The episode ends with the puppet master, shaken, gathering up his puppet and leaving, as the camera remains on the stage, cutting to a closer shot of both corpses hanging, the corpse of the partner staring dead straight into the camera.
  • "Love Hungry": Although the episode is about Anthropomorphic Food and a fat girl trying to stop gaining weight, the episode gets increasingly dark as it continues. First she purchases devices that will prevent her from eating... by imagining the food as people. She hears their screams of pain as they are Eaten Alive and begins to talk to them. Then she starts to die from starvation and almost gives into eating. But she stops herself by sewing her mouth shut with a needle and thread. Her landlord and boyfriend find her corpse and we get a close-up of her disfigured face.
  • "The Cutty Black Sow": On Halloween, a boy is warned by his dying great-grandmother about the Cutty Black Sow, a Celtic demon that steals the souls of those who die on All Hallow's Eve, and tries to prevent it from getting hers. And guess what? While he saves his grandmother's soul, the creature takes his! No Infant Immortality here!
  • "Hush". A child creates an odd-looking mechanism that was programmed to stop all the noise annoying those he loves. It works too well; namely, it takes the life out of the thing that's making the noise. Seeing the machines being robbed of their noise is okay, but what's not okay is that horrible nozzle and noise of the machine itself. Also, a parrot and the boy's mother fall before it! Painfully. The world is certainly a better place when the babysitter makes the machine suck out its own life. And that's how the TV version ended. In the original short story by Zenna Henderson, everyone dies, and the story ends with the implication that the machine is going to make everything quiet.


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