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Part One: Submitted for Approval
Season 8 , Episode 1
[[Eplogo92b|250pxpx]]
Air date October 11, 2019
Written by BenDavid Grabinski
Directed by Dean Israelite
Episode guide
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The Tale of the Night Nurse
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Part Two: Opening Night

Part One: Submitted for Approval, is the first part of the first season of the "Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2019)". It is the ninety-second episode in total.

Summary[]

Tormented by a series of scary nightmares, the new girl in school feels isolated and out of place until a mysterious group invites her to join their ranks. All she has to do is tell a truly terrifying story.

Cast[]

Midnight Society Cast[]

Episode & Story Cast[]

  • Rafael Casal as Mr. Tophat
  • Michael Adamthwaite as Bartholomew
  • Cardi Wong as Officer Hideo Yamato
  • Fiona Vroom as Hannah Carpenter
  • Milo Shandel as Mr. Jones
  • Forrest Rozitis as Adam Lynch
  • Nadia Vanessa Rose as Mrs. Lynch
  • Karter Hall as Angry Jock #1
  • Zavien Garrett as Angry Jock #2
  • Summer Barkwell as Mean Girl #1
  • Kristina Plant-Vega as Mean Girl #2
  • Amelie Love as Teen Actress
  • Jude Wilson as Teen Actor
  • Robert Mann as Ticketing Clown
  • Iris Truong as Josie
  • Nevis Unipan as Story Girl
  • Matty Finochio as Story Father
  • Laura Bertram as Story Mother

Opening[]

On a stormy night, we see a dimly lit ventilation floor within a boarding school. A teenage girl fearfully trembles along. She is searching for a place to hide. Once she hears maniacal laughter, she realizes that the person whom is after her is nearby. At a close distant the silhouette of a 19th Century Carnival Barker can be seen. He closes in, taping his cane on the railing and laughs. Then she hurries downstairs and gets away.

She finds herself in a dark classroom. Another girl appears in a desk. She cries out to her: "Help me Rachel". Just before she can fully react; she vanishes. She nervously backs away. Then a few seconds later a miniature toy merry-go-round appears on the desk. It piques her interest. So she walks up to gets a closer look. It spins rapidly.

Suddenly, from a short distance before her is a striped carnival drum has appeared. It has a series of poorly lit light bulbs all around it. Irritatingly loud carnival music begins to play. So she covers her ears. When suddenly she can see the front of a crudely lit door frame. She fearfully realizes that she is now on a stage. As a stage light shines onto her. She uncovers her ears and turns around and slowly walks over to the doorframe. She trembles in fear. As she progresses closer and closer.

Now the Carnival Barker slowly approaches. He clicks his shoes and taps his cane as he walks over. She keeps telling herself that this can't be real and to please wake up. When he is finally close enough, he calls out to her: "Hello Rachel! Welcome to the show! She cries out to him; fearfully replying: "No. Suddenly she turns around. Now she and the Carnival Barker are face to face!

Suddenly Rachel wakes up from her nightmare in a cold sweat. She hyperventilates and tries to catch her breath. As she tries to assure herself that it was just a dream. Then she drinks a glass of water to calm herself down.

Then outside her bedroom window, the Carnival Barker can be seen on stage. Then two young children walk up into view (a boy and a girl). They each take one of his hands. As they all turn around and exit the stage.

Plot[]

The next morning, Rachel's mom wakes her up. It is her first day of school. Her mom lectures her for still not unpacking. Since they have just moved into their new house. They now live in an area known as: Argento, Oregon.

She is annoyed that her mom seems to be caffeinated so early in the morning. Her mom says that she hasn't had one cup of coffee yet today. Her mom is just overly excited to be living in a new place with a fresh start. Which her mom says can be good for her as well.

She gets freshened up, has her breakfast. Then gets ready for school. Her mom is about to drive her to it. Then she sees the most handsome boy next door. She is smitten with him, and he just happens to by around the same age as she.

Then her mom calls out to him. She smiles and waves. She informs him they they are his new neighbors. Her mom persuades her to introduce herself. She nervously tells him her name. He replies back. He informs them that his name is Gavin.

Her mom drives her to school. Just as they get there it begins to heavily rain. She is exasperated. Since her hood isn't fully waterproof. She she tries covering her head with her backpack. Then she enters the school.

Then another bus stops. A chubby teenage boy gets off. He seems to be in good spirits (despite the rain). A bully calls out to him: "Yo Porky watch this! The bully tries to hit him with a football! However he isn't paying attention. Since he is listening to music, he just happens to dodge the football, due to his dancing. Which hits another bully. Therefore he inadvertently cause an altercation between the two bullies.

Over at the lockers, Rachel is having some trouble. Then a kind-hearted boy comes by. He offers to show her some tips. He claims to have mastered opening them. So he backs over to the opposite side, and slams his body into it. He slightly hurts himself in the process. Now someone rudely criticizes him. He tells him: Nice going Adam!". Now we have found out that this boy is named: Adam. From the way people treat him, he is not exactly the most popular person in school. He shakes off the pain. Then he says that you need to apply pressure first. Since they tend to get stuck. However it is still stuck. She becomes annoyed that it's still jammed (or now possibly worse). So she tells him that she appreciates the attempt. Then at the sound of the bell; she heads to class.

She arrives to Mr. Jones' classroom. He can see that she is new. So he asks her to speak to the class, and introduce herself. Rachel stands before the class. Here she can see that her peers are either not paying attention. Or they just don't seem to care. She nervously begins to speak. She tell them that her name is Rachel Carpenter, and that she is new. Finally she gets too nervous to say anything else. So she quickly takes her seat. Her peers laugh as she sits down.

Then the Chubby boy is seen sitting behind her. He sarcastically tells her that she made a great speech. She goes along with the sarcasm. She says that she put a lot of effort into it. He laughs again saying that he bets that she did. He now introduces himself to be named: Graham. She can see that his shirt says: Watch Horror Movies. Immediately they realize that they share an interest for them. He says that he is open to suggestions. Then she asks him if he has seen: The Changeling (1980). Hearing this, he is impressed and astounded that she would suggest such a movie. So now she has piqued his interest.

Then instead of doing her schoolwork, Rachel takes out her colored markers. She draws an impressive drawing of the Carnival Barker from her nightmares. She titles the drawing: Mr. Tophat. As class ends Graham gets a quick glimpse of it. Then Rachel pitches it into the trash, on her way out. Intrigued he decided to retrieve the drawing. Then take a better look at it. Being an obsessive clean freak, he reluctantly searches through the garbage can. He retrieves it. Then disinfects his hands. He uncrumples it. He is very impressed. Now he takes a photo of it with his phone.

At lunchtime she nervously searches for a place to sit and eat. However the kids are all cold and unfriendly. Nobody lets her sits beside or in front of them. Sitting by himself, she goes over to Adam's table. She asks him if she can join him. He is shocked that someone would want to sit near him. So he asks her if she is serious. She says yes she is. He warns her that his social skills are very poor. So she may be bored. Hearing this she says that will be okay. She doesn't mind silence. She uses some of this time to work on a new drawing. This one is a creepy spider. Unbeknownst to her, Graham walks by and takes a picture of it.

Then over in the gym, a popular cheerleader named: Louise is shown. She is practicing a small skit. She impressively spins around with poms. Then Graham comes by asking to speak with her. Louise and Graham quietly speak under a staircase (to avoid being seen together in public). He explains to her about Rachel, her movie interest and her creepy scary drawings. She says that not only can she not believe the drawings, she also cannot believe that he searched through the garbage to retrieve one. Since he is the biggest clean freak that she knows. He says that it was so important that he put his germaphobia aside; and did it. Louise tells him that he is onto something here. So she instructs him to speak to Akiko.

Outside we see a boy zombie! He is after a normal girl. She screams out: "Oh no! It's a zombie!" Now we hear a girl say: Cut! Cut! The girl is Akiko. She is trying to produce and direct a zombie movie. She gets frustrated and fires the actress for messing up her lines. Then Graham comes by and get startled. Until realizing the boy is just in make-up. Then he asks Akiko when she will let him do the music in one of her productions. She tells Graham that she doesn't hire her friends for her productions. Since she has to push and pressure her collaborators. So she doesn't want to hurt his feelings.

Suddenly much to Akiko's chagrin the police have arrived. However it's just her older brother Hideo. He is a rookie officer. He tells her that they have received complaints from neighbors in the area. The first complaint being that the slide is covered in blood. She assures him it is just red colored corn syrup. The second complaint is about little explosions. She assures him they are just minor pyrotechnics. Which she has under control. Just then she contradicts herself, as one blows up in front of the cruiser. She is miffed, so she tells everyone to wrap it up for the day. After Hideo leaves, Graham tells her all about Rachel, her interests and drawings. Akiko is amazed to hear that Rachel is interested in certain horror movies. She says that this shows promise. So they should see if she has the right stuff.

At school, Adam is about to help Rachel with her locker again. Then she opens it and nearly hits him the face. Rachel asks him to save her a seat at lunch. He smiles and nods before leaving. Then she finds a sealed message from: "TMS" inside her locker. It says: "WHAT IS SCARIER... A VAMPIRE OR A WEREWOLF? PUT YOUR ANSWER IN THE WALL BEHIND THE CURTAIN IN THE THEATER CLASSROOM -TMS. P.S. - DO NOT TELL A SOUL ABOUT THIS OR YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Rachel's answer is: "A vampire is much scarier. A werewolf only changes during a full moon. A Vampire is a vampire every night". She writes her reply and places it in the spot.

A day later she finds another message from "TMS" in her locker. This one says: "WOULD YOU RATHER BE A GHOST OR A ZOMBIE?". PLACE YOUR ANSWER IN A LUNCHBOX BENEATH THE BLEACHERS IN THE GYM - TMS". Her answer is: "I'd rather be a ghost. Ghosts at least get to keep their personalities. Besides, sometimes I feel like a ghost already.. She writes her reply and places it into a lunchbox under the bleachers.

Another day later she finds a third message from "TMS" in her locker. This one says: "WOULD YOU RATHER SPEND THE NIGHT IN A HAUNTED HOUSE OR A CEMETERY? PLACE YOUR ANSWER INSIDE THE TOILET PAPER DISPENSER IN THE BATHROOM STALL ON THE SECOND FLOOR. - TMS. Her reply is: "I'd sleep in a cemetery. That sounds peaceful. Unless it's raining, then I'd risk staying in a haunted house. P.S. Is the house haunted by scary ghosts or nice ghosts? That makes a big difference. She fills out her reply. Then she places it into the toilet paper dispenser.

The next day, she finds a final message in her locker from "TMS". It says: "CONGRATULATIONS! YOU HAVE PASSED THE CHALLENGE. BE THERE AT MIDNIGHT. - TMS". Then she finds a map in her locker. It is a path through the woods, listed by symbol markers. She is excited and intrigued wondering just who these guys are.

That night, before midnight Rachel sneaks out the house from her bedroom window. She heads to the woods and follows the map with light from her phone. She is nervous, frightened and cold. But she follows the markers along the way tripping in puddles a few times. Then she instructed to cross to the other side in a rowboat. When she gets there she is almost lost. She begins to become afraid and repeatedly calls out if anyone is there. When suddenly a masked person sneaks up to her from behind. She runs off scared and falls down. When she gets back up she is met by four masked people holding long lit torches. She is told to put a bag over her head and to follow them.

She nervously follows them to a campfire site. She is told to remove the bag and to sit down. A female masked person congratulates her on passing the trials. Rachel is still confused on this. the masked girl and a chubby masked boy inform her that she has one final step. She is meet them at the exact same spot tomorrow at midnight. Also she has 24 hours to come up with a story. It has to be a truly scary story. Then if they like it, they will allow her to join their group. If they don't like it, they will never contact her ever again. She has only one chance and to NOT waste it. She feels pressured saying she will need more than one day. But she is told that one day is all she will get. Then a masked female member declares this meeting of the Midnight Society to be closed. Now she knows what TMS is. Last she is told to not tell anyone about them.

She sneaks back through her window and goes to sleep. Then next morning to her surprise Gavin has come over. He convinces her to walk to school with him. He asks her why she was sneaking back through her window so late last night. She fibs saying that she had returned from a party. Seeing that she is thinking and brainstorming he asks her who she is writing a story for. She fibs again saying that it is for story class at school. However she is having trouble coming with an idea. He tells her that we are all afraid of something. So why not write about what she is afraid of. Hearing this she is now inspired and knows exactly what she will write about: Her nightmares!

Throughout the day she writes out her story. Finally late at night it is finished. With confidence she returns to the entrance of the clearing. She approaches the four masked Midnight Society members. They are waiting for her wielding their torches! She tells them she is ready and to give her the bag. When they lead her inside the clearing they remove the bag and allow her to sit down. She is handed a pouch. Now she is told to toss a handful of it into the fire. Unbeknownst her it is non dairy creamer. Which intensifies the fire. Then she is given a can with a parchment inside. She is told that of story begins with these words. She says them out loud: Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: She continues with: "The Tale of Mr. Tophat and the Carnival of Doom".

Back to the episode[]

After Rachel ends her story, the four masked members of the Midnight Society begin to take off their masks. She isn't surprised that the Chubby male member is the Graham that she already does know. Now she looks at the fourth person about to unmask himself. She expects him to be Adam. However very much to her surprise and joy, he is really Gavin. He is shocked that she didn't know that it was him. She is dumbfounded saying that it never occurred to her that he was interested in scary stories. He said that he had to asked too many questions, to make sure that she would not give them away. Now she is introduced to Louise and Akiko.

They inform her that the guy who couldn't handle her story is Graham. He says that he enjoys being scared and likes to be. She tells them that they already know each other.

Now she tells them that since they have shown them their faces and told them their names, if it means she made it into their group. They say: Yes. Gavin does the honors and hands her a carving knife. Then she carves her first initial "R" into her very own seat. Which each of them had previously done. They welcome her to the club, she thanks them. Louise declares their meeting closed. Then she puts out the fire. On their way out Graham wants to tell her some time about his first story. It was about a blood sucking leprechaun. This sounds interesting and she says okay.

Then she meets with Gavin and they decide to head on back home together. Along the way they get too know each other a bit better. Rachel asks him why they chose her. He says it was because of her impressive scary drawings. She is surprised to hear that any of them ever saw them. He then tells her that he's been in the group for about two years now. Then she asks him what she really wants to know: Why he likes telling scary stories. He actually prefers to listen. Since it is fun to see what other people can come up with. To him that is the whole fun thing of the Midnight Society. Which is: getting scared. Since they get to let their imaginations run wild. But then they get to go home and sleep, safe and sound in their beds. Knowing that the real world is much simpler. So nothing really does go bump in the night. When they get home, they both say goodnight to each other from their windows. Rachel sounds very giggly and happy now.

Early the next morning, Adam takes his Golden Retriever Jefferson for a walk before school. He walks him through the woods. Then something catches his eye. At the crossroads in the woods. After narrowly avoiding being hit by a truck, he can see that a carnival is being set up. Jefferson breaks free and runs into a tent. Adam screams his name. Then he is running inside to retrieve him. Then it begins to rain heavily and Jefferson is seen running all the way back home alone. Jefferson is found by Adam's mother Mrs. Lynch. She is worried sick to see that her son never came back home from the walk. So Mrs. Lynch immediately reports her son missing.

At the school the following day, Akiko tells her friends that for her next production, she is considering werewolves. Then is surprised to see that her brother has been called to the school. He and officers are looking into Adam's disappearance. In Mr. Jones' class Rachel asks Graham when she will be getting her own mask. Graham tells her that they don't talk about "TMS" at school. However Graham says that she will get one soon. Finally Mr. Jones enters his class and he has something important to share with them. Much to a classmate's chagrin, he hasn't been fired. It is that their classmate Adam Lynch has been reported missing. Therefore if anyone has seen him, or knows anything to speak to him. Or someone in the Principal's office.

Next Mr. Jones has a treat for his class. He informs them all that on the upcoming Thursday a carnival is coming to town. He hands the flyers to everyone. Also it can been seen that every class in school is getting them as well. Including each Midnight Society member. They all look in shocking horror when the realize it will be called: The Carnival of Doom. The same as the Carnival from Rachel's story! Also that Adam has disappeared. Just like the two girls from her story did!

Rachel stares out the window in shock, seeing a little dark scorpion. Fearfully she realizes that her story is now coming true!

Ending[]

Then on a dimly lit circus stage we see Mr. Tophat slowly approaching. He smirks and whispers loudly enough to remind everyone that: "It's all part of the show!"

  • The first Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode in over 19 years.
  • Originally an Are You Afraid of the Dark? Film was going to be produced. it was initially reported that this mini-series' release would lead up to the release of the film. However the movie was cancelled. At the time being there are still no plans on releasing one. Instead more seasons are in the works instead. Although it is unclear as to how many there will be.
  • The first time a Midnight Society concealed their identities to a new candidate.
  • The first time to show Midnight Society members attending school.
  • The first time to show parents of Midnight Society Members.
  • Jeremy Ray Taylor was also in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween as Sonny.
  • Tamara Smart is well known for appearing in 2017 The Worst Witch television series. She portrayed Enid Nightshade.

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