The Tale of Old Man Corcoran
Season 2, Episode 13
Air date October 2, 1993
Written by Scott Peters
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
The Tale of the Hatching
The Tale of the Midnight Ride

The Tale of Old Man Corcoran is the Thirteenth episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Twenty-Sixth episode in total. Also, this episode is the Season Two finale.


Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast


That evening, suddenly the group all comes in running. Frank comes in first saying "Home free!", then Kristen comes in saying "safe!". Then Kiki, comes in saying "Safe!", then Gary comes in him saying "Safe!" quickly followed by Betty Ann saying "Home free!". Then last David comes in annoyed realizing he is last again. Frank tells him he's loses again and he's "it". David complains that he's been "it" for the past three times and is getting fed up. Betty Ann decides she'll give him a break and decides to be "it" instead.

David asks them why they can't just tell the story? Kristen asks why they're all playing that dumb kids game anyways, and who is telling a story tonight? Kiki says that she is and it's not a dumb game, she had the group play hide n seek to get them all in the mood for the story. This is because Hide n seek is not like any other game. You start off in a group..but when you're out there in the dark, you're all alone and you have to hide and be very quiet because you never know when someone can jump out and catch you!.

After hearing this her friends begin to seem a little intrigued. Then Kiki sits down on the storyteller's chair, throws dust into the campfire to make it briefly burn better and faster. Then she submits her story for the approval of The Midnight's Society calling her story "The Tale of Old Man Corcoran" and begins.


Kiki, tells the story. The story is about Jack Harris and his younger brother Kenny had just move to a new neighborhood. This was because within the past few recent years, their mom went back to school and got qualifications for a better paying job. Therefore they were finally able to move to a nice and better society neighborhood. Jack and Kenny were lonely. They they hadn't made any new friends yet and of course it's not always easy being the new kids around. They were willing to do anything to fit in. But they were about to find out, that it's not always such a good idea to fit in with everyone you'll meet.

That day Jack and Kenny were having a water gun game with each other. Then suddenly a group of six children around their age come by on their bikes. The group leader came closer to speak to them on their driveway. The leader was later introduced to be Marshall McClain. The boys introduce themselves to him and tell him they came from east side neighborhood. Which seems to be a low class or rough neighborhood and they claims it made them tough and the reason they moved. Marshall politely offered them a chance to join them for a game of hide n seek that night.

Jack at first wasn't so sure he wanted to because it sounded like just a dumb kids game. Marshall replied saying that they would probably be too scared to play where they did, which was at the end of banker street behind the gate. When asked why, Marshall told them let's just say it's getting pretty dark in there at night. Then Marshall rode off with his friends telling the two to meet them there after sunset if they weren't too scared.

That night they headed over to the gate at the end of banker street. They couldn't believe their eyes, behind the gate was a graveyard! Kenny thought he was joking about going in, but Jack talked him into climbing over the fence and going in with him. After Kenny climbed over first he couldn't find his brother anywhere. Then jack appeared from behind and slightly startled him and they headed off to find the six kids.

They passed by various gravestones and family plots not sure at all where they were. Then suddenly Marshall pops out from behind them and scares them. He laughs at his joke and tells them the others are already hiding, because they all thought they weren't going to come. Marshall then calls "Olly Olly Oxen Free" a few times and everyone comes out from hiding to wait for the game to start over. The five other kids all stand together in a line and Marshall introduces them all. The two other boys are Ron Jacobson, a Hispanic kid, and Scott Walden, another African American kid. The three girls are, in the pink shirt with long dark hair is Laura Ayers and the blonde girl in the yellow shirt is Mary Alice Reardon. The girl with the ball cap on backwards and blue plaid shirt on is Cissy Vernon. Jack think her name Cissy sounds funny, annoyed she tells him to just call her Vernon.

Cissy Vernon, seems annoyed that two people are there and questions them being there, claiming they have enough people. Marshall explains he invited them because the more the better. Cissy tells them they better scare easy. Jack asks her if everyone in the graveyard is dead, what is there to be scared off? She tells him Old Man Corcoran of course.

Puzzled they ask, and Cissy tells them story. Old Man Corcoran was the groundskeeper in the graveyard. He worked hard not using any machinery, just digging the graves by hand (not barehanded of course with a spade most likely). He thought he owned the place, so he would walk around the graveyard at night all by himself to make sure nobody was trespassing, if wasn't doing his rounds he would be out in the woods in his camp playing his harmonica. Apparently he was crazy as one day he caught a kid stealing from his shack and chopped the kid's hand off. Then one day he was digging a new grave, when all of a sudden the sides began to cave in on him and he was buried alive. His ghost still haunts the graveyard wandering around at night looking for trespassers and if it's really quiet off in the distance you might even hear him playing the harmonica.

The two brothers and Marshall don't believe her at first claiming they'll believe when they see it. They tell her that living in their old neighborhood was scarier and she probably couldn't do that. They call her Vermin she corrects them saying it's Vernon. Laura annoyed asks them if they're gonna talk all night or play. Marshall has them begin a new game and Rob is it. The boys along with everyone else go off to find someone to hide.

The graveyard is full of white blowing fog everywhere. Along the way Kenny finds a gravestone with a creepy message written on it. Jack considers they hide inside a freshly dug new grave. Kenny persuades him not to because it's too dangerous and it could cave in any time. Then they hear some harmonica music playing and go off to see what it is. They past through a bit of woods until they see an old fashioned forest shack. Kenny suspects it's Old Man Corcoran's shack. They come in closer to the shack and hide sitting in front of a big chopped down tree stump. They get back up when seeing that no one is there, but they can see a harmonica on the tree stump nearby.

They run back to graveyard, then suddenly from behind a gravestone behind Laura pops up and scares them screaming "Olly olly oxen fee" startling them. After they shake it off they bump into a pale old man in blue overalls holding a tree ax. They run off screaming their heads off at the sight of him. While trying to climb back over the fence Kenny rips his pants, then they run back home. The next afternoon their mom punished them for Kenny ripping his pants by having them sweep out and clean the garage.

Marshall and the group stop by again. Marshall asks them to play with the again that night. Kenny says they're not up too it. Cissy taunts them about being scared. Marshall tells them she just told them that story to scare them, because she doesn't want anyone else joining their group. Jack says he would believe when he saw it and he did. Marshall still doesn't believe him, even though Kenny backs him up. Cissy doesn't believe them either and teases them making chicken pock pock sounds. Therefore Jack agree to have them go again to prove to them they are not scared.

That night it's very foggy again, and before the two brothers showed up, Marshall and his friends are seen talking. Marshall wants more people and is tired of always having just the same people. Cissy claims he said that after she joined, there wasn't going to be anymore new people. Jack and Kenny overhear them talking and come in with Jack saying she was wrong. Marshall applauds them for showing up, Mary Alice teases them asking them aren't they afraid that Old Man Corcoran is going to get them? Marshall is tired of hearing about Old Man Corcoran and tells her to give it a rest because according to him there is no such thing as Old Man Corcoran.

The group decide that since Jack and Kenny are such scared wimps that they can be "it" together. To prove they're not scared wimps they go along with the game. After counting they venture out to find them, they almost find Mary Alice hiding crouched down in front of a grave. Then suddenly after the white fog blows away she seems to have somehow vanished. They didn't notice it because they can hear the harmonica being played again.

Jack decided to steal the harmonica and show it to the others to prove that he is real. However Kenny just wants to go get them to see him. But Jack claims that when they get them he could be gone and they need something to prove it. Therefore they sneak around the outside of his shack trying to steal his harmonica, when he isn't looking. However they can't seem to swipe it from him and almost get caught by him. Jack takes out his flashlight and decided to search for something belonging to the old man in the shack.

When inside the shack, it's very dark and Jack accidentally flipped the switch on an old music playing machine playing a very old fashioned musical tone. The room around Jack seems to be spinning and spinning and spinning. Then he startled by Kenny who reveals he got the harmonica now that have proof he exists. Jack thinks it's great and ask for the flashlight, Kenny says he's not holding it. They slowly turned to see that Old man Corcoran is holding! He is mad and snarls at them: "Give me back my harmonica!".

They run back terrified at full speed back in the graveyard. Then they both fall into an open grave, which Cissy Vernon is also in. Cissy seems upset to see them and she demands for them too leave. Terrified they tell her that Old Man Corcoran, is after them and shows the stolen harmonica as proof. She still doesn't listen to them or seems to care. In fact all she seems to do is demand they get out of her hiding spot and wants nothing more than that. With her getting a little sensitive almost upset it seems. Finally they get out and when they leave. She tells them get your own grave. Kenny tells her I didn't see your name on it! The camera zooms up to her and she says: "Well look a little closer next time".

Then suddenly Marshall pops up in the ground and scares them again. They tell him that they stole Old Man Corcoran's harmonica and he's chasing after them. Marshall still doesn't believe them, and tries to convince them just to keep playing the game with them and hide in the grave with him. Kenny tries once again to convince him to believe them and forget about the game. Marshall tries a final time to convince them to hide in the grave with him. He looks at them with his eyes wide open. He asks them: "Don't you want to play? they can NEVER find you in here!". Then suddenly he climbs down deeper into the grave, as Jack and Kenny stare onwards.

Suddenly from behind them is Old Man Corcoran. He startles them, but he doesn't hurt them. All that he does is retrieve his harmonica. Then he asks them what they're doing here? Very nervously Jack explains to him, that were just playing a game of hide n seek. The old man seems stumped and says: "in a graveyard? just the two of you?". Nervously Kenny explains with their friends and he begins giving out three of their names. Then before he can name the rest of them they both trip and fall to the ground.

Old Man Corcoran tells them, that's not possible and it's not very funny to lie. Because all of those kids are dead and buried, and he dug the graves himself. Suddenly they realize the ground they're on is already covered and the grass has grown back. They slowly look around and realize the gravestone belongs to Marshall and it says in loving memory of Marshall McClain beloved son of Jim and Denise 1965-1978 and has a small black and white portrait of him on it.

They both are staring in terrified shock, and the old man asks they what is wrong with them? It looks like they've seen a ghost and above are five other graves possibly belonging to the five other kids. It would seem that the kids were the ghosts all along and they were trying to lure them to an early grave. Luckily the old man was a good person and he showed up when he did. Therefore he prevented them from being buried alive. It's not explained to the viewers what happened to Marshall and his friends, but it's possible that Marshall and his friends were only visible to other kids, or those they were trying to take down with them, and it's possible that their graves would only close and reopen when the fog blew over them at night time.


As the story ends, Kiki just says The end! and then she asks them all to play hide n seek again. First Kristen says Not it, then Betty Ann says Not It, Kiki says Not it, then David says Not it. Franks is last and now he is "it" this time. Reluctantly Frank goes along with it and begins to count and they go off to hide. It's not explained where Gary was and why he wasn't present when the story ended, but it's possible he was going to full up the water bucket to put out the campfire.

  • Tamar Kozlov who portrayed Cissy Vernon had previously appeared in the early Season One's episode "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark" as Kathy.
  • David Francis who portrayed Old Man Corcoran previously appeared in Season One's episode "The Tale of the Hungry Hounds" as Giles. He would later reappear one more time in the series as Daniel Carpenter in the episode "The Tale of Station 109.1".
  • This was the last appearances of both David and Kristen. The beginning of the next season, Gary announces that both of their families moved away.
  • One of twenty-one episodes where the Midnight Society didn't leave and douse the fire with the water-bucket (Frank was counting for a game of hide-and-seek while the others hid).
  • One of the gravestones read "Ron Oil", as a reference to Ron Oliver, the director of this episode.
  • This was the Season 2 finale.

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