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

Cast

Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast

Intro

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.

Story

Kiki, tells the story. The story is about Jack Harris and his younger brother Kenny. They just moves to a new higher class 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 neighborhood. Jack and Kenny were lonely. They hadn't made any new friends yet, So 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 meet.

One day Jack and Kenny were having a water gun game. Then suddenly a group of six children around their age come by on their bikes. The group leader came closer to speak. The leader was later introduced to be Marshall McClain. The boys introduce themselves to him and tell him they came from the east side neighborhood. Which seems to be a low class or rough neighborhood. They claimed that it made them tough and it was 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 them 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 going in with him. After Kenny climbed over the fence, he couldn't find his brother anywhere. Then jack appeared from behind slightly startling him. Then they headed off to find the kids.

They passed by various gravestones and family plots not sure at all where they were. Then suddenly Marshall pops out from behind 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. Now everyone comes out from hiding, waiting 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 Wolden, 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 thinks her name sounds funny, annoyed she tells him to just call her Vernon.

Cissy Vernon, seems annoyed that new people are there and questions them for being there, claiming they have enough people. Marshall explains he invited them because the more the better. Cissy tells them they better not 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. When he wasn't doing his rounds, he would be out in the woods in his camp playing his harmonica. Apparently he was crazy, and one day he caught a kid stealing from his shack. So he 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, and he was buried alive. His ghost still haunts the graveyard. It wanders 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. Jack says they'll believe it 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 gets annoyed and 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 hide.

The graveyard is full of white blowing fog. Along the way Kenny finds a gravestone with a creepy message written on it. Jack find a freshly dug grave and suggest that they hide inside of it. Kenny persuades him not to because it's too dangerous and it could cave in at any time. Then they hear some harmonica music playing. So they go off to see where 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. Then they can see a harmonica on the tree stump nearby.

They run back to graveyard, when suddenly from behind a gravestone behind Laura pops up. She startles them screaming "Olly olly oxen free". 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. So their mom had them sweep and clean the garage.

Marshall and the group stops 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 it 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. Then before the two brothers show up, Marshall and his friends are seen talking. Marshall wants more people and he's tired of always having just the same people. Cissy claims he said that after she joined, there wasn't going to be anyone else. Jack and Kenny overhear them talking and come in. Jack tells her that 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. So he tells her to give it a rest, because according to him there is no such thing as Old Man Corcoran.

The group decides 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. She is hiding crouched down in front of a gravestone. Then suddenly after the fog blows away, she seems to have somehow vanished. They didn't notice it because they can hear the harmonica being played again.

Jack decides 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 getting caught by him. Jack takes out his flashlight and decides 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 from an old music playing machine. It begins to play a very old-fashioned tune. The room around Jack seems to be repeatedly spinning. Then he gets startled by Kenny. He reveals to his brother that he got the harmonica. So now they have proof he exists. Jack thinks it's great and asks for the flashlight. Kenny says he's not holding it. They slowly turn to see that Old man Corcoran is holding it! He looks mad and snarls at them: "Give me back my harmonica!".

They ran away 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 they show her the 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 to get their own grave. Kenny tells her that he didn't see her name on it! Now 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 scaring them. 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, they 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! Also it says in loving memory of Marshall McClain beloved son of Jim and Denise 1965-1978. There is also 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. Above the grave. are five other graves, possibly belonging to the five other kids. It would seem that the kids were the ghosts all along. So 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. Also it's possible that their graves would only close and reopen when the fog blew over them at nighttime.

Ending

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.
  • Marshall's year of birth and year of death, 1965-1978, as seen on his gravestone, would make him 13 years old at the time of his death.
  • This was the Season 2 finale.