Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of Prisoners Past
Season 5 , Episode 5
Air date December 2, 1995
Written by Alan Kingsberg
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
The Tale of the Chameleons
The Tale of C7

The Tale of Prisoners Past is the fifth episode of the Fifth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Fifty-seventh episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]

  • Daniel Petronijevic as Scott
  • Martin Neufeld as One-Eyed Jack
  • Aline Van Dine as Elma Briggs
  • Jennifer Seguin as The Tour Guide
  • Pablo Coffey as The Convict Clerk
  • Noel Burton as Mr. Clarence
  • Julie Burroughs as Jason's Mom
  • Frank Schorpion as Scott's Dad
  • Pauline Little as Librarian
  • Alyssa Lawrence (uncredited) as The girl who screamed

Special Guest Star[]

  • Christopher Castile as Jason


That night, Kiki & Tucker walk into the clearing laughing and having a good time. Suddenly an enraged Gary yells to him "Don't move!" Tucker tries to run but Gary is too fast and catches him and madly tells him that he can't believe he blew him off. Gary is wearing old clothes covered in paint stains. Kiki laughs and asks him why he is all covered in paint. Furious, Gary says that the following afternoon Tucker was supposed to help him paint the den in their house. However Tucker stood him up and didn't show up and he didn't finished until 10 minutes before. Tucker tries to apologize saying he got hung up with something else. Enraged Gary threatens to hang him up by his feet. Kiki tells them to take it easy and save it for home.

Stig is sitting right by the fire ringing out his wet socks trying to dry them. Betty Ann sitting next to Sam tells him she knows what it's like and she hates to step in water too. Stig tell them that he didn't step in water, Betty Ann and Sam both react grossed out, realizing it was a sweat. As Gary and Tucker come into the circle, Sam comes over to Gary excited and smiling she tells him yes and she absolutely can't wait. Gary reacts to her saying just huh, Tucker tells Sam he will tell her later and he goes to sit down on the Storyteller's Chair. Betty Ann asks Gary why he is all messy and he fills her in and they all go and sit down. Stig offers him a wet cloth to wipe off with. Gary thanks him until he realizes the cloth doesn't really smell so "good"; mad he throws it back to him.

Tucker tells them all that his story is about two brothers who don't get along for a lot of reasons. Mostly because they are so different from each other. Gary looks to him interrupting and asks him if tonight is non fiction night. Tucker goes on and says it's about trust, it's about knowing when you're in trouble and your back is to the wall you need someone to rely on. Which might be the one person you least expect.

Tucker, throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while he submits his story for approval for The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of Prisoners Past", and begins.


Tucker, tells the story. The story first takes place in a prison cell house, a female guard is doing rounds walking up and down. Then suddenly, an alarm goes off that the power keeping all of the cells locked has failed and she panics and uses the cell house phone to try to call an alarm to notify the guards. The suddenly prisoners come storming out of their cells. Then a young girl screams at the sight, to only reveal the prisoners are just mannequins in classic Horizontally striped prison uniforms. Turns out the prison is closed and it's just a historic museum now. Also the guard is just a tour guide doing a reenactment of a famous 1920's prison riot. It looked so convincing that one girl actually screamed. Then the Tour Guide gives the class a intermission and tells them she'll next show them where the murderers were kept.

The focus of the story is on two very different boys. Jason a short, smart loner, who is a chess club captain and Scott who is a tough, bad tempered, sports playing jock. They never had very much to do with each other. Until Jason's mom and Scott's dad got married and they became step brothers. Jason has a hard time making decisions, constantly changing his mind by considering different details. Then Scott stepped in and did something to get him to shut up and make things easier for the prison store clerk. Scott chooses a prison fan club shirt for Jason and pays for one himself. Jason demands his $5 back for the shirt he didn't really want and they argue until Jason swipes Scott's $10 bill and runs to the basement.

When Scott chases him to the basement and catches up with him, they realize they're in another cell house. Jason is startled when he notices a prisoner in a classic striped uniform standing in a cell. The prisoner has receding long hair and a beard and wears an eye patch over his left eye. Scott tells him it's just a dummy. The creepy prisoner speaks and tell him that his name is One-Eyed Jack and he is no dummy. However he made one big mistake in life he robbed a bank, and he's done his time and more. They just seem to think it's part of the tour. Then One-Eyed Jack asks them to open his cell.

Scott thinking it's part of the show unlocks the door and opens the cell. One-Eyed Jack is rejoiced and declares he finally has his freedom and disappears. Scott and Jason are most impressed thinking it was awesome. Suddenly they turn around and see One-Eyed Jack who wants them both to go into his cell and insistently he begs and pleads for them to do so. They both run off terrified, Jack sends his arm glowing in light, right through the door to grab them and they run off terrified. Then they bump into their teacher Mr. Clarence who takes them to the bus back to their school just in time.

That night in their room, they're trying to decide what to do about what happened that afternoon. Jason debates about whether or not they should call the police and inform the prison officials or keep quiet. Because they might just think they're crazy. Jason is really getting on Scott's nerves now and tries to tell them that all they saw was just an impressive new hologram exhibit. Jason believes possibly he might be right and calms down saying that it was just dumb. Scott tells him it was also dumb to take money from him. Then he threatens Jason never to do it again and takes it back.

Then in the middle of the night, when they were both asleep Jason wakes up to find their bedroom window open. Jason asks Scott about it who just went to get a drink of water. Suddenly the stripped black and white sleeve comes in through the window and grabs Jason. One-Eyed Jack followed them home. He grabs to Jason and with an upset and devastated look on his face he begs and pleads them to come back to his prison cell. The screaming wakes up their parents. When they show up One-Eyed Jack is gone and they don't believe them about seeing a ghost. They just think it was just a nightmare from visiting the old prison.

The next afternoon, Jason and Scott spend time together visiting the library. They look through old newspaper articles on a microfilm reader and finds the articles about One-Eyed Jack. They find out that on June 1, 1942 One-Eyed Jack who was serving time for robbing a federal bank escaped. The prison officials were very confused about how he managed to avoid the prison's top security. Then they read the next article, which reads on on August 29, 1945 the prison closed down forever and the prison's perfect escape free record had only one mistake, which was Jack's escape and he was never found and remained at large. Scott is shocked to find out One-Eye Jack has a daughter named Elma Briggs, who being emotionally upset was denied access to the prisons records.

Then suddenly they hear a noise, then see a striped shirt from a distance coming closer to them. They scream to him to go away and leave them alone and that they're not afraid. The person turns out to be just the Librarian dressed in a similar black and white striped two piece outfit, and mad she tells them they'd better be afraid of her and she will kick them out if they're not quieter. Then they go over to Elma Briggs' house to speak with her about her father. Elma is very elderly now and walking with two canes indicating poor health. She is tense and stressed, she is very upset to see them, when they ask her about her father. Because for many years her one-eyed father has been the object of ridicule. People would stop by her house wearing an eye patch making fun of her father. She is really upset now and tells them to leave and to never come back.

That evening, they're in their bedroom stressing over what to do about One-Eyed Jack. Also the presence of One-Eyed Jack enters their house and heads to their room. They talk about knowing he'll come for them again sooner or later. Jason is getting fed up with Scott treating him like a wuss and a wimp and finally stands up to him and pushes him hard against the door. Scott is so mad he threatens to hit him so hard he's mom will fell it. Then suddenly in an glowing light, Jack's arm comes through the door and grabs Scott and pulls him through leaving nothing behind but his shoes.

Jason is really worried, first he thinks of calling the police. Then he decides to muster up his courage and go to the prison and save Scott himself. When he gets to the prison, the gate magically opens itself. Then he goes down to the basement cell house and find Scott sleeping in One-Eyed Jack's cell. The cell is open and Jason walks right in and wakes Scott up. When they tried to leave the cell door closes on them and they're trapped in, Scott is shocked that Jason mustered up the courage to come save him. When he sits down for a moment he sees a huge rat enter a hole in the wall. They realize that One-Eyed Jack escaped from the cell by sneaking through a hidden tunnel that was behind the cell toilet.

They move the toilet and enter an old ventilation shaft, the shaft is tight and crammed and it gets harder and harder to crawl through. Suddenly Jason is stopped by something blocking the way. When they shine the flashlight on it, it's revealed to be a rotten skeleton! The combined weight of the two of them and the skeleton causes the shaft to break in half and they fall to the floor.

Then in a slight glowing yellow aura, One-Eyed Jack's ghost appears to them. Scott asks him to just leave him and Jason alone. One-Eyed Jack tells them that for over fifty years he was stuck in that shaft. Since he was sneaky and covered up his tracks so well, everyone thought he escaped. Jason looks at the skeleton more carefully and sees the eye patch and realizes it's One-Eyed Jack and he never escaped after all. He tells them that he climbed so far into the shaft that he got stuck. Then no one could hear him cry for help and nobody knew where he was until now. One-Eyed Jack, apologizes for putting them through the whole ordeal. Because all he wanted was for someone to find his body. They accept his apology.

Before they leave One-Eyed Jack asks them to tell his daughter what happened to him. They claim she might not believe them, he asks them to take the item from his shirt pocket which will convince her. The item is a worn out sepia tone picture of One-Eyed Jack and Elma as a little girl. The next morning they meet with Elma and give her the picture. She is more than grateful to finally know the truth, and realizes that her father didn't leave town and abandon the family after all and always loved her. 

Also finally Jack can have a proper funeral service and burial. Elma thanks them sincerely. Then they leave and consider going for lunch and going to the video arcade. Jason keeps changing his mind which thing they should do first. Scott gets annoyed but keeps his cool and pays him back the $5 he owed him to shut him up. Jason smiles, either cause now he knows annoying Scott will get him what he wants, or because he finally earned Scott's respect or even both.


Then as the story ends, Tucker says that Jason and Scott found that in spite of their differences they really were brothers. Then Tucker ends the story with everyone all impressed. Then as they all get up to leave, Sam approaches Gary, smiling and excited she tells that she just can't wait for Saturday night. Gary puzzled is still confused and asks what she means. Tucker pulls him aside to speak with him, Gary furious thinking he may be playing a joke threatens to pound him.

Tucker tells Gary, that he didn't help him paint the den because he got stuck in line for 5 hours waiting to buy concert tickets. Tucker hands him two concert tickets and smiles telling him happy birthday. Gary realizes they are Lavapalooza tickets. The rare tickets are for a concert taking place and are nearly impossible to get. Tucker also tells him he told Sam he wanted to take her with him, since Tucker knew Gary would be too scared to have the courage to ask her out himself. Gary is speechless, telling Tucker that although sometimes he just wants to wring his neck, that sometimes he wonders what he would do without him and gratefully thanks him. Gary leaves with Sam and Stig puts out the fire and leaves with Tucker.

  • First time Stig put out the campfire.
  • Christopher Castile was famous for portraying Mark Foster in the popular family sitcom Step by Step. Also for playing the brother Ted Newton in the family movies Beethoven and Beethoven's 2nd.
  • Christopher Castile would also star in the Nickelodeon show “Hey Arnold” as the first voice of Eugene Horowitz.
  • Martin Neufeld who portrayed, One Eyed-Jack. Later appeared again in the series revival. He next appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Stone Maiden" as The Protector/Henry.
  • Jennifer Seguin, who portrayed The Tour Guide previously appeared in the show before. She first appeared in "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun" as Lucy.
  • Pauline Little, who portrayed The Librarian, previously appeared in the shows two times before. She first appeared as Aunt Dottie in "The Tale of the Lonely Ghost", then the second time she appeared in "The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle", as Mrs. Buckley.
  • Jennifer Seguin and Pauline Little starred in the children’s T.V show “Caillou” voicing both Caillou’s Mother and Grandmother respectively.
  • Daniel Petronijevic would later go on to star in the animated show Braceface with Daniel DeSanto as the voices of Adam and Brock respectively. (They even starred in the Total Drama series as Geoff and Dave.)
  • Coincidentally, Dan Petronijevic played a character named Scott who shares the same name of a Total Drama character which Dan would star in with Daniel DeSanto.
  • Dan Petronijevic also appeared in the Goosebumps episode Say Cheese and Die as Joey.
  • When the stepbrothers are looking through the microfilm, it's the same library as "The Tale of the Prom Queen".