Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of a Door Unlocked
Season 5 , Episode 10
Air date January 27, 1996
Written by Scott Peters
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
The Tale of the Vacant Lot
The Tale of the Night Shift

The Tale of a Door Unlocked is the tenth episode of the Fifth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Sixty-second episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That night, Gary is holding a crystal ball. He tells his friends to all gaze into it to see a glimpse of their future. First he shows it to Kiki, and tells her that he can see that since she has an amazing singing voice, that someday she'll be a famous singer. Kiki is thrilled to hear this and says it's cool. Next he shows it to Betty Ann and tells her that since she is so intelligent and compassionate, he can see that she'll be lead to a career of working with medicine. Betty Ann is happy to hear this and smiles.

Next he shows it to Stig, and tell him he can see that one day he'll become a professional wrestler. Stig is happy and excited and says yes! Next he tells Sam that he can see that with her love for adventure that someday she'll be a famous explorer. Sam smiles happily when hearing this. Then last with not much enthusiasm he tells Tucker, that he can see that he will clean elephant cages at the zoo. Tucker is mad hearing this, and snaps at him asking him what it shows for him?

Gary tells them he sees his future in a story, a story about looking into the future. Then he asks them to imagine if a crystal ball really worked, and to imagine how cool it would be to see what was going to happen to them. Whether it would be tomorrow?, next week? or five years from now? Sitting down on the Storyteller's Chair, he asks them but what if the future you saw wasn't a good one? What if it was filled with fear & danger? Would seeing a horrible future mean you could change  it?  Or would it mean you would have to live with the knowledge you knew and could do nothing but wait for it to happen and embrace it?

Gary, 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 a Door Unlocked" and begins his story.


Gary, tells the story. The story first takes place after school. Two teenagers, Justin and Ben are on their way home. Their discussing who they might take to the school dance. Ben is very confident and has no trouble talking to girls. Justin however is too nervous to speak to girls, because he is afraid to be turned down. They pass by an old mansion on the hill called the Alberts' mansion. The house is a big old Victorian era house, literally falling apart, and condemned. Then a group of younger boys come running out of it. They use the place for their clubs new member initiations. The leader is Justin's younger brother Michael. Justin snaps at him saying he knows that he shouldn't play in there because it's unsafe. But Michael rudely tells him he's being their mom's spy. Then he runs off with his friends.

Then further on their way home, Ben sees an attractive girl passing by. So he confidently goes over to talk to her. Justin enters the store they just happened to be at. Which is Sardo's Magic Mansion. Looking through the window, he can see Ben confidently speaking with the girl. Then he says out loud that he wishes he had the confidence that Ben has. Sardo, overhears him, and comes out and asks him what he would give for it. Sardo introduces himself to Justin, and tells him his name and the proper way to say it. Justin explains about how he is too nervous and afraid to speak to girls. Sardo offers him a toy door. He tells Justin that it's a one of a kind: A doorway into the future. So you just tell it what you want to see, and it'll show you it.

Sardo, tells him that he can find out ahead of time, if a girl he asks out will say yes or no. He tries it out to see if he can believe it for himself. Then he asks the door to show him a girl who will go to the school dance with him. The door starts shaking. So he slides over the window on it. Then in a puff of smoke it shows him a beautiful brunette girl in a Letterman's jacket. Justin is astonished and happily agrees to buy it. Sardo is thrilled to hear this. So first he asks for $64.95. Justin is shocked by the expensive price. Then Sardo tries to keep him from changing his mind. So he now tells him it's only $44.95. Justin still thinks the price is too much and can't afford it. Sardo then tries to ask for $24.95. But Justin only has $10.00. So Sardo desperate to make a sale agrees to the price. Then says as he always does, he says that he's losing on the deal. When Justin leaves, Sardo snickers and takes out another toy door. He places it on display in the window. it possibly for another customer to con.

The next day at school, Justin lets Ben in on the secret of magic toy door. He tells him it will show him who he's taking to the dance. Justin opens the window, but it doesn't show them anything. Ben thinks he's acting crazy and walks away. He also states that doors are a little "stuck up" to begin with. Then the door begins shaking again. Justin opens the window again. Now he can see that same brunette girl again. This time she's calling out "Brad? Brad?". Then later that night when doing homework in his room, the toy door begins shaking again. He looks into it and sees in a puff of smoke, the brunette girl once again walking around like she is looking for someone. She calls out for Brad. Then she turns around. Then suddenly she screams bloody murder. The place engulfs in flames and burning support beams fall around on her. Then under thick smoke her screaming can still be heard. After seeing this, Justin is shocked. He realizes that he is seeing visions from the future. So now he must find this girl and warn her.

The next day on his way to school, he passes by Sardo's shop. He is now mad to see another identical toy door on display in the window, (realizing Sardo attempted to con him). He goes into the shop and asks Sardo why there is another one. When he said it was one of a kind. Sardo tells him he meant one of a kind as the pair is a matching set. Sardo then reluctantly admits that it's really two of a kind. Then he asks Sardo about what he's been seeing. Sardo is at first shocked to hear it works. So he goes along with it, but he can't explain it. Justin then realizes that the door only works for him when he's alone. When Justin leaves for school, the second toy door in the display window has smoke coming out of it.

In class, Ben is happy because a girl named Amy agreed to go the school dance with him. Ben still thinks he is acting crazy about the toy door. Justin tries to tell him he's serious about it showing him visions from the future. Then he explains about the girl he saw. and how he can't even help her if he doesn't know who she is. Then their teacher Mr. Birney announces that a new girl has just transferred to their school. The girl is named: Ashley Ruler. She just happens to be the same girl Justin has been seeing in the visions, in the door. Justin is both lovestruck and shocked to see her. During class change, they meet by their lockers and introduce themselves. Now he asks her if she's ever been trapped in a burning building. Confused she says no. Then they find out that their young brothers have already made friends with each other. Then he asks her if her father is a firefighter. Confused again she says no.

Then during lunchtime, Justin and Ben are sitting together. Justin seems to be resting and slightly awake. He's just staring lovestruck over at Ashley, who is sitting down at the other end of the table. Ashley seems to like him too. So she keeps smiling and staring back at him. Ben tells him if he likes her so much, then to ask her to go to the dance with him. Justin says it's more important that he warn her about the fire. Ben thinks that if he tells her that, she'll just think he's nuts. He tells Ben it's not funny and hopes she has smoke alarms in her house. Ashley who happens to be passing by, hears this. She asks him what is with his obsession with fire is. 

Then after Ashley sits down again, the girl sitting next to her offers her a brownie. It us complete with lit candles as a welcome to their school treat. Ashley is touched by the sentiment. But when Justin sees the burning candles, he literally runs right down the lunch table. Then he throws a pitcher of water at her. Ashley screams and is soaked asking him "Are you crazy?". He tries to explain to her that he thought she was in danger. The girl then lends Ashley her blue Letterman jacket to wear home for the day to stay warm. Seeing Ashley put this jacket on, he knows the visions he saw will happen soon. He tries to warn her, but she doesn't know what he's talking about. Now everyone else laughs. Ben drags him away and tells them all he is tired and needs to catch up on his sleep.

Then Michael tells Ben, in order to pass their clubs initiation: He needs to go to the top floor of the old Alberts' mansion and sit in Mr. Alberts' chair. Brad slowly enters the old crumbling mansion. Then a little later, Justin examines the toy door more carefully. Now he finds a sliding side panel near the bottom right. It has a key in it that fits the doors lock that says "IN". Ashley phones Justin and they speak on the phone. She isn't mad, she called to ask him to let her brother know it's time to come home for dinner. He tells her he isn't at his house. Ashley says that now needs to go look for him. Before she hangs up he apologizes to her about the way he's been acting. Then he tries to convince her he's not usually like that. Also if she can possibly try and forget what's happened. Ashley smiles and says she'll think about it. But for now she needs to find her brother before dinner burns; and they hang up. Hearing her say "burns" he now panics. Then he finds out from his little sister Maryjo that Michael is at the Alberts' Mansion. He and his club are doing an initiation for Brad.

Brad slowly walks up to the top floor in the Alberts' mansion and sits in the chair. Then suddenly, bedsheet ghosts appear scaring him. Then Michael's friends take them off while laughing as Michael comes in holding a lit candle. Then seeing his bike is outside, Ashley goes into the old condemned mansion. Then she calls for him. Brad can hear her, and tells them all his older sister is here. They all run off to avoid being caught playing in there. When they run out Michael's candle falls over. Then it sets fire to the cloth tarps all over the floor. Ashley walks all over the house looking for and calling Brad by name. All the while, the fire slowly spreads. Michael and his friends all run out. Now smoke can be seen blowing out of the window on the top floor.

Soon, Justin looks through the window on the door again. Now he can see Ashley in the burning mansion looking for her brother. He realizes that it's no longer a vision. Since it is happening right now! So he takes the "IN" key and unlocks the door. Then through a magical doorway, he is instantly teleported to where Ashley is. She is shocked and confused about how he got there. He pulls her out of the way just in time as a burning support beam falls down. Now the room they're in, engulfs in flames. So they slide down an old laundry shoot to the old laundry room. Then they find out all the doors down there are locked. Eventually they will suffocate from smoke inhalation. Justin figures out that his door lets people in. So Sardo must have the door that lets people out.

Justin cries out for help hoping Sardo will hear him. In Sardo's shop, through the small toy door Sardo can hear him begging and pleading for help and to open the door. Sardo is instructed to check the side panel for a key, Sardo finds the "OUT" key and unlocks the door. Then another magical doorway appears to let them out. Then in a huge shaking tremor and bright flash, Justin and Ashley are safely transported out of the burning building. Then into the safety of the magic shop. They are both relieved and shocked from their experience. Sardo is astonished and offers him a third door (possible in between) saying now it's three of a kind. Justin, realizing it's definitely more trouble than it's worth says no.


As the story ends, Gary says that Justin never got the magic toy door to work again. But whether a door is magic or not, there is a saying: "Whenever a door opened, it always leads to new possibilities". What Gary means is that soon we see Justin and Ashley have fallen in love, and now they're happily going to the school dance together. Then Gary ends his story saying the end.

Then without permission, Tucker then grabs the crystal ball, and says he can see a guy standing up saying "I now declare this meeting of The Midnight Society closed" Gary happens to say that and is annoyed. Amused, Tucker then says "Give it to me Tucker!", which Gary also says. Tucker laughs saying it really does work.

Kiki then ask to try it, she says she sees a little guy getting pounded by a big guy wearing glasses. Seeing Gary is mad, Tucker gets scared and says later and runs off. Gary thanks Kiki for her help and they put out the campfire together, then everyone goes home.

  • While hunting for the Popularity Potion and digging things out of the chest, Sardo mutters "Super Specs", a reference to "The Tale of the Super Specs".
  • Anthony Etesonne-Bédard, who portrayed Michael, later reappeared in the series revival. He was in the third part "The Tale of the Silver Sight" as young Bruce McGorrill.
  • Shawn Potter, who portrayed Ben, later reappeared in the show two more times in the series revival. He was next in the episode "The Tale of Jake the Snake" as Duchamp. Then, his third and final appearance was in the episode "The Tale of the Lunar Locusts" as Pete.
    • He was also in the Goosebumps episode "Phantom of the Auditorium" as Zeke Matthews.
  • Sardo's Sixth appearance, his next appearance would be in "The Tale of Oblivion".
  • Amanda Walsh, who portrayed The Girl, previously appeared in the show before. She first appeared episode "The Tale of the Dollmaker" as Susan Henderson.
  • Ivan Smith who portrayed Mr. Birney, appeared in the show before. The first time he appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Quicksilver" as Mr. Johnston. He appeared one more time in the series revival's episode "The Tale of the Wisdom Glass" as Trevor/Judge Day.
  • Gary predicts that Kiki will become a singer. In real life, her actress Jodie Resther would dabble in singing, releasing two albums.
  • There is a poster for Shandu the Great in the Magic Mansion, a reference to Shandu from The Tale of the Magician's Assistant.
  • This is the final episode directed by Ron Oliver.