Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter
Season 3 , Episode 6
Air date February 12, 1994
Written by Story by Cliff Bryant & Alice Elliot, Teleplay by David Preston
Directed by Iain Patterson
Episode guide
The Tale of the Dollmaker
The Tale of the Carved Stone

The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter is the Sixth episode of the Third season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Thirty-Second episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]

  • Natalie Radford as Belinda & The Witch (uncredited)
  • James Sherry as Ricky Winter
  • Lynne Adams as Mrs. Winter
  • ? The Knight
  • ? The Ghost/King
  • Jessica Reed as The Little Girl (uncredited)


The night begins with Frank working on the campfire. Then Sam walks in carrying in her arms several logs for the campfire. Frank wanting to impress her tries to insist she let him carry them for her saying that they are much to heavy for her and she needs to stop being such a guy all the time. Annoyed and fed up Sam drops the logs and the all fall on Frank feet painfully with her mockingly saying that he was right while Kiki and Betty Ann laugh and she goes over to them and they high five and applaud Sam for taking her stand to Frank.

Frank embarrassed and in pain, tends to the rest of the campfire. Then Gary and Tucker come in seeing Frank on the ground Tucker teases him about making a mess. Annoyed Frank threatens to club him with a log, but backs off because he is still in pain while the girls all laugh.

Tucker then notices Betty Ann reading from a book, but she won't let him see it. Betty Ann explains that her story is about stories. Frank is a little confused at first, So she explains that people tell all kinds of horror stories. However, no matter what the story is about there is only one thing that makes it really scary. The person's imagination, because if you are really into a story you become part of it. Then you start to imagine what horrible things could be sneaking around the corner waiting to pounce. Then you start to wonder, what you do if you were the one facing the monster.

Kiki and Tucker seem to be getting intrigued, She then explains that it's a person's imagination that gets them into a story. Unless you're very careful you might also need your imagination to get out of it. Betty Ann, throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while she submits her story for the approval of The Midnight Society, calling her story "The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter".


Betty Ann, tells the story. The story is about a strange young woman named Belinda. Also, a young boy named Ricky Winter. Belinda ran her own babysitting business. She was becoming every parents favorite babysitter. No one knew her secret. She claimed it to be just "magic". It was like she just knew when a parent wanted to babysit for them and when. Also she loved reading and collecting books more than anything. Ricky Winter was a young boy, who just loved doing nothing more in his spare time than watching television. Then one evening, Ricky's mom who was a real estate agent was going out to show a house to a family interested in buying. So she decided to leave him with the highly recommended babysitter. Ricky was not too excited about the idea of being left with a babysitter. He felt that being 12-years-old, that he was now old enough to be home alone, but his mom didn't yet think so.

Then what appears to be a witch is answering the door! The black hood of the cloak is pulled down and revealed to be a pretty young and creepy looking woman. Mrs. Winter is a bit nervous about her at first. Then Mrs. Winter calms down. She asks Belinda, since she's been highly recommended, she asks her what her secret is. Belinda says "Imagination". She asks her to try to get him to do something different. Instead of just watching more television. Belinda smiles telling her that she has brought some "Books" for them to read. Then she opens one you can hear a wolf howling. Ricky is not too happy to see her, and does not even say hi. Mrs. Winter says he's going through a watching only T.V. phase. Then Belinda smiles reassuringly. Shen says that she can fix that. Then Mrs. Winters leaves for the evening.

Belinda joins Ricky in the living room and insists on turning off the television. She takes away the remote control. He is annoyed with her. But she wants them to get to know each other a bit better, and become friends. They agree that if he reads a book for five minutes, she will leave him alone the rest of the night. So he begins to read a scary book about a hideous evil witch. One who came knocking on a cottage door one night. Then as it is being read out loud you can actually hear the sounds of storm and lights flickering off and on. Then someone is knocking on the door. Ricky gets surprised and stops reading it because he thinks it is boring.

Next he tries reading a book called "The King's Sword". This happens to be a book Belinda really likes. So he begins reading it. Then as he does a shadow of a cloaked sleeve appears on the wall behind. Then a creepy hand appears coming out from the side of the wall, and its preparing to reach for him. Ricky has difficulty reading the complicated words and gives up on it. Belinda warns him that once you begin reading a book, that you really should finish it. He doesn't take her seriously and he wants to read another certain book. One that but Belinda won't allow, because she feels he's not ready for it yet. Ricky gets fed up with reading boring books. So he decides to go to his room. She warns him not to go out there, but he doesn't listen and goes to his room. She looks inside her book and smiles as he leaves saying be careful Ricky!

A little later, Ricky is relaxing on his bed playing a hand held video game. He hears Belinda coming into his room. He rudely tells her to go away and to leave him alone. Hearing the presence still there, he looks up and sees it's not Belinda, but a medieval knight in shimmering steel armor. The knight is wielding a longsword and chops it down trying to chop Ricky. Ricky moves away in time and the longsword slices through his pillow. Afraid he runs off to find Belinda for help. Then at the other end of the hallway, is a ghost whom is wailing and screaming in agonizing pain. He runs off to the living room to find Belinda burning her books in the fireplace. He tells her what he saw and she says she knows all about. So perhaps he should not have started those book after all. So since they're dangerous and they came from books, they must burn them. Then they will go away and he helps her burn the books.

Suddenly someone is knocking on the living room door, which is bolted shut with a chair. Belinda's voice is heard coming from the other side telling him NOT to listen to her. She is demanding to be let in and she forces her way in. Ricky then realizes that if she is Belinda, then who is the other person? In a witch like voice the other person screams "what do you think! ha ha ha ha ha ha use your imagination". Suddenly the person who looks like Belinda has a hideous witches face now. Ricky is terrified and screams. Belinda says that she was afraid that this was going to happen. It turns out she a young witch and a Silvertongue with an overactive imagination. So both the benevolent and malevolent manifestations of her imagination literally come to life when they are read about. So they must be contained within books. Belinda takes Ricky by the hand and they hide inside the kitchen. Then they bolt it shut by pushing a table in the way. She believes that this will hold them off for the time being.

Ricky, demands her to make it all go away. She says that she can't because he is into the stories for now. So he has to finish them. Then she reminds him that he burned all of her books, which she is a bit upset about. She tells him that he now must use his imagination to finish the store. That is, before he becomes the witches dinner. Without enthusiasm Ricky says "Okay, some weird stuff happened then it went away. Then they lived happily ever after the end. This of course doesn't work and they can still hear the ghost wailing, the witch cackling and the knight chopping through the wall. He's gotten two stories mixed up and now he must sort them out. Suddenly the witch has broken into the kitchen and tries to grab them while cackling; so they run off in fear.

They run off and hide in the basement, as scary as things are Belinda smiles and is excited for some reason. She asks him what happens next since it is his story? With not much more enthusiasm than the last time he says "They ran down to the basement, where he kept his Uzi (a type of machine gun). One he kept just in case any knights, witches and ghosts appear. Nothing happens again, Ricky notices that Belinda is carrying that certain book everywhere with her and she keeps peeking at it. He suspects she knows what will happen and the ending is in it. So he asks her for the book. She tells him the book is empty but he thinks she knows anyways. Then she asks him if he thinks he is really ready for it. He says yes and she gives him the book.

Ricky opens the book and then he is transported into a medieval dungeon known as a tomb. Everything Ricky now says and does is mentioned in the book before and after it happens and he reads it out loud. Ricky reads that he realizes he is no longer in his comfortable home, but in the crypt of ancient castle. He then reads that the walls are really high and could possibly be climbed on to escape. So he wonders how whoever built it got out from there. He steps on old eggshell and realize how gruesome the tomb is. The he reads that for hundreds of years no one else has been in there, and by the look of things no one else will.

Suddenly, he can hearing the approaching sound of clanking metal. He can see the Medieval Knight from in his house earlier approaching him. It has its longsword ready and begins to chase after Ricky, chopping at anything in his way. Ricky almost loses the book, but gets in back in time. Ricky runs and tries to hide, just as The Knight closing in on him and prepares to strike. He reads that Knight was there sworn to protect the tomb for his beloved King. He has waited throughout the ages for a sign (meaning possibly someone to carry on his place). Ricky is confused what it means and yells what's the sign?

Then just as The Knight holds his sword up high to strike, the sign appears above the hilt. It matches the same longsword portrait that is on his shirt. He immediately recognizes this and shows his shirt to the Knight. The sign shows the sword with the word "Severance" written under it. Seeing this, The knight immediately pledges his allegiance to Ricky and bows down and offers him it's Longsword. After taking the longsword The Knight falls apart and is nothing but pieces of armor. He reads that who ever wields the sword, will become the defender of the death. Ricky hearing this doesn't want to become a defender and drops the sword.

Suddenly, a voice calls out. The person is a little girl in medieval clothing holding a big lit candle. She sadly tells him that she is lost, and she cannot find her way home. So she wants him to help her. He reads that he wonders, how could it be that a little girl from so long ago could be there right now. She asks him if he can put the book down and help her find her way home. Frustrated he slams the book shut and tells her he has no idea how to get home either, and if he did he would have already. He then reads, she seemed out of place like from another time. Then he carefully looks at her as she lowers her head. He is feeling somewhat angry, and says "Or from another story! You're not a little girl."

The little girl transforms into the Witch from earlier and yells at him to put down the book, laughing and cackling at him. Before she can approach him, Ricky picks up the long sword and slices her right across the chest. The Witch screams in agony with green slime oozing from her wound before turning to solid green slime herself and vanishing. Ricky screams in horrified shock. Near him, a false wall in the tomb opens up with a message and realizes In his heart he knew the answer. He figures out that his story so far involved: The Knight who was defending the tomb against the witch, and he was the ghost from earlier in his house. The Knight's ghost now flies in and transforms into a King. Ricky realizes his story was about a King, who was placed under a spell cast by an evil witch. His spirit was cursed to wander the earth forever. The king's spirit animated a suit of armor into a knight to remain there to defend the tomb, until the brave hero would show up to help defeat the witch and save the King. Ricky now bows before the king with utmost respect and offers the sword.

Suddenly, Ricky appears back in his home, and Belinda says she is just finished reading the story. Mrs. Winter returns home and is happy and surprised to see him reading and really enjoying it. She eventually points out that the book on Ricky's lap, "The Dark Tomb," has his name on it. Ricky is shocked and asks Belinda if it really happened. She smiles hinting yes and says that it's only a story. Before heading home, Belinda is asked by Mrs. Winter what she owes her. Holding onto her new book, she smiles and says she's already been paid, telling Ricky's mother to call her anytime.


As the story is ending, Betty Ann says that Ricky searched all over the library but he never found another copy of "The Dark Tomb" By. Ricky Winter or any of Belinda's other books because they were first and only editions, before ending her story. Frank compliments her telling her it was a good one, and Gary declares their meeting closed. Tucker still insists Betty Ann letting see her special book, but she tells him no because she thinks he is still too young to see it. However, Tucker stubbornly grabs it from her and opens it. He reads "The book that the beautiful and intelligent Betty Ann held in her hand was grabbed by that stupid little jerk Tucker, and he read..." as everyone begins laughing hearing this. Tucker, now feels foolish, because he realizes that Betty Ann had set him up as a joke. She tells him, "Gotcha!" and leaves as Tucker says, "She set me up! I don't believe it, she set me up!" as Gary puts out the campfire, and the group departs.

  • The book Belinda first opens is called The Dragon by Candy Close.
  • This was the fourth episode, where the cast members didn't make any more appearances. The first episode was "The Tale of Locker 22". The second episode was "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost", the third one was "The Tale of Apartment 214" and the fifth one was "The Tale of the Virtual Pets".
  • When Ricky and Belinda are in the kitchen it can be seen a calendar with the month of October, although the episode premiered in February 1994.
  • The book Betty Ann has at the end is "This Side of Paradise" by F Scott Fitzgerald.
    • The movie Ricky is watching early on is 1932's "White Zombie".
  • The "Talbots" are mentioned. Talbot is likely a reference to Larry Talbot from The Wolfman.