Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Captured Souls
Season 1 , Episode 7
Air date October 3, 1992
Written by Anne Appleton
Directed by D.J. MacHale
Episode guide
The Tale of the Super Specs
The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors

The Tale of the Captured Souls is the Seventh episode of the First season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Seventh episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That night, The Midnight Society is all gathered around their campfire. Gary explains to Eric that he was born on April 28 so far (at the time when this aired) he was 5450 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds old. Gary jokingly asks him what he's been doing all this time. Eric in an annoyed way says he's waiting for Kiki. Kristen also sounding a little annoyed asked where Kiki went to. Eric jokingly says she might have gone to the bathroom.

Then suddenly the flashing of a camera blinks into Eric's, Kristen's, Gary's, Betty Ann's, and Frank's faces. Frank jokes saying hey it's a flasher. Kiki, comes in giving each of them a Polaroid picture. Kristen thinks her picture is gross cause her eyes turned out all red. Eric claims he looks 5000 years old not 5000 days old. Betty Ann, says it's like a ghost.. becoming real! Gary asks Kiki when her birthday is, but Eric interrupts him asking if they can just get to the story. Betty Ann and Frank both impatiently agree saying come on.

Kiki collects their pictures, while walking over to sit down on the storyteller's chair she explains that sometimes a camera sees more than the naked eye. Some Indian tribes hated having their pictures taken, because they thought the camera would capture your soul, and maybe they were right. Kiki sits down on the Storyteller's chair throws in the dust and submits her approval for the midnight's society, titling her story "The Tale of the Captured Souls" and begins.


Kiki tells the story, it takes place at a county hotel. The add in the magazine said it was the best hotel to spend a relaxing summer vacation, on a crystal clear lake "Join us for a visit you'll never forget". Danny and her parents thought it sounded too good to be true, and the add was right it was going to be one summer vacation they would never forget!

The Sellman family: a mother, a father and a teenage daughter pulled up to the outside of the country hotel. When Danny first sees the place, she claims it looks boring and they should have gone to the ocean. Her dad wonders if she thinks that because she feels she getting too old to have fun with her parents. Danny walks up to the front door, but the door is locked and no one answers. She checks the top of the door frame to see if there is a hidden key. Then she notices a small round circle shaped mirror on the corner. Now she somehow burns her finger touching it. So she whimpers in pain, and it caused some of her hair to stand on end.

Suddenly the door is answered by a charming young man. He startles her when he answers the door. The young man politely shakes hands with Danny's parents. Now he introduces himself as Peter Kirlan III. He takes an immediate shine to Danny calling her their lovely daughter Danielle and he shakes her hand smiling. Danny backs off and tells him it's Danny. Peter then shows them to their rooms. The interior of the house is beautiful nice and clean. It has hard wood floors, with nice antique furniture. Also there are many lovely pictures and mirrors on the walls.

Peter informs them that they're in luck, because there are no other guests currently staying there. So their visit should be nice and quiet. Peter shows her parents to their room, the room has mirrors everywhere. Danny is puzzled asking him what is with all the mirrors. Peter tells her his family has been collecting them for years as their tradition. Danny tries to adjust a small one, hanging crooked on the wall and burns her finger again. Peter apologizes and tells her the wiring is very old. Danny confused asks him "wiring, in a mirror?", but he doesn't respond. Instead he now shows her to the room she will be staying in, and address her again by Danielle.  She again scolds him and tells him not to call her that because she hates being called that.

Peter shows them the room Danny will be staying in. The room is a bit smaller but it's nice. It has a white and pink color scheme with a huge floor mirror and a couple others on the walls. Danny complains that the room is too small, but her parents tell her to mind her manners. Then Mrs. Sellman asks Peter where his parents are, because they should be checking into the rooms by now. Peter tells them that his parents are away on a cruise. So he is home alone with the place all to himself, and he'll check them in.  Danny asks him if he's there all alone. Then he creepily smiles at her and says not anymore and leaves the room. He is believed to both a strange and weird little guy.

Next day Danny and her dad are tossing the baseball around playing catch. The both of them have great energy and stamina. Peter admires how good her pitching is and tells she has quite the arm and calls her Danielle. She annoyingly thanks him and again she tells him not to call her Danielle. They ask Peter to join them but he declines claiming he isn't much of a sports man. After Mr. Sellman's talks him into joining their game, he misses the ball and it goes into the bushes. While he goes to get it, Danny complains he is a geek and this was supposed to their family vacation. Her dad tells her to give him a chance because he must be lonely. So  it'll be fun to have another person to play ball with. Peter runs back very sluggishly and throws them the ball and misses.

Mrs. Sellman arrives outside with a camera and is prepared to take their pictures. When Peter suddenly gets very scared and screams No! Then he huddles down hiding his face. They ask him if he is okay then he shakes it off and says he's fine. Peter then offers to take a picture of them all, and has Mrs. Sellman stand with her family. Peter takes their family picture then smiles while looking at the Polaroid picture. Then he laughs to himself.

Back in the house, Danny finds a baseball on the floor coming in from a door. She opens the door and finds the twisting staircase leading to an upstairs bedroom. The room is a dark blue painted room with some old fashioned furniture, clothes and some black and white pictures. She walks over to a night table and is about to look at a picture frame, when the door on the side opens. Peter comes in saying hello Danielle startling her. He explains to her that it's his room and he lives there all by himself. So he gets to do whatever he wants whenever he wants claiming it's like a dream come true.

Danny asks Peter what he does for fun, and he tells her whatever he wants. She begins to do chin ups on the bar hanging near the ceiling. Peter tells her he loves a girl with great physical strength. Danny is taken back from the remark and gets down. Then Danny looks at the picture frame she was holding a couple minutes earlier and asks Peter if it's him. Then she says that it can't be because the year on it says 1920. Peter tells her the picture is a photo of his grandfather. A man that he apparently looks very much like him.

Danny then goes over to the nearby counter and asks what he's doing with the red roses and the vials of pink fluid and geraniums. Peter tells her he conducting an experiment with roses. The experiment was started by his grandfather. The experiment is of transference of energy fields. Danny complains that the roses are dying. Peter remarks that geraniums are now doing very well. He snaps as she is about to turn the reverse switch either on or off. He panics over to her and tells her to stop or she'll ruin it. Then he notices she has gotten a pimple on her face. Peter is now staring at her creepily. So she finally asks him what he is doing. So he tells that she is breaking out in pimples.

Danny runs to her room to look in a mirror to see for herself. She sees it when looking in her rooms big floor mirror. She touches the side of the mirror to adjust it. Then suddenly she burns her hand again and cries in pain. When Peter is certain that coast in his room is clear, he opens a circle like metal cover on the side of his counter and presses a red button. When pressing this button it causes all the curtains to come down. Then his bed to go into the wall and push out a lab table. Next a part of a wall rotates and out comes an examination chart. Then another lab table comes down from the wall. After pressing two buttons, a little platform with a series of tubes, comes up. Three of them have small silhouette people symbols on them: a man symbol, a child symbol and a woman symbol. They're filled full and reddish pink fluid. The last tube is a nearly empty tube of blue fluid.

The lab table Peter currently uses, has a security camera system to show him four cameras at a time. The screen plays to him in black and white everything the Sellman family is currently doing. That is while staring into a mirror or being close by a mirror. Then he activates a button on the wall and it lowers down a golden chamber booth with a round window. Then he actives the machines from minus to plus and goes into the machine.

Just as the machine door closes, Mr. Sellman who just did a sit ups workout, and is checking his abs in the mirror, suddenly notices the hands on his watch speeding around at an alarming rate. Peter is shown in the chamber booth laughing. Then we see Mr. Sellman looking back in the mirror to see his sideburns has suddenly gotten gray. The reddish pink fluid from two of the three silhouette people symbol tubes reduce a bit. Then a bit more blue fluid fills the nearly empty blue fluid tube making it nearly double of what it had before.

Back at the Clearing[]

On a break from the story, we see Kiki placing down the Polaroid pictures of the Midnight Society. Eric asks what was Peter doing? Taking a light shower? David asks why didn't he want his picture taken? Kristen says maybe he was afraid of what they would see. Gary says what about the booth there were mirrors in there too. Kiki says exactly just like all over the house.

Back to the Story[]

Kiki continues the story. She begins with saying that the next day Peter is playing baseball with Danny and her dad.  Peter strikes out Mr. Sellman who seems tired and run down while Peter now has lots of energy and stamina. Danny pitches the ball to Peter and he hits a home run right into the bushes and runs to get the ball. Danny tells her dad that he just got lucky. Mr. Sellman tells Danny though they just started the game he has to quit because the heat has him feeling woozy. Danny goes over to get the baseball and Peter tells her he'll get it. Danny says she will, but he insists on getting it himself and pushes her back.

Next Danny sits down with her mom on the sofa, her mom has now gotten noticeably gray on her sideburns too. She asks her mom if they can go swimming. Her mom tells her no because she is feeling too tired. Her mom now notices how badly Danny's skin is breaking out with a second big pimple. She tells her they might have to get her some medication for her skin. Danny runs off in a hurry to go look for herself.

Danny is shown checking herself in the mirror in a bathroom. There she sees that she does indeed have another pimple. Also she notices her breasts are getting bigger too (nothing shown). When she leans against the wall, she once again burns her hand touching the edge side of the mirror. She slams the cupboard door and the mirror smashes revealing a camera and all sort of weird wires. She freaks out and her dad comes to look, but her dad is so tired and sluggish , he doesn't even bother with it. Then annoyed she throws a glass of water into it. Then we see Peter coming out of his chamber. There is smoke blowing everywhere and his hair is all standing up end and he's coughing.

Next we see Danny going for a little walk in the woods nearby the house. She finds a small little graveyard. She finds that one of the gravestones read "Peter Kirlan III, 1907 -"  but with no date of death, saying that he is still alive. Then she notices that near the gravestones that there are some black silhouette markers. They are shaped like a man, a woman, a child and a dog. She doesn't know what to make of it at first. Then back in house while wearing gloves Danny begins taking down many mirrors. Her mom asks her what she is doing and then looks in the mirror, her mom has really aged a lot now. Danny has figured out that looking into them causes aging. So she tries to stop her claiming it'll make her older. Her mom just thinks that all her years of stress have quickly caught up with her and she is imagining it. Her dad comes in too really aged and worn now and they both plop down on their bed exhausted.

Danny then goes upstairs to continue her investigation of the house. She looks for Peter in his room to talk to him. Peter is not there, she once again looks at the old photograph thinking it's weird. She then by lucky chance finds the silver cover on the lab table. The one that has the hidden red button. She presses it and sees before her eyes, the bedroom instantly turning into a science lab. Then on the security camera screen she can see an man. An elderly man who is wearing the same clothes that Peter wears. The man is serving her parents tea in the drawing room. Danny is wondering who it is. So she turns the switch off, then the lab becomes a bedroom again. Danny goes down to see them in the drawing room asking them if they have a new guest. Suddenly the chair turns and there is Peter offering her a cup of tea. Danny is stunned because he wasn't in the room a couple minutes ago. Instead an elderly man in the exact same clothing was.

Danny goes back to examine the black silhouette markers. The ones that are shaped like a man, a woman, a child and a dog. Finally she realizes that they represent people who visited the hotel over the years and quickly aged away and died. The count is 21 men, 15 women, 34 kids and even 10 dogs. Peter approaches her and tells her that she's discovered the little plot.  And she is right it's all done by mirrors. So since Danny is much younger than her parents and hasn't been looking at them anymore she hasn't been aging fast anymore.

Peter then tells her after tonight she'll be alone just like him. That means he is telling her he's going to take her parents away from her. So she will be an orphan. Peter offers her to be friends with him and to stay with him in the house if she wants. Instead Danny demands Peter to leave her parents alone because she loves them and doesn't want to lose them, but Peter claims it's too late because they've aged too much now, and have entered the final phase. Peter offers Danny the chance to stay young like him forever. Danny thinks he is crazy and backs away. He threatens her that if she won't join him he'll have to drain her life too. She takes his picture on a Polaroid and runs when the flash temporarily blinds him. As she runs off he yells to her "you're too late!"

Danny runs back to the house to her parents room. They're now extremely aged and really run down. She tries to convince them that it is the mirrors that are making them old, but they still don't believe her. Danny carefully covers her hand with a cloth and grabs a mirror to help her. Then she runs up to Peter's room with it. Peter has activated his room to lab mode and has the energy transference sending him Mr. and Mrs. Sellman depleting youth with the blue fluid energy tube almost full now.

Danny barges in on his session, and flips some buttons on the panel. Peter jumps out from the booth tube and tells her to get away. She holds out the mirror at him which he covers his face with his hands and refuses to look into. Danny tells him in a very mad and very serious tone to take a good look at himself. Danny tells him that she knows what he has been doing. Peter has been stealing visitors souls to help him stay young. Then she asks how old he really is, asking from as high as 80 to 90 years of age.

Peter tries to convince her not to be foolish because he is offering her eternal youth. Danny possibly knowing its against nature and not the right way of life declines the offer. Then she locks him inside the chamber booth. Then she turns the main switch all the way to minus, telling him he's messed with the wrong girl and not to call her Danielle. The machine rapidly runs in reverse overloading and smoking. Peter is constantly crying no! Peter get's out and his hair has instantly started turning gray and white aging rapidly on the spot.

Danny goes to check on her parents and they're now as good as new. They're just like the way they were before they came to the hotel. Also Danny's increased puberty has been reversed too and she no longer has the pimples on her face and she was happy her parents were okay. Finally her parents agree to leave the hotel. The next morning when they pack up the car and prepare to leave. The now elderly old man Peter is calling her from the front door. Danny is a little shocked to see him still there.

Peter says goodbye to her and tells her that he's going out back soon to join with his family. Because it's been too long. The last thing Peter tells her, is to enjoy her youth while she can and leaves. Possibly because his machine is now broken he might not live long enough to fix it and find new people fast enough. Or he realizes the error in his ways and decides the time has come to embrace death. Danny's mother shows her the Polaroid picture she found on the grass of Peter's true form. She asks her if she recognizes who it is . All Danny says is that she doesn't know and it just looks like some sad old man.


The story ends and Kiki confirms that Danny never told her parents the truth about Peter. They were safe and Peter was never going to hurt anyone again. Also Danny finally convinced her parents to go to the ocean. Then as the story ends Kiki tells her friends that sometimes pictures do tell the truth, whether you like it or not, and she has one shot left. She places the camera down on the storyteller's chair and runs over to her friends to have an entire picture taken of all them together.

  • Kiki's first story.
  • One of eight episodes to exclude background music and show the hand with the match slide into view before it disappeared replaced by lightning and the title, rather than showing the hand with the match that lights itself.
  • One of twenty-one episodes where the Midnight Society didn't leave and douse the fire with the water-bucket (the last shot was a close-up of the storyteller's chair and their picture that Kiki had just taken).
  • Griffith Brewer who play the Old man reappeared in the show 3 more times. The second time he portrayed The Phone Company Manager in "The Tale of the Phone Police". The third time he portrayed Captain Abraham Westchester in "The Tale of the Water Demons". The fourth time he made an uncredited appearance as Old Nathaniel in the series revival's episode "The Tale of the Forever Game".
  • Gary says Eric's birthday is April 28 and at the time he was 5450 days, 17 hours, 15 minutes and 37 seconds old. This would put his birth year at 1977. At the time Eric was also 25 days away from turning 15.
  • According to Gary this episode took place on April 3, 1992 for the events taking place in the lives of the Midnight Society Members.
  • Don Jordan who portrayed Doug Sellman, reappeared in the show again. The second time he appeared, in the episode "The Tale of the Chameleons", as Mr. Robinson.
  • According to DJ MacHale, this episode was inspired by "The Picture of Dorian Gray"
  • DJ has said that he'd thought he'd get in trouble for the part where Danny notices she is growing breasts and feels they couldn't get away with it today. It was initially not in the script.