Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Dangerous Soup
Season 3 , Episode 13
Air date April 16, 1994
Written by Chloe Brown
Directed by D.J. MacHale
Episode guide
The Tale of the Crimson Clown
The Tale of the Renegade Virus

The Tale of the Dangerous Soup is the Thirteenth episode of the Third season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Thirty-Ninth episode in total. Also, this episode was the Season Three finale.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]


That evening the group is all standing around the campfire and talking about what they're really afraid of. Gary says he is afraid of heights, saying he's just not good with them because they make him feel sick. Kiki, says that she is afraid of dogs because she was bitten by when she was a kid, and whenever she sees one she just crosses the street.

Sam, says that she is afraid of birds. Tucker response in surprise Birds? Sam says she is just afraid of them because she's worried that they'll come flying into her face. Tucker responds again saying weird! Betty Ann says that she is afraid of the attic and she just can't go up there alone. Tucker immaturely says he is afraid of slasher movies. Gary says that it doesn't count and it's cheap. Tucker claims he just isn't afraid of anything.

Frank scoffs at him and tells him we'll see. Tucker calling Frank tough guy asks him what is afraid of? Possibly the book he is carrying? The box seems to small black trunk box. Frank then proceeds to sit down on the storyteller's chair. He openly confesses to his friends what he once denied before. Which is that he IS afraid of the dark. Sam just with her mouth opened stares in shock, and Gary and Kiki high-five each other with Kiki applauding him for admitting it.

Frank then proceeds to explain, that everyone has something that scares them, although it shouldn't.. like example being in the attic, cause there's nothing in it that can hurt you, and a bird can't really hurt a person either. But there is still some dark place inside that makes your hands sweat and your mouth go dry. His story is about fear, the kind that is different for every person. The kind that every person has to stand up to. Or it will eat you alive, Frank throws in the campfire dust to make the fire intensify. Then he submits his story for the approval of The Midnight's Society, calling his story "The Tale of the Dangerous Soup"


Frank, tells the story. The story begins when a young man named Paul is lead into what seems to be a dark room with large fans running on the walls. Then a voice is heard speaking into the room. He is told to sit down and when he does the chair automatically locks him in place. Then the wall in front of Paul begins to slide down to reveal a large stone winged Gargoyle statue. Paul is struggling to break free. The voice tells him: "It knows what scares you! a couple times, while laughing in a sinister tone. Then slowly a snake comes hissing and crawling up Paul's lap leaving him terrified and screaming in protest.

Next we see the inside of a fine restaurant called "The Wild Boar". A pretty young female hostess named Nonnie Walker, welcomes them to the restaurant and takes them to their table. All around we see senior citizen couples immensely enjoying the restaurant's top dish. Which is a bowl of what appears to be green pea soup. Some of the guests are heard commenting on how delicious it is and how the cook has really out done himself.

Just as another couple comes in they are served by another pretty hostess named Jersey. She is told not to bother mentioning the daily specials. Because they only came for the soup, which seems to be no surprise to her. Then in the kitchen Nonnie and Jersey remark about how ridiculous it is to spend $100 for a bowl of soup. Which according to their many satisfied customers: It is worth it!

Then a kitchen worker named Sly comes in. He bumps into Jersey and mistakenly drops a bin of sharp kitchen knives on the floor. Jersey refuses to even touch them, because she is afraid of knives. Then when Nonnie and Sly are distracted picking them up, Jersey tries to sneak another taste. She is then stopped by Nonnie who warns her not to because she can get fired for it.

Back in the dining room, the customers are still immensely enjoying their soup. An elderly couple asks Jersey for a second serving. But she tells them no because it's only one per customer. Then everyone cheers, claps and applauds as the restaurant's cook comes out. The cook turns out to be none other than Dr. Vink! He shakes hands and thanks everyone for all their support and for enjoying his cooking.

Then about a few days or so later the Wild Boar Restaurant is hiring new employees. We see Nonnie is helping with interviews. Since she is also a bookkeeper. A young man named Reed Hansen comes in and applies for a job. She explains that the restaurant is owned and ran by Dr. Vink.. Reed wants to know if whether he is a doctor or a chef. Dr. Vink suddenly appears from nowhere and leads them to his kitchen. Before they get there he tells Nonnie he seems like some crazy nut bag.

When they get to the Kitchen, Dr. Vink passes Reed a ladle of his soup. Nonnie tells him it's the restaurant top specialty: "Le Potage Dangereux" better known as "The Dangerous Soup". Reed tastes it and he enjoys it thoroughly. He comments saying that it's pretty good. Dr. Vink claims it's far from pretty good! Nonnie tells Reed that Dr. Vink charges $100 per bowl. Which Reed responds in shock saying "Get out of here!". As if he can't believe what he is hearing. Dr. Vink claims it's because it's a small price to pay for its supply. 

Reed eagerly wants another taste. However, Dr. Vink doesn't let him, he tells him that he only got one taste to know how good it was. Then he warns him that if he tries to sneak another taste and he will surely regret it. Meaning he'll likely be fired. Reed, keeps cool and says he not afraid of him. Dr. Vink is impressed and interested by how Reed doesn't seem scared or intimidated by him. So he decides to hire him. Before he leaves the kitchen, he tells Reed that he is not a nut bag.

Reed was very lucky to get this job, because he had no family, and was all on his own. He was a loner and mostly kept to himself. Also he never let anyone help with anything. Much to the annoyance of Nonnie who likely wanted to become his friend. The Restaurant was a nice place to work, but every now and then an employee for no reason whatsoever, would just storm off, leave and quit and would never come back. Dr. Vink's restaurant was becoming the most popular one in town. Customers came from all over just to sample the dangerous soup.

Then one evening, just when it was near closing time Reed was left alone in the kitchen. Reed thought that the cost was clear and that no one was around. Therefore he snuck over to the stove and begun tasting more of the soup. He was really enjoying it. Then Dr. Vink came in and madly asked him if he was tasting his soup, when he strictly told him not too. Nonnie who was also in the kitchen doing counts or inventory stood up for him. She lies to Dr. Vink and saying that he was just cleaning the stove which Dr. Vink seems to believe.

Then suddenly Jersey comes in being whiny and complaining. She doesn't want to wash dishes she just wants to continue waiting tables. But Dr. Vink insists her job description has been changed. Then as Reed and Nonnie are on the way out of the Kitchen. Reed greatly thanks Nonnie for standing up for him. Nonnie kind of annoyed about how cold and self-centered he has been, tries to shake him off telling him not to worry about it and walks off. He then thanks her for all the help she has given him.

Dr. Vink continues his talk with Jersey and explains that she has been switched to dish washing because she's too loud to be around the guests. Jersey is mad when she hears this. She she starts to have a tantrum and loudly bangs on all the pots and the pans. Reed also explains that he's always had to do things by himself and on his own. So he just hasn't been used to people helping him and being so nice to him. Then he cordially apologizes to her about the way he has been acting. She smiles and seems to accept his apology. Meanwhile Jersey continues her noise making tantrum, which is driving Dr. Vink crazy.

Dr. Vink then tells her the reason he wants her to work so close in the kitchen is because he has chosen her to be his new prodigy. So no he wants to disclose the secret of his soup with her. She doesn't believe him at first but he assure her he means it. Now he leads her to a freezer closed off with some solid cast iron doors. It has a peep hole at the eye level on it. Jersey thinks he is mocking her, because nothing is inside the freezer. He assures her there is, and he leads her inside and he locks the door behind her.

Hearing the loud door slam shut, Nonnie and Reed wonder what's going on. So they head to the kitchen. Inside the dark room Jersey has no clue what is going on. Then Dr. Vink tells her if she wants to know the soup's secret, then she needs to sit down. She sits down on the chair, then the wall in front of her slides down. Now the gargoyle statues appears. Dr. Vink calls into the room: "it knows what scares you!". Then suddenly the chair locks Jersey in place. Then suddenly Jersey lowers her head down. Suddenly a sharp pendulum begins to viciously swing back and forth above her. Jersey who has a fear of knives and sharp objects is screaming bloody murder calling for help.

Meanwhile a green liquid from outside the door is being collected. Now Dr. Vink laughs in a sinister tone. Nonnie and Reed enter the kitchen and demand to know what he is doing. He tells them nothing, Nonnie demands he opens the door. Dr. Vink stops and the gargoyle statues and the illusion disappears. When Nonnie opens the door, Jersey comes out breathless and in shock. She and cannot remember what recently happened. So she decides to quit her job and she leaves.

Nonnie and Reed, question Dr. Vink demanding to know what is really going on. Dr. Vink is very intrigued by Reed because he is very brave and strong-spirited. Then he decides to disclose the soup's secret. So they can understand what Jersey just went through. Dr. Vink explains that he once met a tribe of savage warriors. These warriors never fought with weapons or even their own hands. They had a far more powerful weapon: a statue enchanted with a magical power to induce and feed off their enemies fear. The statue could reach into the mind and create the person's deepest fear. Though it's only illusions, but the more they believe in the illusions, the more real it becomes.

Nonnie, wondering what is has to do with the soup. It is that the statue also secretes fear as a green serum elixir. The members of the savage tribe would drink the elixir and gain the strength and powers of their enemies. Just one drop is enough for the pulse quicken and when the soup is eaten the person eating it is tasting fear: a powerful emotion. Nonnie is now furious. She realizes that is why everyone eventually quits their job. It is because the ingredients are scared right out of them. Reed still doesn't believe it, and says he's not scared of him. Dr. Vink then has Reed show him what does to convince him it's true.

Reed goes along with it to prove he still isn't scared. Then he enters the room and sits down. Then the gargoyle comes out and the chair locks Reed into place. Apparently the stronger the person is, the more powerful the elixir will be. He is told: "It knows what scares you". Now he tells Reed that he can see that he was an orphan. One whom was raised by an abusive, cruel and strict uncle. Then he asks him: "Whatever happened to him?". Suddenly a coffin appears. Reed is now getting scared and can't believe his eyes to see the coffin. He approaches the coffins and opens it. Now he sees the body of his late uncle. The uncle's eyes suddenly blink wide open in a glare,. Now he reaches for and grabs Reed by the shirt. Reed is scared out of his wits, and he is profusely screaming for help.

Nonnie can hear him and demands he be let out. Dr. Vink, doesn't yet. As he is collecting a very powerful serum from him. Nonnie then without permission opens the door, although Dr. Vink demanded her not to. She opens the door wide open and the illusion vanishes. Then suddenly they can see that the gargoyle has escaped. Now even Dr. Vink is afraid because she unleashed it. So now it is free to pray upon innocent people at will. Dr. Vink heads off to recapture it at once, before it's too late.

Nonnie and Reed, are both terrified and have no idea what to do. Reed suggests they call for help, but Nonnie says they can't because no one will believe them, when they say a magical demon is on the loose. Then suddenly the doors automatically slam shut. The room goes dark and the sound of the gargoyle can be heard. They try to make a run for it at the door. Then the door opens and the Gargoyle statue is right there in the doorway wanting to feed off of them. Reed tries to get her to not think about what scares her. So it possibly it won't hurt them.

Then suddenly the windows smashes opens and a snake comes crawling in. They run off to the kitchen and Nonnie gets blown in the containment room. Suddenly the walls begin to close in on her, because what her greatest fear is claustrophobia. She cries and screams for his help. So he keeps telling her to face her fear. Then Suddenly Reed's late uncle appears again. This time he slowly walks right up to him. Reed keeps denying that he is real and just an illusion. But he keeps om coming closer and closer reaching for him. Reed is more scared by the moment. Then Reed finally faces up to his fear. He says that he is not going to let him haunt him any more. Now he runs up to the illusion and waves his arms right through it. Then it vanishes and he and Nonnie are safe now.

When Reed goes to get Nonnie out, he tells her that he broke the spell by facing his fear. So it made everything vanish. Also that perhaps now Dr. Vink won't be making any more of his Dangerous Soup. Then suddenly Dr. Vink calls to them from the doors opening eye hole. He tells them they're wrong because The gargoyle was recaptured after all, and it still knows what scares them. They look in horror as the wall slides open again and the Gargoyle comes back out. He tells them he plans to stay in business for a really long time. Then he laughs sinister like. This could mean Dr. Vink might keep them prisoner to gather tons of the ingredient from them or worse!


Frank, ends his story by saying the end. Sam tells him "Great!", Betty Ann tells him "Good Story". Tucker, tells him it was weak and asks what is there is nothing you are afraid of? The room wouldn't work. Frank tells him since nothing scares him, he should be the first to reach into the unknown. Frank holds up the small black box trunk which has a hole in the middle. Tucker a little nervous asks him what's in it? Frank asks him what is the difference if nothing scares him? Tucker slowly approaches Frank and slowly prepares to put his hand in the trunk box. Then he gets nervous and decides not to, telling him "Oh forget it" and walks off. Gary asks what is really in the box? Frank, tells them exactly what Tucker is afraid of. He slowly opens the door on the other side of the trunk box and says nothing! There is actually nothing in the box, leaving them laughing. The meeting is closed, the campfire is put out and they all go home.

  • This was the only story in the series that focuses on protagonists over sixteen (they were about eighteen or nineteen).
  • Kiki states her greatest fear is dogs yet in the first season episode "The Tale of the Hungry Hounds" Kristen brings her hound dog Elvis with her and Kiki shows no fear whatsoever.
  • As stated by his official Collector Photo Card, this story is Frank's favorite.
  • This was the only story where somebody other than Vink corrects his name being mispronounced (Nonnie mentions him to Reed, who plays back his name as Fink, and she gives the usual response).
  • Greg Haberny, grew up to become a very successful artist.
  • Martin Watier, reappeared in the show again a few years later. He also portrayed Jacques in the series revivals episode "The Tale of Many Faces".
  • Dr. Vink's Third appearance, his fourth and final appearances would be in both parts of "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure"
  • The third time a character referred to Dr. Vink as a nut bag and the third time he told a character that he was not. This is the final time the former happens..
  • Just in her early days of acting, Neve Campbell would later on become famous and well known for playing Sidney Prescott in the Horror movies film series Scream.
    • Scream would later be mentioned in Ghost Island, the third season of the 2019 reboot. Dangerous Soup is referenced at one point as the name of a podcast.
    • In 1999, Nickelodeon aired a marathon called "Nick knew them when", showcasing times they had big stars before they were famous and this was episode was shown as part of it.
  • The customers were charged $100.00 per bowl of soup. In 1994 $100.00 was equal to $178.00 in 2023.
  • According to DJ McHale, the gargoyle used in this episode was just a lawn ornament. He kept it but eventually it got stolen after he put it on his front lawn.
  • DJ McHale was nominated for a Gemini Award for "Best Direction in a Dramatic or Comedy Series" for this episode.
  • According to DJ, the soup in this episode was pea soup.
  • DJ has said that he thinks that the effect of the gargoyle flying looks bad. He still hears about it and jokes that it keeps coming back to haunt him.