Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Dollmaker
Season 3 , Episode 5
Air date February 5, 1994
Written by David Preston
Directed by David Winning
Episode guide
The Tale of the Phone Police
The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter

The Tale of the Dollmaker is the Fifth episode of the Third season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Thirty-First episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That night Betty Ann comes in says hi to her friends and sits down with Frank and Kiki. Tucker comes in so excited he trips but Sam catches him as he falls down. Sam asks him what's the rush? Tucker says Betty Ann is up tonight. Gary, explains that he told Tucker that Betty Ann tells very good and weird stories and he's been really looking forward to it. Sam says the pressure is on and it better be good.

Betty Ann says she'll see what she can do. She next takes out a pretty Doll out of her backpack. When seeing it Tucker complains that she is going to tell a Doll story. Also he says that a Doll story is weak and it's siesta time so he lies down to to try and rest, and to wake him up if it gets good. Gary tells him to wake up, but Betty Ann says it's okay and to let him sleep.

Betty Ann, explains that most people think that Dolls are just toys, but they're really like perfect little people. Sometimes they're so life-like, that it's almost as if the Dollmaker took a person and shrunk him down to Doll size. But that's not how Dolls are really made.. or is it?

Betty Ann carefully puts her Doll down to the side and she throws in the campfire dust to intensify the fire and she submits her story for the approval of The Midnight Society, calling her story "The Tale of the Dollmaker" and begins.


Betty Ann tells the story. The story is about a young girl named Melissa. She would often come to the country to visit her Aunt Sally and Uncle Pete for a weekend. The visits were pretty boring for a while. Until the Henderson Family moved in next door to her Aunt and Uncle. They had a daughter named Susan who was around her age. They would only see each other a few times a year, but they really enjoyed each other's company and became best friends.

Then just as Melissa gets there, she excitingly asks her Aunt and Uncle if Susan Henderson is waiting for her. Also if they told her when she would be coming. With long faces, they both tell her that Susan's family decided to move back to the city a couple months ago. Melissa is very upset and disappointed to hear this. A little later, Melissa is boringly playing outside on the tire swing. She then looks over next door to Susan's big house. The house is strangely constructed. On the top attic room on the roof, it has a door going outside but to nothing. This possibly was either a construction mistake, or because there had once been a deck there. She then sees the curtains blowing in an upstairs room, thinking someone might be there.

She goes over to the Henderson's home, and the door is unlocked. She proceeds to lets herself in and she calls around "Hello is anybody here?" but nobody answers. All of the furniture is still there for some reason, but covered in tarps. She walks on up to the second floor. There she finds a secret staircase inside a coat closet. This leads right up to the attic. When she gets to the attic, she finds a strange dollhouse. The dollhouse is a perfect complete replica of the Henderson's house. She’s very impressed by it, and looks inside a window of it. When examining it up close, she can see that the Dollhouse is perfectly detailed. Suddenly, she sees a door inside the Dollhouse slam shut. This startles her and she then backs away, knocking down a curtain. This reveals a pretty blue and yellow door on the wall inside the attic.

Melissa stares at the door, as if she‘s in a trance. Then slowly she walks over to it, and she's about to open it. Then suddenly, her Aunt Sally stops her and takes her back home. There she has her promise that she’ll never go into the Henderson's house again. This is because something terrible happened there. Aunt Sally explains the reason why The Henderson's moved away. It all happened a couple months ago, one night when Susan was at home. One minute Susan was there, and the next minute she mysteriously disappeared. Nobody knows what happened, and the whole town got together. They all tried to help find her, but no one could. Her parents wanted to stay in case she came back. Then eventually, they got so upset, that they just couldn't stand to stay there any longer. However, they kept everything in their house, and left the door unlocked in case she ever came back. Since then, her aunt and uncle have been keeping an eye on their house.

That evening, when Melissa is resting, she overhears her aunt and uncle talking. Uncle Pete mentions that Mrs. Henderson said that she was certain that the Dollhouse got Susan. But Aunt Sally thinks she was just picturing things, because she was so upset. Still Uncle Pete sounds very sure about what Mrs. Henderson had said. Later on when Melissa sleeps, she can hear Susan whispering her name to her. She gets curious and gets a flashlight. She then goes over to the Henderson's house to investigate.

When she gets up to the attic, the attic in the dollhouse has it's lights turned on. Also, there is a glowing light shaped like a keyhole on the side of the Dollhouse. She finds out the light is being cast from the keyhole from the door on the wall. Once again, Melissa seems to fall into a trance. Then she slowly starts to walk over to it. This time she opens the door. Then a beam of bright golden light shines in front of her. She can now see the hallway, as well as another room. She can also see a girl in a pink nightgown, who’s wandering around calling her name.

Melissa just knows this girl is Susan, and she tells her that she’s going the wrong way. Then Melissa prepares to step into the hallway to help her. Then just before she does, someone grabs her from behind and she screams. The person who grabbed her is her Uncle Pete. She frantically tells him Susan is in there. She begs him to let her go in and save her. Uncle Pete is terrified that she was possibly sleepwalking or seeing things. The things that could be brought on by her sadness from the loss of Susan. He shows her that when you open the outside door, there is nothing there. Therefore if a person does step through it, they can fall to their death.

The next day, she tells Aunt sally what she saw the other night. Aunt Sally thinks it was just dreams or sleepwalking from being upset over the loss of Susan. Aunt Sally also informs her that for safety reasons, Uncle Pete is boarding up the wall door in the Henderson's Attic. This is so nobody eventually does end up falling out of it. She begs her Aunt not to let her Uncle board it up. She fears that if he does, Susan will never get out of the dollhouse. Her Aunt doesn't think she's right. Because what would a missing person be doing staying alone without food in an attic for so long?

Melissa, decides to take matters into her own hands. She decides to go and rescue Susan all by herself. She prepares herself with a hammer and a ball of twine. She breaks into the Henderson's house with the hammer. Then she heads up to the attic. She opens the wall door, and the bright shining light illuminates through. Once again the hallways appear. She ties the twine to the door knob, to remember her way back. She slowly steps into the hallway, realizing it's really there. She calls for Susan but gets no answer. Then suddenly, she can hear a very loud thumping sound. She walks into a room and looks out the window. There she can see her Aunt Sally on the outside looking like a giant. Suddenly, Melissa realizes that she has entered the Dollhouse!

She calls for Aunt Sally to hear her, but there is no answer. Suddenly, Susan upsettingly tells her that she can't hear her and it's no use. Melissa takes a better look at Susan. Melissa can see that Susan has almost completely turned into a porcelain doll. Also she's becoming slower and less life-like. She asks her if the Dollhouse did this to her and she nods yes. The theory could be that it's a structure/artifact of evil disguised as a Dollhouse. With the intent to capture and spirit away unsuspecting victims, and turn them into dolls. Or that it's haunted by an evil spirit who captures and spirits away victims. Then adds them to live as dolls inside of itself. She tells Susan she'll save her, and will take her back to the attic. Then when following her twine rope, she’s scared to discover that the door has vanished and now she‘s stuck inside to!

Melissa maps out the inside of the Dollhouse, and it's just like the inside of the Henderson's house. She then finds out that the way out of it, is in the attic. However, the door to the Dollhouse's attic is blocked off by a bookcase. Then suddenly, Melissa is in a bit of pain. She takes a look at her hands and wrists. and they're getting pale, white and stiff. She realizes that the Dollhouse is now turning her into a doll too, and she must hurry. She asks Susan to help her knock down the bookcase. Then Susan reveals that she can't, because she already tried to. But her hands are so fragile now, and one of them already broke off.

Melissa walks Susan up to the Dollhouse's Attic. She then almost lost Susan's snapped off hand, when it accidentally drops. They retrieve it and prepare to jump out the window. Melissa is scared at first because it seems to be outside, when the Dollhouse is inside the house. Melissa is positive that it's the right way, so bravely she takes Susan out onto the window sill. Then she steps outside and the sky kind of stretches like there is a force field or a barrier there. Bravely the girls embrace their escape and jump out the window. Then they go right through the force field.

Aunt Sally and Uncle Pete realize that Melissa broke into the house again. This is because she has now been gone a for a really long time. Aunt Sally expects the worse, thinking that she has disappeared just like Susan did. Then suddenly, Aunt Sally can see Melissa walking home. They both run out to greet her, and tell her how worried they were about her. They also tell her how they thought she disappeared, just like Susan did. Melissa tells them she did and she found her. Aunt Sally and Uncle Pete look in shock, amazement and joy to see Susan has returned. Susan is turned completely back to normal now (with her hand happily reattached). Then she and Melissa hug and Aunt Sally and Uncle Pete are just so relieved and rejoiced to see Susan back safe and sound.


As Betty Ann ends her story, she explains that very evening Melissa's uncle burned the Dollhouse in a big bonfire in the backyard. As it went up in flames, Melissa wondered where the door in the Henderson's attic would lead? Now that there was no Dollhouse anymore. Then she ends her story. Tucker who had been listening to the story asks with curiosity "Yeah where would it lead?", Betty Ann is very surprised to see him awake and to have listened to her whole story. He tells her it wasn't bad for a Doll story. Gary declares their meeting officially closed and puts out the fire. As everyone leaves Kiki calls out to Betty Ann that she forgot her Doll. The Doll is now dressed in the exact same hat and clothes that Tucker is wearing. Kiki a little freaked shows it to Tucker, he asks where she got that? Betty Ann claims the Doll from him and tells him "That's a whole other story" and takes the doll back and leaves. Everyone leaves with Tucker feeling a little creeped out.

  • Amanda Walsh who portrayed Susan, later reappeared in the episode "The Tale of a Door Unlocked" as a unnamed girl called Girl aka The girl who gave Ashley a cupcake.
  • Maia Filar and Daniel DeSanto also worked together on the animated children show The Magic School Bus, as the voices of Phoebe Terese and Carlos Ramon.
  • Maia Filar also appeared in an episode of the Goosebumps television series: "Calling All Creeps!" as Tasha McClain.
  • Eve Crawford (Aunt Sally) was in the Goosebumps episode Let's Get Invisible as the Mom.
  • Creator DJ Machale has stated he dislikes the sound effect that plays when they jump out of the dollhouse full field.
  • Amanda Walsh (Susan) initially auditioned for Melissa.