Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Dream Machine
Season 2 , Episode 5
Air date July 17, 1993
Written by Darren Kotania
Directed by David Winning
Episode guide
The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor
The Tale of the Dark Dragon

The Tale of the Dream Machine is the Fifth episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Eighteenth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That night, Betty Ann is pacing around. Frank standing impatiently turns then sees Kiki coming in and impatiently tells her it's time. Kristen ask her where she was. Kiki says with her voice weak and raspy she was writing her story. When hearing her sound this way, Betty Ann with concern asks her if she is sick. Kiki very weakly says she has laryngitis. Frank tells her to back off because he doesn't want her germs. Kiki sits down on the storyteller's chair and opens an old box.

The old box reveals to hold an old typewriter inside of it, she found in her attic and she has used it to type out her story. Her one request is for Gary to read it for her, because her throat is too sore and her voice is to weak to read it out herself. Gary is a little reluctant to doing this at first because it's never been done before. Frank tries to encourage him to be crazy and break the rules for a change. David laughs when Frank says this. Gary agrees to read Kiki's story out loud for her this night.

The intro says "Writing a story down on paper, is very different than telling it out loud. When a story is on paper, you can feel it, you can see it, and others can read it as well. But beware, for once a story is written, it no longer belongs to the author. Because it has a life of its own. For some stories, that can be a very dangerous life indeed". Kiki decided to quickly throw in the campfire dust, and in her very weak and raspy voice she submits her approval for The Midnight's Society, calling her story "The Tale of the Dream Machine" and lets Gary begin reading her story out loud.


Gary reads Kiki's story for her. The story begins inside a high school classroom. A teacher named Mrs. Dodds is scarfing down donuts while reading out loud a book to the class. The story is about a young man named Sean Hackett whose passion in life was story writing. Sean's other passion in life was Jennifer Johnson, just about every story he wrote in his notebook was about her. However Jennifer only thought about him as a friend which was too bad for him.

Then just as class is ending when the bells rings Sean's slacker friend Billy wakes up, pretending that the story Mrs. Dodds read to them made him feel moved, Mrs. Dodds doesn't dismiss them just yet, she gives the class a homework assignment. The assignment is to write a two page story on any topic of their choice. When the class is finally dismissed, first Sean and Jennifer accidentally bump into each other dropping something. Then they both bend down to pick it up and they accidentally clunk their heads together.

His friend Billy teases him about accidentally clunking heads together with Jennifer telling him "You really swept her off her feet, Romeo. What next will you run her over with your bike?" Then when Sean goes home, to the cheap but very old and run down house his parents bought for him. He tells Billy that he thinks Jennifer likes him and he is teasing him again saying "Oh sure she does, just wait till you get your license so you can run her over with a car" Sean laughs it off.

Sean explains to Billy that his parents bought the home for him at cheap and reasonable price. Then on the way upstairs they find the staircase closed off with a danger sign. Sean is annoyed thinking he won't be able to get up his room now. Billy tries to prove to him it can't be as dangerous as they think it is. So he pulls down the sign and starts walking up the stairs. Then just as Sean warns him the old stairs might not be so strong, Billy falls through some of the stairs and down to the floor below.

We see that Billy didn't fall down to hard because he gets back out unharmed. Billy then claims there is some stuff down there. Sean is curious, so he gets a flashlight and they inspect the underneath crawlspace of the staircase. The crawlspace reveals itself to be tight little office. The office has a Lamp and some furniture in it. There is also a couple of old-fashioned black and white pictures and newspaper articles on the wall one of them saying "Mystery Author Missing!".

Then Sean and Billy find out from reading the newspaper clippings, that the house and the typewriter once belonged to a successful masterpiece, mystery author and inventor named James Ellington. James Ellington went missing in 1931 and then he was found murdered in 1932. Sean finds the author's vintage old typewriter. Billy claims it is a piece of junk, but Sean is excited to use it because it's a classic machine that they don't make anymore. Billy goes home for the night and Sean begins to use the typewriter. Now he begins typing out one his secret stories from his notebook.

The story Sean begins to write is called "The Halloween Dance". As Sean is shown typing out his story, Jennifer is shown sleeping in her bed. The story Sean writes is about a Halloween dance. Everyone was shown at the dance all dressed up in various Halloween costumes. Jennifer was dressed as Gypsy princess. Sean came to the dance as a vampire and even spoke with a vampire accent. He addressed her as princess, and himself as Count Sean. Then he asked her to dance with him. They danced for hours. Then we see Jennifer is relaxing nicely in her sleep dreaming. Then as story ends, the princess and the Vampire go off to secluded corner to say goodbye and have a good night kiss. The princess eagerly waits for her kiss, then screams in shock and horror, when it turns out that the vampire is real! and he bites her on the neck claiming that with one bite she'll be his forever! Then as the story ends, Jennifer wakes up from her sleep terrified.

The next day at school, Jennifer tells Sean that believe it or not she had a nightmare the other night. It was about being at a school dance. Then she met and danced with a vampire, and for some reason, the vampire was him. Sean is stunned when he hears this, immediately suspecting it has something to do with the typewriter. Billy at first thinks it might have been a coincidence because Jennifer might have seen a vampire movie and thought about Sean before going to sleep, so she ended up having that nightmare. Sean then tells Billy he's going to work on his English story assignment. So he begins working on another story while Billy takes a nap on Sean's bed.

The second story Sean writes is called "Trapped". The story tells that one cold and foggy night, Billy snuck into the graveyard on a dare searching for the grave of Blind Paul. Billy didn't believe the stories about the graveyard being haunted, but he should have. Billy is shown walking through the dark foggy graveyard as the howling of wild animals is heard in the background. Finally Billy finds the grave of Blind Paul, and Billy cannot believe that he found it. Then suddenly, he hears crunching footsteps and breathing. Now he gets frightened believing someone else is there too.

He nervously backs away, then bumps into a black hooded figure. Billy screams in horror, as the black hooded figure pushes him to fall down, right into the freshly dug and reopened grave of Blind Paul. The wooden coffin closes on him. Then dirt and soil begins to be shoveled on top of him. Then as Billy is getting buried alive. He is constantly screaming at the top of his lungs for help and pounding on the inside of the top of the wooden coffin. Apparently Billy never found his way out of the graveyard, and nobody ever discovered what happened to him. As far as anyone knew it was Blind Paul resting below.

Suddenly as Sean finishes typing the story, Billy wakes up in a nightmare. He is scared out of his skin still yelling and pounding for help. Sean is now more certain than before the typewriter makes the dreams happen. Sean asks Billy if anything in the story he just wrote sounds familiar to his dream, and Billy says it is. So Sean realizes whenever he writes a story on that typewriter, the people that the story are involved with will dream about it if they are asleep. Billy at first thinks it's wonderful, thinking that they can have all sorts of fun terrorizing everybody with it. Sean convinces him not to because he doesn't want to go to prison. Also because the typewriter was hidden for a reason.

The next night, Sean writes a story to Jennifer, once again this happens as Jennifer is sleeping. The story takes place in the most private part on earth: her dream. Jennifer finds herself standing in the clouds in the sky. Sean is in a fancy suit meeting with her. He explains to her that the vampire nightmare she dreamed about was from a story he wrote just like what's going on at the time being, he's making it up as it is happening. He shows her the typewriter, explaining to her that it is the Dream Machine.

He explains that anything he writes about people will dream about. Sean convinces her by making himself vanish then appear as the vampire. He tells her that with the typewriter, anything he imagines can happen. Then he makes a dove appear in her hand and she is astounded. He wants to know if this dream really happened. So he asks her to call him when she wakes up and she agrees. Without thinking he kisses her on the cheek, then apologizes. When suddenly she smiles and they have a real kiss, although it is just a dream.

Then, Sean eagerly waits for Jennifer to phone him, thinking it may not happen. Then finally she does phone him. She lets him know that she did have the dream, she knows everything that is going on. The next day at school, they hand in their story assignments. Sean handed in the story he wrote about Billy, called "Trapped". Then they leave class together. Then Sean, Billy and Jennifer all meet together in Sean's room to discuss the typewriter.

Billy reads out loud "The Halloween Dance" as he reads Jennifer worryingly points out to Sean that the typewriter is glowing. Then it glows green and they instantly vanish, appearing in the story. It is just like the way it was when it was first written as Jennifer dreamed about it. However they both are aware of what is going on. The story is really happening now and they have no control of what they're doing and they forcibly act out the story. Then as the story is ending, Sean realizes that it is happening because Billy is reading the story.

Then suddenly, Sean is prepared to bite Jennifer on the neck for real! Billy takes a slight break realizing that part is kind of gruesome. Then he notices that Sean and Jennifer are both gone. When he stops reading Sean and Jennifer instantly appear back in the nick of time. Jennifer backs away nervous and Sean says that it wasn't a dream it was real. So if Billy hadn't stopped reading, then Sean would have bitten Jennifer on the neck for real. Sean realizes that the Dream Machine has two features: The first one is that the stories are first dreams when they're written. The second feature is that they come true when someone reads them. Then suddenly Sean remembers he handed in his second story, "Trapped" that he wrote on it to Mrs. Dodds as his assignment.

The three of them race back to school to get the story back in time, if not Billy will really be buried alive. Just as they make it back to school, Mrs. Dodds begins to read and grade Sean's story. Then Mrs. Dodds notices she is all out of donuts and goes to the cafe to find some more. The three of them look through the handed in papers and can't seem to find Sean's story. Sean realizes that Mrs. Dodds must have it with her. Then suddenly the typewriter glows green again, with Billy reacting in a panic.

Mrs. Dodds begins reading the story "Trapped" and Billy is sent into the story. Sean and Jennifer look everywhere and can't seem to find Mrs. Dodds anywhere. When Billy arrives in the graveyard he tries not to move from where he is standing. Then without his control, he bumps into the Black Robed figure. Then he falls into the wooden coffin in the dug open grave, screaming now as he falls in, constantly screaming "help let me out!". Finally Sean has an idea so he sets the typewriter down onto the table and writes a little paragraph.

Jennifer read it out loud and it says "The typewriter stopped glowing, and all the stories ever written on it never came true". The typewriter glows green one last time then a puff of smoke blows past it. Billy suddenly reappears and he is saved because Sean wrote his best story yet which was stopping the power of the dream machine. Mrs. Dodds sees them all late after school and ask them if they want anything. Sean says they're fine and they all smile before leaving.


As Gary finishes reading Kiki's story. David says it was great. Betty Ann asks what happened but notices suddenly that Kiki is gone. Frank finds a paper written on her typewriter and it reads "The headless warrior, chased down each one of the Midnight Society one by one. Until they were too tired to run" Frank just laughs and says yeah right. Gary just laughs, and so does Betty Ann and Kristen. Then they all get up one by one and leave as Gary puts out the campfire leaving Kiki's typewriter behind.

  • This episode features the first on-screen kiss between characters. (There was almost one on "The Tale of the Midnight Madness", before the characters were interrupted).
  • A continuity error can be seen during the scene where Sean is first typing out The Halloween Dance story. When he is seen typing out what should be the last few words of that story, the scene instead shows him typing the last few words of the following story, Trapped.
  • This was the only time someone other than the story's creator was the one telling it to the Midnight Society (it was Kiki's story, but Gary read a typed version of it for her since she had laryngitis).
  • Joel Gordon who portrayed Billy would later reappear in the series again as Josh in the episode "The Tale of the Long Ago Locket"
  • Tim Post who portrayed the Black Robed Figure, would later reappear in the series as The Fire Ghost in the episode "The Tale of the Fire Ghost".
  • Four years after this aired, Ross Hull co-starred with Nicole Lyn as friends Chris Sheppard and Emily Roberts in the TV show Student Bodies.