The Tale of the Midnight Madness
Season 2, Episode 2
Air date June 26, 1993
Written by Chloe Brown
Directed by D.J. MacHale
Episode guide
The Tale of the Final Wish
The Tale of Locker 22

The Tale of the Midnight Madness is the Second episode of the Second season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Fifteenth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast


The episode begins with Gary and Betty Ann working to getting the campfire started. Then as Kristen walks over holding some firewood, Kiki and David run in full of excitement. The Reason Kiki and David were so excited is because that Friday night and at movie theater there was a triple feature monster movie marathon playing that night. The marathon was called Fright Night and she and David had gotten free passes to go. Frank then explains he's been to fright night before and he's never going back. Betty Ann asks hey why not and Kiki teasingly says because he's afraid of the dark remember?

Frank sits down on the storyteller's seat and then explains that he is not going back because you sit in that movie theater for so long, you start to forget that the real world even exists. The only thing that seems real is the horror movie playing up on the screen. Whenever one gets really scared, they can always tell themselves it's just a movie, but sometimes the movie seems so real that it's hard to tell the difference between what's make believe and what's really there. His friends are now all intrigued after hearing this and he throws the campfire dust into the fire and submits his approval for the midnight society, calling his story "The Tale of the Midnight Madness" and begin his story.


Frank tells the story. The story takes place in a very old fashioned movie theater called The Rialto. The Rialto is a very old fashioned movie theater, known for playing classic black and white movies. Due to very poor business, the owners were deciding to close it down and sell the building. That night as the movie ends it turns out that only one customer came to see the show that night. The customer is an elderly blonde woman in a red hat and she is a frequent customer.

Then just as the customer is on her way out an employee named Pete is sweeping and he asks her if she enjoyed the show. The customer gives him a dissatisfied response and leaves. Pete's co-worker Katie tells him the place is depressing and tells them they should just go, but Pete decides to go clean something first. The manager Mr. Kristoph wasn't too impressed to see that the theater did so poorly that night. All that they made on snack money was six bucks and Pete bought one of the soda's.

Mr. Kristoph complains that Friday night is supposed to be a good night. Katie Jokes saying that six bucks is a good night. Pete then jokes mentioning that he had to pick up two drink cups that night. Mr. Kristoph tells him to keep joking when the owners decide to close the theater, Pete refuses to believe it'll close claiming the theater is a landmark. Mr. Kristoph doesn't believe him and leaves in a huff when the cash till seems to be broken.

Katie mentions that when the old theater closes down she's applied for a job at a multiplex theater named the quad. The Multiplex apparently is a very active and well established business with lines that go around the block and she really needs the job. Then as Katie is on her way out, Pete asks her is she wants to get something to eat. She tells Pete that she can't because she has homework to do, but thanks him anyways.

Peter really loved the Rialto movie theater, and he really didn't want it to close so he started his own campaign to try to keep it open. Pete did this by working outside in the freezing cold handing out flyers he made, encouraging people to come see a movie the old fashioned way. He didn't just do this for himself, but for the theater because he loved classic movies. This proved to not be going so well, the only customer they continued to get was the same frequent customer, the elderly blonde woman in the red hat. The customer left one night handing them her empty popcorn cup very unsatisfied. Turns out unless a miracle was going to happen anytime soon, then the theater would be shut down.

Then one night or so later Pete and Katie arrive for work preparing for the upcoming evening. Then they hear a knocking at the front door. Pete tries to tell whoever it is that they're not open for another hour, but the knocking continues. When peter rudely yells for them to come back in hour, suddenly the locks opens itself and a strange old man walks in.

The old man is none other than Dr. Vink and he introduces himself to Pete and Katie and let's himself inside. Very soon just quickly taking a little look around, he is just delighted with the classic retro feeling and smell of the old lobby. Dr. Vink hands Pete a copy of his campaign flyer and tells him he's come to help them save their theater. Then as he walks away Katie thinks he is a nut bag and thinks about calling the police.

Pete and Katie now find Dr. Vink looking around in the old fashioned theater room. He is so pleased with how nicely built and old fashioned it is. Then the manager Mr. Kristoph hears them talking and goes over to see what's going on, first he thinks Dr. Vink has come to sell him something and he makes it clear he is not interested in buying anything. Dr. Vink tells Mr. Kristoph that he's come to save his theater and it won't even cost a dime. Then he tells Katie he is NOT a nut bag.

Then Dr. Vink formally a mad scientist, now explains that years and years ago he used to be a film maker back when classic Black and White silent films were all the rage. Then he claims his films were quite popular claiming they always had a certain magic to them. Then as Dr. Vink said magic and pulled away his long hanging coat a very old fashioned octagon film canister appeared. Pete is very impressed with that trick but Dr. Vink doesn't explain how he did it. Dr. Vink just explains that it's a horror movie he made many years ago. The Movie is a vampire movie and the vampire wins. Dr. Vink promises to the manager that if his film is shown in the theater then people will flock to see it, and the fortunes will turn and make far more than six bucks a night saying six bucks in a loud mimicking tone.

Mr. Kristoph is not convinced that a silent black and white film can save the theater from closing. Then he tells Dr. Vink that it would be a miracle .The only thing Dr. Vink wants in return is one night a week to show more of his old movies. Mr. Kristoph then not seriously meaning it, tells Dr. Vink that if it could he would give him three nights a week plus some profit money off the snacks. Dr. Vink claims he's not interested in popcorn he just wants one night a week. Then the make the deal and shake hands. Then the heavy film canister is about to drop but Pete and Katie catch and a moment or so later Mr. Kristoph turns to speak to him again and Dr. Vink is mysteriously gone.

Pete took the movie to the projection room and forgot all about it, and then he continued on with his Save The Rialto campaign. This still was working out as planned, the tickets sales went down even more and bills were piling up, in not time at all now the owners were going to close it down. Then one night things changed, that night was a lucky night about ten people came to see the show, not just the frequent regular customer. Also that night Mr. Kristoph with a heavy heart told Pete and Katie that the owners have decided to close the theater down in two weeks.

Then in the projection room Dr. Vink's film canister is slowly opening by itself and emitting a red glow. This causes the nearby projector to overload and smoke and short out. When realizing what happened, Katie is about to hand out the customers refunds, when Pete remembers Dr. Vink's movie and decides to show it instead. The displeased customers are prepared to leave. Then Katie announces that too make up for the technical difficulties they were going to play a classic silent black and white film and refunds will still be given after it. The frequent elderly customer tells her it'd better be good and sits down. The film begins to play titled "Nosferatu The Demon Vampire" The vampire looks vicious and everyone intriguingly begins watching. Later after the show is over some of customers claim it will give them nightmares for weeks, also the frequent elderly customer really enjoyed it and suggested for them to play more classics like it and more people will come and she smiles at him and says she'll come back the next night. Everyone loved the show and no one wanted a refund, Pete and Katie hug and dance around celebrating their success for the night, remember it was exactly what Dr. Vink said would happen. Then as they leave the films canister slightly opens again glowing red.

Frank explains to his friends who are eating popcorn, that The Nosferatu movie proved to be a real hit and it was doing so well for business that the owners decided to no longer sell.

Next we see the movie playing as it is about to end. The hero of the movie Harker is trying to pull Nosferatu's coffin into the sunlight to burn. The room in the theater is just full now and they are watching with excitement.  Then Nosferatu intercepts him and bites him and the movie ends with all the customers clapping. The successful night ends with a visit from Dr. Vink. Dr. Vink is pleased to hear that his family has been a real success and has done wonders for the theater's business.

Mr. Kristoph, now happily greets Dr. Vink and shakes his hand. Dr. Vink has come to see to it that Mr. Kristoph will keep his promise to show more of Dr. Vink's films once a week. Mr. Kristoph has gotten greedy and decides to not show them, because he is getting top movies playing in the theater now and would prefer to play them instead. Mr. Kristoph offers to write Dr. Vink a payment check, but Dr. Vink now mad doesn't want any money he just wants the movie theater and tells him that "One shouldn't make a bargain, if they can't honor their commitments". Mr. Kristoph then rudely yells to him that he is not getting the theater. Dr. Vink just laughs and tells him "That's where you're wrong my friend" next on his way out he tells them all "This story is far far from over, in fact it's only just beginning".

Business at the theater continued to do well because of Dr. Vink's movie. Pete on free time was trying to study it and find out what made it so magical, little did Pete know he was about to find out. When Pete fell asleep while watching the movie, Nosferatu stared at him from inside the screen. Then he came through the screen came into full color and entered the real world. Pete faintly saw this thinking he was dreaming, and he went to tell Katie what he thinks he just saw. Pete and Katie tell each other how much they really do like each other and are about to have their first kiss when suddenly they hear Mr. Kristoph scream and they run off to check on him

They find Mr. Kristoph passed out and with two bite marks on his neck. Katie asks Pete to call an ambulance but the phone line is dead. Then suddenly the door swings open and they are approached by Nosferatu and they run off for their lives screaming. They run and hide in another room and bolt it shut with a wooden plank. Pete explains he saw it come out of the movie, but Katie still claims that movies aren't real suddenly the door opens itself and they run off to hide again.

They figure that The vampire has come to get them as part of Dr. Vink's revenge and then Pete has an idea. The idea is for Katie to roll the reel of the last part of the movie. While waiting for the film to start up, Nosferatu slowly closing in on him in the theater room for some reason he leaves Pete alone. Then next Nosferatu goes to the projection room and is about to close in on Katie and bite her when she turns on the switch and starts playing the last part of the movie.

Pete walks into the black and white world of Nosferatu's movie. When the film started playing Nosferatu was compelled to return. Nosferatu comes back in before Pete can move the coffin into the sun. Katie terrified thinks about turning off the movie, but Pete tells her not to because he would get trapped inside it. Then just as Nosferatu is closing in on him Pete opens the dark curtain on the window and the sunlight comes in. The vampire begins screaming and smoking burning to nothing but ash.

Pete returns and he and Katie hug in relief. Mr. Kristoph now back to normal doesn't remember what had happened to him, claiming he had a bad dream. Then Dr. Vink is shown watching the ending of the movie and he is quite pleased claiming he couldn't have written it better himself. Mr. Kristoph tells Dr. Vink that he's reconsidered and will give him his one night a week. Dr. Vink then happily tells them the deal won't be necessary because he's just purchased the movie theater. Pete and Katie are shocked when they hear this. Dr. Vink now in a sinister tone tells them he can now show his movies every night. and has many many more movies far better than this one then he breaks off into evil laughter and the story ends.


When the story ends the group is finishing their popcorn, when Frank asks them who is going to Fright Night. Kiki says it's getting late. David says he's kind of tired. Gary puts out the fire with water from the red bucket, then David and Kiki give Frank their tickets and say goodnight and leave. Turns out Franks loves Fright Night because it's just a movie and invites Gary to go with him since he now has two free passes, Gary happily agrees and they go.

  • This is the last episode to show a scene with the Midnight Society discussing the story partway through the telling (and the first to do so since "The Tale of the Prom Queen"). Afterwards, only the narrator could be heard speaking in the background, but only infrequently, briefly, and not for very many episodes afterward.
  • Dr. Vink's movie was based on the 1922 silent movie "Nosferatu", but was not the actual film, in the real movie the vampire was named Count Orlok and in the movie the vampire didn't win.
  • Chris Heyerdahl would soon reappear two episodes later in "The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor" as Leonid.
  • Harry Standjofski who portrayed Mr. Kristoph would later reappear years later in the episode "The Tale of the Wisdom Glass" as Phil.
  • Dr. Vink's second appearance. His next appearance would be in "The Tale of the Dangerous Soup".
  • This was the second time a character referred to Dr. Vink as a Nutbag and the second time Dr. Vink told the character he wasn't.
  • The name of the vampire, Nosferatu, is an anagram of "FEAR US NOT".

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