Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Photo Finish
Season 7 , Episode 9
Air date May 14, 2000
Written by Alan Kingsberg
Directed by Mark Soulard
Episode guide
The Tale of the Time Trap
The Tale of the Last Dance

The Tale of the Photo Finish is the Ninth episode of the Seventh Season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Eighty-Seventh episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


That night, Quinn and Vange enter the circle. There we see Megan frustrated and ticked off. Tucker stands up and mentions it's about the ring club that he's in at school. Quinn says he must mean the snotty club that is full of jocks. Tucker is annoyed saying that it's a service club, and Megan mentions that Andy tried to join it, but they turned him down.

Vange is mad and asks Tucker if stood up for him. Tucker says that he sure did, he told them how great a guy he was and how lucky they would be to have him. Megan says that they still turned him down though, and goes to sit down. Tucker tells Vange and Quinn, that Andy probably knows by now and not to mention it to him when he shows up.

Andy shows up, and he's not mad, in fact he is taking it very well. Andy says that life isn't always fair, but he got a good story out of it. Then goes to sit down. Quinn says if it's about the guys from the club, then it must be a horror story! Tucker defends them by saying that the guys aren't so bad once you get to know them.

Andy sits down and says his story is about trying to a join a club, and the different things you can do, if don't if you don't get in...

  1. You can let it go and move on.
  2. You can get mad.
  3. Or.. you could get even!

Andy's friends all look excited and intrigued hearing this. Then Andy opens the pouch and tosses in a handful of the campfire dust. This makes the fire more intense while he submits his story for approval for The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of the Photo Finish" and begins the story.


Andy tells the story. It first takes place at a club initiation. We see four pledges are given a test of bravery. They are told that before each of them is a bowl. The bowls contains cold intestines of a wild boar. They must be brave enough to eat it, or they will fail the test. Three of the pledges slowly begin eating the disgusting slop. But the forth pledge is freaking out about how gross it is. Finally he runs off scared.

The lights go on, and the club president Renfrew tells the three pledges that they have passed the test of bravery, revealing that the intestines was nothing more than mere Cherry Jello. The club is called the Lion Society. Which is the coolest club at Tillinghast Academy. Renfrew tells two boys Alex, Chandler and a third boy, that their final test to get in is that they each must pull off a prank or a joke. One that is creative and original and they must not get caught.

Renfrew likes Chandler and tells him that he is immediately accepted into their club. Chandler is thrilled to hear this. However he is not so happy to hear Renfrew say that they're not interested in his friend and roommate Alex. And they didn't think he would make it so far into his initiation. Chandler tries to stand up from Alex. He backs him up by saying that he's an excellent student and athlete. Still Renfrew does not change his mind. Next Renfrew threatens to kick him out too, if he doesn't agree with their decision.

That afternoon on the way back to their dorm, Alex is so excited. This is because he believes that once they're in the club, they'll rule the school and be popular. Alex discusses the prank he might pull. He comes up with the idea of sending out a fake email that there is a holiday. Or sending out a fake message, that the lizards have escaped from the biology lab. Therefore they could be just about anywhere and to carefully watch where to sit.

Chandler disappointingly says that he is thinking of swiping a painting from the Hall of Headmasters. Then to put it up in the detention room. Alex asks Chandler what's wrong. Finally he blurts it out. He tells Alex that Renfrew told him that they don't want him to in the club. Alex can perfectly guess it's because unlike Chandler, Renfrew and the rest of the Lion Society, who are from rich families and paid to attend the school, he is not. He's from an average income family and he came to the school on a paid scholarship. Since they're best friends and a team, Alex tries to convince him to quit. But Chandler believes that since his grandfather and father were members at a time, then he must carry on he family tradition and stay in the club.

Later that night, Chandler sneaks in through a window into the Hall of Headmasters. Chandler clandestinely chooses a painting to swipe. When suddenly another one moves and falls off the wall. This set off the alarm and Tom the Library Guard almost Catches him. Chandler just misses him. So he swipes the fallen painting and runs back to his dorm.

An elderly Professor, frantically has a Security Guard check every room. Chandler panics and can't find anywhere to hid the old painting. So Alex reluctantly helps him. They figure out that they can just peel it off. So they peel it off and roll it up, and hide it in their closet. When they peeled off the portrait, they were shocked to discover a black and white photo was behind it. One of a small old house. Therefore they hang it up on the wall to just blend in with the room setting.

The Security Guard, finally makes his rounds to their room. They nervously watch as he inspects their room, and they are cleared. Then afterwards, Chandler is relieved and thanks Alex for his help. Because if caught he might have faced expulsion. Alex coldly welcomes him, and looks at the old house photo. Alex notices a creepy teenager in a checkered blazer and bow tie sitting on a chair. Then later that night, Alex wakes up hearing knocking sounds, but no one is there. Then he notices the kid in the photo is gone. A bit confused he asks Chandler whether or not he was in the picture earlier. But Chandler is too tired to care. 

Alex decides to see if the noises came from the hallway. Once outside he's startled, after he bumps into Renfrew coming out of the bathroom. Hearing more noises, Chandler gets up and he notices the kid in the portrait is back. He is shocked and calls out to Alex to come see. Alex runs back, and just as he points out that the kid is back, Chandler suddenly freezes and gets captured into the portrait. The kid in the photo is now giving a smirking look. Alex is terrified and runs into the hall screaming for help. Renfrew and the Lion Society all come to see what his problem is. Alex is scared, telling them all that the kid in the portrait captured Chandler inside the photo. Renfrew and the others aren't amused. Renfrew in a cold and smart tone, tells him not to bother pulling off a prank. Since their club isn't interested in letting him join. Alex tries to convince them it's not a prank, but they don't believe him and leave.

The next morning, Alex asks The School Librarian about the painting. The Librarian said it was a painting of Headmaster Broffman, which was done in the 1940s. Alex asks her if possibly anything was behind it. Hearing this she is confused and tells him to check the old yearbooks for more information. Meanwhile, the elderly professor from the other night is nearby and nervously suspects him.

Alex looks through the 1944 yearbook of Tillinghast Academy. He is not surprised to see The Lion Society was near the beginning of the book. As he looks through the yearbook, he comes across a memorial page in the camera club section. The memorial was for a student named Jasper Davis: born 1929-1944. Alex is shocked when he hears noises and senses someone is approaching. Suddenly on the other side of the bookcase the Professor pops his head in. Then he nervously asks him if he has the photograph. Alex is calm because it's only Professor Barish. Surprisingly he asks Alex if he has the photograph. Hearing this he denied it at first, worrying he would face expulsion. Professor Barish mentions where might Chandler be? This hints to him that he knows what the photograph does. The Professor reveals that he believes him, because many years ago his friend got trapped into it as well!

Professor Barish takes Alex, into the Lion Society Clubhouse. He reveals to him that both he and Jasper Davis enrolled in the Academy in 1944 and were soon best friends. Professor Barish soon joined the Lion Society and got Jasper permission to take their pictures. Then soon the Lion Society decided to play a prank on Jasper. They told Jasper they wanted him to join their club. He was thrilled because he finally felt as if he was going to fit in. Then soon enough the Lion Society revealed to him, they had no intention of letting him join because he was poor. Then they begun to chase him around and tease him about his clothes and the way he spoke. They chased him all the way onto the clubhouse roof. This was where he accidentally fell off and died.

Then soon enough, the clubhouse moved from the old part of campus to where it is now. Then a month later a mysterious photograph of the old clubhouse appeared. Professor Barish saw his friend and a fellow member get trapped into it after they looked at it. Nobody believed him, they thought he was either crazy or playing another prank. So he hid the photograph behind the painting of Headmaster Broffman. Professor Barish is scared and suggests Alex to do the same thing, before it captures anybody else.

When Alex returns to his room, he's not too happy to see Renfrew there. He has come to look for Chandler. Renfrew rudely invites himself in. Then rudely explains to Alex he wouldn't have been happy in their club anyhow. Renfrew sees the photograph on the wall. He recognizes it saying that it is the Old Lion Society Clubhouse on the old part of Campus. Alex warns him not to look at Jasper. But it's too late, Jasper captures him into the photograph. Alex is nervous. Then he remembers that Renfrew mentioned that it is on the old part of campus.

Alex wraps the photo in a shirt (not to capture anyone on the way) and heads over to the old clubhouse. The place is old and abandoned now. When entering the clubhouse with the photograph, it acts as a port key. Then Alex is traveled into the black and white dimension inside the photograph. Alex then sees many empty wall mounted picture frames. He also finds the pictures of Professor Barish's friends from 1944. He also sees the captured pictures of Chandler and Renfrew.

Then he is welcomed by Jasper Davis. Alex is shocked to see him because he is deceased. Jasper reveals that he is a vengeful ghost, and he blames the Lion Society for his death. Because he felt that if they had just let him into the club, he never would have fallen off the roof. Jasper feels that he now has the last laugh, taking the club down with him. When any Lion Society Club Member looks at him or his photograph, he takes their picture and captures them. He then traps them forever on wall mounted pictures. He reveals he now intends to do the same thing to Alex. Possibly because he wanted to be a member. Or because he sees him as a threat.

Then just before Jasper takes Alex's picture, Professor Barish runs in and demands him to leave Alex alone. Jasper is stunned to see him. He addresses him as Felix and remarks about how old he has become. He reveals that Felix Barish was his friend at first. But being a club member was more important. How he along with the others chased him onto the roof. Then he covered up his picture leaving him lonely for all those years. Professor Barish states he was trying to help him not chase him. Also he had no choice, he had to cover his photograph. Or else he would have captured the rest of the club. Jasper expresses his hatred and feelings of betrayal. Then says that he has a spot on the wall just for him. Alex tries to stop Jasper by running to tackle him down. But he just goes right through him and Jasper laughs it off. Then as Alex shrugs off bumping into a wall, Professor Barish screams no! Then his picture is taken and he is captured. A moment later he appears mounted on the wall in a picture.

Jasper then sets his sights to Alex. Alex has nowhere to run but to hide in a corner. He then finds out when looking out the window, he can see the reflection of anyone standing nearby. Then Alex pretends to surrender and to let him capture him. Jasper tells him to say cheese, and then as he squeezes the bulb. Then Alex quickly steps away and Jasper gets caught in his own reflection, and camera. Then Jasper is sent into a picture on the wall.

Alex then opens the camera, and exposes the film. This frees all of the captured souls, but the realm begins fading and exposing. Alex runs out just in time, when looking at the old photo; it vanishes. Professor Barish and Chandler are both freed and thank him and applaud him on his bravery. Alex asks what happened to the guys from 1944,Professor Barish says that he hopes his friends from 1944, along with Jasper are now in a better place and at peace.

Then Renfrew, appears and he is astounded and amazed with Alex. Believing that he just pulled the most incredible prank in history. Therefore he lets him join The Lion Society. Alex turns him down and quits saying he has better things to do. Then to hang out with a club of snobs. Chandler agrees with him, and quits the club too. Chandler then goes off to return the painting of Headmaster Broffman. Renfrew spooked about the old clubhouse, runs along with them.


Andy ends his story simply by saying: The End. His friends are very impressed and they all tell him it was a really good and creepy story. Quinn asks him if he plans to get even with those guys, for not letting him into their club. Andy, says no because getting even with people is not the way he is. Also as it turns it, he got into the club and he happily shows them his new ring, Tucker and Megan are both very happy for him.

Andy says he got in all because of Tucker, Tucker really stood up for him and when they still said no he quit. Megan and Vange are both very proud and impressed of what Tucker did for Andy. However Tucker is confused, asking him if the club let him in because they changed their minds. 

Andy says that, since Tucker quit there was an extra spot available and so now he's in. Tucker is furious to hear he took his place, and says he's gonna get those guys and runs away.

Afterwards, Megan asks him if he really took his spot. Andy laughs and says of course not, they're both in the club. He just likes to tease him and get him going. Hearing this, they all laugh, then Quinn puts out the campfire and they leave.

  • The club candidates are instructed to devour the intestines of a wild boar, a possible reference to the species of animal Dr. Vink had the brain of on display in the Season One episode "The Tale of the Phantom Cab".
  • Patrick Thomas, who portrayed Chandler, previously appeared in the show before. He first appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets" as Tommy.
  • Victor Knight, who portrayed Professor Felix Barish, previously appeared in show a few years earlier. He first appeared in the original series episode "The Tale of the Long Ago Locket" as Mr. Olshak.
  • Victor Knight, was the husband of Kathleen Fee, who played Nurse Hantin in The Tale of the Night Shift, Dotty in "The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets" and Vivian White in "The Tale of the Stone Maiden".
  • Robin Weekes and Daniel DeSanto, both appeared together in a few episodes of the children's show The Adventures of Dudley the Dragon as Dudley's human friends, Matt and Terry.
  • Not only does this episode mark the second appearance of Patrick Thomas, but earlier, he had appeared in the Goosebumps episode Say Cheese and Die Again, also about a camera that had been used (in its previous episode about it) to trap its victims.
  • Robin Weekes (Alex) was in the Goosebumps episodes Be Careful What You Wish For... and The House of No Return as Corey and Nathan. This and the latter both involve clubs.
  • Robin Weekes' last known to date acting performance.