Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Renegade Virus
Season 4 , Episode 1
Air date October 1, 1994
Written by Andrew Mitchell & Gerard Lewis
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
The Tale of the Dangerous Soup
The Tale of the Long Ago Locket

The Tale of the Renegade Virus is the first episode of the Fourth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the fortieth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]


The night begins with Sam, walking into the circle and she has brought some logs for fire firewood and places them down. TuckerKiki, Betty Ann and Frank all are sitting around the campfire, when Sam asks them all why Gary is late?

Tucker says it's because he had to rewrite a book report, because his computer has a virus. Every time he tries to print something the document gets deleted and has to do it all over again. Hearing this Betty Ann smiles with intrigue saying "Ooh scary". Sam sits near Frank and Frank says the only thing scary about computers are the people who use them.

Gary frustrated comes in saying he's sorry for being late. Then in a very exasperated and frustrated tone, he says it's because a computer virus eat up his book report, while Tucker just smiles and smiles. Now he has gotten a floppy disk with an antivirus called a virus doctor and when he gets home he's going destroy the virus and find out who planted it in his computer. Then as he says this Tucker stops smiles and has a more serious look on his face now. Betty Ann tells him to be careful, because a virus can do a lot of damage.

Gary, sits down on the storyteller's chair he says he knows. Because a virus is a disease, It gets inside and takes hold. Once it starts spreading it's impossible to stop. Tucker tells him "Hey, it's just a computer virus". Gary says sure it is and it's just a computer. But Viruses can jump around, and there is one computer that you never want a virus to get into. Which is the human brain, frank is a bit confused and says "Say what?" Gary says we have a trillion bits of information stored in our brains; just like a computer. If a computer virus got into your head, there's no telling what might happen, or where the destruction would end.

Gary, throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while he submits his story for approval for The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of the Renegade Virus".


Gary, tells the story. The story first takes place inside a school's computer department. Someone has hacked into the system. A warning message comes up and a voice is heard alerting that there is extreme danger and repeats there is extreme danger, so it's obvious the hacker has implanted a computer virus.

Inside a household bedroom, a young teenager named Simon wakes up briefly at 7:30 am as his alarm clock goes off. He picks up a small ball near his bed and throws it to the small basket hoop near his wall and makes a basket, then he pounds the alarm off and dozes back to sleep. Next we see his parents in the hallway, and his father is knocking on the bathroom door. His father is asking for His younger sister Suzanne to get out of the bathroom since she's been in there for twenty minutes. When she gets out she asks the father for a ride to school, but he tells her she can use the bus. Before he has a chance to go in Simon quickly goes in and closes the door.

Next down in the kitchen, after breakfast the mother asks Simon if he wants a ride to school since his bike has a flat tire. Simon says no thanks, because he'll just ride Evans bike. His father asks him and what is Evan going to ride? When Simon gets to the sidewalk he meets up with his friend Evan and has him go long and catch the football. When Evan runs out to catch it, Simon gets onto Evan's bike and begins to quickly ride it to school, with Evan frustratingly and angrily trying to catch up with him on foot. Simon makes it to school on time and Evan ends up being late because of Simon. Evan annoyed tells him thanks a lot, Simon says it's payback for him putting an egg in his sneaker the other day.

Suddenly Evan can't open his locker, and Simon teases him admitting he switched their locks leaving Evan annoyed once again. Evan sees a pretty girl named Sonya whom he has feelings for, and asks her if she is going with anyone to the game on Saturday. She says yeah she is, and reveals that she is going with no one else other than Simon. Much to his disappointment and annoyance once again, and he has a little hissy fit complaining about Simon this and Simon that and how it's always about Simon.

Evan arrives to class late and their teacher Mr. Smith lectures him, about being late and asks him to try to make more effort to coming on time. Simon tells him he's sorry and Evan tells him just you wait and see, and the teacher once again lectures Evan this time for talking out loud in class.

Then after school, Simon is amazed to see that Evan isn't mad at him anymore. Evan forgives him for what happened the past morning, and tells him that Mr. Poe is ready. Mr. Poe is the school's science and computer teacher, who has been working on a new computer program for months. They have really been bugging for Mr. Poe to let them try it first. Simon and Evan both excitedly head to the school computer department. There they Mr. Poe and he has set the program up so that person who tries out the game needs to lie down in a recliner chair and have a headset of goggles and headphones put on. Simon volunteers to try out the program.

The Program is a brilliant program Mr. Poe has invented, a virtual reality program in which the person can change what place or period of time they want to visit and feel like they're really there and it's all controlled in the person's mind. The person has three choices:

  1. A trip to the planet Saturn.
  2. A trip to the middle ages as a knight of the round table.
  3. A trip to prehistoric times to see the dinosaurs.

Simon chooses The Knight's of the round table, Mr. Poe begins to set it up and has Evan monitors it while he answers a phone. Just as Mr. Poe is about to start the game he gets a warning alert message that the computer has a virus in it. Mr. Poe, carefully stops and removes the virus and safely runs the program.

Simon spins around in a cyclone vortex and screams. However he doesn't enter the middle ages with the Knights of the Round Table. Instead he wakes up on what seems to be just another ordinary day. Simon tosses the ball to make another basket, but this time he misses the net and the ball hits the window and smashes it. After getting dressed and ready for school, he calls out good morning a few times but no one answers. He still hear voices such as his parents and his younger sister calling him but they don't answer him back, he also sees a hologram of them at the kitchen table but they quickly vanish. Suddenly he hears his father's voice calling him to have a word with him in his study office. He enters his father's office to speak to him and the chair spins around but that is not his father sitting there!

Instead, it's a terrifying looking short midget like person with a brain on the top of his head and titanium silver skin. It tells him he's not dreaming and laughs in a sinister tone. The evil being tells him he's not in his house he is in cyberspace and he's still in the game just that the rules have changed and he got rid of the Knight's of the Round Table game. Simon realizes that he is a computer virus, He asks the Evil Virus how he got into the game? The Virus tells him all the matters is how it is going to get out, most viruses infect and destroy, but it has much bigger plans. It plans to output itself from the program and into Simon's brain and enter the real world and cause some real mess and destruction. Simon doesn't believe him until he looks at his left hand to see A game-pad port has been burnt onto his hand and he screams in shock. Simon demands rules and fair play. The Virus agrees and gives him a chance to escape the game and stop it but he only has 10 minutes.

Simon suddenly wakes up from his game session to reality, he is relieved to see his hand looks normal again. Mr. Poe asks him how it was being one of the Knight's of the Round Table? Alarmed he tells Mr. Poe that the game has another virus in it and it needs to be stopped right away. Mr. Poe, is insulted because he has worked so carefully on his software and it's his life's work and he is so mad and insulted by what Simon says he kicks him out of the computer department. As he exits the room and exits the hallway, he finds at the the end of the hallway is closed up with a cast iron bar gate. closed together by a padlock chain. Simon calls out to the other side for help, and Evan and Sonya appear together. Evan tauntingly asking him "What's the matter, forgot your combo?" and Evan and Sonya happily walk off together to the game. Simon looks at hand and sees the connector port on his hand again and realizes he is still in the game.

He looks inside the window on the door to the computer department to see his real self is still on in the recliner seat in the game and Evan is monitoring it. Then suddenly, he sees a group of students all walking backwards in the hallway. He makes it to Mr. Smith's class and Mr. Smith tells him laughing and with amusement and smiling, he tells him he is late and it's the most important test of his life. He asks the whole class what 2+2 is one boy says 5, one girls says 6, 6 minutes to go. They all look at Simon and he says uh four? Mr. Smith tells him he wrong and asks him just what formula he used? Suddenly he has no clothes on but his boxer shorts and Mr. Smith and all the classmates are laughing at him and runs out of the classroom humiliated, but he is relieved to see his clothes are all back on again.

He figures out that to beat the virus he needs to get to his computer and find a way to remove it, on his way out from the school he can see the Virus, sitting on top of a pop machine who in a way sinister laughs and tells him he has just five minutes to go now. He goes to the bike rack but Evan's bike is locked with a gigantic life sized padlock. He makes it back to his house in time and sees his computer blaring and buzzing with a virus icon on it and a voice saying warning this may cause extreme danger. He sits down at the computer and Suddenly Evan is on the screen talking to him from the computer in Mr. Poe's computer department. Evan reveals that he was the one who put The Virus into the programming. Evan did it as payback to Simon for all the pranks and misery he's recently caused him.

He offers to stop The Virus if he apologizes and Simon does. Evan reveals that the virus shouldn't harm him and can be easily undone. Simon shows him his hand and Evan looks at it in horror and says Oh no! seems he didn't think the virus would go defunct and try and take over someone's brain. Evan tries to enter the abort code but he is frozen out. Simon only has two minutes to go now, but Evan is cut off before he can tell him what the abort code. All Simon hear is the code is my com... and his cut off, The virus is now literally pounding on the office room door as Evan tries to figure out the abort code. First he tries Evan which doesn't work, then he heard com so he thinks computer teacher and tries Poe but that also doesn't work. Also next he tries Sonya and that also doesn't work. Then the computer gives him a hint "What's the matter? forgot your combo?" Then he figures it Evan's locker combination: 12, 17, 34.

He enters the code just as The Virus has broken down the door and is literally standing next to him on the computer desk. Seems Simon still has to press any key on the keyboard for the abort to work. The Virus is laughing in a sinister tone as it wraps him up in the chair tightly in cables. Then pulls off his right glove to reveal it's right hand is nothing but a screw lock parallel cable and reaches it down to connect to the game-pad port on Simon's hand.  The Virus says he's gonna enjoy being inside his brain and to kiss it goodbye. Simon screams no! and the squirms an arm free and presses a key on the key board and the abort is accessed. The Virus screams NO!! and becomes a hologram and disappears.

Simon is back to reality for real this time and takes off the headset, and is relieved to say his hand is okay again. Mr. Poe asks him if he is all right and says he had no idea how a virus could have gotten in there. Simon looks at Evan and say me neither, then just says probably just an accident. Simon and Evan make up and Evan apologizes telling him it wasn't supposed to happen he just wanted some payback, Evan ensure him he certainly got it. He's not mad at him but he's still gonna ride his bike home, Evan runs after him to stop him.

Meanwhile a custodian rolls his bucket pass them, to reveal the hand of the virus gripping on the rim of the bucket, revealing that he has somehow entered the real world anyways.


Then Gary ends his story, Kiki tells him "All Right!, Great story!", Tucker asks if they want to know what he liked about the story? Betty Ann asks him what? Tucker says, "no matter how bad a thing Evan did Simon always forgive him" as if to say Okay Gary it was me I admit it i'm sorry. Gary looks at Tucker and says "what I liked about the story was, is that the virus is still alive! and if you're not careful it'll jump into your computer!" as if to say would you like your computer to have a virus too? Hearing this Tucker runs off scared, leaving the rest of them laughing. Gary puts out the campfire and everyone heads for home.

  • The only season premiere to not feature a shake up of the Midnight Society.
  • Evan's shirt is the same one worn by Tucker in several episodes throughout the show, furthering the implication that Tucker was the one responsible for Gary's computer virus.
  • Christopher Redman who portrayed Simon had previously portrayed Mike Carter, in the episode "The Tale of the Crimson Clown".
  • The virus had a cable with a 25-pin parallel port, often used with printers of the time, as one of his hands, while Simon's hand had what appears to be a 15-pin game port typical of MIDI controllers and game pads of the time. In real life, the ports would not readily fit, seeing the variations in size.
  • The manufacturing company on the locks Simon switches and the giant one crushing his bike is Oliver, a reference to director Ron Oliver.
  • Ron Oliver has stated he thought it was one of the most fun episodes due to the visuals such as the giant lock.
  • Eric Fink (Mr. Poe) was in the Goosebumps episode Phantom of the Auditorium as Emile.