|The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice|
|Season 1, Episode 9|
|Air date||October 17, 1992|
|Written by||Stephen Zoller|
|Directed by||D.J. MacHale|
The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors
The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun
The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice is the Ninth episode of the First season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Ninth episode in total.
Midnight Society Cast
- Raine Pare-Coull as Betty Ann
- Jason Alisharan as Frank
- Rachel Blanchard as Kristen
- Ross Hull as Gary
- Nathaniel Moreau as David
- Jodie Resther as Kiki
- Jacob Tierney as Eric
- Mathew MacKay as Dean Berkham
- Staci Smith as Alix
- Jamie Elman (uncredited) as a student
- Chris Nash as Acolyte #1
- Jane Gilchrist as Ms. Crenshaw
- Emma Stevens as Dr. Oliver
- Stephen Hart as Goth
Before the meeting has begun, the gang is exploring the bushes around the clearing. Frank leads them to what appears to be a fresh dirt-covered grave near the bushes. David thinks it might have just been someone's dog. Frank thinks that someone buried a person out there to hide the evidence, and bets one of his valuable basketball rookie cards (Michael Jordan) that they will find a maggot-covered corpse there. The gang comes in closer to examine it. Suddenly, a skeleton pops out and scares them, and they all run off terrified, with Eric shouting, "Run! Run! Run!" Kiki then comes out from the bushes behind and high-fives Frank, the two both shouting "Psych!" at the same time (turns out it was a joke).
Next, we see the gang sitting in the circle. Frank tosses Kiki the fake skull like a basketball. They're both laughing about how amusing they believed their joke was, and how Eric was the who had been most afraid. Eric tries to defend himself by saying he wasn't that scared, but Kiki doesn't believe him. Kristen seems mad and annoyed about their joke, claiming it to be cruel and immature. However, Frank thinks it was great, adding that it that made his night. Gary asks who is telling that night's story. Betty Ann says that she is, picking up the fake skull. She proceeds to sit down on the Storyteller's chair, informing that her story centers on a skull of a different sort (an ancient wizard's good luck charm). She talks about how it can help one conquer the world, while adding that it can be far too much that one can bargain for. She throws the dust into the fire and calls her story, "The Tale of the Sorcerer's Apprentice", then begins.
Betty Ann's story takes place in modern time (the year when this episode first aired) but starts with a flashback to the past. Late one night at Linden High in 1966, a young teenage girl sneaks into the school. She then heads all the way down to the basement pool.
The girl finds a chained bucket and places some metallic-like items into it. As she does so, her rolled up sleeve reveals a sinister tattoo of a red cobra. The girl lowers and drops the bucket into the water, before making a run for it.
The perspective shifts back to present day, where we meet Dean Berkham, a young teenage boy who couldn't really fit in. He wasn't very popular, didn't play sports, and didn't do so good in school, although he tried. We see the class empty further and further until he is the sole student remaining. His teacher, Ms. Crenshaw, forces him to hand in his test (which she can clearly see he failed) on the spot. She then tells him in a fed up and condescending tone that he is slipping!
Dean's only friend is a girl named Alix. Though she is pretty much the complete opposite of him, they're very close and have a wonderful friendship. Little did they know, their friendship would be put to the ultimate test. With Dean feeling down in the dumps about how awful his life seems to be, Alix gives him comforting and morale support. She does this to encourage him to not give up, feeling his luck was going change soon.
During World Cultures class, we see all sorts of wonderful and interesting artifacts. Also there is a visit from a famous female archaeologist named Dr. Oliver. She gives the class a thoughtful and somewhat gruesome discussion about artifacts, inscriptions, and monument. She continues with also explaining what their use was for, in studying the lives of past civilizations. For example, she explains that a golden dagger was used by the high priests of Babylon to cut out the hearts of slaves about to be sacrificed.
Also, how an ancient salt bowl was not a seasoning salt, but for a weapon to ward off evil spirits. Just like how garlic can ward off vampires. Also she shows the class a recently discovered ancient Babylonian long solid gold staff. It is shaped like a cobra near the top and it has red jeweled eyes. She claims that apparently it once belonged to an evil Babylonian sorcerer.
The inscription reads that it belongs to an ancient sorcerer named Goth. A sorcerer who enslaved many people to do his biding. The writing also says that following Goth would bring one good fortune. But crossing Goth could lead to ones destruction, but Dr. Oliver dismisses all this as just stories. Dean just stared at the golden staff almost like he was in a trance. Dean was very interested and very intrigued by that golden staff, and he went to look at it again.
When Dean took another look at it, this time he looked at it right up close. Then the jeweled red eyes glowed brightly and placed him under a spell. Soon we see Dean has developed a new bad boy behavior and now he is dressing in a punk style complete with a leather jack and blue jeans. He goes to the basement and unlocks a locked door. Next he walks down a flight of metal stairs. Then he heads down to another dark basement, then to a big empty and forgotten room. He pulls up a metal chain that retrieves the metal bucket. This is very same buck that held the metallic items the girl from 1966 got rid off.
The next day, we see Dean in Ms. Crenshaw's science class once again. The class is taking another science test. Just after she told the class to begin, Dean walked up to her claiming his test was done. She holds it out showing it was blank and asking him if this was supposed to be a joke. Then he glared at her with his eyes and placed her into a trance. This makes her think his test was perfectly finished, and she gives him an A+ grade.
After the class was over Alix tries to find out why he didn't seem to take the science test. But he assures her he did and scolds her for thinking he can't ace a test. Then he pushes her away telling her she must think he is useless just like everyone else does. So now he is going to prove to everyone that he is not a loser after all.
Soon he stopped talking to Alix completely, and begun hanging out with a new group of students. One day Alix noticed Dean stealing dangerous and corrosive chemicals from the science class such as mercuric acid. Then Alix followed Dean all the way to the basement.
She eavesdrops on Dean showing a group of brainwashed friends what the mercuric acid can do. He says that the mercuric acid can create a pathway. Then after pouring some in a cauldron, steaming smoke rises up. Then he throws in some nightshade leaves from a Belladonna plant. According to him, combined together they create the mystic vapors. The steam is now lime green and is smoking and steaming in the air. These vapors can supposedly be enough to free Goth.
Dean catches Alix spying on him so he sends all of his friends out to chase her down and catch her. Alix out runs them and finds Dean again. This time, he is on his knees preparing the vapors. Dean takes a black pouch out of pocket, that has an jewel inside of it. He places it into the mouth of the snake staff. Then it begins to glow a gleaming solid red. He has summoned the vision of goth. Goth tells him that he has waited centuries for an apprentice like him. Dean then informs him that he has almost gathered the final ingredient he needs to free him. Goth informs him it must done that night before the full moon. According to Goth, the mystic vapors must be released to do it. Then Goth promises him, that and if succeeds in freeing him anything he'll ever want again will be his. Then Goth claims he will have all the power in the universe and he evilly laughs.
Alix who was spying in complete horror tries to get away. She backs away and makes noise bumping into something. Goth can see her and instructs Dean to get her. She runs back to school to look for Dr. Oliver, but according to Ms. Crenshaw she left the other day to visit another school and reach out to new minds. She tries to explain to her that Dean is possessed by an evil spirit. Then it turns out she is also and she asks her to join her goth as well and Alix runs off in terror. Everywhere she goes she finds more and more possessed people.
She runs off into the auditorium and finds Dean waiting for her there. Dean at first seems like his normal self and he is happy because she was right about how his luck was going to soon change. He is now cool, smart, popular and not getting picked on anymore. She tries to convince him to come to his senses and to resist and fight off Goth. This proves to be too late Goth's control on him is too great. Then he dismisses her as a friend and claims sooner or later she will be a follower too.
That night before the full moon, Alix follows Dean and his friends to school. She tries to run off and call the police when she sees them bringing in tons of mercuric acid. Then his friends nab her and stop her from running away. Dean has Alix dragged with them to the school basement. He tells her that apparently the school closed the pool off more than 25 years ago. There was a young girl who went mad (as in crazy) in there. The guards followed her into the pool room and she was completely out of her mind.
The room to the pool itself was closed off ever since. Finally it was going to be opened again, since he stole the key from the janitor. They now enter the pool room. Dean sets up the staff with the glowing red power jewel. Now his possessed friends begin to pour the big barrels of mercuric acid into the pool. Then he stood on the diving board and tosses in a garbage full Belladonna leaves and nightshade.
Alix intercepts and pulls the red jewel out of the snake staff. After this happened, all of his friends except him fainted because he was too powerful now. Finally the mystic vapors form and green mist fills the air. Goth finally begins to start returning. However, he has decided to try and kill Alix for her constant interference. So he begins to focus in on her. Suddenly Dean is finally freed from his brainwashing, possibly because his feelings for Alix finally freed him. These were feelings that came from straight from heart. So he just could not bear to see Goth wanting to kill his dear friend. At first he doesn't remember what is going on, then quickly he remembers again.
Dean tries to run for help, but Goth freezes him in his place and he cannot move. Goth then states he would come for him next. As goth closes on her Dean screams to her, instructing her to pour the chlorine into the pool. She pours it into the pool and it dissolves the nightshade. Then in a flashing explosion Goth is sent back to where he was. Alix asks him how he knew what to do. Dean reveals he remembered it from Ms. Crenshaw's chemistry exam, that he knew that chlorine would kill the bacteria in the organic leaves. Dean and Alix reunite and hug and become friends again and take off and head for home.
Meanwhile someone else enters the pool room. The person happens to be none other than Dr. Oliver. She apologizes to the staff because their mission failed and not to worry she placed jewels in all of the High School's she's already visited. She assures it they'll have another chance. Then she says: "And to think, when I was a young girl, they thought I was mad, ha ha ha ha ah ha ha ha". She then places another jewel into the mouth of the staff and it once again glows a gleaming red. Also there is a red cobra tattoo on her arm. She now reveals herself to be the very same crazy girl from 1966.
When the story ended, David and Eric sensed the story might one day have a sequel but it never did. Gary declares their meeting closed and puts out the campfire.
- One of eight episodes to exclude background music and show the hand with the match slide into view before it disappeared replaced by lightning and the title, rather than showing the hand with the match that lights itself.
- Matthew MacKay appeared again in the series briefly just three episodes later in "The Tale of the Prom Queen" as Ricky Mitchell.
- Jane Gilchrist who portrayed Ms. Crenshaw would reappear in the series revival as an unnamed teacher in the episode "The Tale of the Zombie Dice".
- Jamie Elman made an uncredited appearance in the episode. He would later make another uncredited appearance in the episode "The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle".
- Five years after this aired, Ross Hull co-starred with Jamie Elman as best friends Chris Sheppard and Cody Miller in the TV show Student Bodies.