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The Tale of the Super Specs
Season 1 , Episode 6
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Air date September 26, 1992
Written by Chloe Brown
Directed by Ron Oliver
Episode guide
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The Tale of the Hungry Hounds
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The Tale of the Captured Souls

The Tale of the Super Specs is the Sixth episode of the First season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Sixth episode in total.

Cast

Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast

Intro

The episode begins with Kristen visiting Gary in his dad's magic shop. He scares her into thinking he cut off his left index finger with a mini guillotine. Kristen screams in horror. Then he laughs it off, telling her that the shop is where he gets most of his ideas to tell his stories. Such as a pair of super specs. Kristen informs him that his previous stories (ones said off screen) haven't been very scary lately. But he assures her, that he is full of surprises.

That evening at the midnight society's meeting. Eric complains that Gary is slipping. Betty Ann claims Gary has told some of the best stories. Kiki waking backwards complains she doesn't know when the last time Gary really scared her was. Ironically, she bumps right into Gary and he gives her a startling scare. Eric and Kiki confront Gary and complain to him about how unscary his stories (the ones told off screen) have been lately. Gary informs them all that David cannot make it, because he is sick.

Then he takes the seat and convinces them all to give him the benefit of a doubt for the evening. He takes the storyteller's seat. Then he tells them all the story he is about to tell. It is about three kinds of people: 

  1. People who believe in magic
  2. People who don't believe in magic
  3. People who shouldn't. 

Gary throws in a handful of non dairy creamer campfire dust. This is to make the fire more intense while he submits his story for the approval of The Midnight Society. He calls his story "The Tale of the Super Specs" and begins his story.

Story

Gary tells the story. It is about a young teenager nicknamed Weeds. Weeds loved playing magic and pulling pranks on people. And since April Fools' Day was coming, he had to get ready to go all out. So he happily got himself a bag of magic dust. One that is supposedly made from crushed monkey bones. The dust was supposedly called the Dust of Denderon.

His girlfriend Marybeth wasn't too impressed. She thought they were going to the movies, and not to a childish magic store. Weeds then chants a random incantation. Then he sprinkles some of the dust in the air. Marybeth coughs and looks annoyed. They are unaware that the dust landed onto a bunch of sunglasses.

The sunglasses have a holographic chrome lens on them. Along with a black spot in the middle of each lens. They gleam and glow when the magic dust has landed onto them. Completely unaware anything happened, Weeds claims it was just random. Now Marybeth is annoyed and she begins to question his commitment to their relationship, because of his lack of maturity.

Then they're greeted by the magic shopkeeper Sardo. He wants them to leave the shop, if they're not going to buy anything else.

After Weeds calls him Mr. Sardo, he corrects Weeds that his name is just Sardo no Mr. and accent on the Do. Weeds decides to buy the magic powder to be prepared for April's fools' day the next day. 

Also he notices the unique sunglasses and puts a pair on. Sardo boasts and bluffs that he has sold hundreds and thousands of them to trick them into buying a pair.

He lies and says they're super specs and that they give the person X-ray vision. Weeds is either convinced or just likes them and decides to buy a pair. Marybeth tries them on. Then suddenly, she can see a person in clad dark tights, along with a dark mask covering his entire face.

She is shocked to see it. Then after she takes them off, the dark being is gone. Weeds thinking that Sardo has her going a little wacko, gives her a sweet kiss on the cheek goodbye.

The next day at outdoor Lunchtime at school, Weeds is fiddling with more spells. First he places one on a girl's yogurt. The girls Patty and Katherine lecture him about pulling stunts on them. He lies saying it's just kids' stuff. Then after seeing nothing is happening when the girl eats her yogurt, he thinks he got ripped off on the magic dust. However after he leaves, he doesn't realizes the magic trick has worked. So now the girl has a very high pitched chipmunk voice.

Next Weeds waits around the corner while wearing the super specs. He is waiting for his classmate Mark to open his locker. When Mark opens it he gets hit in the face with punching gloves. The classmate asks him what the sunglasses are and Marybeth informs him they're super specs. And they are designed to make even Weeds look cool. Marybeth put's them on again. Now she can see a mysterious Dark Lady. This lady is entirely dressed in black. Then when she take off the specs; she is gone.

Weeds thinks she is going all out trying to prank people on April Fools' Day and doesn't not believe her. She puts the specs on again and sees the Dark Lady again. This time standing near a tree. Weeds still does not believe her. Since he doesn't see anything when putting on the specs. Marybeth puts them on again this time the Dark Lady's hand gestures her to come over to her. Marybeth screams in terror and throws the specs in the trash and storms off.

Next Weeds and Mark are playing basketball. Now Mark bets him if he misses the last shot Weeds will buy Mark a soda. Weeds sprinkles magic powder on the ball and says some incantation. Mark is puzzled about what he is doing, and Weeds misses the baskets losing the game and having to buy Mark two sodas. Then on their way out, weeds throws the ball backwards making an instant basket. The two think it might be magic, but they dismiss it and say nah!

Next after school Marybeth is walking and talking with Katherine. She explains all about seeing the dark dressed beings, and the woman who appears whenever she puts on the glasses. She asks if it might just be a joke Weeds is playing. Then she is shocked to realize the specs are back in her purse, when she purposely throw them out earlier that day.

Marybeth goes over to Sardo's magic shop to return the specs. She drops them through the book depository return slip on the front door. However, when she gets home once again the specs have mysteriously returned to her. They were right in her backpack this time. She picks them up and places them onto the counter. Now she backs away from them in fear.

Marybeth puts them on again. Now on her stove top appears a golden tea kettle. It is letting out boiling steam. When she removes the specs it is gone in an instant. She put them back on and she can see it again. However after getting a closer look up close, she notices that the kettle is slightly translucent. So it can slightly been seen right through. So when she waves her hand across it. Her hand goes right through it.

As she makes her way around her house, she can still see and hears things. These things are only visible while she is wearing the super specs. Such as a fire burning in the actual empty fireplace. When she gets to the kitchen she sees the Dark Lady again. She is terrified and asked her who she is. The woman just points and suddenly more dark beings begin to appear. They proceed to walk over to her. She screams in terror and takes off the specs. Then Rhey all vanish. Then they reappear every time she puts the super specs back on. So she runs away terrified.

Back at the Clearing

Frank remarks with an attitude saying that Marybeth should have just burned the specs or throw them out. Betty Ann questions on whether or not the apparitions were really there. Gary says that all the Marybeth knew was that she could only see them, when wearing the super specs. Kiki eagerly asks Gary what Marybeth was going to do. Gary says Marybeth could do the only thing she could think off: Look for Weeds and ask him to do.

Back to the Story

Gary continues the story. We see Marybeth has found Weeds and runs over to completely terrified. Weeds is once again playing basketball with Mark and she tries to explain to him once again about the dark beings who appear whenever she puts on the specs. Then as she puts them on again about six of them appear. Also they are playing basketball with a solid black basketball. They appeared to be coming forward to her. Then she began to scream in fear and ran off for her very life. Weeds with concern calls to Marybeth "what's your problem?" but she didn't come back.

Next Marybeth went to find Sardo at his shop referring to him as Mr. Sardo. She is about to leave when she hears him correct the way to say his name and let's her in. With Sardo's help they find out Weeds accidentally cast the spell of second sight onto the set's of super specs that are enabling the people who wear them to see beings living on earth from another dimension.

Sardo explains that apparently there are always different beings living on earth among humans but we never see them because they live in alternate dimensions. Also the spell that was cast onto the super specs, also opened a window in her house. One that has allowed beings from a parallel universe to crossover and enter the real world. Some of the these living beings are good and some may be evil and the evil ones may attempt to dangerously take over. Therefore the enchanted super specs are the only thing that can enable someone to see what is happening.

Sardo agrees to try and help counter the spell, but he has no more Dust of Denderon. Since he sold the last pouch of it to Weeds who is just about to flush it down a toilet thinking it's a rip-off. Since he doesn't think it works, but she stops him just in time. Sardo uses a crystal ball and says a magical chant. Finally after tossing in some of the magic dust the room gets dark. Then the crystal ball begins glowing.

When she puts the specs back on again, she is terrified. Now she sees dozens of dark beings standing everywhere. Finally they can be seen even without wearing the specs. So now it keeps getting worse. Sardo however isn't a very experienced magician. He attempts to finish the spell to close the window and send them all back. Then The Dark Lady appears again. She now appears in her true form. Which is a powerful phantom. Then she intercepts them and switches the spell onto them and their world instead. This is because apparently they tampered with the cosmic seal. And two universes can't exist on the same plane. In order to restore balance, she decided to close off their universe.

Then suddenly all seemed to be normal, in what appeared to be the inside of Marybeth's house. However it was not her house. It was the house of a girl named Arlene. From the parallel universe, of the dark earth. She and a alternate form of Weeds appeared. Arlene asks if the ghosts (referring to normal humans) are gone. The Dark Lady appears and pulls down her hood. Then in a very sinister deep voice while laughing, she explains that Arlene also tampered with magic. So she opened a window. to the the light Earth's universe. The Dark Lady boasts that she luckily got rid of them. And the funny thing was they were trying to get rid of them too.

The alternate Weeds then asked if they were gone for good. The Dark Lady shows them that Marybeth, Weeds and Sardo's world are now trapped in darkness within her crystal ball. Then says they won't be bothering them anymore. As Weeds, Marybeth and Sardo are all heard crying for help.

Ending

When the story ends everyone is very impressed with Gary's new story. Kiki in shock says " Oh man!" Eric says in shock "No way!". Betty Ann says Excellent! Kristen says "So two universes were fighting for the same space, and the other universe won?" Gary says " exactly because the woman in black was powerful and Sardo was a fake. Gary gives Frank, Eric, Betty Ann and Kiki all sunglasses like the super specs. Then they see a person all dressed in black just like in Gary's story and Frank, Eric, Betty Ann and and Kiki all run off screaming. Then Kristen tells Gary and I guess your story was scary. The guy in black is revealed to be David in disguise playing an April Fools' day joke with Gary and Kristen.

  • This episode marked the first time Gary told a story (on screen).
  • This is the only episode where one member (David) was absent from the storytelling.
  • This is the only episode to have a scene before the introduction (Gary and Kristen are at his dad's magic shop before the group is shown at the campfire site in the woods).
  • This episode marks the first appearance of Sardo. His next appearance would be in the episode "The Tale of the Dark Dragon".
  • This is the first episode to mark the first appearance of the opening that was to be used throughout the remainder of the series (shots of a moored boat, a moving playground swing, a house and attic, during a storm, a door threatening to start opening, and a hand holding a match). This was also the first of eight 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.
  • One of twenty-one episodes where the Midnight Society didn't leave and douse the fire with the water-bucket (the last shot was of Gary, Kristen, and David shaking hands).
  • In the episode, Rachell Glait who played The Dark Lady/Phantom would appear later in the season 4 episode "The Tale of the Long Ago Locket" as Mrs. Ritter.
  • Eugene Byrd, who appeared in this episode was previously a recurring cast member on Sesame Street as Jelani during the early 90s.

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