The Tale of the Twisted Claw
Season 1, Episode 4
Air date October 31, 1990 (Halloween special in Canada)
October 25, 1991 (Halloween special in the USA)
September 12, 1992 in season order (USA)
Written by Chloe Brown
Directed by D.J. MacHale
Episode guide
The Tale of the Lonely Ghost
The Tale of the Hungry Hounds
The Tale of the Twisted Claw is the Fourth episode of the First season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Fourth episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast


The show begins with one of Eric's stories. Tony a young boy encounters a black hooded creature in his dreams. He wakes up, thinking it is gone, only to find it right next to his bed screaming in terror. followed by Kristen and Kiki screaming feeling terrified. Betty Ann though still excited asks Eric what happens next, Eric at this point leaves it at a cliffhanger because he can't think of what will happen next yet and saves it for another meeting. Gary announce that it's almost lights out and there hasn't been a full story yet and a meeting should not be called unless one can't think up a whole story. David intervenes and tells his own, titling it "The Tale of the Twisted Claw".


David tells the story, it is the night before Halloween, and Kevin and Dougie spray shaving cream in the face of Miss Clove that is allegedly a witch. She then backs into an expensive-looking vase, which breaks on the hardwood floor, and the two boys run away. The woman then walks out onto the porch and removes her shaving cream covered glasses, looking very angry. But soon, a mischievous smile crosses her face and she cackles crazily. Then they cut to Dougie in a mask, vying for his father's attention, pretending to choke. Then the doorbell rings, and Kevin enters the house in his hobo costume.

Dougie then complains that he's a bum every year, and Kevin shrugs and says, "I get the same candy." Dougie's mother then shoos them out of the house as some young trick-or-treaters enter the room, and Kevin jokes, "Some of the candy's poisoned this year!" and after, they proceed through the neighborhood to trick-or-treat. Then it shows Kevin and Dougie walking down the street, and Dougie complains that he wants to go home. Soon, they pass Miss Clove's house, and Kevin decides to Trick-or-Treat there, proving his bravery. Eventually, he persuades Dougie to go, and they come to her doorstep. She then happily invites them into her home. Miss Clove compliments their costumes, and Dougie tries to get out as fast as she can, but first she says she has a special treat for her first and only trick-or-treaters of the night. While she is out of the room, getting her gift, Dougie notices that she hadn't yet cleaned up the urn she had knocked over last night. Miss Clove then walks in with a box, and opens it before the boys. The box plays a short tune, and Miss Clove explains that it is a vulture's claw. When Kevin shows disgust at this, Miss Clove says that it is just a wooden carving that is charmed, and whoever has it will receive three wishes.

While Dougie tries to decline line the present, Miss Clove won't take no for an answer, and Dougie reluctantly takes the carving out of the box, and Miss Clove warns them, "Be careful what you wish for! You just might get it." It then cuts to Dougie and Kevin walking away, and Kevin jokingly mocks Miss Clove, who's just a crazy old lady. Dougie wishes that they could stop trick-or-treating and go home, but is startled when the Twisted Claw moves, and Kevin tells him that it was probably just his imagination. After that, it cuts to the two walking in a downtown area, where they find a gang of masked teenagers in an empty lot sitting around a fire. Another member of the gang pushes them towards the others, and they begin threatening them. When one of the teenagers grabs Kevin's candy, he fights to get it back only to push him into his bike and run away. The teenagers chase them on their bikes, and as they pass a bench, it is revealed that Dougie and Kevin were hiding in trashcans behind the bench. Kevin then tells Dougie that he got his wish, and starts to walk home.

Then the story transitions to a school corridor, with Dougie pawing through his locker. Kevin then walks up and teases Kevin with the Twisted Claw. A girl then hands him a flyer, and he's going to use that to beat Bostick in the 600-yard race during field day. He then makes his wish, and the claw moves in his hand. He shouts, but Dougie told him that it wasn't just his imagination, but Kevin care. After, it shows the gym teacher shouting through a megaphone for racers to take their positions for the 600. Soon, the racers take their positions, and Bostick wishes Kevin luck. Then, the race begins, and Bostick is in the lead, but Dougie is eagerly rooting for Kevin on the sidelines. Kevin soon catches up to Bostick, and they are neck and neck. Dougie then glances back at a tree in the distance, and an eerie growling arises. Soon, a black German Shepherd comes darting out from behind a tree, and runs in front of Bostick, making him trip. Bostick falls down hard on his knee tumbling in circles.

Kevin then happily jumps over him and crosses the finish line, winning the race by default. Kevin then runs to Dougie and rants on and on about how he won, and Dougie tries to explain that it was the black dog, but it has disappeared. Then the Gym Teacher calls an ambulance for Bostick, because he may have broken his leg from the knee down. Bostick lies on the ground  clutching his leg while crying out in pain. Then it is explained by David that that night, Dougie's parents went out to dinner, and Kevin came over with his medal for winning the 600. Dougie then starts to stress over the Twisted Claw's power, and Kevin tells him to get over it. Dougie suggests to return it to Miss Clove and tell his parents, but in a fit of rage, Kevin grabs the claw, and wishes that he'd just lose his folks. The claw moves in his hand, and Dougie goes into shock. He yelled that Kevin made a wish of losing his parents, and then the phone rings. Dougie answers it, and it's the police, informing him that his parents got into an accident and are in the hospital. He throws the phone to the ground, breaking it, yells at Kevin, picks up the claw, and wishes for his wise grandfather to be around.

The claw twitches, and he throws it across the room. Kevin then remembered that Dougie's grandfather was dead, and a car pulls up to the house. Dougie exclaims that it's his grandfather's car, and Kevin becomes very afraid. He runs for the claw, preparing to make a wish, but Dougie tramples him, knocks it from his hand, and exclaims that it would just turn bad, and that his grandfather may just be a skeleton. Kevin still tries to get the claw back, when the doorbell rings. Kevin grabs the claw, gives it to Dougie, and tells him to wish it away. He wishes that had never broken Miss Clove's vase and apologize for doing so, and the claw disappears. The doorbell rings, and Kevin urges Dougie not to answer it, but he does anyway. Kevin dashes under the table as Dougie goes for the door. He quickly turns the doorknob, and standing there are his parents, who come inside.

His mother explains that they left their keys, and his father says hello to Kevin. Dougie then hugs his parents, and his mother goes to get some ice cream. Dougie and Kevin look at each other in shock and outside, where Dougie's grandfather's car is gone. They rush to the phone, which lays neatly on the table in one piece. Kevin looks in his pockets, and his 600 medal is gone. Then, the doorbell rings once more, and they go to answer it. Sitting on the doorstep is the vase, all fixed, with a note on top, which says "trick or treat".


Then as David ends his story, it cuts to Miss Clove's house, with the door and gate open,while the wind is blowing and the cackling of Miss Clove in the background. Both the door and the gate close by themselves. As David ends his story, his friends look to his impressed with astonishment. Betty Ann and Eric smile and Gary declares officially closed and he tells them "Until next time, pleasant dreams everyone." Then Gary puts out the campfire with the red water bucket.

  • One of five episodes to feature a different opening (a door appearing against a sky backdrop opening into a dark area with ghostly images rushing by to form the title).
  • One of two episodes to open in a storytelling rather than at the fire, and the only one where the story was never finished and didn't have anything to do with the main story (Eric was telling a cliffhanger before David told "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" for the night's full story).
  • 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 them packing).
  • Noah Plener is the brother of Benjamin Plener and Benjamin Plener appeared in the episode "The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun" as Jake Joysen and in the series revival's episode "The Tale of Highway 13" as Justin.
  • Noah Plener later reappeared in the season 2 episode "The Tale of the Magician's Assistant" as Todd Marker.
  • Jason Tremblay who played the school's top athlete Bostick also played Denny Crocker in "The Tale of the Phantom Cab"
  • Linda Smith who played Mrs. Freeman also portrayed Mrs. Diane Tyler in the series revival's episode "The Tale of the Stone Maiden"
  • Gordon Masten who portrayed the Gym Teacher, also made a portrayal years later in the series revival in the episode "The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets" as Mr. Collins.
  • Ann Page is the wife of Aron Tager, who portrayed Zeebo & Dr. Vink.
  • At the beginning of the episode, when David announces he has a complete story, Kristen states that it has been a while since David told a story. David actually told the story in the previous episode, The Tale of the Lonely Ghost.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.