Are You Afraid of the Dark Wiki
The Tale of the Vacant Lot
Season 5 , Episode 9
Air date January 20, 1996
Written by Gerald Wexler
Directed by Lorette LeBlanc
Episode guide
The Tale of the Unexpected Visitor
The Tale of a Door Unlocked

The Tale of the Vacant Lot is the ninth episode of the Fifth season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Sixty-first episode in total.


Midnight Society Cast[]

Story Cast[]

  • Jean Marie Barnwell as Catherine Crawley
  • Erin Hicock as Marie
  • Aloka McLean as Joyce Crawley
  • Erin Simms as Sue Simpson
  • Andrew Walker as Eric
  • Gillian Ferrabee as The Track Coach
  • Emily Hampshire as Heather
  • Rachel Naimi as the Girl who bought tickets with Sue
  • Jude Beny as Mrs. Crawley


That night, Kiki has organized a little show and tell. She and everyone else is showing an item that is very special to them. Gary goes first, he has an autographed picture of Harry Houdini. Sam shows them a valuable bracelet that belonged to her Great Grandmother. Tucker shows them a rare Hank Aaron rookie card. Betty Ann shows them an old book of hers. It is "The poems of Edgar Allan Poe" written in the 1800s. Stig's turn comes up and nervously he says he didn't bring anything.

Gary asks him why not, he defensively says that he just didn't and he feels that this is lame, which turns them all off by his rudeness. Betty Ann asks Kiki what she brought. She brought an old snow globe. Tucker rudely asks her what is special about it. She says her father gave it to her when she was two, and it's been near her bed ever since. She asked them all to bring the most valuable thing they owned. Tucker rudely again says that the snow globe isn't worth anything. In her defense Kiki tells him that it might not be valuable to him, but there are different kinds of value.

Kiki then asks them all if they would ever trade their prized possession and defensively they all say no. Tucker says it would depend on what he was trading it for. Kiki asks him what if he was trading for his love. Hearing this Tucker gets serious and silent. Kiki explains that everything has value and everything has a price. Kiki says in her story, you have to make sure that the price you pay, doesn't turn out to be more than you bargained for. Hearing this her friends look intrigued and curious.

Kiki throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while she submits her story for approval of The Midnight Society. She calls her story. "The Tale of the Vacant Lot", and begins her story.


Kiki, tells the story. It begins during girls track team tryouts. A pretty young brunette teenager named Sue Simpson has just done an incredible long jump. Now the coach compliments her on a job well done. Next Sue's best friend Catherine Crawley takes her turn to do one. But she doesn't jump very far, falling face first in the sand. The coach helps her up and tells her to keep on trying. Sue tells her nice try and she'll get it next time. Catherine who doubts her plain average self, is discouraged to find out she made it number 4 out 5 on the long jump. Catherine's little sister Joyce gives her encouragement. She tells Catherine that she can still make the team, and long jump is just not her thing.

Then on the way out, the boys soccer team is practicing. Then a handsome team player named: Eric (whom Catherine has a crush on) accidentally kicks the ball at her. He apologizes and she throws it back to him. Then on the way home, Catherine is tutoring Joyce with geography questions. Which she is having a lot of trouble with. Joyce suddenly remembers she forgot her books at school. So she runs back to get them, telling Catherine she will meet her at home.

Suddenly, the sky turns gray and a powerful windstorm begins. It blows off Catherine's hat. She runs after it to a nearby vacant lot. Then much to her surprise, the vacant lot now has an outdoor store. One that has appeared from nowhere. Catherine, curious and intrigued goes inside to look around. She is greeted by the store owner. The woman is wearing black robes and a masked hood almost like a ninja (although she isn't). The store owner, tells her she can have whatever she wants. Catherine is nervous and about to leave, when the store owner offers her a special pair of running shoes. She introduces herself as Marie. Then she tells Catherine that she knows what it feels like to be average. So she wants to help her.

Looking at the shoes, Catherine considers it, but tells her she has no money. Marie offers a trade: she has a collection of beautiful valuable rings that she wears on her hands. Catherine is repulsed and turned off by Marie's disfigured, scab and rash covered hands. Catherine, says she can't bare to give it away. This is because it was a gift from her grandfather. Marie instead asks for something that means nothing to her. Catherine has no clue what it could be. So Marie says since it has no value she won't even miss it. Marie encourages her that she'll be the best runner with the shoes on. Catherine agrees and slowly takes them. Then a gust of wind blows with Marie laughing. Next thing she knows, the store is gone.

The next day, Catherine, does indeed run better and faster than everyone else. She makes it to first place. The coach is so impressed with her, she even considers making her the team captain. Sue compliments her on a job well done. Now she asks her how she improved so soon. Catherine seems pleasant at first. Then suddenly, her attitude becomes nasty. So she insults and talks down to Sue. She rudely tells Sue that she's fast and she's slow. Then she tells Sue she isn't as special as she thought. Then she coldly leaves with Sue feeling insulted.

When Catherine and Joyce get home, she agrees to help Joyce with her homework. Then looking in the mirror, she notices a brown lesion on her right cheek. She is startled and screams, getting Joyce's attention who asks her what's wrong. She asks Joyce if she can see the lesion on her face. Joyce has no idea what she means, because it appears to be gone. Catherine then shakes it off thinking it was just her imagination.

The next day at School, Catherine is getting stuff from her locker. Then she accidentally bumps her locker door into Eric who is passing by. Eric is fine, commenting that they keep running into each other. Also he mentions he saw her running the other day, and compliments on how good she is. He tells they will see a lot of each other out there. Since he's on the soccer team. Eric isn't officially dating anyone and Catherine is just about to ask him out. Then Heather, comes by. She asks him if they're still on for tonight. He smiles saying absolutely. They leave with Heather giving Catherine a look as if to say: "He's mine - back off!

Catherine feeling bad about herself, runs over to the vacant lot. Fortunately the store is back again. Marie greets her telling her that she hopes she will find what she wants, and it's all free. Marie aggressively grabs Catherine by the wrist. She tells her that she still wants the ring. Catherine says no, because it means too much to her. Also she never even takes it off. Marie once again says that she'll just take something that means nothing to her. Catherine thinking it over for a few seconds, is confused by what Marie means. She claims she didn't take anything before. Marie tells her: Oh you think so. Then she asks her if they shall make the trade. Catherine shakes her head nodding. Then a little gust of wind blows as Marie is laughing. The store disappears again. Catherine is now dressed in beautiful expensive clothing.

Later that evening, Catherine is helping Joyce with her homework. She is patient at first having Joyce try her best guessing the answers. Suddenly Catherine becomes mean and nasty. So she tells her that she's just stupid. So she's tutoring an idiot. Then she tells her to help herself and leave her alone; Joyce seems very hurt and upset. She can hear Marie laughing in the background. Now in her mirrors reflection she is covered with lesions and rashes all over face. After seeing this she smashes her mirror and ignores it.

The next day at school, Catherine meets Sue and another girl. Sue although insulted by her the other day, doesn't seem to be mad at her. They are excited, because they're going to buy tickets from Sue's other friend for a concert. They are for a band called "The Blasters". Which is sold out now. Catherine is disappointed hearing they can only get two tickets. She decides to be nice and fair. So she tells them to go and have fun without her. She is about to apologize to Sue, when Marie appears in the hallway. Seeing Marie, she says never mind and runs off.

She goes to the bathroom to look in the mirror. She has to make sure the lesion isn't back again (it isn't). Marie appears telling her she can give her anything she wants. Then gives Catherine a free makeover and does her hair. Marie then takes off her face mask. She shows Catherine that the bottom of her face is covered in rashes, sores, lesions and scabs. Marie warns her that she was once beautiful too. Seeing this Catherine backs away scared. She begins to realize that the same thing might happen to her too! Marie offers her two last tickets to The Blasters for free. Catherine, knowing she's had enough stuff and that her friends wanted them first, abruptly tells her no. And then runs off.

Running away and not looking, she bumps into Eric again. Eric says it's third time they've bumped into each other. Now he tells her that he likes how she seems to be wherever he turns now. Hearing this Catherine smiles and realizes he does like her. Giving it a thought, the two Tickets appear in her hand. She asks Eric to go with her to the concert. He is thrilled and gratefully accepts to go with her. That night, getting ready for the date, she complains that she has nothing to wear. Joyce tells her that what she is already wearing looks fine. Catherine rudely tells her that Eric has already seen her in it. Suddenly Catherine decides to go to the vacant lot again. When asked where she is going she rudely tells Joyce to mind her own business.

Joyce follows Catherine to store. Then she watches Catherine quickly grabs a handful of clothing for free. She asks Marie if she wants to make a trade. Marie tells her there is no need. Because she is about to get exactly what she wants. Back at home Catherine is now dressed very nicely. Then Joyce comes in, she rudely tells her to knock first. Looking at Joyce, she is now wearing expensive and valuable clothing too! Also she has had both a makeover and her hair done. Joyce is now nasty, cold and unpleasant too. She snaps at Catherine, telling her that she knows all about Marie: The mysterious woman who gives her free stuff. So now it's her turn to get what she wants too.

Worried, Catherine tells her it's not free and to give it back. Joyce tells her she always has and always will be selfish. So now it's her turn to get what she wants too. Then she tells her to enjoy her date. In the background Marie can be heard laughing again. She turns her cracked mirror around and looks at it. Marie appears, and asks her if she have everything she wants now. Marie says that she know that she sure does now. Suddenly Marie disappears saying that everything comes with a price. Now Catherine's face and hands break out into to a huge rash, with big painful lesions, sores and blisters. Her mom tells her Eric has arrived. So she calls down saying she isn't ready yet. She runs into Joyce's bedroom and finds her crying. The same thing has just happened to Joyce too. It seems that Joyce took far too much from Marie too soon!

Catherine runs back to the store at the vacant lot. Now she tries to return everything. She calls out that she just wants everything to be like it was before. Marie now unmasked comes out saying it's too late, to Catherine's surprise Marie is beautiful again. Her face and hands look like polished marble now. She asks Marie what happened, Marie tells Catherine that she went through the same thing that she did when she was a teenager. She wasn't happy with who she was either. Then out of nowhere she found this store. It had a strange masked woman who gave her everything she wanted: for a price. She didn't know what she was giving up until it was too late. Since she kept ignored the warning signs when she looked at herself in the mirror. Since mirrors never lie.

Confused she tells Marie, that she claimed that she just wanted things that didn't mean anything to her. Marie tells her she wanted the one thing Catherine thought had no value and she got it: she took her love! Now Catherine has been cursed by her own greed. Now all Catherine has to do, is to run the stall and find a greedy girl who feels sorry for herself and to simply give her everything she wants. Eventually that girl will unwillingly give Catherine her love in exchange. Catherine asks her to spare Joyce, feeling that she deserves this but Joyce does not. She offers Marie her ring in exchange for Joyce being spared. Marie promises to spare her. Then she laughs feeling victorious and smugly accepts the ring that she's been wanting all along. However, after putting the ring on, suddenly the curse returns to her and comes back with a vengeance! Marie gets cursed by her own greed again.....and far worse than before. Now her hands and face are disfigured again worse than before! Suddenly the wind blows Marie away as she wails in despair over being ugly again, along with the whole store.

Catherine decided to give up her most prized possession, in a selfless act to save her sister. While Marie, who is nothing more than truly selfish and greedy, still wanted more despite having everything she needed. These acts were more than enough to lift the curse on Catherine and her sister and return it to Marie. Joyce runs back to her sister and they're both back to normal. She tells her that Marie is gone. Since she was too greedy and wanted far too much. All she wants now are only the things that matter. Finding her ring on the ground, she decides to give it to Joyce as a sign of love. When they get home Eric is still waiting for her, and she apologizes for being so late. Then she tells him she lost the tickets, but Eric isn't mad at all. He just wants to get to know her and they hold hands and go for a walk.


Kiki playing with her snow globe happily smiles and says the end. Gary declares their meeting closed and puts out the campfire. Everyone heads for home, Betty Ann leaves with Kiki, and Gary Leaves with Sam asking her if she enjoyed the story. Stig is about to leave when Tucker asks him why he didn't bring anything. Defensively once again he tells he that he just didn't. Tucker tells him that he said he was going to. Feeling disappointed he said that everyone else brought really cool stuff, and his was so stupid he didn't bother showing it.

Tucker curious asks what is is, Stig asks him not to laugh and shows him a picture of his pet goldfish and says name is Moby. Seeing this Tucker thinks it's hilarious that his most valuable thing is nothing more than a fish. Stig says not to tell them because they might think he's a geek. Then Tucker laughs and yells "Hey guys, wait till you see this" and runs off to show them. Stig is really mad says that he's dead and runs after him.

  • Kiki's last story.
  • Ross Hull later co-starred with Erin Simms as Chris Sheppard and Morgan McKnight in the TV show Student Bodies.
  • Andrew Walker who portrayed Eric, would later appeared in the show again in the series revival. He next appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Secret Admirer" as Bucky.
  • Emily Hampshire who portrayed Eric's date Heather, previously appeared in the show before. She first appeared in the episode "The Tale of Cutter's Treasure" as Sandy Campbell.
  • This episode is a loose adaptation of the poem The Goblin's Market by Christina Rossetti
  • This is the first episode directed by Lorette Leblanc, who previously only directed some Midnight Society segments.