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The Tale of the Walking Shadow
Season 6 , Episode 10
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Air date April 17, 1999
Written by Matthew Cope
Directed by Lorette LeBlanc
Episode guide
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The Tale of the Wisdom Glass
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The Tale of Oblivion

The Tale of the Walking Shadow is the Tenth episode of the Sixth Season of Are You Afraid of the Dark?, as well as the Seventy-Fifth episode in total.

Cast

Midnight Society Cast

Story Cast

Special Guest Star

Intro

That night, Andy, Tucker, Vange and Quinn are snacking on popcorn and drinking soda. Megan is walking around. Then she explains that people have been telling ghost stories forever. We can read about them and watch them in movies and on TV. Also we hear about them from our friends just like they do. Andy with his mouth full says he loves ghost stories. Megan tells him that everyone does, and asks him if he knows why? Quinn runs over and says because they're scary, and people like getting scared.

Megan asks him what makes them scary. Vange says that everything about them makes them scary because they're ghosts. Megan says no, there is another reason. Think about it, even though every ghost story is different, they're all really about the same thing. Tucker says "Yeah scaring people".

Megan says no, they're actually about unfinished business. All ghosts walk the earth for the same reason. Because there's something they still want to do or need to do, from when they were still alive; but didn't get the chance to. Then there's the mystery, is the ghost here to do something friendly? Or is it here to create some unspeakable evil? We never know until the ghost arrives, and that's what makes it scary!

Megan throws in the campfire dust to make the fire more intense while she submits her story for the approval of The Midnight Society. She calls her story: "The Tale of the Walking Shadow". Then she begins her story.

Story

Megan tells the story. The story is about a group of students from Greenwich High School. They are preparing to put on performances of the Shakespearean play: Macbeth. The local theater is preparing for the students to do the play. Then an elderly theater employee named Gwen is shown. She is carrying some costume pieces. When suddenly, something catches her eye. She looks scared and screams: "You! She backs away terrified. Suddenly, a longsword comes crashing down from the ceiling. The sword just misses her. Now she runs off screaming.

The story focuses on a teenager named Ross Doyle. He had a crush on Vanessa. Therefore to spend more time with her, and get to know her better he auditioned for the school play. He never thought that he would get a part. But to his surprise he did. He was in trouble, because he felt that he wasn't a much of an actor. So now he was stuck performing on stage in front of tons of people. When all he wanted was to go on a date with her. Ross meets with Vanessa at a coffee shop to discuss the play. Ross tells her about how nervous he is. Since he has never done it before. Therefore he's afraid that he might mess it up.

Vanessa gives him advice, she tells him to the best thing to do: is to just forget about acting and picture yourself actually being the character. The example she does, is the scene where Lady Macbeth thinks she sees blood on her hand. She holds out her hand and begins to focus. Then a red drop actually falls on it. Now she reacts and screams. It turns out to be just from cast member Jesse. He walked up to them and dripped ketchup on her to tease her. Jesse who is arrogant and stuck up. Jesse who got the lead of Macbeth has a crush on her as well. Vanessa is disgusted by him. She doesn't want him to try anything funny outside of the play. Their director Kim, who came with Jesse asks them to come to the theater, because they have a lot of work to do.

On stage, Jesse teases Ross about having stage fright. Also about how he shouldn't worry because he's only playing Macduff. This is an insult to him, as if to say his character isn't important enough. Vanessa tells him off, for being so stuck up and rude. Then suddenly the lights on stage flicker. Kim asks Jesse to help her bring some things inside, and for Ross and Vanessa to clean up the stage.

Vanessa encourages Ross to not feel put down by what Jesse said. Since his role is very important as well. Ross isn't too inspired. So she tries help motivate him. Vanessa rehearses the scene where Lady Macbeth sees a spot of blood on her hand. She holds her hand out and says: "And yet here's a spot! Out damned spot! Out I say!". Suddenly from nowhere a few drops of blood really do fall onto her hand. This freaks her out. Vanessa asks Ross how he did it. He claims that he didn't do it. Seeing that he laughed, she thinks that he's mocking her. Now she walks away feeling insulted.

Ross begins to whistle as he cleans the stage. This causes the lights to flicker again. Then a middle aged woman comes by. She tells him that it's bad luck to whistle on the stage. She introduces herself as the wardrobe mistress Hermione St. Claire. Ross introduces himself, and says that he's a lousy actor who is just playing Macduff. Hermione tells him that his role is very important. Ross then carries some stuff to the costume room for her. There he explains what just happened and why Vanessa got angry and left. Hermione tells him that strange things have happened many times before in this theater. Therefore people have claimed it to be haunted. Ross doesn't believe her and thinks she is joking. But she assures him that she means it. Hermione says it's haunted by a ghost whom is usually harmless. But it will go after people who disrespects the theater and its traditions.

Vanessa comes in and Ross tells her what Hermione just told him. She says that it's just a ghost story and to not let it scare him. Vanessa introduces herself and informs her that she's playing Lady Macbeth. Hermione is pleased to hear this. She informs Vanessa that she once played her as well. Hermione mentions that it will be the first time that the theater will have a performance of the play in fifty years. Ross says that they're only performing Macbeth. Hermione reacts startled and screams. She tells him that it's bad luck to mention the name of the current play in the theater. So she asks him to spin around three times and leave the room and come back in. She also warns him that it is also bad luck to leave the dressing room with his costume on. Unless it is time for the actual play.

Then as Ross leaves the room, he can hear Vanessa and Hermione laughing. So he feels unconvinced about what he was just told. So he resumes whistling. Then he spins around screaming the word Macbeth several times. Inside the costume room Vanessa expresses her concern. She tells Hermione to not tell Ross ghost stories. Because if he gets too scared, he might quit the play. Hearing this Hermione seems worried. She tells Vanessa that if he does, they won't find a replacement in time.

Ross suddenly finds the weird sisters' cauldron to be full of bubbling green slime. Inside is a vision of an actor dressed as Macbeth. His face is pale with scars on it and his eyes are bruised. He addresses him as Macduff. Then he tells him that the final battle is coming soon. Then suddenly an arm emerges and it grabs Ross' neck. Ross screams for help. When the ladies get there, he explains what happened. But the cauldron is now empty with nothing but a studded leather glove in it. Hearing this, Vanessa thinks that he is making up excuses to quit the play because he's scared. So she leaves feeling disappointed. Ross catches up with her and explains that he isn't sure what he saw. But the whole play is just creeping him out. Vanessa tells him that he's really good. So she feels that he should have gotten the lead role instead of Jesse. Ross now feels more encouraged and smiles. Now he explains the real reason he auditioned for the play was to spend more time with her. Vanessa feels pleased to hear this. So she kisses him on the cheek and she leaves.

Just before Ross leaves a green translucent ghost of Macbeth appears before him. The ghost throws a dagger. It lands into the wall right next time him. Ross is horrified as the ghost screams its head off. Addressing him as Macduff again, it asks him if he's prepared for the final battle. Then the ghost and the dagger vanish. The next day Ross meets with Vanessa and Kim. He is feeling very scared and nervous. He tells them he needs to quit the play. His excuse is that he's fallen too far behind in his school work. Kim is not pleased, because the dress rehearsal is that night. Vanessa doesn't believe him. So she madly confronts him and gets him to confess that he is just scared. Ross says that she has no idea. Seeming as if she has given up on him, she becomes disappointed in him. Then she tells that she and Kim will just find someone else.

Ross returns to the costume room to speak about the strange happenings to Hermione. However she isn't there. Gwen is and she says that only she works in the costume room. Gwen asks him if he needs any help. He replies by saying that not unless she believes in ghosts. Hearing this, she tells him that he must have met their resident theater ghost Adrian Harcombe. She explains that fifty years ago, the theater was having performances of the same play. Adrian was cast in the leading role of Macbeth. Adrian was a fine actor, and the play was going wonderfully. Then just before the final act, Adrian suddenly got terminally sick and died very suddenly.

Gwen then shows him the old advertisement poster. The poster reveals that Hermione St. Claire was cast as Lady Macbeth in that very play. Gwen also reveals that she was also Adrian's wife. Ross is shocked and asks her why Hermione didn't tell him about this. Hearing this, Gwen becomes astounded. So she it is because Hermione St. Claire has been dead for the past twenty years. Revealing that Hermione St. Claire is a ghost as well!

Ross meets with Vanessa. Then he tries to truthfully explain why he quit the play. She doesn't believe him. She still just thinks that he's making up excuses. Since he is too nervous and scared to go through with doing the play. She is very upset and disappointed in him. So she tells him to go away. The next evening, the cast members are all in costume preparing to do the dress rehearsal. Ross sits down next to Kim. He asks her who will replace him as Macduff. Kim says that she will do it. Then Ross tells her since his role is so important he's had a change of heart. So he asks her if he can come back. Kim is pleased to hear this and says yes. Also Vanessa is very pleased with him and smiles.

The dress rehearsal is going smoothly. Then just before the final act begins, a chain mail costume takes human shape. Adrian Harcombe emerges! Then in heart pounding suspense, Adrian approaches Jesse when his back is turned. Then he locks Jesse in a wardrobe. Then he takes his place and heads to the stage to do the final act. The final act begins with Macduff saying: "Turn, hellhound, turn!". No one appears. So they call for Jesse and he doesn't show up. Then slowly Adrian walks onto the stage saying: "Of all men else I have avoided thee. But get thee back. My soul is too much charged. With blood of thine already". Adrian comes off as being terrifying and menacing. So the rest of the cast run off the stage scared at the very sight of him. Ross drops his sword and is almost frozen in fear.

Then at the side of the stage, Hermione appears. She begs him to do the final act with him. Because he has waited for so long. All he wants to do his finish his performance. She begs him to help him finish the play with him. The cast members are all sitting down. Now they seem eager to watch them. Ross now realizes that Adrian isn't out to get him. But only wants to perform with him. He also realizes that this is his unfinished business. So he decides to help him do it. So as Macduff he says: "I have no words, my voice is in my sword! Thou bloodier villain. Than terms can give thee out!" Macbeth tells him "I have nothing to say to you. My sword will talk for me". They engage in an impressive and violent sword fight. Macbeth almost wins. Until Macduff stabs him (no blood). Macbeth dies from his injury and says: "Out, out, brief candle! Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player, That struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more" and collapses over and dies.

Watching from nearby Hermione is so impressed and happy for him. She is almost crying tears of joy. The stage light goes out and everyone claps their hands. Adrian bows to all the people. Then Hermione runs right into his arms giving him a big hug. They spin around three times. Then she transforms into her younger self in her old costume. While Adrian appears to look healthy again. His eyes are no longer bruised and his facial scars are gone. Vanessa is astonished by what just happened. Adrian and Hermione bow to their audience. Then Adrian thanks Ross for his help. Then Adrian and Hermione passionately kiss. Then in a flashing aura they both vanish, crossing over to the afterlife.

Later that night, afterwards Vanessa is very impressed with how well Ross did. She now understands that all Adrian wanted to do was finish the play. She mentions how amazing it was and he says it'll be a real tough act to follow. Vanessa kisses him on the lips, and he is pleased saying that'll do. She asks him if he'll stay with the play, Ross now inspired and excited tells her he certainly will and they leave together happy.

Ending

As the story ends, Megan says that Adrian finally got to finish the performance and take care of his unfinished business. Megan then says the end and ends her story. Her friends are very impressed, Andy tells her it was really good, and Quinn says that it was a great story.

Tucker then tells them speaking of unfinished business, he asks them to pay him back for the popcorn and soda he bought them. Quinn runs off quickly saying "Sorry man, I'll catch you next time..,". Vange quickly tells him she doesn't get her allowance until tomorrow and runs off quickly. Megan quickly tells him she didn't eat any and she hates soda and runs off quickly. Andy is honest and tells him that he simply has no money and quickly takes off.

Tucker is annoyed that they left him to clean up the mess all by himself. So reluctantly he begins cleaning it up. Mad and annoyed he pouts saying that being in The Midnight Society was way more fun when he wasn't the responsible one. Then he begins picking up all the pop cans and paper bags.

  • One of eleven episodes where the New Midnight Society didn't leave and douse the fire with the water-bucket (Tucker was cleaning trash).
  • Walking across the stage, Ross whistles the theme song of the show.
  • The light bulb that seems to react to Ross' actions is commonly known in the theater as a "ghost light." While considered by many a superstition and by others a practical safety measure, the ghost light is ALWAYS to remain on, even if the rest of the theater is dark. One legend of the ghost light says that its purpose is to provide light for the theater ghosts to perform their roles (theater ghosts are often said to have been actors). Allowing the ghosts space and light to perform is said to appease them and prevent them from cursing running productions.
  • This was the second time that Jay Baruchel, who portrayed Ross Doyle, appeared in the series revival. Also the third time he appeared in the entire series. He first appeared in the original series episode, "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" as Joe. Previously before this episode he made his second appearance in the episode "The Tale of the Zombie Dice" as Alex. Then he made his fourth and final appearance in the episode "The Tale of the Time Trap" as Jason Midas.
  • Jay Baruchel also co-starred with Elisha Cuthbert and Vanessa Lengies in the children's show Popular Mechanics for Kids.
  • This was the first time Sheena Larkin, who portrayed Hermione St. Clair appeared in the series revival. Also her fourth appearance in the series all together. She first appeared in the original series as Nanny in "The Tale of the Lonely Ghost". The second time She reappeared as Boss Hag in "The Tale of Watcher's Woods". Next she appeared as Sara Simpson in "The Tale of the Room for Rent". Then she made her final appearance in the three-part Season 7 premiere "The Tale of the Silver Sight" as Grandma Aggie.
  • Babs Gadbois who portrayed Gwen, previously appeared in the original series episodes "The Tale of Watcher's Woods" as The Bow Hag and "The Tale of the Mystical Mirror" as Old Ms. Valenti.
  • Sheena Larkin & Babs Gadbois, who portray Hermione St. Clair & Gwen, previously appeared together in the original series episode "The Tale of Watcher's Woods" as Boss Hag and The Bow Hag.
  • Marcel Jeannin who portrayed Adrian, had previously appeared in the original series. He first appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Dead Man's Float" as The Corpse.
  • Heidi Burbela who portrayed Kim. previously appeared before in the original series. She first appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner, as Hooper Picalarro.
  • Kathryn Long also appeared in the Goosebumps TV series as Carly Beth Caldwell in "The Haunted Mask", as well as "The Haunted Mask II".
  • When Tucker cleans the mess left by the rest of group he utters, "This was way more fun when I wasn't the responsible one," referencing his growth from earlier seasons into the leader figure his brother Gary once was.

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