The gang scoffs when Sam states her story is around love, till she describes that love is scary. That what people live for...and periodically what they die for.

You are watching: Are you afraid of the dark the tale of the dream girl

Teenage siblings Erica and also Johnny occupational at the local bowling alley, yet everyone there acts prefer Johnny doesn’t exist. As soon as he put on a promise ring the he finds in his occupational locker, it i will not ~ come off. The night, he dreams of a beautiful teenage girl. That sees the girl in ~ the bowling alley the next day, then receives a love letter native her, signed by Donna Maitland. Johnny meets Donna at the bowling alley cafe at midnight, once the mysterious “night shift” is working. She asks him to come v her, but when he hesitates she explains it’s too late. As soon as Johnny gets home, Erica mirrors him a newspaper clipping around Donna’s death in a car accident that taken place when she to be out through her boyfriend. Currently terrified that a ghost is ~ him, Johnny decides to visit Donna’s grave to return her ring. Erica goes v him and also tries to define that Donna’s not after the ring. Eventually, Johnny realizes the Donna to be his girlfriend and they both died in the accident. Johnny and also Erica share a tearful goodbye and also he gives her the ring before leaving v Donna.

Sam states Erica would constantly miss Johnny, however felt far better knowing he to be happy in ~ last v the girl the his dreams.


T: Kiki crushes Tucker at eight wrestling. Ns love that he thinks he deserve to take her. I doubt Frank can beat her.

E: Tucker is super cocky however in the young, spunky method that’s not yet obnoxious (he’ll get there in a few years despite if that doesn’t inspect himself). And also Kiki could probably absent a ninja’s ass.

T: Kiki and also Tucker scoff at love. Yet Sam to know love is part scary shit. This right skirts eye rolling territory to become a hard Midnight culture story setup.

E: i was ready to throw in the towel on this ep because that a second, but Sam’s “love is scary” speech carries some severe adult truth.

T: just the idea of an ~ school project at a bowling alley is fun. It’s no something you’d think of best away, however it renders sense. Human being do work-related at them.

E: LOL. Ns mean, someone has actually to. It also works nicely v the mid-century vibe that this episode, yet we’ll get to that.

T: In numerous ways, the episode’s success or fail rests top top Johnny and Erica’s relationship. You need to feel because that both that them and also root for them, also if girlfriend don’t know their partnership is the center. Gibbs Fab Filippo and Andrea Nemeth look choose siblings and also pull off an excellent performances. Andrea Nemeth only showed up in a couple of other shows, her last being the original Scary Movie. Fab Filippo walk a 3 episode arc on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and also ten illustration of Queer as Folk. He continues to perform, largely on Canadian TV. And also just so friend know, Fab is short for Fabrizio.

E: hang on a sec. You’re telling me his actual name is Fabrizio Filippo?? Damn. And I uncovered both the them quite likable. They’re basically Canadian versions of Jason Priestly and America Ferrera. Canada Ferrera, if friend will.

T: after ~ gushing around them, I have actually to allude out the Johnny directly up sits on Erica’s head. I don’t recognize if the was planned or just weird blocking, yet it’s a an excellent moment.

E: Considering he is a ghost, it kind of works.

T: The dream strobe result is so weird. However I think the works? The strobe is favor this lightsaber special beam that slides across the screen. I can’t think of ever before seeing it choose that almost everywhere else.

E: Same, though ns wonder if they were trying to capture some Poltergeist energy? that not rather at that level, yet I still destruction it.

T: Erica’s bowling alley ceo is the many insensitive male in the world, right? He usually says, “Hey, Erica, my life is so good because i haven’t had actually to replace your DEAD BROTHER!”

E: LOL. Right?! What one assface. Though the scene is just one of several large clues that obtain dropped in this episode.

T: The 1960s ton is so well incorporated in an underscored way. Just compare it to “Tale of the full Moon” which walk a comparable thing but in a totally different, exaggeration direction. Both work, both feel choose AYAOTD?, which demonstrates how good anthology series can be. This is the first episode based on songs, 1960’s “Teen Angel” and also 1961’s “Johnny Angel.” as well as Johnny Angelli’s name, yes sir the whole teen lovers separated by auto accident. For some reason, songs about teens dying in flames were pretty renowned in the beforehand ’60s.

E: ns adore the way they pulled this off. The late ’50s and also early ’60s to be chock full of dead teenager stories, largely in the type of tearjerker rock ballads. Fun fact: these teenage tragedy records were sometimes referred to as “splatter platters.” Daaaaaaamn! Anyway, killing ballads have actually been popular due to the fact that bascially the dawn the time, and this is the mid-century youth-culture response to that, made every the an ext popular by the fatality of James Dean. The imagery neighboring Donna and Johnny is ripped appropriate out of one of those songs, and they amp it up at crucial moments, favor the “night shift” scene at the bowling alley and in the graveyard. Johnny’s totality look is really mid-century heartthrob (James Dean, anyone?) and also Donna’s gained a timeless quite girl thing going on.

T: mean girl Cheryl is flipping psychic and also she has no idea! as well as Erica, she the just one who even somewhat senses Johnny.

E: OMG, ns didn’t even think around it that way! it is an illustration we require — bitchy famous girl forever harassed through ghosts who need her help. Together if!

T: There could even it is in a shocking scene whereby she tells her therapist, “I watch dead people!” (We’ll obtain to that referral in a minute.) director David win does such a an excellent job of do Johnny feel isolated in a crowded public space. And that PTSD distress is for this reason realistic. Exactly how many people do girlfriend think passed away in that bowling alley to have actually a ghostly night shift?

E: No idea, but they’re the best thing in the entirety episode, and also possibly among my all-time favorite points in the history of AYAOTD? They remind me a little of the crew indigenous “Whispering Walls,” but with a sassy mid-century vibe that speaks so really deeply to mine weird small nostalgic heart. I want to compose a short story about the waitress.

T: What is the misdirection here? The audience is claimed to think some dead girl is obsessed v Johnny and is dragging him into the afterlife? Actually, the would do a heavy story without any type of sort that twist.

E: Yes, ns think that’s the general idea. Johnny definitely seems to think Donna’s only after the ring, i beg your pardon is simply hilarious. Acquire there faster, bro.

T: significant props to the props department. Ago in the day, prior to home video and high def and also all that, a many film and also television would have gibberish in newspaper clippings or books. Yet if you stop the episode, the newspaper short article goes right into detail around Johnny and Donna and also their accident.

E: Oh, it is a lover detail. And it would certainly make a an excellent fan poster!

T: ns squeed when I witnessed the Ron Oil tombstone. This means the cemetery is the exact same one indigenous “Old male Corcoran.” and that obtained me thinking so i went back and watched the cemetery step in “Dream Machine” and also spotted an similar tombstone. Ns hope if yes any an ext graveyard scene in the series that that the very same set. I additionally spotted a tombstone reading Bill Cutter, named after bill Bonecutter, that was one of the very few behind the scenes world working on every seven periods of the series. Actually, besides D.J. MacHale, I think he was the only other human who operated on every 91 illustration from 1990 come 2001. He served as a creative consultant and also oversaw all visual aspects of production. In TV, that covers every little thing you view on her screen. Casting, props, wardrobe, special effects, on and on and also on. He came in with children’s programming in the 1980s and also retired in ~ the conclusion that the original series. He’s currently the chairman the Pawling public Radio in brand-new York.

E: His yes, really last surname is Bonecutter? that’s almost much better than Fabrizio Filippo.

T: This is among those shows that makes me wish I can erase mine memory and also watch the again fresh. That ingrained in my storage so it’s tough to reasonably judge just how well the twisted is traction off. Learning that Johnny’s dead from the begin doesn’t odor at every though. It’s quiet a funny episode, specifically being able come spot all the little clues throughout. Erin, did you remember the twist?

E: i barely mental this episode, however the twist was evident to me native pretty early on on. Climate again, i think it’s an alleged to be somewhat noticeable so the audience feeling Erica’s frustration.

T: speak of Erica, ouch, sis. “We can still be a family and also go on living.” bad word choice.

E: Ha! i’m gonna give her a pass on -- she’s obtained a lot going on emotionally.

T: Okay, i just need to say it. This is supposed to be a flipping youngsters TV show? Take out the Midnight culture wraparound, and also you have a romantic horror short movie. Johnny and also Donna are about eighteen and also Erica’s around sixteen. They work, they resolve family and death. I simply wonder what eleven-year-old in 1994 was this make for? and I say that loving that it exists.

E: To it is in fair, i loved contents starring teens as soon as I to be a tween, and then not so lot when ns was an actual teen. I might barely psychic this episode, but I gambling eleven-year-old me freaking love it.


T: Elaine, the bowling alley cashier! Sure, she has no lines, but come on.

E: five Elaine! get out the that tiny town bowling alley and run off to new York already, will ya? Also, let’s no forget about the man who released a thousands spatter platters and also inspired Johnny’s look at -- Mr. James Dean. He’s due to the fact that become quite a queer icon.


T: This is favor anti-trivia, however for the record, this illustration did no inspire The 6th Sense. “The protagonist is really dead and also didn’t know it the entirety time” is not invented here. There are many pre-’90s story in i m sorry this happened. The 1972 Tales indigenous the Crypt movie leaps come mind. Basically, yes sir an internet story the says, “M. Night Shyamalan credits gift a fan of AYAOTD? for motivation in writing The 6th Sense.” just the initial statement is i do not have anything to be found and there’s a documented interview in which he states he no recall ever before watching AYAOTD? as a kid and doesn’t desire to discount any influences however he no think he ever saw the episode. So, no, “Tale the the Dream Girl” didn’t inspire Sixth Sense, but that no take far from this illustration at all.

E: I just love that you offered us a complete rundown of one internet debate that more than likely played out over twenty years ago.

T: the still mister up! there’s a great chunk of fans who believe it.


T: it’s a ’60s story, so the moment is type of frozen there. Back the twist has actually been done to fatality (see what ns did there?) so perhaps I’d go through the much more straightforward version of a ghost gift obsessed with a loner? There’s product to it is in mined there.

E: A twisted on the twisted is definitely in need. Even though i guessed the Johnny was dead just a few minutes in, i thought perhaps he’d died in the 1950s and that Erica was no actually his sister but some sort of great samaritan psychic who’d tackled the task of help teenage ghosts number their shit out. That might potentially shake points up, despite I likewise dig the idea of a teenage ghost latching onto living boys who remind her of her lengthy lost love.

T: exactly how creepy would certainly that be? type of like just how Moaning Myrtle spies on the hogwarts boys bathing when her heart is fifty-something years old.

E: Yassssss. God, i love that pervy spook.


T: I just wrote at the end of my notes for this one 9. Yeah, that feels about right. The exhilaration is over par. The manuscript is not flawless, but fairly tight. David Winning’s directing is together solid together ever. Even dismissing the Sixth Sense city legend, this is among the much more iconic episodes of the series. Personal taste, I choose something v a strong villain, greater stakes, or campy weirdness. The said, i’m sticking come the an extremely respectable 9 out OF 10 CAMPFIRES.

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E: some of the imagery below is simply so vivid and iconic. I’ll second your 9 the end OF 10 CAMPFIRES.