Why yes, I am afraid of the dark. Is it because the supposed "children's show" Are You Afraid Of The Dark? ruined me forever? Maybe. If you're anything like me, though, I have the perfect solution: Just go back and watch the series. I know, I know — you're looking at me like I'm crazy. But I have to say, it helped me a lot, because there actually happen to be tons of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? episodes that don't seem so scary as an adult. Sure, you might never forget how frightened you were watching the series back in the day, as a child, but it will help you move forward and begin sleeping with the light off again.
Airing its first episode in 1992, Are You Afraid Of The Dark? ran on Nickelodeon's Saturday night block of programming (SNICK), and proved to be one of the network's core shows. If you were a kid in the '90s, had a television, and were allowed to watch it, you glued yourself to the screen when AYAOTD came on.
AYAOTD taught its young viewers that it was not only OK to feel scared, but kind of fun. (In a this-might-haunt-me-for-the-rest-of-my-life way, but still. Fun.) After all, why would we have continued to watch? AYAOTD knew we wanted to be scared — so it scared us.
Only now that I've rewatched the series as an adult, I can appreciate the show for what it was — pure entertainment for me as a kid — and realize that a majority of the episodes aren't as terrifying as I once remember. Below, 11 episodes of AYAOTD that won't scare you as an adult. I promise. (Sort of.)
1. The Tale Of The Vacant Lot
Though the images of young Catherine's scabby face and the shop owner's mutilated hands might have freaked you out as a kid, it's pretty tame to watch as an adult.
2. The Tale of the Super Specs
Wearing special glasses that allow you to see things others cannot would have been a bone-chilling idea to conceptualize back in the day, but now, it just sounds kind of cool.
3. The Tale Of The Twisted Claw
AYAOTD's pilot was a perfect way to kick off the series, but was by no means the scariest episode. A claw (that looks like a chicken leg) lights up and grants you wishes? In the hands of Kevin and Dougie, not a great idea, but I'd be down with it.
4. The Tale Of The Nightly Neighbors
It's possible that at this point I've just seen too many vampire movies and TV shows, but having a family of blood-sucking creatures live right next to you just doesn't seem that bad anymore.
5. The Tale Of The Shiny Red Bicycle
A kid lives with the memories of watching one of his friends die and is haunted by his ghost. Chilling then, but now, just kind of a bummer.
6. The Tale Of The Midnight Madness
Monsters popping out of the screen at a vintage movie theater sent you into a full on panic during your youth, but as an adult, you learn that often times the things left unseen are more terrifying than any costumed monster.
7. The Tale Of The Midnight Ride
If it was your first time viewing a retelling of Sleepy Hollow, then this definitely would have got to you. Now that you're familiar with the story, it's not so bad.
8. The Tale Of The Dream Girl
In this story, the protagonist falls in love with a girl who is already dead. Upsetting, yes. But not any more hair-rising than The Sixth Sense.
9. The Tale Of The Captured Souls
More Twilight Zone than fearsome, this episode about a young inn keeper that sucks souls to stay eternally young is too bizarre and far fetched to actually rack your nerves.
10. The Tale Of Apartment 214
The images of an elderly neighbor being irrationally mad because you forgot about hanging out with her seemed frightening as a child. Now they are just sad. And they make you hate the protagonist of the story (Stacy) for leaving the elderly woman alone. Stacy, you're the worst.
11. The Tale Of The Dead Man's Float
Alright, I'll be honest. I was afraid to revisit this episode because I believe this episode was the primary reason I avoided swimming pools for a whole summer (maybe three). The image of this water monster was horrifying to say the least. Now, it's so over the top that it's more laughable than anything.
See? Not so terribly spine chilling anymore. Maybe now you can finally sleep with the lights off.