We never seem to tire of nostalgia TV – especially when it comes to reminiscing about those nighttime viewings that kept us up all night, convinced there was something under the bed. Are You Afraid of the Dark?definitely qualifies for that category! What most stands out in our minds is probably the creepy tales of ghosts, vampires, and magic; but the show was a lot more than that.
The anthology series used a unique format in which the act of storytelling itself was used to add to the chilling atmosphere. The Midnight Society were a group of kids who would presumably sneak out of their beds late at night to meet up in the woods and tell scary stories. Side note: that sounds horribly dangerous, so hopefully not too many kids out there tried to emulate it. Each night, a different member would share a tale they had been working on. Because of the storyteller premise, the show not only delivered a fair amount of spooks, but also encouraged kids to get creative and write their own tales, and share them. Again– hopefully not at night… in the woods.
The series had an original five-season run, but was later revived for two more seasons, for a grand total of seven seasons full of revolving door scares and characters. But where are they now? Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, we call this one The Tale Of What Came After Are You Afraid of the Dark?
18. Jay Baruchel
One of the biggest stars to have found humble beginnings on Are You Afraid? is Jay Baruchel. He had some other minor roles by that point; but between 1995 and 2000, Baruchel guest starred in four episodes of Are You Afraid?, playing four different characters. In his first appearance, season 5’s “The Tale of Dead Man’s Float”, he portrayed a boy who gets attacked by a ghost in 1954, setting off a curse that leads to the present day. It remains one of the show’s highest rated episodes. Given his proceeding stardom, Baruchel might have had something to do with that. He also co-hosted Popular Mechanics for Kids.
Today, Baruchel is well-known for a number of comedic Hollywood roles including, (among many others) Almost Famous, Knocked Up, Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist, and This is the End. He also regularly continues to participate in smaller Canadian projects, such as Real Time, The Trotsky, Good Neighbors, and the big-budget Goon. You’ll even recognize his voice as Hiccup’s in the Pixar franchise, How to Train Your Dragon, of which the third installment is currently in pre-production.
17. Laura Bertram
Torontonian Laura Bertram guest starred in two episodes of Are You Afraid? Her first appearance was in season 1 as Amanda in “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost.” If you return to this episode and ask yourself, “why does this Amanda girl seem so familiar?” It’s because shortly after that episode aired, Laura took up another Amanda role, as the star of Ready or Not.
From 1993—1997, Bertram portrayed Amanda Zimm alongside Lani Billard (Busy) in the coming-of-age family drama that explored the tests friendships go through in high school. In season 2, Are You Afraid’s own Ross Hull joined Bertram on Ready or Not for a brief romance, before she returned for one more guest star role on Are You Afraid?, in “The Tale of the Mystical Mirror.”
16. Emily VanCamp
Emily VanCamp’s first-ever on-screen role was as Peggy Gregory in the Are You Afraid? episode, “The Tale of the Silver Sight.” In this very ambitious season 7 opener (2000), the original president of the Midnight Society, Gary (Ross Hull), returns looking for help to solve a mystery. The episode was a three-parter.
After a few more years of small roles, VanCamp appeared in The Ring 2 right before landing a starring role in the drama Everwood. Nowadays, though, she is probably best known as the star of Revenge, in which she played a young woman who had assumed a secret identity in order to destroy the people responsible for her father’s imprisonment and death. More recently, she took up the role of Agent 13/Sharon Carter in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.
15. Richard Dumont
Unless you are an Are You Afraid? fanatic, you are probably more likely to recognize Richard Dumont’s voice than his face. He had a recurring role on the show as Sardo, the mad-magician. First introduced in “The Tale of the Super Specs”, Sardo would go on to star in a total of eight episodes over the years (1992—2000), as a character made up by Gary (Ross Hull).
However, Dumont’s voice has been cast in over 50 animated shows, movies, and video games. His credits include Mona the Vampire, Rotten Ralph, Creepschool, Arthur, Tripping the Rift, and the Assassin’s Creed video games. Well-accomplished in the field, he has even taken up Voice Director gigs on Avatar: The Game and Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. To kids of the ’90s, though, he’ll always be Sardo.
14. Codie Lucas Wilbee
Codie Lucas Wilbee took up the role of Stig, a member of the Midnight Society in season 5, whose own bad hygiene and outsider status led him to tell stories about misfits and passing judgement. He told “The Tale of Dead Man’s Float”, starring Jay Baruchel, but overall he wasn’t incredibly memorable.
So what happened to Wilbee? That’s pretty much unknown. Prior to joining the Midnight Society, Wilbee had some bit gigs on big shows like The Outer Limits and 21 Jump Street, but after his stint on Are You Afraid? he disappeared from the spotlight, never to be heard of again. In fact, he is even difficult to track down online. So, Stig’s fate remains a mystery – “The Tale of the Invisible Stench”. Off-screen, we hope Wilbee is doing well.
13. Jacob Tierney
In season 1 of Are You Afraid?, Jacob Tierny portrayed Midnight Society member Eric. Eric had a really bad attitude and often irked the other society members, which might be why he didn’t make it to season 2. However, during his time on the show he told two stories, “The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun” and “The Tale of the Dark Music”. Both were about boys who didn’t quite fit in, the latter of which directly addressed the issue of bullying.
Since those days, Tierney has continued to tell tales – now on the big screen. Sticking to his Canadian roots, Tierney has directed a number of projects, including The Trotsky and Good Neighbors, both of which are set in Montreal and star Jay Baruchel. He also continues to act, sometimes even in his own work.
12. Vanessa Lengies
Vanessa Lengies portrayed Vange during the revival seasons of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Not long after its original five-season run, the show came back in 1999 with new showrunners and actors for a less successful two-season run. Vange was a Midnight Society member known for her trademark beanie and two pigtails. However, Lengies was already better known for having two tall ears. She had been the voice of Emily (the rabbit) on the popular kids’ cartoon, Arthur, since 1996. On Are You Afraid?, her most memorable story was the terrifying, “Tale of the Night Nurse”.
Nowadays, she’s a lot less scary. In 2011 she began a 26-episode run on Glee before returning to her family TV roots to voice Kordi on the 2016 cartoon, Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures.
11. Kareem Blackwell
Another Are You Afraid? revival cast-member, Kareem Blackwell brought us Quinn during the reboot years. This society member told tales such as “The Tale of Highway 13” and “The Tale of Vampire Town”, which was even stronger than season 1’s vampire story, “The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors.” In the very popular episode, Adder obsesses over vampire lore, and even drags his family on vacation to a town rumored to be home to the real deal blood-suckers. But when he goes looking for trouble, he finds it, and things get a little dicey.
Prior to joining the spooky storytelling society, Blackwell was a panelist on the hit game show, Figure it Out. After Are You Afraid? he had a one-episode gig voicing a character on Cyberchase, but has since stepped out the limelight. With no more acting credits under his belt, Blackwell is now a family man and firefighter in his hometown, Yonkers, NY.
10. Nathanial Moreau
Nathanial Moreau’s character David was part of the original Midnight Society – in fact, David sponsored Frank’s entrance into the society, in Are You Afraid’s? very first episode. He was shy but sweet, and his crush on Kristen was one of the very few storylines that existed outside of the official Tales. In episode 2, he told his first story, “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”, and it’s probably his most memorable one. It starred Laura Bertram as Amanda, an outcast who is willing to do anything to impress her mean cousin’s group of friends.
Are You Afraid? was far from Moreau’s first role. He had already starred in nearly 20 TV movies and shows, but when he left Are You Afraid? in 1993, things slid downhill. Aside from a voice role in one episode of Tales From the Cryptkeeper and another TV movie, Moreau’s only other big role after Are You Afraid? was as Young Peter Caine in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. After its three-season run, Moreau had a nameless guess spot in an unaired episode of Loiter Squad, which was his last-ever role.
9. Rachel Blanchard
Rachel Blanchard has been working steadily since her first role on The Kids of Degrassi Street in 1984. In 1988 she starred as Debi in the short-lived War of the Worlds TV series before joining the Midnight Society as Kristen on Are You Afraid?
In 1993, Blanchard joined the cast of Chris Cross, but perhaps what we most recall her from is her role as Cher on the Clueless TV series (1996—1999). Some of her other credits include Road Trip, Sugar & Spice, 7th Heaven, Without a Paddle, and Fargo. Currently she’s starring in the dramedy You Me Her.
On Are You Afraid?, Kristen was known for her theatrics; she would often dress up to immerse her listeners in her stories. On the flip side, though, she was sometimes accused of not being scary enough, and being too easy to scare, but she always made a point to prove the society members wrong whenever possible.
8. David Deveau
David Deveau first appeared on Are You Afraid? during its original run, in the 1995 episode, “The Tale of the Manaha.” When the series was revived, he came aboard as a member of the new society named Andy. Andy was often the butt of the joke, relentlessly teased by Quinn and Vange. One of his more memorable stories is “The Tale of the Misfortune Cookie”, in which a boy finds his grandfather’s magic box of fortune cookies and makes a wish that launches him into a disturbing alternate reality. It’s a rather typical “be careful what you wish for” story that wasn’t terribly popular.
7. Joanna Garcia
Joanna Garcia joined the cast of Are You Afraid? in season 3, as Sam. Sam stuck around for two seasons, telling spooky stories that tended to revolve around the idea of everlasting love, like “The Tale of the Dream Girl.” Her last story was “Tale of the Night Shift”, which took place in a hospital where patients were acting very strange at night. Could it be vampires? Yes, it could.
After leaving the Midnight Society, Garcia landed a slew of big roles on popular TV shows including Party of Five and Freaks and Geeks, before landing a leading role on Reba. She never seems to be without work; even now, you can catch her portraying Ariel on Once Upon a Time. Alongside Elisha Cuthbert and Rachel Blanchard, Garcia is definitely one of the most successful Are You Afraid? actors.
6. Jason Alisharan
Jason Alisharan portrayed bad boy Frank, a character who was inducted into the Midnight Society during Are You Afraid’s very first episode. To secure his spot in the society, Frank had the honor of telling the series’ first ever story, “The Tale of the Phantom Cab.” The story brought to life a fan-favorite villain, Dr. Vink. Dr. Vink was such a spooky hit, that he became a recurring character, appearing in several of Frank’s stories.
In season 5, Frank’s family moved away and we wouldn’t go on to see much of Alisharan. However, it turns out that’s only because he’s been behind-the-scenes these days. Alisharan joined the live-action division at DreamWorks and has worked on some big titles, including Transformers and Red Eye. In 2009, he even co-produced A Single Man, starring Colin Firth and Julianne Moore.
5. Jodie Resther
In 1996, Jodie Resther took on the role of Kiki in Are You Afraid?, while also loaning her voice to Francine Frensky in Arthur – a role she’d keep up until 2016. Kiki was a tomboy who always wore a bandana on her forehead and prided herself on being tougher than the other storytellers. Not surprisingly, her stories tended to star strong female leads who would prove to be heroes by the end. A perfect example is season 1’s, “The Tale of the Captured Souls.” One of the spookiest of the series, the story centres on Danielle and her family, who are visiting a lakehouse for a vacation when they all suddenly start to show symptoms of rapid aging. Danielle solves the mystery by herself, defeats the villain, and walks away unscathed.
After Are You Afraid?, Resther continued acting in titles such as Vampire High, Mental Block, and Quantico. Aside from working regularly in Canada, she also recorded two R&B albums, but neither seemed to be her big break.
4. Raine Pare-Coull
Raine Pare-Coull played Betty Ann, an original member of the Midnight Society. Though early on she is accused of relying too heavily on gross-out factors and happy endings, Betty Ann proves this to be untrue time and time again by spinning some of Are You Afraid’s most twisted tales. In “The Tale of the Whispering Walls”, we get an updated play on the babysitter horror trope that takes us to a mysterious ghost town. In “The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor,” Betty Ann gave us the show’s first sci-fi episode that featured flashy futuristic technology and aliens. And who could forget “The Tale of the Dollmaker”, wherein innocent victims were turned into china dolls!
3. Daniel DeSanto
In season 3 of Are You Afraid?, we were introduced to Tucker, portrayed by Daniel DeSanto. Tucker would go on to be the only member of the original Midnight Society to remain in his role throughout the entirety of the reboot phase. He started out as the annoying little brother of the president, Gary, but he took up the role of leader himself when the series was revived for a sixth (and seventh) season. Under his watch, the Midnight Society continued to spook and chill, though not usually to the degree it once did.
As for life after Are You Afraid?, DeSanto continued to appear on TV here and there. He’s probably most recognizable, though, as Gretchen Weiners’ on-again-off-again boyfriend in the blockbuster hit Mean Girls.
2. Elisha Cuthbert
Before making it big in Hollywood, Elisha Cuthbert had already been a household name in Canada for her role on the staple childhood documentary TV show, Popular Mechanics for Kids, which she hosted during the same time she was on Are You Afraid?
Cuthbert had previously guest starred in “The Tale of the Night Shift”, but became a member of the Midnight Society, as Megan, during the reboot. Despite her knack for spooky storytelling, Megan was known as the quintessential princess-type who complained of having to meet in the woods. She even took it upon herself to make the meeting spot a little more fashionable with some cozy pillows and furniture.
Cuthbert never lacked for work after Are You Afraid?, and is especially known for her roles in 24 and as the star of The Girl Next Door. She has most recently settled into the role of Abby on The Ranch, but can also be found in the new Goon sequel.
1. Ross Hull
Ross Hull was the true star of Are You Afraid? as Gary, the founder and president of the Midnight Society. His trademark round glasses are as much a part of the show as the atmospheric dust the storytellers ritualistically throw on the fire before each tale. His stories often revolved around magic, and he created recurrent character Sardo, who first appeared in “The Tale of the Super Specs.”
At the end of Season 5, Gary handed the society over to his brother, Hull moved on to another teen nostalgia series, Student Bodies. The show ended in 2000, but that wouldn’t be the last we’d see of Hull – at least not if you live in Canada. Hull has been a weather anchor across Canada since 2004, and he is currently the resident meteorologist for Global News at 6.
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