I’m not sure if you young’uns remember Nickleodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark, but it was one of the most awesome shows of the early 90s. For those unfamiliar with it, the basic premise is that a group of preteens form a club, called the Midnight Society, and take turns telling scary stories around a campfire. Each show has a dramatization of the story being told.
As much as I loved the show, it had a tendency of giving me some pretty terrible nightmares. One of the episodes in particular stands out as being particularly creepy, due to its gratuitous use of carnival music and scary clowns. Here’s a synopsis of the episode provided by toplessrobot.com:
“… The clown in this case, Zeebo, worked in a carnival during the Great Depression. Desperate for money (like every other schlub during this time), Zeebo stole the park’s payroll and hid out in the spookhouse. But Zeebo was careless with one of his cigars and the spookhouse caught fire; burning Zeebo to death. As a memorial to the thieving bastard, the carnival rebuilt the spookhouse and put a dummy of Zeebo inside, dooming the place to be haunted. Years later, Josh (Christian Tessier, who would go on to play Lt. Tucker ‘Duck’ Clellan on Battlestar Galactica) decides to prove how tough he is by stealing the red nose off the Zeebo dummy. Urban legend turns into reality as Josh is visited by the ghost of Zeebo. Everything works out in the end (seriously, where the hell does a 12-year-old purchase a box of cigars?) but not before some seriously scary shit goes down. Everyone remembers the laugh, the balloon, the phone call, and all the other nightmare-inducing tricks that drove many to check our closets before bed. It’s like the writer of this episode was pissed at his kids and decided to scar them and the rest of us for life.”
Things I learned from this episode (video below).
1. “It’s a spookhouse, lameball. It’s supposed to be spooky. You’d gotta be some kind of doofus to think it’s real.”
2. Do not be a ginger. Especially not a ginger who steals stuff from scary clowns.
3. Give it back. Always give it back.
4. Following any childhood dare will always lead to bad things.
5. Do not trust carnies. They will sell you out to their scary clown friends in an instant.
Have a look and tell me what you think. You might want to keep an extra clown nose around, just in case.