Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 3: “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”
A recap and review of Are You Afraid of the Dark? Episode 3: “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”
The Midnight Society:
- Kristen once again is jumpy and scared in the beginning and is surprised by David, who wanted to give her a birthday present….ahhhh young love
- Kristen says they’re late and that she’ll open the gift after David’s tale:
- Amanda is a shy teenager who goes to stay with her aunt and awful cousin Beth, while her parents are on an archaeological dig
- When Amanda arrives, she notices the creepy house next door, which her aunt tells her that she’s been trying to sell for years and that she thinks the house just doesn’t want to be sold
- Beth isn’t friendly at all to Amanda and wants nothing to do with her, unless of course Amanda does whatever Beth says all summer. Although all of these things seem completely ridiculous, Amanda agrees to them in order to hopefully have an enjoyable Summer with her cousin
- But it’s not that easy….and Beth tells Amanda that she must go through an initiation in order to hang out with her and friends. The task? “Spend the night alone in the place next door….it’s haunted”….says Beth:
- Later that night, Amanda meets Nanny or Nenny (idk), the family’s maid. Just as they are about to meet, Beth opens her bedroom door and yells at Amanda that if she talks with her that she’ll be poisoned and stuff…..Nanny or Nenny then creepily runs off
- The next day, Amanda runs into Nanny again, who offers to help her with Beth’s laundry, one of the tasks that Amanda had to do for Beth
- It’s now night and it’s time for Amanda’s initiation. She meets Beth and her friends outside of the “haunted” house and Beth tells the story of the ghost girl next door:
THE ACTUAL TALE OF THE LONELY GHOST (OR MAYBE?)
- We learn that the little girl, for whatever reason, could not speak. Her father was in the war and got very ill. Her mother went to take care of him and sent her to live with her grandmother. While on her way to her grandmother’s, some kids teased her and chased her back to her house, where they locked her in her bedroom. According to Beth, there was CLEARLY a miscommunication and the little girl’s grandmother didn’t even know she was coming. She never escaped and when they found her, she was dead
- Amanda enters the home, goes upstairs to the girls room. On one of the walls she sees the words “HELPME” written backwards. She turns around and the ghost of the little girl appears and reaches out to her:
- Amanda rightfully screams and runs out of the house as quickly as she can back over to Beth’s. Beth, sleeping at her friend’s house that night, wouldn’t know that Amanda didn’t spend the night in the house
- But instead of keeping quiet, Amanda tells her aunt everything. Her aunt makes the girls go over and clean up the mess they made in the house, the girls are a bit confused by this. Beth though, is mostly angry
- The two go over to the house and enter the girl’s room. There they see the words “HELPME” written backwards, but this time, it’s written all over the room. Beth, intrigued by a doll collection (yup you read that right, and nope, Beth is not 8) that she sees in the mirror we saw the ghost in earlier, goes over to the mirror where she “changes places” with the ghost of the girl
- The ghost approaches Amanda and holds out a necklace. Amanda examines the necklace which contains two pictures, one of the ghost, and the other which looks like Nanny/Nenny. Amanda asks the ghost if Nanny/Nenny is her mom, and the ghost excitedly shakes her head “yes”
- Amanda runs to grab Nanny/Nenny, who reluctantly comes to the house, “too many bad memories”. Nanny/Nenny is reunited with her daughter and the two enter the mirror and basically live/die happily ever after
- Beth’s friends come over the house where they find Amanda, but no Beth. Beth is yelling from inside the mirror to help. Amanda makes Beth promise that she’ll be nice before they help her out of the mirror. Beth does so and Amanda simply opens the closet door and Beth is free
The Midnight Society:
David’s present turns out to be a locket like in the story. Kristen loves it….great stuff right?
“The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” I would say is one of the classics. Through my childhood and even conversations with friends into adulthood, this episode is one that’s brought up. The story itself, while not very original (you know the whole ghost in the haunted house bit), is still great to watch and the ending itself might make you tear up. The one thing that always bugged me was if the story that Beth tell’s Amanda about the ghost, is true. That one’s a little far-fetched and it would’ve been better if there was an alternate story that we learn at the end.
The “Lonely Ghost” herself is terrifying at first. That moment you first set on eyes on her, flashes of The Ring”before The Ring was a thing (no rhyme intended there but whatevs). But unlike the girl in The Ring, our ghost turns out to be good, rather than evil, and once you see her crack that first smile and see her turn back into her former self, there really is no monster.
Scare Factor: 8/10
For the first few moments of “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost”, this episode is spooooooky. That house, with the wind blowing, the tale of ghost being told, and of course the first time Amanda goes into the house and sees “HELPME” on the wall and the ghost herself. But once we learn that our ghost is friendlier than Casper himself, which is probably 2/3 into the episode, the tale becomes less spooky and more touching. Still though, this episode brings it the scare factor in the beginning.
Beth is beyond obnoxious and all I could see was a poor man’s Molly Ringwald the whole time. Amanda is brave, but not a fan of her doing whatever Beth says in the beginning. Nanny/Nenny was the star of “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” though. I mean that creepy run down the stairs, that heartbreaking resistance to go into that house, that heartfelt reunion at the end? All in on Nanny/Nenny.
The ending to “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” falls into the happy category, which, if you’ve been following along with us all season, makes happy endings in 3/3 episodes so far. I like a good twist at the end, but if I can’t get it, I still enjoy a thrilling ending. I mean sure, Amanda has to run to find Nanny/Nenny who conveniently is leaving right when Amanda needs her, but the reunion is short lived and Beth being trapped was anti-climactic. But as I mentioned before, that reunion though…..breaks my heart.
Total Score: 38/50
In case you missed the last episode, click the below link: