Welcome fellow members of the Midnight Society! I humbly submit this party proposal for your approval. Premiering in 1992, Are You Afraid of The Dark? quickly became the TV diet for a lot of 90’s kids, giving many of my generation their first dose of the creepy and frightening. Some of the stories delighted us, some of them scarred us for life (“The Tale of Dead Man’s Float” continues to haunt me personally), but they pushed the boundaries of children’s media. AYAOTD didn’t overly sugarcoat its scares, therefore helping it to cement itself into the collective conscious of every weirdo millennial. What better way to revel in this creepy nostalgia than to throw an Are You Afraid of the Dark? themed party for Halloween? Here’s a guide.
On top of your typical creepy or kitschy chic, throw in some homages to the show. Creepy thrift store puppets and porcelain dolls are great, freaky touches to get things going. A portrait of the infamous Dr. Vink is an obscure, but quirky touch. Make sure to pair that with a hand in a jar. Maybe add Mr. Sardo’s scarves and crystal ball. Maybe a lizard statue as an nod to the Chameleon episode. Other creepy touches include aliens, compasses, and dial-up. Clowns are an evergreen Halloween accessory, like Zeebo the Clown or the clown from “The Tale of the Crimson Clown.”
If you want to get more into the nostalgia aspect, you can also pepper your decor with 90s patterns, flannels, and knick-knacks! Mix and match items to suit your other tastes. Layout copies of Goosebumps as a nod to the show and book series. Or blow up screen stills from other decade-appropriate creepy shows, like The X-Files. It will still be appropriate while allowing you to relive your youth for this AYAOTD themed Halloween party.
For those of you that are going for extra credit, feel free to dress as some of the monsters from some of the more memorable episodes. There are the aforementioned Dr. Vink and Mr. Sardo, repeat icons of the show. But you can also look to other fearsome characters for inspiration. There are the Watchers for The Tale of Watcher’s Woods. The aliens from “Tale of the Closet Keepers” are pretty iconic. Also once again, Zeebo the Clown.
If you want something a little more thrift-store friendly, there is always going as a member of The Midnight Society a la 90s clothing. Get yourself some flannel and a backwards cap and you are ready to roll out for a night of spooky fun!
Thank the gods of the hidden temple because all the episodes of Are You Afraid of The Dark? are at least available for streaming rental on YouTube. Pool some cash together with some friends and pick some episodes for a marathon as a more low-key hangout.
For those of you that want to get a bit more hardcore in your seasonal celebration, expert mode involves having people come to share their favorite tales. To make this a success, agree on a time-limit before hand and encourage people to pick stories (or write their own!) ahead of time. For those of you who have a fire pit or fireplace, this is a great time to put it to use! You can also assemble a mock campfire with candles or lights.
As for a live fire users, they used to toss sugar into the fire before beginning a story on the show. If you want a little more “pop,” mix in cinnamon because it sparks when heated.
Happy Hauntings! And don’t forget to turn off the lights…