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Are You Afraid of the Dark: "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost"

Season 2 Episode 20
Canadian Airdate: December 18, 1991

The opening for Are You Afraid of the Dark is scarier than the actual show. The music is scary and then there is an empty swing swinging and a scary clown, it just sets a mood the show can’t compete with. There’s like ten times as much imagery in the opening theme as any of the episodes.

But moving on, our story today is called “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost”

A Midnight Society girl (I don’t know her name) is pissed that her friends Betty Ann and Kiki can’t keep up with her because they have heat stroke. She should just give Kiki some sugar, then she will be boining all over the forest.

The girl who is telling the story is also wearing her jacket, on the hottest day of the summer! But she says her story will make them all want to bundle up. It will help them “beat their meat” err I mean “beat the heeb” umm, “beat the heat” yeah that’s the one.

So, Clarisse Explains It All is the babysitter of some kid who is a real sissy. His name is Charles. What a wuss name. I bet he wipes up to down, not down to up. Clarissa is his babysitter and has been sent with him to his aunt’s home because apparently his aunts can’t baby sit him even though he is staying in their house. I don’t know, I just report it ma’m.

The two of them arrive at a home that Clarissa describes as “Spooksville or what?” Indeed it is Spooksvilee, as we shall soon fine out.

After some tension that wouldn’t translate well to story by the fire telling (Clarissa knocked on the door. Then she knocked again. A chair was rocking but it could have easily been explained by the win. It didn’t seem like the door was going to be answered but then it was) the aunts make their appearance. They are so happy to see their nephew that they are holding a candelabra.

The aunt’s offer the driver a cup of tea, but he take off because he knows a couple of old lady rapists when he sees them.

Aunt 1 says she wants to be a good host but aunt 2 thinks she said ghosts and berates the aunt for bringing up such a subject. This is of course the subtle sort of for shadowing only Nickelodeon can provide. It also freaks out Charles because he is a wiener.

Clarissa thinks that the aunts are neat while Charles thinks they are creepy. Clarissa assumes this is because Charles is a rich snob. Its because they live in a creepy house in a swamp and are creepy. Charles thinks he hears a voice from outside but Clarissa blows him off because he is annoying.

Clarissa makes a sarcastic comment about drawing Charles a bath before supper, but then in the next scene he is in a bath so I guess she really did that. Charles gets scared because the light is swinging around and some stock scary noises are heard. It could be a ghost, or it could be a draft and somebody leaving “Spooky Sounds of Halloween” in the boom box.

The aunts are using a wood stove that makes the kitchen all smoky because they had their electricity turned off by the power company because they are freeloaders who don’t pay their bills and just expect Mr. Government to step in with the welfare. Luckily when the Tea Party takes control of Washington we can outlaw welfare and minorities, just like how George Washington wanted.

The aunts can’t borrow money from Charles’s family because his grandfather once hired a farm hand who was a criminal, which caused a feud between the relatives. A multi generational feud about something retarded? We must be in the south people.

During dinner the first person perspective from The Evil Dead flies through the yard, comes into the house and blows out the candles. That bastard. He also broke a pie.

Aunt number 2 mentions how their old maintenance man left because of the ghost ( or possible because they couldn’t pay him) and that’s why the window blew open. Charles is like “GHOST!” while he poops his pants but aunt 1 quickly covers up the ghost rumors by offering more Mac N Cheese to the visitors. Fuck ghosts, Mac N Cheese is awesome. I could be living with that lady from Paranormal Activity but I could ignore all her boring bead making if she gave me Mac N Cheese.

That night Charles has a dream that a fat redneck is stealing his jacket while he hides in a hole. Hmmm, probably a result of having too little Mac N Cheese in his diet. His window blows open (lazy maintenance men, never locking windows) outside there is a glowing boy who says “I’m cold” repeatedly

 

Oh man, this story is giving me chills. I get clammy just thinking of it. If I saw a ghost like that I would freeze up. Ice to meat you. Cold shoulder.

Charles runs into Clarissa’s room and jumps in her bed. He tells her about the ghost but she rightfully assumes he’s just trying to feel up her barely pubescent body and kicks him to the hall.

The ghost gets mentioned at the breakfast table and aunt 2 lets the cat out of the bag by mentioning how the ghost never speaks to them and it starts running amok because now there is no hiding the fact that the ghost exists.

Aunt 2 is also sewing a creepy picture of a bloody ax.

The ghost is that of a boy from a neighboring farm who use to sneak over to this farm to steal cookies. They make him sound more charming then that, but when you get down to it he is a thief. He was found frozen to death under the wood shed. Probably struck down by a vengeful god.

Clarissa and Charles go out to chop wood because the aunts allowed the fire to go out in the stove and they don’t have any other wood available. it’s a good thing these two hardworking preteens are on the scene or they would have frozen to death.

Clarissa thinks chopping wood is fun. Anybody who has chopped wood will tell you this is a lie. She tries to get Charles in on the action but he says he isn’t allowed to play with sharp things. Clarissa calls him a wuss. I like the word wuss, and wussy, because I assume its just a PG way of calling somebody a pussy. Like a writer for Salute Your Shorts wanted Budnik to call somebody a pussy but the censor put the kibosh on that so he just changed the P to a W and that was fine.

Then Clarissa throws mud on Charles. Okay, Charles may make C3PO look like Mace Windu, but you are getting paid to baby sit him. Being a babysitter means putting up with the kid’s shit. Just be glad it is not actual shit because that could be a possibility with another client.

Clarissa hears a voice say “I’m cold” and runs off to find out who is cold. Too bad for her, because an invisible person starts making footprints in the mud. it’s the Frozen Ghost! Charles tries to run but the Frozen Ghost is behind him, even though the footprints were in front of him. I guess the ghost jumped over him. The Frozen Ghost is going to be a new character in Street Fighter 5.

The Frozen Ghost is so scary it makes the camera tilt.

Charles runs off into the woods only to come face to face with The Frozen Ghost. Like in that Mother Goose and Grim episode where he tries to escape from the boogie man but the boogie man is always there first. Wow, that show is way worse then I remember.

While running from the ghost Charles gets stuck in the mud and stands there unable to move. Then he just sort of falls over. Maybe the ghost turned invisible and pushed him. Charles falling is shown twice, from different angles, because this scene was directed by John Woo.

Clarissa shows up and does some damn babysitting for once and gets the wuss out of the mud. The Frozen Ghost shows up and points at a log. Clarissa asks “What does it want?” It wants you to check out that sweet log, duh, that’s why he’s pointing.

Charles recognizes the log from his dream. Even though in the dream he was inside the log. Inside the log is the Frozen Ghost’s jacket. Except in the dream the bad guy pulled the jacket out from inside the log, and also the ghost was found elsewhere. If he was hiding in the log he would have died there not over by the woodshed. The only explanation is that he died in the log and the criminal moved the body and put the coat back in the log. That or the girl telling the story is making it up as she goes along.

They hand the ghost the jacket, which he puts on and disappears.

The latch for the stove pipe in the house fell out of the jacket. The aunt’s conclude that because it was missing the stove never worked right. Ya think they might have figured that out in the last few generations. The kid supposedly died when their grandfather was around and they are pretty old themselves. Maybe they should have kept that maintenance guy around a little longer.

Another reason the stove failed to work right is because it was filled with shiny gold coins that came out when they opened the flue. You know, if these old biddy’s took just a few minutes to research stove pipe maintenance they would have known gold coins is the third most common reason for a stove to get clogged right behind raccoons and magic.

The Midnight Society members piece together the story for those to dumb to do so themselves. Thief hid gold in the stove, boy saw him while stealing, thief stole coat, no wait he didn’t steal the coat. The coat was there. But the boy lost his coat and froze. Also the criminal couldn’t knock the pipe over with a hammer or something because of some reason. The Midnight Society didn’t discuss these last few plot holes.

Final Thoughts

In "The Tale of the Lonely Ghost", Michael Maronna, a.k.a. Big Pete, clearly plays a role in drag. In this tale Melissa Joan Hart plays a role without disguise. Did Nickelodeon feel that having her openly play the role would help cross exposure for both Clarissa Explains it All and Are You Afraid of the Dark? Perhaps she is suppose to be in drag but a girl wearing pants isn’t the same as a boy wearing a skirt. The answer is yes.