Are You Afraid of the Dark? is an American-Canadian animated horror anthology television series that aired on Nick@Nite and YTV. It was created by John Dilworth, D. J. MacHale, Ned Kandel, and Gábor Csupó.

The series premiered with the episode "The Tale of the Twisted Claw" as a pilot on Halloween 1990 on the Canadian television network YTV. The show was both a critical and commercial success, garnering numerous awards as the series progressed.

However, it also sparked much controversy for its depiction of extreme violence, imagery, gore (that wasn't seen that much on TV cartoons at the time) and using realistic hand-drawn animation, TBA, which led to the updated television cartoon rating system in 1993.


This spooky anthology series for kids recounts ghost stories told by the young members of the Midnight Society as they gather around a campfire. Each episode opens with members of the Midnight Society at their secret spot in the woods, where they prepare their fire and the night's storyteller announces the title of the his or her offering. However, the cameras soon leave the storyteller and switch to the tale being told.

Characters and cast



Main article: List of Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes



Response from critics and fans


Recognition and awards


Criticism and controversy

Are You Afraid of the Dark? was one of many violent cartoons that came into prominence between 1990 and 1993, generating controversy among parents and public officials.

The series has a disclaimer at the beginning of almost every episode saying "Warning! The following program is rated TV-14-LV/TV-MA-LV, and it contains blood, gore, frightening violence, coarse language, and sexual content. Most of the sequences are inappropriate under the age of 13/17! Viewer discretion is advised!".

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