Spoiler:According to the movie's director, M. Night Shyamalan, "The Sixth Sense" (which is known primarily for its shocking 'twist' ending) was partly inspired by this episode of "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" In this episode of AYAOTD, the leading male character is ignored by others throughout the episode, yet is unaware that he is dead until the episode's final moments. The moment of realization comes when he sees his sister looking at a newspaper which features a story about his death.
Sam: (Story Opening) Johnny and Erica were brother and sister, and they were really close. They even worked at the same place, The Bowl-O-Rama Lanes. Erica was a waitress. Johnny was the repair guy...
Sam: I've got a story about something incredibly horrifying. But it's not about monsters or demons or the usual scary stuff. It's about soemthing that can strike any one of us at any time, and it's always when we least expect it.
Gary: What is it?
Sam: True Love.
Kiki: Come on. You Gotta be kidding.
Sam: Hey, who says love isn't scary? It can really hurt sometimes. Love is what people live for. And in my story... It's what they die for. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story... The Tale Of The Dream Girl.
Johnny: Who are you?
Donna: You should know by now...you're wearing my ring!
David Winning won the 1994 Gold Hugo Award for "Best Direction, Children's Television" for this episode and won the 1994 Bronze Plaque Award for "Direction, Children's Television" for this episode.
Storyline of how Johnny and his girlfriend die is a takeoff of the lyrics from a Mark Dinning song, "Teen Angel".
This story was told by Sam.
If you look closely in the graveyard where Johnny finds Donna's grave, you see it looks similar to the graveyard in "Old Man Corcoran". There's even a brief shot of the RON OIL tombstone, Ron was an AYAOTD director. Also, a quick shot of the BILL CUTTER grave that appears in the "Dream Machine" episode where Billy gets buried by Blind Paul. Bill Cutter may be related to Capt. Cutter in CUTTER'S TREASURE in Season Four. Nick saved money by using the same gravestones.