Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Season 1 Episode 1

The Tale of the Phantom Cab

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Jul 16, 1992 on Nickelodeon
out of 10
User Rating
121 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Two brothers, while lost in the woods, come across a mysterious cab driver and a very unusual man named Dr. Vink who won't let any of his victims go unless they solve a riddle. "What is lighter than air, can be seen by the naked eye, and if put in a barrel, will make the barrel lighter?"moreless

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  • 1x01

    jajajaja, this is one of the few episodes i can remember from my childhood, this was very entertaining but the amazing thing with this one, is how they could keep it interesting with the same characters in the same place all of the time, i mean, if you think, this episode was completely done in the middle of the forest, also, it has always the same characters in the tv screen and you never get tired of that, definitively they did a good job with this one.

    P.D: I´m from venezuela, I´m not an expert writing in English, please forgive my mistakesmoreless
  • Woohoo. What an episode

    The first episode so got me and at the beginning, yeah Frank? No duh! It was an amazing story thumbs up. It started when two kids get lost in the woods. Suddenly Flynde shows up. I got kind of suspicious cause he disappeared so quickly. Ah, Dr. Vink is there and got the boys good all right with the riddle. Buzz's shining moment came later but he didn't know the riddle. He was smarter than his brother gives him credit for that's for sure. They leave and OMG, Flynde turning his head was so creepy and same for the hand. Finally Buzz solves it and Frank's in.moreless
  • Two boys are lost in the woods and run into a man who leads them to Dr. Vink's cabin.

    I thought this was a pretty good episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark so I gave it a 9. I would have given it a 10 if it would have scared me, but it didn't. There were some great scenes in it though. My favorite scene would have to be when the Cab Driver turned his head all the way around and said "I sort of died". That was awesome. The riddle was pretty simple. I figured it out before they gave the answer in the episode. Also, the line "Who lives here, the seven dwarves?" was great!moreless
  • Good first episode.

    I love this episode of Are You Afraid Of The Dark? It doesn't scare me now, but as a kid, I was so scared. There was some great humor in this episode. I love when Flynn turned around and told the kids he sort of died. Funny, yet scary, too. The riddle was pretty easy for me now, but I remember as a kid it was hard. Loved Dr. Vink in this episode, too. His character was usually pretty good.

    I also loved how they introduced Frank into the Midnight Society, even though Gary will always be my favorite.moreless
  • I know this wasn't the pilot, but maybe it shouldn't have been the first to be shown at all.

    This episode is one of the most poorly acted, and definitely not creepy of all the episodes I've ever seen. The following episode, "The Tale of Laughing in the Dark" would have been a much better introductory episode for it actually has spooks and chills, decent acting, and a plausible script. So, anyways, two boys are lost in the woods. Their names are Denny (who has potential as an actor, just not shown in this episode) and Buzz (whose acting is abysmal). They come across a dude that takes them to the mysterious Dr. Vink and they cannot answer his riddle so something bad is going to happen to them. Luckily they end up answering it just in time and that's pretty much it. The worst episode of them all. I give it a 6.1 simply because it started the series (if you don't count the actual pilot episode.)moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (9)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Gary: (Intro) We're called The Midnight Society. Separately, we're very different. We like different things. We got to different schools, and we have different friends. But one thing draws us together... the dark! Each week, we gather together to share our fears and our strange and scary tales. It's what got us together, and it's what keeps bringing us back. This is a warning to all who join us, you're going to leave the world of the light, and step into... the world of the supernatural.

    • Eric: Yeah, but can he tell a good story?
      Frank: (Turns violently toward the voice) Who said that!?

    • Frank: (Opening line to story) Denny and Buzz were brothers. Denny was big, strong and smart. Buzz was... well kind of a geek. He wanted to prove himself to his big brother. What neither guy knew, was that on this hiking trip, Buzz was gunna get the chance.

    • Denny: Who lives here, the seven dwarves?

    • Buzz: I'm sorry I got us lost, Denny.
      Denny: Don't worry, I'll smack you when we get home.

    • Dr.Vink: Vink's the name. Dr. Vink.
      Buzz: Dr. Fink?
      Dr. Vink: Vink, with a va-va-va.

    • Dr. Vink: I am not a nutbag!

    • Dr. Vink: Who wants tea?
      Dr. Vink: I do! (Raises his hand)

    • Flynn: I guess you could say...(His head twists around a full 360 degrees) I sorta died!

  • NOTES (3)

    • This episode aired first, but did not serve as the pilot episode that the creators pitched to the network. They pitched The Tale of the Twisted Claw, and it got picked up before it made it to air. The creators made more episodes and this was the first to air in the U.S.

    • Throughout the entire series, aired episodes differed between Canada, France, and the United States. Canada aired original broadcasts, while some US episodes were "Americanized," adding more US references. Meanwhile, in France, campfires are not allowed.

    • The season one DVD of Are You Afraid of the Dark? has a slightly different introduction than the other DVD releases. In season one, the introduction is extended to feature several scenes from the series - interestingly, all the scenes are from seasons one through five, which was the lifespan of the original Midnight Society.


    • Friday the 13th
      Buzz: "Maybe it's a maniac killer in a hockey mask who's gonna slash us!"
      He is referring to horror film villain, Jason, of the Friday the 13th series. Jason is always seen wearing a hockey mask.

    • The Lone Ranger
      Denny asks, "Where are we, Tonto?"
      This is a reference to the Lone Ranger's Native American friend, Tonto. Tonto, helped lead the Lone Ranger in the right direction, which as Denny points out, Buzz did not.Tonto also means "fool" or "stupid" in Spanish.

    • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves
      Denny asks, "Who lives here, The Seven Dwarves?"
      This is a reference to the c Brothers Grimm fairy story, Snow White, which involves dwarves who live in a small cottage in the woods.

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