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11 Unforgettable Are You Afraid Of The Dark? Characters

Posted by John Campopiano on August 24, 2016

Below are some of the creepy, weird, and bizarre characters from “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” that helped launch what has become a deep love of the horror genre–and monsters in general.

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Thanks to Wikipedia and Wikia for the episode descriptions.

Who were your favorites? What episodes made YOU afraid of the dark? Share them in the comments section below!

1. Zeebo the Clown

Date: August 22, 1992

Episode: “The Tale of Laughing in the Dark”

Zeebo the Clown, a corrupt circus performer, steals money from the circus and tries to escape from the authorities by hiding in the funhouse. However, it catches fire, presumably because of Zeebo’s love for cigars, and he dies. Years later, Weegee, his little sister Kathy, and his friend Josh come across the rebuilt funhouse called Laughing in the Dark and Weegee asks Josh if he had ever been inside to which Josh replies that he hasn’t. Josh walks closer to the funhouse encountering a strange man who claims he runs the place wondering why Josh doesn’t believe in Zeebo saying Zeebo is waiting for whoever goes into the funhouse mentioning “pick the right door and you’ll go free. Pick the wrong door and there he’ll be”. Weegee and Kathy are too scared to go inside keeping their distance because they think it is haunted by the ghost of Zeebo based on what kids have seen and heard inside fueling the urban legend of Zeebo’s ghost. But Josh doesn’t believe it to be true scoffing at the possibility of a ghost clown haunting the funhouse. The strange man asks Josh if he’s going to go through and Josh says that he might another time to which the man says he’ll be there and that he’s always there.

Weegee questions why Josh didn’t go inside the funhouse if he doesn’t believe in Zeebo claiming that Josh is just as scared of going inside as he and Kathy but not wanting to admit that he is afraid. Weegee subsequently dares Josh to go in and he accepts, deciding to prove that he went through by finding the clown dummy, which is modeled after Zeebo, and stealing its nose. So they go back to Playland in order for Josh to steal the nose to show he goes through as he says he is going to do. The strange man appears once again as Josh is nearing the entrance and he asks once more if Josh is going to go in and this time he replies that he is this time. Just before Josh goes inside, the strange man oddly states “it’s the most fun in the park when you’re laughing in the dark.” He soon learns that the legend is indeed true when Zeebo comes back for revenge to regain his stolen nose.

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2. Nosferatu

Date: June 26, 1993

Episode: “The Tale of the Midnight Madness”

A movie theater on the brink of closure due in large part by a new multiplex that recently opened in town gets a revival courtesy of Dr. Vink, who offers a rare copy of the 1922 film Nosferatu for screening — as long as they agree to show his other films one night a week. When the arrogant manager refuses to honor his deal with Vink, strange things begin to happen.

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3. Dr. Vink

Date: Multiple

Episode: Multiple

Dr. Vink was a physically imposing man who would often appear as a mad scientist, sorcerer and the like. When he enters, he introduces himself by saying, “Vink’s the name. Dr. Vink.” He would also get his name mispronounced, usually something like “Dr. Fink?” When this happened, he would respond “Vink. With a va-va-va”.

Often, the protagonist would call him a “nutbag” behind his back, assuming he could not hear him, only to have him reply later, “…and I am not a nutbag.” Unlike Sardo whose character was set in a magic shop, Dr. Vink had many ‘unique endeavors’ as he called them within the stories he appears in. These ranged from living deep in the woods conducting strange nature experiments, being a retired filmmaker, owning his own restaurant as head chef and lastly a barbershop. His activities were usually villainous and designed to put the characters in peril and allow him the last laugh. However in his last appearance, “The Tale of Cutter’s Treasure” (which was told by both Frank and Gary), he allied himself with Sardo and the main characters without his usual maliciousness. He appeared exclusively in Frank’s stories.

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4. The Werewolf and his brother

Date: August 21, 1993

Episode: “The Tale of the Full Moon”

Two young pet detectives trying to figure out where all the neighborhood cats are disappearing to find a clue when looking into the backyard of a neighbor (who also happens to be dating the mother of one of them). He seems to have a rather large collection of cat collars hidden in his backyard. They begin to suspect that he’s a werewolf but unfortunately no one believes them.

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5. Old Man Corcoran

Date: October 2, 1993

Episode: “The Tale of Old Man Corcoran”

Two siblings Jack and Kenny move from a tough city into a calm new neighborhood where they befriend a group of hide ‘n’ seekers. The group likes to play their game in a graveyard rumored to be haunted by the ghost of the old caretaker. They soon find out that it might not be just a rumor. However looks can be deceiving, when it’s revealed that the old man is in fact alive and the kids are indeed dead.

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6. That intro clown!

Date: All!

Episode: Every one!

100% pure nightmare fuel.

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7. Madeline

Date: January 15, 1994

Episode: “The Tale of Apartment 214”

After moving into a new apartment complex with her newly divorced mother Stacy finds herself without any friends. Soon however, she befriends an older woman named Madeline that lives on a nearby apartment and they soon start to spend quite a bit of time together. But when Stacy breaks a promise to visit Madeline on one specific afternoon Madeline is enraged and comes after Stacy. Soon after Stacy apologizes for what happened, Madeline realizes she can’t prevent her from making new friends. To make it up to her, Stacy convinces her mother to move into the apartment that Madeline used to occupy.

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8. The Wicked Witch

Date: November 14, 1992

Episode: “The Tale of the Pinball Wizard”

Ross is a teenage boy who loves to play pinball at the local mall. Short on cash, he asks his friend Mr. Olson for a job in his repair shop. While asking Mr. Olson for a job, Ross discovers a pinball machine in the back of the store. Mr. Olson asks Ross to watch after the store while he is at lunch and tells him specifically not to touch the pinball machine in the back. Despite Mr. Olson’s warning, Ross plays the game, loses track of time, and gets locked inside the mall after closing. But what’s worse is that the characters from the pinball game have entered the real world. Ross must now defeat a wicked witch, a group of zombies, and a terrifying man who wishes to be king in order to save Princess Sophie and himself.

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9. Brother Septimus

Date: February 19, 1994

Episode: “The Tale of the Carved Stone”

Alison Denny moves to a new town and desperately wants to fit in and find friends but is having trouble getting them to accept her. When she buys a carved stone from Sardo’s Magic Mansion she discovers that it allows her to go back to a time when another family was living in her new home.

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10. Susan

Date: February 5, 1994

Episode: “The Tale of the Dollmaker”

A young girl named Melissa goes to the countryside to spend a summer with her uncle and aunt and her best friend Susan. However, upon arriving she discovers that Susan’s family has moved back to the city and that Susan is missing. Soon Melissa discovers that a mysterious dollhouse in the attic of Susan’s house may be responsible for her friend’s disappearance. To set things right, Melissa must go inside the dollhouse and rescue Susan.

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11. The Ghastly Grinner

Date: November 19, 1994

Episode: “The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner”

Ethan wants to be a comic book artist but his submissions are constantly rejected and his lazy parents don’t believe he has the talent for it. One day he’s invited to a comic shop where he gets the only copy of the comic “The Ghastly Grinner” a comic book featuring a Joker-esque clown villain who turns his victims into drooling giggling idiots by staring them into their eyes. Things get an unexpected dark turn when he accidentally brings the villain to life by microwaving the comic after it gets wet. The only way to stop him is to help the daughter of the comic book’s owner finish her father’s comic book by creating his own hero to combat Grinner. But when Ethan is in a desperate situation, it’s Hooper who ends up destroying Grinner by using her big eraser to erase his face.

Ghastly_Grinner

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8 Things You May Not Know About Vampira

Posted by Katie Doherty on August 24, 2016

The name Maila Nurmi may not ring any bells at first, but her alter-ego, Vampira, was nothing short of a belle from hell! Read on for 8 little known facts about this Gothic goddess!

1. Back in the early days Maila Nurmi worked as an actor, a model, and a dancer.

Maila Nurmi Vampira

2. Her dark side was very apparent early on. She performed in a horror show known as “Spook Scandals,” where as part of her act she rose from a coffin; a very early Vampira was taking shape.

Maila Nurmi Vampira

3. Maila was a beautiful blonde. She modeled as a centerfold and to some fans is quite unrecognizable from her Vampira persona.

Maila Nurmi Vampira

4. In 1953 she was discovered at a Halloween party thrown by choreographer Lester Horton. Maila turned up with long black hair and a black cocktail dress. She was picked up by Hunt Stromberg, Jr., an LA producer who wanted to use her for a TV show. Vampira was born.

Maila Nurmi Vampira


MORE Vampira on the NEXT page!


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UK Abattoir Trailer Pieces Together a Haunted House

Posted by Steve Barton on August 24, 2016

Words alone cannot accurately describe how psyched we are for the new film from director Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw IIIV, Repo: The Genetic Opera, Mother’s Day) entitled, Abattoir. On tap right now we have the official UK trailer for you cats!

Abattoir (review) stars Jessica Lowndes, Dayton Callie, J. LaRose, Joe Anderson, and Lin Shaye. Bousman directed from a script by David Schow, Teddy Tenenbaum, and Christopher Monfette.

Related Story: Brainwaves Episode 7 with Darren Lynn Bousman

Synopsis:
A real estate reporter named Julia Talben unearths an urban legend about a house being built from rooms where horrific tragedies have occurred. The investigation ultimately leads Talben and a detective to the enigmatic Jebediah Crone and the answer to the question: How do you construct a haunted house?

Abbatoir

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Dark Universe Begins to Expand for DC

Posted by Steve Barton on August 24, 2016

Fans of DC should be rather ecstatic at this latest announcement (then again given the state of DC’s film universe maybe you should be cringing), as Variety is reporting that Doug Liman is set to direct the Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment adaptation of Dark Universe — a.k.a., Justice League Dark.

Scott Rudin is producing. Michael Gilio is writing the script. Warner Bros. had no comment.

Sources also added that Liman has left the Channing Tatum film Gambit which insiders say is a mutual split between the studio and Liman.

While plot details are being kept under wraps, the story revolves around a dark Justice League team that consists of John Constantine, Swamp Thing, Deadman, Zatanna and Etrigan the Demon.

Constantine was played by Keanu Reeves in a 2005 movie, as well as by Matt Ryan in NBC series “Constantine,” which was canceled in 2015 after one season. Swamp Thing has also had his own movie, with Dick Durock playing the creature in Wes Craven’s 1982 film.

Del Toro was originally attached to direct, but the project was shelved as the helmer was sidetracked by other projects. Rudin came on board as producer last year, giving new life to the property.

Dark Universe

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Bella Thorne Producing Lifetime Adaptation of Drink Slay Love

Posted by Debi Moore on August 24, 2016

Lifetime is in production on an adaptation of Sarah Beth Durst’s popular YA vampire novel Drink, Slay, Love; and one of the film’s producers is a very familiar name… read on to learn more about the project, which has already begun filming with a premiere date slated for early 2017.

Per Deadline, Bella Thorne is serving as a co-executive producer of TV movie Drink Slay Love, directed by Vanessa Parise (Lifetime’s Perfect High, which starred Thorne).

The film follows Pearl, played by Cierra Ramirez (pictured below; “The Fosters”), a typical 16-year-old vampire — fond of blood, allergic to the sun, and generally pretty evil. After a mysterious attack leaves her able to survive in the daylight, Pearl’s powerful family quickly takes advantage of this new ability, sending her to high school to gather fresh young blood for an upcoming feast in honor of the Vampire King. The only problem is that Pearl is starting to grow a conscience. How can she serve up her new friends to be slaughtered? Then again, she’s definitely dead if she lets her family down.

Gregg Sulkin (“Faking It), Zach Peladeau (“iZombie”), McKaley Miller (“Hart of Dixie”), Angelique Rivera (“American Crime”), Sarah Desjardins (“Van Helsing”), and Jasmine Sky Sarin (Perfect High) co-star.

The script was written by Eriene Donohue, with Sheri Singer of Just Singer Entertainment serving as exec producer along with Thorne. Sepia Films’ Tina Pehme and Kim C. Roberts are producing.

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Shudder Acquires U.S. Rights to French Mini-Series Beyond The Walls

Posted by Debi Moore on August 24, 2016

In its first exclusive acquisition of a new TV series, Shudder has picked up the U.S. rights to “Beyond the Walls,” the French mini-series created by Hervé Hadmar and Marc Herpoux, and will debut the show in the coming months. Read on for the details!

From the Press Release:
Newen Distribution, the distribution arm of Newen, is proud to announce an exclusive deal with AMC Networks’ premium dedicated horror streaming service Shudder for “Beyond the Walls” (3×52’). The deal includes the US Territory.

The mini-series was created by Hervé Hadmar and Marc Herpoux (“Forgotten Girls,” “Pigalle la Nuit,” “Signature,” and “Witnesses”) and produced by Lincoln TV. It has been sold to Shudder, a premium SVOD platform super-serving horror fans with curated horror films, shorts, and TV series from around the world.

“We’re extremely pleased to be working with AMC Networks’ Shudder for the first time and finding a perfect home for ‘Beyond the Walls,'” says Julien Leroux, Deputy Managing Director at Newen Distribution.

The “Beyond the Walls” acquisition marks the first exclusive television series to be added to Shudder’s extensive library of feature films and curated collections.

“We could not be more proud to present ‘Beyond the Walls’ to our members this fall,” said Linda Pan, General Manager, Shudder. “We plan to continue to premiere new high-quality films and series on Shudder – and ‘Beyond the Walls’ is an excellent example of thrilling genre programming made exclusively available to the Shudder community.”

Numerous discussions are also in progress between Newen Distribution and other future partners.

Synopsis:
Thirty-year-old Lisa’s fate takes a dramatic turn the day she inherits a mysterious uninhabited old house left to her in the will of its deceased former owner. Fascinated, Lisa moves into the house without any inkling of the mysteries that await her.

One night, awakened by anguished cries, Lisa tears down the walls of the house and discovers a bizarre parallel world existing behind them. Attempting to find her way back to the real world, Lisa meets Julian, a soldier seemingly from a different era. As they try to survive the myriad of grim creatures that lurk in the shadows, both Lisa and Julian realize they have something in common: a lingering guilt over the tragic death of a loved one. And it won’t be long before those loved ones reappear to haunt their lives again…

“Beyond the Walls” is a mesmerizing supernatural thriller from the creators of “Witnesses” [“Les Temoins”]. With an international cast led by Veerle Baetens and Geraldine Chaplin, the series takes viewers on a frightening and mysterious adventure, into a world where old wounds never heal.

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Final Destination Writer Jeffrey Reddick Is Dabbling in Superstition with the Goetz Brothers

Posted by Steve Barton on August 24, 2016

No, this isn’t a remake of the 1982 flick Superstition (though it did give me a reason to post the super-cool artwork from it), and it’s not a continuation of the story from The Gallows, which was known for a time as Superstition. This is a different beast from one of our favorite writers!

According to The Tracking Board, a new horror flick is on the horizon, and director brothers Kevin Goetz and Mike Goetz (Scenic Route, Martyrs) have signed on to direct. Superstition is written by Jeff Reddick and currently set up at Lionsgate.

The film takes place on a college campus, skewing the film younger just as Reddick’s Final Destination films did. When two unrelated deaths happen on campus, a betting pool is set up to figure out who will die next because deaths always come in threes (similar to that celebrity death myth). However, when a student wins the pool, murderous consequences merge.

Various production companies, including CodeBlack Films, Global Renaissance Group Entertainment, and Ingenious Media Services Limited, are developing the project. Christina Sibul is overseeing for CodeBlack.

Reddick is set to executive produce, with Arthur Wylie, Carol Ann Shine, Dale Godboldo, and Stephanie Denton producing.

Superstition

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Check Out the Living Dead Dolls Halloween 2016 Exclusive!

Posted by John Squires on August 24, 2016

Beginning this year, our friends over at Mezco are celebrating Halloween by whipping up a special Living Dead Doll that’s exclusive to the best season of them all, and today we’re excited to give you a sneak peek of the 2016 edition. This little guy’s name is Jack O’Lantern, and he’s limited to 666 pieces!

Head over to Mezco.com to pre-order the Halloween 2016 Living Dead Doll!

From the Press Release:
Something has gone rotten in the pumpkin patch. Introducing Jack O’ Lantern, the first doll in a new, annually-released commemorative celebration of our favorite holiday — Halloween. Jack wanders the night in a never-ending quest to fill his insatiable hunger for Halloween tricks and treats.

Featuring a glow-in-the-dark head and skeleton outfit, this exclusive doll is limited to just 666 pieces. Jack comes with a pumpkin-shaped candy pail, stands 10″ tall, and features 5 points of articulation.

The Living Dead Dolls Jack O’ Lantern limited edition doll is packaged in his own Halloween-themed coffin with a death certificate and is only available through our online store.

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Scream Factory Details Fender Bender Home Video Release

Posted by John Squires on August 24, 2016

Scream Factory has spent the last few years releasing slasher flicks both classic and undiscovered, and this coming Halloween season, they’re unleashing their very first original slasher. The retro-style Fender Bender is headed to both DVD and Blu-ray, and we’ve got all the release details for you today.

Among other goodies, a “Retro VHS” version of the film will be included as a bonus feature!

From the Press Release:
There are no accidents. He stalks the streets. Remorseless. Brutal. Bloodthirsty. When his prey is at its most vulnerable, he appears. And when night falls and all is quiet…he strikes. Prepare for the next driving force in horror with the October 4th, 2016 release of Fender Bender on Blu-ray, DVD and all major digital platforms from Scream Factory. Just in time for Halloween, this chilling feature also comes loaded with bonus features, including a “Retro VHS” cut of the film, audio commentary with the director, a behind the scenes featurette, a producer’s commentary, a collection of vintage slasher film trailers and more! Fans can pre-order their copies now by visiting ShoutFactory.com.

Evocative of the horror-thriller classics of yesteryear, Fender Bender brings you back to a time when the boxes on the shelf at your local video store beckoned you with masked, knife-wielding maniacs and a twisted sense of morals. Written and directed by Mark Pavia (Stephen King’s The Night Flier), the movie stars Makenzie Vega (The Good Wife), Dre Davis (Pretty Little Liars, Scavenger Killers), Cassidy Freeman (Smallville, Longmire) and Bill Sage (American Psycho, We Are What We Are).

Seventeen-year-old Hilary has just received her driver’s license… only to have her first accident shortly thereafter. Innocently exchanging her personal information with the remorseful stranger behind the wheel, Hilary returns home for a quiet evening with friends. But when the man she so readily handed all of her information to reveals himself to be something much darker and sinister than she could imagine, Hilary finds herself in a head-on collision with terror.

Special Features:

  • “Retro VHS” Version of the film –watch the film in a re-created mode that takes you back to the 1980’s and the heyday of VCRs
  • “Slashback” Trailer Reel – A collection of vintage Scream Factory-branded slasher previews
  • Director’s Commentary
  • Producer’s Commentary
  • Behind-The-Scenes Featurette
  • Original Trailer and TV Spot

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Raise Cain with Two New Raising Cain Videos

Posted by Steve Barton on August 24, 2016

Scream Factory will be bringing Brian De Palma’s Raising Cain to home video on September 13th, and right now we have a few clips from the flick for you to dig on!

Raising Cain [Collector’s Edition] offers impressive bonus features including new interviews with actors John Lithgow, Steven Bauer, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, and Mel Harris and editor Paul Hirsch; a new featurette titled Changing Cain: Brian De Palma’s Cult Classic Restored; a new video essay by Peet Gelderblom titled Raising Cain Re-Cut; and a never-before-seen director’s cut of the film featuring scenes reordered as originally intended.

When Jenny cheated on her husband, he didn’t just leave… he split. From master of terror Brian De Palma comes this stylish psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final frame.

Synopsis:
Carter Nix (Lithgow) is a respected psychologist, loving husband, and devoted father who decides to take a year off to help raise his daughter. Carter’s wife, Jenny, is pleased to have her attentive husband home – at first.

When Carter shows obsessive behavior toward their daughter, Jenny becomes concerned, and to complicate matters, Jenny’s old flame re-enters her life. But nothing can prepare her for the emergence of Carter’s multiple personalities and a fiendish plot to recreate the infamous experiments of his deranged father.

Special Features:

DISC ONE:

  • Theatrical Version of the Film
  • NEW Interviews with Actors John Lithgow, Steven Bauer, Gregg Henry, Tom Bower, and Mel Harris and Editor Paul Hirsch
  • Original Theatrical Trailer

DISC TWO:

  • Director’s Cut of the Film Featuring Scenes Reordered as Originally Intended
  • NEW Changing Cain: Brian De Palma’s Cult Classic Restored Featurette
  • NEW Raising Cain Re-Cut – A Video Essay by Peet Gelderblom

Raising Cain

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