A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
On the plus side, the show centers on a group of kids who gather together to tell stories for fun rather than spending time in front of the TV or computer. The stories illustrate the range of fear triggers that exist in people, from haunted houses to evildoers posing as regular people.
Positive Role Models
The kids try to outdo their peers with creepy ghost stories, and they engage in good-natured teasing about whose tale raised the most goose bumps. Occasionally an unlikely hero emerges within a story, sometimes conquering fear or anxiety to save bystanders from the villain.
Violence & Scariness
Monsters, ghosts, zombies, and the like are central to the show's spooky stories, and many scenes are full of heart-pounding suspense. Violence is minimal and deaths are few, but there's fairly common mention of people's deaths at the hands of the supernatural beings.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing and cuddling among teens, plus references to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships.
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No cursing, but there's some name-calling like "dip," "geek," and "loser."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the ghost stories in this '90s horror/fantasy series aren't gory and only rarely result in death, but they're guaranteed to send some shivers down the spine of kids who watch. Monsters, zombies, and ghosts are the central characters in the tales, and there's a lot of heart-pounding suspense when danger lurks in the shadows waiting to pounce. The show's evolving nature makes it difficult to predict each story's content, but expect some kissing and flirting between teens and brief peril (near drowning, vampire attacks) in their exchanges with the supernatural.
Is It Any Good?
Long before Twilight captured the imagination of kids and tweens, Are You Afraid of the Dark? introduced a generation to the concept of the supernatural, albeit with a far less romantic spin. The stories of evil clowns, vengeful water creatures, and yes, even vampires, are definitely creepy, and the fact that it's a live-action show means there's no masking the spookiness in colorful cartoons that cut the tension for kids. This is the real deal, and while some kids will love the thrill of the scare, plenty of others will find the fear factor a little too much. In other words, you've got to know your kids' tolerance for suspense, peril, and the concept of the undead before you give them the green light.
Because each episode introduces a new spooky story, there's no way to predict the direction the show will take, and the tales' topics touch on an array of fright triggers like vengeful spirits, boogeymen in the basement, and resurrected mummies. If your kids are sturdy enough to handle this type of content and not wind up in your bed at night, then there's no reason to worry about their watching it, but if they're prone to fears of the unknown, it's best to skip it altogether.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.