Deadtime Stories

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Deadtime Stories TV Poster Image
Horror anthology's lighter fright still scary for some kids.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Each story opens with a book being read to a couple of very attentive kids, reminding viewers of the fun of sharing stories. The show explores some potentially scary experiences, many of which the kids tackle without supervision. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kids are the stars of the show and usually wind up solving problems without adult input. Often parents come off as clueless and unwilling to take their kids' fears seriously.


The show deals more in spooky and creepy than it does in violence, but the scares can be very real for some kids. Some topics include a haunted mirror with mystical powers, mythical beasts roaming a quiet neighborhood, angry ghosts, and giant poisonous spiders that can't be killed. The characters –- all kids –- are shown frightened and in some cases fearful for their lives.


No cursing, but some instances of "shut up," "butt," "stupid," and the like.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Deadtime Stories is an anthological horror series for tweens whose content is difficult to predict because each episode presents a different story. Topics range from monstrous killer insects to beasts in half-human form stalking kids, and there's always a strong element of fear. Because the line between fantasy and reality is intentionally blurred (more so in some stories than in others), it can cause some angst in those kids who can't differentiate between the two. For older ones, though, the show is a fun spine-tingler that steers clear of any worrisome violence or language.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7-year-old Written byhelenek November 19, 2013

TOO SCARY FOR SOME.... Watch with caution

My son (7) thought this show was tantalizingly scary the first time he saw it, but I had my doubts. This morning he woke up and was not happy as he'd had... Continue reading
Parent Written byCDG November 14, 2013

A little intense, but overall good scary stories

A little intense, but overall good scary stories.
Kid, 11 years old October 14, 2014


I just watched this show the other day and I have to say I got very freaked out! I only tried to watch this show because it was on Disney Channel so I had thoug... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old November 11, 2013

thums up!

i think it can be for anybody as long as they can handel it!

What's the story?

Ghost stories and other creepy tales come to life in DEADTIME STORIES, a reimagining of a 1986 horror movie of the same name. The series stars Jennifer Stone as a baby-sitter who reads scary stories to her young charges before bedtime each night. As she reads, the show cuts away to a dramatization of each standalone tale; they center on spooky or mysterious happenings like the reincarnation of dead pets, vengeful ghosts, or a haunted mirror with strange powers.

Is it any good?

In the vein of Goosebumps, Deadtime Stories can be a good trial run on middle-of-the-road scares for tweens who have outgrown animated spooks but aren't ready for the heavier stuff. Violence is pretty much nonexistent, and the special effects are just immature enough that tweens will see through them, plus Stone's presence always keeps the tone lighthearted and humorous.

As with any anthological series with a consistently changing focus, it's important to check out the content of each episode before giving your kids the go-ahead. For some, the idea of giant animatronic bugs might be a thrill; for others, it's bound to induce some nightmares. Knowing your kid's particular sensitivities is a must if this kind of show is on her radar.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why being scared is sometimes fun. Do you like the feeling? What kinds of stories and characters are scariest for you?

  • How are role models portrayed in this show? Are the adults attentive to the kids' concerns? To whom can your kids turn if an issue arises for them at school? In extracurricular activities? Remind them about "safe" adults in public places as well.

  • Use the show's tie-in to shared story time to inspire the same activity within your family. What kinds of books appeal to all the ages in your home? If your kids are of reading age, share the duties with them, and talk about how you envision the story as you hear it. How do your versions compare?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love scares

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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