I want to tell you about two very similar shows that I loved, these were Goosebumps broadcasted from 1995 to 1998 and Are you Afraid of the Dark? from 1990 to 2000. Two shows for children and young audiences, which told horror stories where monsters, ghosts and mysterious situations were present.
Since I was a child I was always fascinated to horror stories, so these shows quickly became my favorites.
I remember that this TV show was broadcasted by Fox Kids at 19:00 hrs. I didn't need a watch to know when it was going to start, I was so used to tune in, that by intuition I already knew when to turn on the TV, and I never missed it.
There are many episodes that I remember, but I find very significant the episode called "Night of the Living Dummy" which created in me a fear towards the dummies, no, it was not Chucky the dummy from the movie Child’s Play, it was Slappy the ventriloquist dummy, who made that until today I have a dislike for all the humanoid puppets.
There was something in this show apart from its horror stories that I liked and it was its scenarios in environments very typical of Canadian and North American towns, neighborhoods with wooden houses, landscapes with large trees, which made me immerse myself even more in the story.
Another episode that I remember was “The Perfect School”, which was about a school that was supposed to correct kids with bad behavior, and our protagonist ends up discovering that in the school they make clones of all the students and it is the clones who return home with their parents, while the luck of the real kids is uncertain.
I also specially remember the episode called "Say Cheese and Die" where a boy finds a strange camera, whose photos predict or create tragic events.
I collected sticker album of Goosebumps in those years.
Are you Afraid of the Dark?
This TV series was broadcasted by Nickelodeon, and although the theme was the same as Goosebumps, it had differences that distinguished it very well, such as the fact that the stories began with the meeting in a bonfire of a group of friends who formed what they called "The Midnight Society" whose purpose was to meet every week to tell horror stories, this gave a very interesting touch to the program, as it made me feel part of that group of children.
Personally I liked this show much more than Goosebumps, its stories had a much more elaborate and mysterious storyline, and being a Canadian production it was also filmed in the environments that I found so beautiful.
I remember that the actress Elisha Cuberth who also did the show “Popular Mechanics for Kids”, at a certain date entered the program as part of the “Midnight Society” group, and this actress who was already a teenager used to catch lot of my attention, and I found her very pretty. I was also familiar with the actors who remained in the program the longest, because every so often there was a new one to replace one of them.
The episode that impacted me the most was "The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner" with whose character I had nightmares, since this episode reinforced my fear of clowns. On that occasion, I dreamed that I looked out of my bedroom window, and suddenly the Ghastly Grinner appeared below with a mocking and diabolical laugh and looked at me, with the difference that his clothes were black and white, instead of blue and yellow as they were in the series.
Another episode I remember was "The Tale of the Pinball Wizard" in which a boy addicted to video games was trapped in a closed mall where to get out he had to complete a series of objectives, but to his surprise upon completing the objectives, the game would simply restart, trapping him forever in an endless loop. This episode also affected me because I loved video games and thought how terrible it would be to be trapped and play the same scenario over and over again.
These TV shows influenced my childhood and my adulthood, because to this day I love everything that has to do with paranormal events, horror stories, and mysteries. At a certain time I even tried to make short horror films, but I was never able to consolidate and the ideas remained only on paper.