Unfortunately, “Tale of the Hungry Hounds” one of the more forgettable episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark. We can blame Kristen for this one. It seems that’s the thing to do if you’re in the Midnight Society. Seriously. How are these kids friends? They’re all little jerks.
It’s Kristen’s turn to tell a story and she brings a long a big bloodhound named Elvis. He’s apparently there for the sound effects for her story, but I think he’s just eye candy.
Kristen’s tale is about two cousins, Amy and Pam (played by Mia Kirshner). Amy is a city girl visiting her country cousin. One day, the two decide to dig through Pam’s attic, where her mom keeps the family heirlooms.
Just as Amy says she doesn’t believe in ghosts, a suitcase falls and opens. She picks up one of the photographs and mistakes the girl on the horse for Pam. But her cousin corrects her, telling Amy that it’s actually their Aunt Dora, who died when she was young during a horse riding accident.
Because of the accident, Pam’s mom is haunted by Dora’s ghost. She doesn’t allow Pam to take horse riding lessons, believing her daughter may meet a similar fate.
But the girls also discover a trunk with Dora’s name on it. But it’s locked with a code that neither one knows.
Later, the two play with a ouija board. Without meaning to, the cousins contact a spirit that says “LET ME OUT” and gives them the set of numbers 1-4-9. The numbers are, of course, meant for Dora’s trunk. Despite Pam’s protests, Amy gleefully goes into the attic and opens the trunk with the combination.
Inside the trunk are a riding hat and jacket. Pam is thrilled and throws on the jacket. But with the jacket, she becomes possessed by her Aunt Dora. An entrance in the attic opens, leading out to some stairs that go down into a woods at nighttime (and as Amy keeps pointing out – it’s not night).
Dora/Pam go to the family cemetery where Dora’s grave is. On the grave is a ‘gift’ from a fox that Dora had released. The little fox was meant for the hounds’ chase, but she let it go before the fox could be killed. She took a ride after that, in which she was then killed.
But the hounds were angry at her for not feeding them before death (which doesn’t really sound like dogs, to be fair. Short-term memory and all that).
As they leave the graveyard, a ghostly-looking man appears who scolds Dora for not doing her chores. Dora identifies the man to Amy as Giles the stable keeper. He was killed when the hounds were let out that day, and he had a heart attack.
So Giles is a bit of a dick, I guess. Way to blame a child.
Freaked out by the dead man, the two girls run into the barn, where they are then locked in. Dora/Pam tells Amy that she needs to feed the hounds. To Amy, this sounds like a pretty dumb idea. She locks her possessed cousin in a room and searches for the dog kibble. While searching, though, Dora/Pam gets out and lets the dogs out.
Amy is unable to get the food to the hounds on time. She leaps up on a bale of hay and tries to fight the dogs off. But they run away when they catch the scent of the red fox.
Amy goes out of the barn where she sees Dora on top of her horse. The horse gallops off, and Amy chases after. She eventually finds the exit back to the attic where she finds Pam, who doesn’t remember anything about her possession.
But after that day, Pam’s mom is free from being haunted by her sister’s death. And when Pam asks for horse riding lessons one last time, her mom finally agrees.
So I guess it works out in the end. Torture children about not doing their chores so much that when they die, they are forever trapped until they finally do it. Makes sense to me.
Highlight quotes of the episode:
“‘As you are, so I was. As I am, so will you be.’ Nice thoughts.” – Amy, having fun in the graveyard
“Don’t you do anything around here except play games? What are we gonna do next, Death Row, shuck some corn?” – top city bitch Amy