Are You Afraid of the Dark? S2E7 “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost”

All ya’ll, Melissa Joan Hart is in this one! It’s Kristen’s turn to tell the story, and in some world I imagine that Sabrina Spellman and Kristen are great friends.

It’s the hottest night of the year during the Midnight Society’s gather. Everyone is hot, sluggish and sweaty. Everyone, that is, besides Kristen who is donning a coat and looks perfectly fine for someone practically running through the woods to sit in front of a campfire on a hot night. She tells her other members that her story is guaranteed to give everyone a massive case of the shivers.

In “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost” Charles Pemberton-Shilling III is a total brat. He’s incredibly wealthy and has the sort of parents that allow him to travel somewhere with the aid of his babysitter, Daphne.

On the coldest night of the year, Charles and Daphne take Charles’ family limo to his aunts’ house. When they arrive, they discover that the house is a dilapidated mess. There are no lights on either. Charles suggests leaving, but Daphne marches up to the house and bravely knocks on the door.

Two incredibly friendly ladies answer the door and greet the two children warming. The two aunts had never met Charles before, so the welcome is especially inviting.

That night, the two aunts try their best to welcome the children. They haul around Charles’ trunk for him and say it is because they want to be good hosts. Only one of the aunts mishears and shouts, “Oh I only said hosts, not ghosts.” And the mention of ghosts puts precious Charles on edge.

As Daphne unpacks Charles’ things for him, he hears talking from outside, only to find nothing out there. When he takes his pre-dinner bath, he hears the voices again and sees the light bulb above him swing around.

Daphne spends her time getting to know the aunts. They tell her that they are not rich, like Charles’ family. They can’t afford their electricity bill, which is why their lights are off and they’re using candles. They explain that there was a rift in the family where their father had a disagreement with their uncle, who had unknowingly hired a criminal.

The criminal, a robber, was said to have been arrested while working at the farm and was put on a train to the prison. While on the way to prison, the train supposedly crashed, killing everyone on board. Though the criminal’s body was never found.

After going to bed that night, Charles has a dream that he is looking out a hole and a man shouts “give that back” at him before tearing something from Charles’ hands. Charles wakes from his nightmare to hears something outside. He looks outside and sees a ghostly boy standing outside, repeatedly saying, “I’m cold.”

Charles runs into Daphne’s room and wakes her. Annoyed, she sends the boy away. That morning, the two are still having a disagreement. When the aunts inquire as to why, the kids explain about the supposed ghost. The aunts look at each other, then begin a story of a little boy who used to live in a nearby farm.

The boy was always around their farm, looking for cookies. One day the boy went missing and when he was found, he had frozen to death. By divine intervention, the aunts suddenly notice that the wood stove has burned out. Daphne offers to go chop wood, and drags Charles with her.

While chopping wood, the two get into an argument again. Daphne rubs mud onto Charles’ front (to make him less crap, I guess). But while they argue, they overhear another sound. Daphne goes to investigate, leaving Charles behind.

The boy frets while he’s alone, then sees a set of footprints in the mud approach him. Then the ghost boy suddenly appears to Charles again. Charles attempts to run away, but the ghost boy is wherever he runs.

Eventually Charles falls into a puddle of standing water and mud while running aimlessly, and is helped up by Daphne. Before the two can argue again, the ghost boy appears to them both. He says that he’s cold (again), and points to something nearby.

Charles realises that the boy is pointing at a log. He recognises that the log is the hiding place from his dream. He digs in the log and finds a red jacket. As he pulls it out of the log, something calls from it. He hands the jacket to the boy, who puts it on.

The once pasty-white ghost suddenly becomes flush with colour as he puts on the coat. He hugs himself warm before fading away, seemingly into peace.

Before Charles and Daphne leave the woods, they spot a strange object on the ground near the log. They take it to the aunts, who realise that it is the latch for the broken stove pipe. They insert it and turn it, and out pours a multitude of golden coins, the money that the robber had stolen and hid all those years ago. 

It’s a pretty standard ghost story, but “The Tale of the Frozen Ghost” is somehow an incredible episode. It’s so weird and zany. For one, the aunts are totally nuts. The episode gives plenty of weird little Easter eggs that make it really enjoyable.

My personal favourite is the aunt stitching a bloody hatchet. Why? Who knows. But it’s hilarious and brilliant.

Highlight quotes of the episode:

“I say we rename it the Heatwave Society and tell the story about my uncle’s pool.” – David, who has the right idea

 

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