The Cast Of "Are You Afraid Of The Dark" And Where They Are Now
Nostalgia at its finest.
Okay, so you're probably not afraid of the dark anymore, but when you were a kid this show scared the living daylights out of you. We all have our favourite episodes of this Canadian-made show (personally, I'm still haunted by the Tale of the Ghastly Grinner) but we really need to give credit where credit is due: to the members of the Midnight Society. They were the adolescents braving night time walks through the forest, throwing magic sand into the fire, to share these nightmarish tales with us. While you're well aware of some Canadian stars who went on to do bigger roles (Ryan Gosling, Much Music VJ Amanda Walsh, and Neve Campbell ), you're probably wondering what good ol' Gary and his friends are doing now. Well, we were curious too and ended up stumbling upon some quality 90s nostalgia.
1. Ross Hull a.k.a. Gary (@Ross_Hull)
Gary was the glue that kept the friends together. He would call order to the meetings when they got unruly and was the guy you had to run new members by. Doing nerdy-cool before it was a thing, he was known for his circle-shaped glasses and norm core outfits. If Daniel Radcliffe hadn't been cast in the role of Harry Potter, Ross Hull as Gary could've done the character proud. With younger brother Tucker in tow and a constant crush on the resident pretty girl, Gary could've easily been a cliché but was in fact a mufti-faceted character.
By now, most of us know that Ross Hull is the resident meteorologist at Global Television. But before that, he was the weather anchor on CBC, CTV, City TV and the Weather Network. If there's a Canadian news station, Ross Hull has stood in front of their green screen giving the forecast at some point. What's interesting is that Ross isn't particularly...how shall I put this...keen on his background as a child star. He did a short documentary about it that you can watch here that explains his side of the story. To sum it up, he saw it as just a job, but to us...it was our first taste of the horror genre and the source of our childhood nightmares.
2. Raine Pare-Coull a.k.a. Betty-Ann (@Rainerator)
Betty-Ann was what Mary Anne was to the Baby Sitter's Club. While she seemed timid and unassuming, you'd quickly find out that wasn't the case. Her stories were perhaps the most surreal and terrifying and she rarely held back. The last acting job Raine seems to have had, according to her IMDB, was the Canadian sketch comedy television program The Morgan Waters Show back in 2006. She has 6 tweets on her timeline with the last one dating back in 2009. She seems to be a mom now and works at the CBC . We miss ya Betty-Ann, and your freaky stories (though I'm not forgiving you for THIS).
3. Jodie Resther a.k.a. Kiki (@jodieresther)
To the average watcher, Kiki was the tough, no frills girl by the fireside. However, her stories were often thoughtful, nuanced, and featured sensitive characters (The Tale of the Captured Souls, The Tale of Apartment 214), perhaps shining a light on who Kiki really was.
Jodie has been very active since her Are You Afraid of the Dark? days. An equally, if not more widely known character she's associated with is Francine Frensky from Arthur. Similar to Kiki in that Francine didn't fit into stereotypical norms, showing girls it's okay to prefer playing soccer than with dolls. In between her role on Arthur (which she's still voicing), she's had bit parts on Canadian TV shows and movies and currently lives in her home town of Montreal. She's also put out a solo RnB album in 2000.
4. Daniel DeSanto a.k.a. Tucker
Tucker was Gary's little brother, embodying everyones annoying little sibling their parents forced them to bring along. At first, he wasn't really welcomed into the Midnight Society but over time, he proved himself a worthy member with stories like The Tale of the Water Demon.
DeSanto has kept himself very busy throughout his later years, appearing in a lot of recognizable roles . He continued on Are You Afraid of the Dark in the later seasons taking over Gary's role as the campfire master and also voiced Carlos on another Canadian kids' classic, The Magic School Bus . He was in everyone's favourite Lindsay Lohan movie, Mean Girls, as Gretchen Weiner's on-again/off-again boyfriend. Some of you may have seen him walking down the halls at Ryerson, having graduating from their film studies program not too long ago.
5. Jason Alisharan a.k.a. Frank (@jalisharan)
We'd like to think that Frank was misunderstood. The "bully" of the show, it often seemed like he didn't really want to be there but his love of scary stories kept him coming back. He'd have a breakthrough moment every now and then when you'd think he'd changed but by the next episode, he was regular, angry Frank again.
Besides a TV movie and a one episode stint on Breaker High, Jason left the acting world to pursue things behind the scenes. Working at Dreamworks LA for a few years, he went on to help produce the Oscar nominated film A Single Man starring Colin Firth, as well as Amanda Bynes classic film She's the Man. Jason got married in 2013 and still talks to Joanna Garcia and Rachel Blanchard occasionally.
6. Rachel Blanchard a.k.a. Kristen
Kristen was the original popular girl on the show. She was the creative type, often dressing up for her stories. However, she was only on the show for two seasons, so her character was never fully realized.
Rachel went on to star in the short-lived (yet hilarious) Clueless TV show. She has worked consistently since, with many one-off roles. She also has a recurring role in the critically acclaimed small screen rendition of Fargo. Currently, she's filming a movie scheduled to come out this year.
Strangely enough, and what feels like it came out of one of her AYAOTD stories, she had an internet stalker who would change her Wikipedia information to say she was married with two children which isn't true. Apparently, she had lost a job due to the fact that producers thought she was pregnant with her second child. We hope Rachel stops having fake babies because we'd love to see her on the screen more!
7. Joanna Garcia Swisher a.k.a. Sam (@JoannaLGarcia)
Sam was the popular, talented "prom queen" type on the show, most likely replacing the archetype Kristen left behind. She was smart too, showing girls it's cool to not have just beauty but brains as well. She was also Gary's crush on the show (oohlala).
Joanna has become a successful actress since AYAOTD, starring in Reba and landing recurring roles in Gossip Girl, The Mindy Project and currently, Once Upon a Time. (The list is much longer and you'd probably see her with a role in something from just flipping through channels). She's married to baseball player Nick Swisher and welcomed a baby girl in 2013. Did you just hear that? It was the sound of Gary crying.
8. Jacob Tierney a.k.a. Eric
Eric's time around the campfire was short lived only lasting one season. He had an air about him that told us he probably attended the private school in the neighbourhood and found the other Midnight Society members through a post attached outside the library. While he wasn't around for long he made waves in the show, telling one of the most memorable stories in Are You Afraid of the Dark? history with The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun. (Whether you loved that one or hated it, you remember it).
I mention Jacob because he went on to do great things and has become perhaps the most influential cast member from the show. He's currently a successful director, having made films such as The Trotsky (starring fellow Canadian Jay Baruchel) and Preggoland which premiered at TIFF in 2014. He's currently directing the Gerry Dee show Mr. D. In the past he made some waves by stating that Quebecois culture was too insular with too few opportunities for anglophones. In the end, he's stated he's a proud Quebecker yet wants the issue to be continuously talked about since he thinks it's important for young people to consider these things.
Share your favourite Are You Afraid of the Dark? cast members, episodes, rumors in the comments below.