Are You Afraid of the Dark: Season 1 Episode 9: The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice


This is one of the episodes I remember watching as a kid that really scared me. For some reason, I really seem to remember Betty Ann’s stories and I think it is because she is a very vivid storyteller. It was also nice that finally someone on TV look like me. Today we are treated to her tale of a guy who lacks friends, but is easily hypnotized into becoming a goth, that is right today I am summarizing: The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice (brought to you in retro vision).

sorcerer's apprentice
Betty Ann’s inner thought: Cool a grave!

Our night starts with an old fashion prank via the Kiki and Frank school of hard knocks. Frank brings the gang into a wooded area with a freshly marked grave (well it looks like a grave, but it also kind of looks like a dirt pit that has been covered). He bets his Michael Jordan rookie card (basketball or golf or baseball), that they will find a maggot ridden corpse. Turns out it is just Kiki and Frank who weekend at Bernie’s style rig a skeleton to scare the rest of the Midnight Society (part of me thinks that Betty Ann was in on it as she doesn’t seem scared). They get pissed. Eric screams “Run run”, like he is going to piss his pants. Kiki than comes out and high-fives Franks and together they yell Psych!

Kiki makes fun of Eric, he claims not to be that scared. Kristen is pissed and Frank says “excuse me for adding fuel to the fire”, Gary has no time for this tom foolery.  He demands to know who is up tonight (You would think as the master of ceremonies he would have the weekly schedule memorized). Betty Ann takes the skeleton head and says “Me!” to which Eric mockingly says “Oh another gore fest?”, and I am now really curious as to what her stories were like before the series started, because I feel like Betty Ann and I could be long lost soul sisters. To bad they never did a prequel of the original members called: Origins, I would watch it if it premiered this year, as along as they had the original cast, maybe it would be like they meet in a bar and talk about how they used to hangout in the woods behind the abandoned Tim Horton’s near Degarassi Street. Anyway I am going off on a tangent, so back to the story.  Betty Ann ignores that weasel Eric and says “My story is about a head of a different sort. An ancient wizard’s good luck charm. Gary looks intense like he is going to slap someone, maybe Eric. Betty Ann continues ” Pick it up and the world can be your oyster, but let the holder beware this charm maybe more than you bargained for, then she submits her story and throw in the Midnight Dust, she calls her story: The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

**Side note, I’ve been trying to figure out what hand she uses to throw the dust, it really bothers me to not know for some reason or maybe it’s that the rule is, it has to be the left hand?**

sorcerer's apprentice2
“Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.”- Betty Ann

So Betty Ann’s story starts in 1966 at Linden High (probably not Linden in Washington state as those kids are not allowed to dance). We see a young teen girl hide from security, she takes out a wire basket and a jewel and puts them into a deep well in a closet in the school. She waits for them to leave and then escapes.

Now we are transported back to 1992, where we are introduced to Dean Birkham who honestly sounds like a loser. Betty Ann tells us “He’s the kind of guy who blended in, he didn’t have many friends, he didn’t do sports and he never joined anything. He just kind of was. And he wasn’t so great with school work either”. But he has a friend who is a girl named Alix. The friendship is about to be put to the test.

Meet Dean and Alix

They are now in world’s cultures class with a guest teacher Dr. Oliver. She likes the color toupee. She tells them about Goth, and it is almost like she is talking directly to Dean. Goth lives in a gold cobra statue.

Dean ditches Alix to check out Dr. Oliver’s trinkets and she tells Dean to go ahead and touch her things. He stares into the scepter of Goth and it’s eyes turn red. Dean is now possessed by Goth and goes to retrieve the trinkets from 1966. He apparently can break locks now with his hands.

During a test in chemistry, Dean turns in his test and hypnotizes the teacher, who is all like OK, when he doesn’t take his test. This leads to a confrontation with Alix.

Betty Ann tells us that something was wrong with Dean and Alix knew it (I have so any questions about how they narrate over the story, I really should reach out and ask to interview the former Midnight Society members. Probably starting with Ross Hull and maybe asking him to hook it up with Raine Pare-Coull since information on her is next to impossible to find). Apparently Dean stops talking to Alix and starts hanging with a different group of friends (if they wear white robes and hoods, I think I know why he suddenly stopping talking to her). Anyway, Alix for whatever reason is back in the chemistry lab (not getting high off of the fumes).  Dean steals a bottle of mercuric acid. Alix is confused and follows Dean to the abandoned pool area, where apparently there is a basement waterfall. She witnesses him bring Goth back to life. He has brought together other goths to help him as his minions.

I can be a fashionista too Alix

He sends his minions after Alix when he see her, while he brings Goth back to life (I now have the song Bring me to life stuck in my head, thanks Betty Ann).  Dean tells Goth he is ready to bring him back, and Goth tells him there is one single task left at hand before he is freed from darkness. Goth tells Dean, that before the moon rises he must gather the nightshade and prepare the cauldron as the mystic vapors must be released (so he wants a bath in vicks vapor rub)? Goth than sees Alix and tells Dean to stop her. Alix runs away and looks for Dr. Oliver.

Crenshaw tells her that Dr. Oliver is not there and is at another school. She tells Crenshaw about how Dean is possessed by Goth, but Crenshaw tells her there is nothing to fear and to join Goth.

Dean and Alix have a confrontation and Alix basically tells Dean to stop what he is doing. Dean tells Alix that he will let her go only this one time. Alix then follows Dean and his minions to an abandoned warehouse I think or possibly a pool, where she is caught by two minions. Alix asks Dean if he is cray cray, and he has the minions put her in the van.

We then cut away to see the Midnight Society, where Franks is all “Excellent, they are going to boil her in that stuff” Kiki is somewhat confused and says “What is it? What you ma call it acid?” (Kiki failed chemistry that year). Betty Ann says “Mercuric acid”, to which Eric says “I hate chemistry”. Gary trying to get to the bottom of things says “Now the acid has to do with those mystic vapors right?”, Betty Ann says “Maybe” (kind of like what she really wants to say is just let me tell the damn story). Gary asks her “What happens next?, looks like Alix’s goose is cooked”  Betty Ann responds with ” Alix may have been backed into a corner, but she is resourceful.”

So Dean and his minions lead Alix into the secret pool area where they will bring Goth to life.  So the recipe to bring Goth back to life is as followed:

  1. Pour two barrels of mercuric acid into a pool.
  2.  Then the Belladonna leaves two garbage bags full
  3. Nightshade
  4. Then you got the mystic vapors and you say “Rise mighty Goth, your apprentice calls for you.”
The end result

Goth is back and looks like a trophy piece. Alix throws the jewel at Goth and it makes Dean not now possessed. Dean realizes what he has done and is now scared. He tells Alix to pour chlorine into the pool successfully defeating Goth. Alix impressed by Dean’s knowledge asks him how he knew about the chlorine, he tells her from Chrenshaw’s chemistry exam. Dean apologizes to Alix for the way he was and she forgives him.

After all the minions leave we see Dr. Oliver, who is revealed to be the girl from the 1966. She tells goth that they failed but she planted jewels at other schools so they have another chance. She then says “And to think when I was a girl, they thought I was mad.” (Then she laughs manically)

One day Goth we will rule the world

Betty Ann ends her story and David says he smells a sequel and Eric says “The world is doomed”. Gary says “Well on that cheerful note I declare this meeting of the Midnight Society closed” and he puts out the fire, because only Gary and prevent forest fires.

***There was never a sequel, Betty Ann moved on to bigger and better stories***

Moira’s Thoughts:

  1. This episode is probably my favorite or right after Cutter’s Treasure
  2. This story is why Betty Ann is one of my favorite storytellers.
  3. I loved that Frank and Kiki pull a prank, it shows the dynamics of their friendship.
  4. I’ve recently learned that mixing mercuric acid and belladonna leaves is poisonous. Which is ironic considering nickelodeon didn’t want us learn how to light matches, but fails to see how fatal bringing back a evil sorcerers can be.
  5. Belladonna leaves are one of the most toxic plants in the Eastern Hemisphere. As for the mercuric acid I found this out “Hydrochloric acid is a hazardous liquid which must be used with care. The acid itself is corrosive, and concentrated forms release acidic mists that are also dangerous. If the acid or mist come into contact with the skin, eyes, or internal organs, the damage can be irreversible or even fatal in severe cases.” This means that the moment Dean brought Goth back to life, he died and so did everyone in that pool room.

Thank you for joining me in this summary of the Tale of the Sorcerer’s Apprentice told by the beautiful and intelligent Betty Ann, Next up is an Eric story: The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun“.

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Until next time “Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society (except for Eric), I call this tale *dramatically throws midnight dust into a fire with my left hand*: The story of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) Blog number 11”.

*Photo Credit from google images: Sorcerer’s apprentice title card    goth    Alix and Dean Alix and Dean 2 Dr. Oliver

Mercuric acid information  


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