16 Stars You Probably Didn't Realize Were on Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Any fan of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? is no doubt well-aware of the eerie '90s series's potential for launching nightmares, but it also happened to be the launch pad of a few notable Hollywood careers. For instance, yes, that was Ryan Gosling thoroughly freaking you out as a bratty older brother way back when. And future scream queen Neve Campbell? Well, she got plenty of practice hiding from psychopaths on this show long before Wes Craven called her up.
Long before he was making us swoon in The Notebook, Ryan Gosling was trying to save his younger brother from getting dragged to the depths of hell on Are You Afraid of the Dark?'s 1995 episode "The Tale of Station 109.1." Clearly this helped him nab his next role as Young Hercules.
Gosling isn't the only star to appear in this episode. Comedian Gilbert Gottfried also pops up as an evil DJ at the haunted radio station where Gosling's character loses his little brother.
Melissa Joan Hart
This chilling 1993 episode "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost" (pun intended) features an appearance from Clarissa Explains It All star Melissa Joan Hart. She plays a fed-up babysitter looking after a spoiled kid on his aunt's haunted estate. They later encounter the restless spirit of a little boy who keeps telling them how cold he is. Nightmares.
Happy Endings actress Elisha Cuthbert has a very tiny cameo in season five's "The Tale of the Night Shift," which was actually the first time she was ever on camera. She ended up returning to the series a few years later as Megan, a permanent fixture of the Midnight Society.
We all know Hayden Christensen can handle a lightsaber, but what about a snowboard? The Star Wars actor got a spot in a season six episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark? in 1999 called "The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge." As Kirk, he gets sucked into a snowy story about a ghost who kidnaps people fond of Winter sports.
The Fargo actress got her start by playing Kristen, a member of the Midnight Society, on 26 episodes of the show between 1990 and 1993.
Remember Gretchen Weiners's giant jerk of a boyfriend in Mean Girls? Well, he's played by Daniel DeSanto, an Are You Afraid of the Dark? alum. He starred as Midnight Society member Tucker on 65 episodes of the show from the early '90s to 2000.
Being cast as Nonnie Walker in the 1993 episode "The Tale of the Dangerous Soup" clearly helped Neve Campbell prepare for her frightening role in Scream a few years later. Unfortunately for her character in the classic horror film, the bad guy is interested in something a bit more sinister than fear-inducing minestrone.
Revenge's Emily VanCamp had a three-episode arc on the show in season seven, marking her first-ever role. She played a little girl named Peggy Gregory in "The Tale of the Silver Sight," which also features Elisha Cuthbert.
Tia and Tamera Mowry
The famous twins fittingly scored roles in the 1995 episode titled "The Tale of the Chameleons." While Tia Mowry plays a little girl who gets bitten by an evil chameleon at a pet store (yes, really), her sister, Tamera Mowry, gets to embody the lizard, which morphs into a replica of the little girl it bites and tries to take over her life.
One of Smallville actor Aaron Ashmore's first roles was in a 1993 episode, "The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor." He went on to play Jake in "The Tale of the Lunar Locusts" in 2000.
JoAnna Garcia Swisher
A baby-faced JoAnna Garcia Swisher played Sam, a Midnight Society member, in the third season. Maybe it was her early years spent telling scary stories that prepared her to play a storybook character on Once Upon a Time?
Glee alum Vanessa Lengies joined the Midnight Society in 1999, where she played Vange until Are You Afraid of the Dark? went off the air.
Ryan Cooley might be most well-known for his role as J.T. on Degrassi: The Next Generation, but he actually kicked off his TV career with a role in "The Tale of Silver Sight" alongside Vanessa Lengies. Nothing like an old-timey little boy with a mop on his head to get your nerves singing, right?
The Man Seeking Woman funnyman actually appeared in a handful of Are You Afraid of the Dark? episodes, including season five's ridiculously creepy "The Tale of Dead Man's Float." Baruchel plays a young boy in the 1950s who is viciously attacked by a ghost living in a pool. Aquaphobia, here we come.