Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’
For a kid in the ’90s, only one show could make the gentle rocking of a canoe or the rustling of an abandoned swing so terrifying — and that was ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’, a program that’s blue-hued, spooky intro was enough to make any kid pee his pants. Combine that with the creepy, ghostly tales of the Midnight Society, and you have everything you could have ever wanted in a Nickelodeon show. So, just what happened to the cast after that last campfire was put out? Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, we call this story ‘Then + Now: The Cast of ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’
Ross Hull (Gary, Seasons 1-5)
Then: As Gary, the bespectacled founder and president of the Midnight Society, Ross Hull is probably the actor most synonymous with the show. His scary stories usually revolved around magic and featured the classic (and creepy) magician Sardo. One of Gary’s most memorable (cautionary) tales was ‘The Tale of the Crimson Clown,’ which will guarantee to haunt your dreams until you’re about 30.
Now: After turning over the Midnight Society to his younger brother Tucker (Daniel DeSanto) after Season 5, Hull later had his final appearance as Gary in the three-part episode ‘The Tale of the Silver Sight’ in 2000. Hull left his acting days behind him in 2004 and has since gone on to become a meteorologist for several Canadian news channels. You can follow him on Twitter here and check out his YouTube channel here — where he’s the subject of an ‘AYAOTD’ docuseries.
Raine Pare-Coull (Betty Ann, Seasons 1-5)
Then: Betty Ann, played by Raine Pare-Coull, could spin a good yarn and was responsible for some of the show’s creepiest episodes, including ‘The Tale of the Thirteenth Floor’ and ‘The Tale of the Whispering Walls.’
Now: According to IMDB, Pare-Coull had her last acting job in 2006, with a role in one episode of ‘The Morgan Waters Show.’ She joined Twitter in 2009 and made a few posts, but since 2012 the only tweets that have been on her timeline are spam. She apparently works in scheduling at CBC — coincidentally, one of the Canadian news networks at which her former co-star Ross Hull does the weather.
Jodie Resther (Kiki, Seasons 1-5)
Then: Jodie Resther played the tomboyish Kiki, whose tales included ‘The Tale of Apartment 214,’ and often starred strong female characters like herself. If her voice sounded familiar, it’s because Resther has been the voice of Francine Frensky on the beloved PBS cartoon ‘Arthur’ since 1996.
Now: In addition to her acting career, Resther is also an R&B singer. She has recorded two albums, one in English and another in French, called ‘Ma Dualite.’ According to her Twitter, Resther also aspires to be a producer and currently resides in her hometown of Montreal, Canada.
Nathaniel Moreau (David, Seasons 1-2)
Then: Nathaniel Moreau already had a decent amount of movie roles under his belt when he portrayed the shy but sweet David on ‘AYAOTD.’ He was responsible for adding Frank into the group and had a crush on Kristen. Some of his most memorable stories are ‘The Tale of the Lonely Ghost’ and ‘The Tale of the Shiny Red Bicycle.’
Now: After leaving the show after Season 2, Moreau went on to play other parts on the small screen, most notably as the young Peter Craine in ‘Kung Fu: The Legend Continues’ in 1996, which was his last acting gig to date. Since he left the biz, not much is known about what Moreau is doing now.
Jason Alisharan (Frank, Seasons 1-4)
Then: Jason Alisharan played the bandana-wearing “tough guy” Frank. He was responsible for creating the recurring character Dr. Vink (one of the show’s scariest) who appeared in several of his tales.
Now: After Frank’s family moved during Season 5 and Alisharan left the show, he went on to have a small role in the TV movie ‘The Halfback of Notre Dame, and a one-episode role on the series ‘Breaker High.’ In a 2010 interview with My Rotting Brain, Alisharan revealed that he has actually gone on to become pretty successful behind-the-scenes, and has worked in “the live action division at DreamWorks,” on such movies as ‘Transformers,’ ‘Red Eye,’ ‘Win a Date with Tad Hamilton’ and ‘She’s The Man.’ He even produced ‘A Single Man’ with Colin Firth and Julianne Moore. In addition to his career success, Alisharan tied the knot in September 2013, and according to him, sees his former co-stars Rachel Blanchard and JoAnna Garcia “from time to time.”
JoAnna Garcia Swisher (Sam, Seasons 1-5)
Then: JoAnna Garcia played Sam, whose ghostly tales usually revolved around the idea of everlasting love. Two of her most memorable stories are ‘The Tale of the Dream Girl’ and the spooky vampire/hospital ep, ‘The Tale of the Night Shift.’
Now: Garcia has become one of the most successful ‘AYAOTD’ cast members, going on to score a starring role on ‘Reba,’ as well as recurring parts on ‘Gossip Girl’ and ‘Royal Pains,’ to name a few. She married MLB player Nick Swisher in 2010 and welcomed a daughter, Emerson Jay, in May 2013. After starring in the short-lived comedy ‘Animal Practice’ in 2012, Garcia played Ariel on ‘Once Upon a Time’ and costarred on ‘The Astronauts Wives Club’ in 2015.
Rachel Blanchard (Kristen, Seasons 1-2)
Then: Rachel Blanchard’s character Kristen was known for dressing in costume for her stories, which included ‘The Tale of the Prom Queen’ and ‘The Tale of the Frozen Ghost.’
Now: Blanchard’s most famous role post-‘AYAOTD’ was as Cher in the TV version of ‘Clueless.’ In the early 2000s, she starred in several teen movies, including ‘Sugar and Spice’ and ‘Roadtrip.’ She also had recurring roles on ‘7th Heaven,’ ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Flight Of The Conchords.’ Blanchard is still acting today and was seen in the 2012 film ‘Overnight’ and the 2013 TV movie ‘The Surrogacy Trap.’ She also had a role on the ‘Fargo’ series in 2014.
Jacob Tierney (Eric, Season 1)
Then: Jacob Tierney played Eric, another one of the more forgotten members of the Midnight Society. With his cocky attitude and disdain for other members of the group, Eric only lasted for one season — during which he told ‘The Tale of Jake and the Leprechaun’ and ‘The Tale of the Dark Music.’
Now: Eric may not have been a popular character, but Tierney has gone on to have a successful career in show business. He has been acting steadily since the late ’80s, but as of the mid-2000s has focused more on the directing and producing side of the business, working with comedian Jay Baruchel on several films, including ‘The Trotsky’ and ‘Good Neighbors,’ both of which Tierney directed.
Daniel DeSanto (Tucker, Seasons 3-7)
Then: Daniel DeSanto was introduced as Gary’s obnoxious little brother, Tucker, in Season 3. After the series rebooted in 1999, he became the new leader of the Midnight Society following the rest of the original cast’s departure. Like his co-star, Jodie Resther, DeSantos also provided the voice for a popular PBS kids’ show at the time, playing the role of Carlos on ‘The Magic School Bus.’
Now: Since his ‘AYAOTD’ days, DeSanto is most well-known for his portrayal of Gretchen Weiners’ on-and-off boyfriend Jason in 2004’s ‘Mean Girls.’ He has also lent his voice to other cartoons of the decade, including ‘Totally Spies!’ and ‘Beyblade.’ He graduated from Canada’s Ryerson University (also an alma mater of his TV bro, Ross Hull) with a degree in film studies. He still acts and is also a producer.
Codie Lucas Wilbee (Stig, Season 5)
Then: Codie Lucas Wilbee portrayed Stig, a less memorable character who was inducted into the Midnight Society by Tucker. Stig was known for his bad hygiene and pretty much everybody hated him, so of course his stories focused on people judged for their outward appearances. His most memorable tale was ‘The Tale of the Dead Man’s Float.’
Now: ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?’ was Wilbee’s last acting gig. (Before the show, he had small roles in various TV shows like ‘The Outer Limits’ and movies such as ‘Knight Moves.’) After ‘AYAOTD,’ he has remained virtually absent from the internet.
Vanessa Lengies (Vange, Seasons 6-7)
Then: Ah, we’ve arrived at the ‘AYAOTD’ revival characters. In the last two seasons of the series, Vanessa Lengies played Vange, who was known for rocking a beanie and wearing her hair in braided pigtails. Her story, ‘The Tale of the Night Nurse,’ was probably one of the most terrifying tales on the show. Like Jodie Resther, Lengies also voiced a character on ‘Arthur,’ playing the part of Emily.
Now: Lengies got her big break in 2003, when she played the character of Roxanne Bojarski opposite Brittany Snow in the NBC family drama ‘American Dreams.’ Since then, Lengies has had parts in films like ‘The Perfect Man’ and ‘Stick It,’ and on the medical drama ‘HawthoRNe’ before landing a recurring role as Sugar Motta on ‘Glee.’
Kareem Blackwell (Quinn, Seasons 6-7)
Then: Kareem Blackwell played Quinn during the series reboot in 1999 and 2000, relaying ‘The Tale of Vampire Town’ and ‘The Tale of Highway 13.’ In 1999, he was a panelist on everybody’s favorite Nickelodeon game show, ‘Figure It Out.’
Now: In 2002, he had a role in an episode of ‘Cyberchase,’ but hasn’t acted since. Instead, he has become a firefighter in his hometown of Yonkers, N.Y., and is the father of an adorable young son.
David Deveau (Andy, Seasons 6-7)
Then: David Deveau played Andy, another member of the New Midnight Society, who was always being made fun of by Quinn and Vange. His stories included ‘The Tale of the Misfortune Cookie’ and ‘The Tale of the Photo Finish.’ Interestingly, Deveau had already been on an episode of ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ in 1995, but as a different character in ‘The Tale of the Manaha.’
Now: After ‘AYAOTD,’ Deveau had a starring role in the 2002 Canadian movie ‘Drummer Boy’ but has not acted since, and is yet another cast member who has virtually no online presence.
Elisha Cuthbert (Megan, Seasons 6-7)
Then: Elisha Cuthbert joined the cast during the revival and played Megan, the quintessential rich girl who is not a fan of the outdoors. (She soon helps to “make over” the campsite with some pillows and other pieces of furniture.) Some of her stories include ‘The Tale of the Gruesome Gourmets’ and ‘The Tale of the Stone Maiden.’
Now: Cuthbert has gone on to become a successful — and stunning — actress, starring in films like ‘Love Actually,’ ‘The Girl Next Door’ and ‘House of Wax.’ Cuthbert has also seen success on television and is probably most well-known for her roles as Kim Bauer on ’24’ and Alex on ‘Happy Endings.’ She married hockey player Dion Phaneuf in 2013.
Aron Tager (Dr. Vink)
Then: Aron Tager was known for his recurring role as the terrifying Dr. Vink (“with a vuh-vuh-vuh”), who appeared in episodes like ‘The Tale of the Phantom Cab’ and ‘The Tale of the Midnight Madness.’ In addition to his recurring role scaring the bejesus out of kids on ‘AYAOTD,’ Tager lent his booming voice to an incredible number of animated shows, including ‘The Adventures of The Little Mermaid,’ ‘Beyblade’ and ‘Totally Spies!’ (sound familiar?) among countless others.
Now: When he’s not being humbled by adoring fans (watch him adorably recall fan encounters here), he is still acting and is also a professional painter and sculptor.
Richard Dumont (Sardo)
Then: Richard Dumont played mad magician Sardo (“Sar-DOH!”), a character made up by Gary, who appeared in such episodes as ‘The Tale of a Door Unlocked’ and ‘The Tale of the Super Specs.’
Now: Dumont has lent his voice to over 50 animated television shows, movies, and video games, including ‘Arthur’ (there seems to be a trend!) and the video game ‘Assassin’s Creed II.’ Due to his success in the field of voice work, Dumont has become a voice director and has worked in this capacity on ‘Avatar: The Game’ and ‘Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell.’