19 Famous Celebs Who Got Their Start on 'Are You Afraid of the Dark?'

Are You Afraid of the Dark
Are You Afraid of the Dark/Facebook

If you grew up in the '90s, there's a pretty good chance you turned down a trip to the mall on Saturday nights to stay in and watch SNICK and the creepily awesome show Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Notorious for raising the back of your hairs, AYAOTD was in many ways the Law & Order: SVU of its time -- serving up memorable episodes with celebrity guest stars. Here's a look back at some now-famous stars who appeared on AYAOTD along with cast members whose popularity rose thanks to this beloved Nickelodeon show.

  • 1. Ryan Gosling

    Why yes, the handsome blond beau we know as Ryan the Gosling once guest-starred in AYAOTD's "The Tale of Station 109.1." Though he wasn't the most supportive brother, at least we caught a glimpse of his acting range.

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  • Ryan has proven over the years that he's a major force in Hollywood (he acts, he sings, he dances) and will forever make us swoon.

  • 2. Neve Campbell

    Neve Campbell made an appearance in the AYAOTD episode "The Tale of the Dangerous Soup" the same year Party of Five made its debut. Unbeknownst to viewers, Neve's ability to scare easily -- and scream -- would come in handy, as the actress put her stamp on slasher films and teen horror flicks as Sidney Prescott in the Scream franchise.

  • 3. & 4. Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamera Mowry-Housley

    Sister, Sister stars Tia and Tamera showed off their twinning abilities in "The Tale of the Chameleons." Known for their pleasantness in super sweet Disney films, this duo gave us something dark and quite creepy in their Are You Afraid of the Dark? appearance.

  • 5. Melissa Joan Hart

    Not only did Melissa give us life on Clarissa Explains It All (another coveted show in the SNICK lineup), but she rocked her role as a babysitter in "The Tale of the Frozen Ghost." Since guest-starring on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Hart has had an amazing run with Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Melissa and Joey, the beloved '90s flick Drive Me Crazy, and hit after hit television movies.

  • 6. Hayden Christensen

    Before his days as Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars Episode II and III, Hayden Christensen played Kirk, an older brother who must contend with an evil spirit, in "The Tale of Bigfoot Ridge."

  • 7. JoAnna Garcia Swisher

    JoAnna's star power since her days as Sam on AYAOTD continues to rise. She went on to act in TV shows like Reba and The Astronaut Wives Club -- and films like The Internship and Fist Fight -- but there's one role in particular that continues to make a splash...

  • ... Ariel on Once Upon a Time.

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  • 8. Tatyana Ali

    Tatyana Ali was already a household name before her time as Connie (and Laura, Connie's haunting dead twin sister) in "The Tale of the Quicksilver" -- thanks to a little show called The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. But boy did this episode have us crawling into bed with our parents.

    Ghosts coming out the wall. Dead sister. Nightstand shaking. Yup, we freaked!

  • 9. Jay Baruchel

    If Are You Afraid of the Dark? had awards for most guest appearances, this actor would receive the top nod. Not only did Baruchel guest star in "The Tale of Dead Man's Float" and "The Tale of the Zombie Dice," but he also blessed us with appearances in "The Tale of the Walking Shadow" and "The Tale of the Time Trap."

  • Jay has enjoyed a pretty remarkable acting career post-AYAOTD, lending his voice to Hiccup in the How to Train Your Dragon series and starring in Tropic Thunder, This Is the End, and other fun-loving roles.

  • 10. Emily VanCamp

    You probably missed Emily VanCamp in AYAOTD's "The Tale of the Silver Sight." VanCamp's role as Peggy Gregory was one of her first acting credits, but definitely not her last.

  • Let's see, Emily starred in the series Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, and Revenge -- and got close to Captain America in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War.

    Not bad, Em.

  • 11. Elisha Cuthbert

    A part of the Midnight Society 2.0 crew, Megan, played by actress Elisha Cuthbert, was a silver spoon kid who wasn't always cozy in the great outdoors.

  • Since her days on AYAOTD, Elisha has seen great success -- playing Carol-Anne, aka "the American goddess," in Love Actually and Jack Bauer's daughter Kim on 24. She also served up the comedy on the show Happy Endings.

  • 12. Charlotte Sullivan

    Who knew Are You Afraid of the Dark? would challenge us on animal cruelty and hunting? Charlotte's character (Diana) in "The Tale of the Hunted" was complex at times (she turns into a wolf) and showed us life through the lens of a hunted animal -- which is pretty eye-opening.

  • Charlotte has keep busy over the years and likely starred in something you've found yourself glued to watch. She played Gale Peck for five years on Rookie Blue, lent her acting chops to Chicago Fire, and is currently filming the TV series Caught.

  • 13. Eugene Byrd

    As Weeds in AYAOTD's "The Tale of the Super Specs," Eugene Byrd made us curious about magic and glasses that enabled you to see into a different dimension.

  • While things didn't turn out too well for Eugene's character on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, the actor has done quite well for himself since his appearance on the show. Aside from starring on the classic '90s show Ghostwriter, Byrd did his thing in 8 Mile and in TV shows Arrow and Bones.

  • 14. Rachel Blanchard

    As Kristen on Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Rachel was one of the OGs of the Midnight Society who bid adieu to campfires and secret meetings in season 3 thanks to her family's moving away. 

  • Blanchard went on to act in The Rage: Carrie 2 and play Cher Horowitz on the Clueless TV series; she has also starred in a long list of supporting roles for movies and television.

  • 15. Tara Lipinski

    Holy triple axel -- that's Tara Lipinski! The Olympic gold medalist and World Champion had a ball playing a mystery girl in "The Tale of the Lunar Locusts" who was out of this world.

  • 16. Will Friedle

    Hey, Will!

    Fans of Boy Meets World likely screamed at their TVs when Will Friedle guest-starred in "The Tale of the Long Ago Locket." He was such a babe who made us laugh and blush with that beautiful smile.

  • 17. Eddie Kaye Thomas

    Jay Baruchel isn't the only funnyman on this list of Are You Afraid of the Dark? alumni. Eddie Kaye Thomas, who played the dorky Matt Dorney in "The Tale of the Curious Camera," definitely got the last laugh ... well, sorta.

  • Thomas made us laugh as Finch in the American Pie franchise and continues his long run on the animated series American Dad as Barry Robinson.

  • 18. Daniel DeSanto

    Don't act like you don't remember Tucker (Daniel DeSanto), Gary's obnoxious little brother who would later take over the Midnight Society. 

  • Not only did Daniel's character leave his mark on AYAOTD, but this '90s kid starred in Mean Girls (DeSanto played Jason) and has lent his voice to various beloved animated series, like Arthur (Alberto Molina) and even PAW Patrol (Daring Danny X).

  • 19. Amanda Walsh

    Any child who played with a dollhouse likely stored it inside the closet after watching this Are You Afraid of the Dark? episode. Amanda Walsh embodied a young girl (Susan) turning into a real-life doll in "The Tale of the Dollmaker" and made you feel bad for her -- especially when her hand fell off! (No worries, all was fixed by the end of the episode.)

  • Since her days getting "dolled up" on AYAOTD, Amanda has starred in several supporting television and movie roles -- including the character Zee in Syfy's Lost Girl.