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The Tale of the Phone Police
Season 3, Episode 4
Eplogo30
Air date January 29, 1994
Written by David Preston
Directed by Jean-Marie Comeau
Episode guide
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The Tale of Watcher's Woods
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The Tale of the Dollmaker
The Tale of the Phone Police, is the fourth episode of the third season of Are You Afraid of the Dark? as well the Thirtieth episode in total.

Intro

The night begins, with Gary fixing up the campfire. Frank asks who is up tonight? Sam says that Tucker is. Kiki asks where he is? Annoyed Tucker's not here yet, or running late, Frank says he knew he was going to be trouble. Gary smiles and assures them all that he will be there. Suddenly out of the blue a telephone rings. Surprising everyone, Sam confused asks what is going on? Gary tells Tucker on the phone that they're all set and Sam and Betty Ann both smile in intrigue.

Gary goes over to the storyteller's chair and he set's up a portable telephone to a telephone speaker. How it works is unknown. Possibly it's battery powered or power charged and works from a short distance. Gary turns on the speaker and everyone can now hear Tucker's voice coming from the speaker loud and clear.

Tucker tells them that he is telling his story this way because when you think about it a telephone is probably the most scariest thing in your house. Frank in disbelief says "Say what!?" Tucker then explains that you might feel safe with your doors and windows locked. But all that someone has to do is dial your phone number and when your answer your phone, bingo! they're inside.

Sam in disbelief or confusion says but it's just their voice. Tucker then explains even though it's just their voice, when the phone is answered a connection is made, and it might to a place you don't want to be connected to. Gary throws in the dust to intensify the fire, and Tucker submits his approval for The Midnight Society. Calling his story "The Tale of the Phone Police"

Story

From the telephone speaker, Tucker, tells the story. The story takes place at a small house, late one evening with two boys around 13 years old. Their named Jake O'Brien and Chris (his friend). They're making prank phone calls. Chris is nervous and a bit scared and doesn't do a very good one. On the other hand Jake has been making prank phone calls for a while and has lots of experience. Calm and confident he shows him how it's done. Then it seems as though someone or something slowly closes in on them

Jake phones a random number and a woman answers. He tricks her into thinking he's  a D.J. from a radio station, and if she can correctly answer the question she will win an all expense dream vacation. The question is in centimeters centimeters how wide is Antarctica? She has 10 seconds. Once again it seems as though someone or something is closing in on them.

Chris tries to tell him it's not funny, even though obviously they both seem to be enjoying it. The woman sounds nervous and she says she doesn't really know. Chris begins the countdown from  4 to 1, Then suddenly a hand from behind him grabs the phone away and stops him. The person is Jake's older sister Annie and she looks really mad, and she snaps at him for making prank phone calls again. He lies to her saying he was trying to call their Mom & Dad whom are away on a trip but she doesn't believe him. She tells them if they keep it up they're going to get caught by "The Phone Police".

Curious what Annie means they both follow her to the kitchen and ask her what The Phone Police is?  Annie tells them that, The telephone has certain rules, don't let it ring for too long, don't leave it off the hook, and certainly do not make prank phone calls. Because The Phone Police will eventually find you and arrest you. They are a vigilante secret police group. They enforce the rules of the telephone. Annie then tells them she heard that many years ago, Billy Baxter a troublesome boy fooled around and made prank phone calls. The Phone Police caught him and he was never seen or heard from again. Annie warns them if they keep it up they'll end up just like him.

Chris goes home for the night seeming to somewhat believe it, Jake thinks it's a joke and doesn't believe it. Later that night he looks through the phone book to see if the number is actually there. To Jake's very surprise the phone number is there and it stand outs a bit a bigger than the other names and numbers in bold and his number only has six numbers instead of the usual seven.

Thinking it's not going to work he dials the number, and he gets a crackling static like response and a creepy deep old voice calls to him through the phone "Help me! someone please help me!" terrified Jake closes the phone book and hangs up the phone. Later that night when he is sleeping his phones rings again. Through the crackling static the voice tells him this time "Hey kid I know you can hear me.. You gotta help me!" Jake slams the phones back down. The phone keeps ringing over and over and over again. This begins to get on Jake's nerves and drive him crazy; so he unplugs it. However even unplugged, his phone keeps on ringing, and the voice keeps saying "You've gotta help me please!

The next day, Jake and Chris are out for a walk. Chris thinks it might have been Annie playing a joke on him. Then suddenly as they pass by a payphone and suddenly it rings and it rings. Chris answers it and seems confused and asks him if the voice he heard last night sounds just like the one on the phone right now. How the person knew Jake would be there is unknown possibly a lucky guess. Jake has had enough and decides to get some answers from the phone company.

Jake and Chris make their way to the second floor of the phone company and head over to the front desk, where they are greeted by the cold and impatient Receptionist. They show her the 6 digit phone number and ask her whose phone number it is, suspecting it might be a foreign number. The Receptionist rudely tells them that the number is not foreign it's old and discontinued.

Hearing this, Jake tells her that it can't be because they just called it and got someone. The Receptionist asks if they really did? Jake say it was more like static but someone was there and started calling him back. The Receptionist now seems a slight bit shocked. She tells them that people in the records department can help them. On their way to the basement she presses a button under her desk.

When they get to the basement Jake rings the bell on the desk for service. The Phone Company Manager greets them he's an elderly man with many years of experience. Jake gives him the phone number and asks him whose phone number it is. He looks at the paper with the phone number on it with surprise and smiles. He tells Jake they don't get very many of these anymore. Then he asks Jake come on back behind the desk.

Jake comes over and the manager speaks to him up close. He's getting mad at Jake now and tells him "So using the telephone to make a few jokes huh?" Jake backs away like he can't believe it and says what! Next a couple guards quickly approach Jake and ones show him a badge saying John White and it has a phone symbol on it. They tell him "Jake O'Brien! Phone police. Chris sitting down hiding behind the desk overhears Jakes being grabbed and taken away. Next jake is places into a old dark small jail cell. The Manager opens the eye slot on the door and tells he's in jail and laughs.

Jake terrified and upset cries and cries for help. Suddenly the phone in his cell rings he answers it. The voice is that creepy voice from before. He tells Jake not to bother shouting because no one can hear him and he's tried so he should know. Jake asks who he is. and reveals to Jake that he is none other than Billy Baxter and tells him he never should have fooled around with the phone, because now they've got him too. Jake says he'll call his parents, or his sister for help. Billy reveals to him he can't because the phone in the cell can only take incoming calls. However somehow it can call back a person who calls it first like when Jake phoned Billy. Then Billy tells him that maybe someday he'll be lucky enough for somebody to call him and then laughs hahaha and hangs up on him.

Chris escapes and runs over to Jake's house to get help from Annie. Chris out of breath and with panic explains that they caught Jake just like she said they would. They were at the phone company and The Phone Police caught Jake. Annie stares at him, as if to say huh?, she asks him in a very hostile tone who he is and how he knows her name? He tells her he is Chris her brother's Jake's friend. She tells him she doesn't know what he is talking about and threatens to call the police if he won't leave. He tells her again he is Chris her brother Jake's friend. She tells him she doesn't know who she is and she never had a brother and is about to hit him with a big flower plant, making Chris realize she isn't kidding. Chris tries to prove Jake is her brother by showing her his bedroom. When he gets there his room has turned into a home office. Annie tells him for the final time to leave or she will call the police. He asks her that speaking of the police she recently told them the story of The Phone Police and how they caught a kid named Billy Baxter? Annie says she knows the story but the way she heard it was the boy that caught was named Jake O'Brien.

Chris runs down the street and goes over to the nearby payphone they were at earlier. He looks through the phone book and sees that Jack's name is already in the phone book with his own six digit number in bold in a bit bigger text than the other names and numbers. He realizes that somehow the phone police not only put Jake in jail, but also removed him from existence as if he were never born and nothing but an urban legend and somehow Chris was not affected possibly cause he was in the building when it happened. Chris calls Jake's number and Jake tells him he's scared and asks him to get her parents or his sister to help him. Chris says he's scared too and he can't get his parents or his sister to come help,  but he has an idea how to help him escape.

Chris visits the second floor of the phone company once again and he phones Jake's number from the phone on the wall and puts a rubber band around the switchhook to hang up the phone and to not disconnect the call. He pretends he's taking the elevator going up to distract The Receptionist. Then Chris quietly sneaks downstairs to the basement. In the basement Jake's phone is ringing over and over again. The Manager shouts at him to answer the phone after a few times of not listening he opens the thick cast iron prison door and head over to Jake's cell. Chris quietly follows the manager on his way. The phone rings over and over and he shouts at him to answer the phone and tells him if he thinks he has it bad now to just wait. Then the manager gets fed up and heads over to Jake's cell to possibly take him to solitary confinement or the hole but Jake is bent over on the floor and Chris pushes him in from behind and trips over Jake and Jake runs out and they lock the cell.

They begin to run off and The Manager screams to them that no one escapes from the phone police! everywhere they turn they are phone police guards waiting to apprehend them. Soon The Manager gets back out and leads a division of guards right to them. They almost feel trapped when they find a dead end, with a wall of bars. They lock the door on the side but putting a broom handle through it. Then they smash a big window and walk through it. They run down a tunnel and climb up and exit a manhole and make it to the streets. Now the phone police are chasing after them in their phone police cruisers. They finally make it back to Jake's house, Chris tells Annie that he is Jake her brother and she's got to remember him now. She almost laughs and she says yes I remember Jake's he's my brother even though I want to forget him sometimes. Chris asks her is she really knows who he is? She asks Jake okay where do you he meets people like these? Chris then goes over to see that Jake's bedroom is back to normal. Seems when they escaped Jake re-entered his existence again everything is normal again.

Suddenly the doorbell rings and Jake and Chris panic and beg and beg Annie not to answer it claiming it's the phone police. Annie not believing tells them that she made it up. Jakes tells her it's true because they caught him. Annie thinking they're acting like they're paranoid and crazy answers the door anyways and it's just a pizza delivery man from a place called "Mouse Pizza" with a funny mouse like hat. He has one jumbo pizza with extra cheese all dressed with no anchovies. Annie asks them if they ordered pizza? In shock and disbelief they shake their heads no. The pizza delivery guy then realizes he's at the wrong house and leaves. Annie laughs at them calling them guillible and tells them she can't believe they fell for that story about the phone police. Jake is exhausted and goes to lie down. With Annie claiming it was something she made up and since the phone police didn't answer the door, Chris asks Jake hey did that really happen? or was it all in our heads?

However as the pizza delivery guy is about to leave he takes his sign off vehicle to reveal a phone police symbol; Hinting to the viewers that it really did. As the pizza delivery guy leaves, Jake's phone begins ringing again and Billy's sinister laughing can be hearing in the background. Chances might be that with a 1 out 10,000 chance Annie made up a story which just happened to be entirely true though she didn't know it. Or she knows it does exists, but she's denying it because she doesn't won't to scare her brother and Chris.

Ending

As the story ends, from the speaker phone Tucker explains that "Jake and Chris never made a prank call again, Because they were never really sure if The Phone Police were actually real". Tucker comes on talking on a phone as he says "Or if they could believe anything else they ever saw again" he tiptoes up to behind Frank and puts down the phone and yells "The end! startling Frank making the others all laugh. Everyone but Frank tells him his story was excellent. Gary declares their meeting officially closed. Suddenly a phone rings and everyone but Gary and Tucker all say they'll get it and run over to answer it. Gary and Tucker high five and Gary puts out the fire.

  • Griffith Brewer who portrayed The Phone Company Manager, previously appeared in the show before. He first appeared in the episode "The Tale of the Captured Souls" as The Old Peter. The third time he portayed Captain Abraham Westchester in "The Tale of the Water Demons". The fourth time he made an uncredited appearance as The Old Nathaniel in the episode "The Tale of the Forever Game" in the series revival
  • Richard Jutras who portrayed The Pizza Delivery Guy, reappeared a few years later in the episode "The Tale of Vampire Town" as Stanley, in the series revival.

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