Tales from the Cryptkeeper

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Tales from the Cryptkeeper
GenreAnimation, horror comedy, fantasy, science fiction, children's horror
Based on
Developed byLibby Hinson
Ben Joseph
Written byPeter Sauder
Directed byLaura Shepherd
Voices ofJohn Kassir
Elizabeth Hanna
David Hemblen
Theme music composerDanny Elfman; credited to Heart Times Coffee Cup Equals Lightning
Country of originCanada
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes39
Executive producersJoel Silver
Richard Donner
David Giler
Walter Hill
ProducersMichael Hirsh
Patrick Loubert
Patricia R. Burns
EditorRick Hickson
Running time22 minutes
Production companiesNelvana
Fantome Animation (Season 3)
Original networkYTV (seasons 1-2) and Teletoon (season 3) (Canada)
ABC and CBS (United States)
Original releaseSeptember 18, 1993 (1993-09-18) –
December 4, 1999 (1999-12-04)

Tales from the Cryptkeeper is an animated horror children's television series made by Canada-based Nelvana. It was shown on YTV in Canada and on ABC in the United States. It aired on ITV in the United Kingdom.

It was based on the 1950s EC Comics series Tales from the Crypt and the live action television series of the same name, which aired concurrently on HBO. Made for children, Tales from the Cryptkeeper was significantly milder than its live action version and all blood and gore were completely removed in order to target the audience.[1]

Most of the episodes take place within the fictional city of Gravenhurst, California.

The series was cancelled on December 10, 1994. In 1999, the series returned to the air as New Tales from the Cryptkeeper. The animation was different from that of the previous episodes and it switched over to Teletoon in Canada, and also switched to CBS in the United States.


The series details the Cryptkeeper telling other horror stories to the viewers, each with a lesson to be learned.

In Season 2, the Cryptkeeper was continually feuding with his rivals, the Vault-Keeper and the Old Witch who were continually trying to steal the show from him as they didn't have one of their own, only to have their plans backfire on them. This season also saw the Cryptkeeper in different locales than his mansion, as he tried to elude his rivals.

Season 3 is aired in 1999 was the final season of the series. It was the only season to never aired on YTV in Canada and ABC in the United States. Instead, New Tales from the Cryptkeeper aired on Teletoon in Canada and on CBS in the United States.



Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
113September 18, 1993December 18, 1993
213September 10, 1994December 10, 1994
New Tales from the Cryptkeeper13October 10, 1999December 4, 1999

Season 1 (1993)[edit]

No.TitleWritten byOriginal ABC air date
1"While the Cat's Away"Manny CotoSeptember 18, 1993 (1993-09-18)

Two brothers plan to rob an abandoned mansion, where The Cryptkeeper has set up a monstrous security system to get rid of intruders.

  • Based on "While The Cat's Away..." from The Vault of Horror #34.
2"Nature"Juan Carlos CotoSeptember 25, 1993 (1993-09-25)

After two brothers torment ants at a picnic, they are shrunk by a mysterious ray and are forced to face the trials and tribulations of the insect world.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo on a penny; he is wearing a hat and a beard making him resemble Abraham Lincoln.
3"Pleasant Screams"James ThomtonOctober 2, 1993 (1993-10-02)

A teacher and one of his students find themselves trapped in the fantasies of another student whom they have tormented.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo on a box of matches.
  • Based on "Pleasant Screams!" from Tales from the Crypt #37.
4"Gone Fishin'/A Little Body of Work"Terry Black (Gone Fishin')
David Hines and Jeff Hause (A Little Body of Work)
October 9, 1993 (1993-10-09)

Gone Fishin: A boy tries to warn his uncle, a wasteful fisherman, of the fish that are out for revenge.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo at the end holding a can of the boy's uncle.
  • Based on "Gone... Fishing!" from The Vault of Horror #22.

A Little Body of Work: Two hoodlums challenge a boy to a race on the Mustang he's renovating. A car which, unbeknownst to them, has a mind of its own.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo dressed as a diner waitress.
5"The Works.... In Wax"Eric LukeOctober 16, 1993 (1993-10-16)

A boy discovers that statues in his favorite wax museum come to life.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo dressed as a wax mannequin of Marie Antoinette.
  • Based on "The Works... In Wax!" from Tales from the Crypt #25.
6"The Sleeping Beauty"Edithe Swenson
and David Finley
October 23, 1993 (1993-10-23)

In a terrifying retelling of the classic fairytale, a self-absorbed prince named Chuck Charming and his nerdy put-upon twin brother Melvin go on a quest to wake the Sleeping Beauty, the slumbering princess, whom, unbeknownst to them, is really a bloodthirsty vampire.

  • Based on "The Sleeping Beauty!" from Tales from the Crypt #39.
7"Cave Man"Ed NahaOctober 30, 1993 (1993-10-30)

The son of a scientist befriends a Neanderthal that has been encased in ice for millions of years, but the friendship turns sour when the caveman can't adapt to the modern world.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo dressed as a ticket salesman.
  • Based on "Cave Man" from Tales from the Crypt #19.
8"Hyde and Go Shriek"Dana OlsenNovember 6, 1993 (1993-11-06)

A group of bullies fear for their lives when their victim Wendell drinks a potion that turns him into a werewolf.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo on the box of the magic potion.
9"Fare Tonight"David FinleyNovember 13, 1993 (1993-11-13)

Two paranormal enthusiasts create a homemade vampire detector and use it to hunt for bloodsuckers...only to learn that one of them is right under their nose.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo as a bar patron.
  • Based on "Fare Tonight, Followed By Increasing Clottyness..." from Tales from the Crypt #36.
10"Gorilla's Paw"James ThomtonNovember 20, 1993 (1993-11-20)

In a classic retelling of W. W. Jacobs' The Monkey's Paw, an unpopular kid steals a gorilla's paw in order to be a part of a secret club, and discovers that the gorilla's paw can grant wishes with twisted results.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo as the host of television program Gruesome Gladiators.
  • Based on "The Gorilla's Paw!" from The Haunt of Fear #9.
11"This Wraps It Up"Peter SauderDecember 4, 1993 (1993-12-04)

During a class trip to an Egyptian pyramid, a tall girl who keeps getting bullied because of her height must save her classmates from a mummy's curse.

  • The Cryptkeeper makes a cameo on top of a tomb entrance.
  • Based on "This Wraps It Up!" from Tales from the Crypt #35.
12"Grounds for Horror"Ed NahaDecember 11, 1993 (1993-12-11)

Summer campers befriend an invisible being who plays pranks on a strict, no-nonsense counselor.

  • Based on "Grounds... For Horror!" from Tales from the Crypt #29.
13"Ghost Ship"Peter Sauder
and Eric Luke
December 18, 1993 (1993-12-18)

Ben and his friend Mike go for a joyride on Ben's father's new yacht and sink it, leaving the two stranded in the ocean until a phantom ship haunted by pirates comes to their rescue.

  • Based on "Ghost Ship!" from Tales from the Crypt #19.

Season 2 (1994)[edit]

No.TitleWritten byOriginal ABC air date
14"Game Over"Peter SauderSeptember 10, 1994 (1994-09-10)
Two boys pay for skipping school to play video games when the characters come to life.
15"Cold Blood, Warm Hearts/The Spider and the Flies"Cold Blood, Warm Hearts:
John de Klein
and Erika Strobel
The Spider and the Flies:
Eric Luke
September 17, 1994 (1994-09-17)

The Cryptkeeper and the Old Witch meet at the beach to swap stories:

Cold Blood, Warm Heart: A man and a woman find that they have a lot in common while investigating rumors of a monster dwelling in a lake.

The Spider and the Flies: When spiders infest their town, two siblings find out that a mysterious exterminator is not what he seems to be.
16"The Avenging Phantom/Myth Conceptions"The Avenging Phantom: Eric Luke
Myth Conceptions: John de Klein (story)
Vince Grittani (teleplay)
September 24, 1994 (1994-09-24)

After besting the Vaultkeeper in shadow puppets, the Cryptkeeper tells two stories:

The Avenging Phantom: A young boy named Jimmy wishes he can get revenge on his tormentors like his comic book superhero "The Avenging Phantom" and gets his wish, but with dire consequences.

Myth Conceptions: An archaeologist discovers the tomb of Medusa and learns the hard way why others before him have died trying to find it.
17"All the Gory Details!"Erika StrobelOctober 1, 1994 (1994-10-01)
A pair of newspaper reporters try to track down an old mad scientist.
18"The Weeping Woman"John de Klein (story)
Libby Hinson (teleplay)
October 8, 1994 (1994-10-08)
Camille and Mildred from "Fare Tonight" return, this time, to investigate the sightings of the ghost of a woman who haunts a local inn.
19"Dead Men Don't Jump!"Eric LukeOctober 15, 1994 (1994-10-15)
The Old Witch, The Cryptkeeper, and The Vaultkeeper return and compete to decide who tells today's story. When the Old Witch wins thanks to her magic, she tells the tale of a boy who challenges a demon to a basketball game that could mean the end of his life if he loses.
20"The Haunted Mine"John de Klein (story)
Eric Luke (teleplay)
October 22, 1994 (1994-10-22)
After incapacitating Scariff Cryptkeeper in a ghost town, the Vaultkeeper tells the story about a young man who goes to visit his aunt which leads to a trip inside an abandoned mine filled with unusual shapes and a dark secret.
21"Growing Pains"Libby HinsonOctober 29, 1994 (1994-10-29)
The Old Witch takes over telling this episode's story after turning the Cryptkeeper into a scarecrow. In this installment, Wendell from "Hyde and Go Shriek" falls for Rose, a new girl at school with a rather "weedy" family secret.
22"The Brothers Gruff"Peter SauderNovember 5, 1994 (1994-11-05)
A boy named Eddie is followed home by a troll after crossing a bridge. Now it's up to him and his friend Sheldon, who knows almost everything about monsters, to defeat the troll when it kidnaps Eddie's older brother.
23"Uncle Harry's Horrible House of Horrors"Erika StrobelNovember 12, 1994 (1994-11-12)
During a trip to the carnival, a boy's birthday is being spoiled by his skeptical uncle, but the latter of whom soon has his views of the supernatural challenged when they take a ride through a frighteningly realistic haunted house.
24"Hunted"Peter SauderNovember 19, 1994 (1994-11-19)
A heartless hunter in the Amazon is soon the hunted when a shapeshifting monster named Onnaya starts pursuing him after freeing the captured animals.
25"Chuck (and Melvin) and the Beanstalker"David FinleyDecember 3, 1994 (1994-12-03)
Chuck and Melvin from "The Sleeping Beauty" return; this time in a horrifying retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk" where they must steal the treasure of a giant Cyclops named Beanstalker.
26"Transylvania Express"Peter SauderDecember 10, 1994 (1994-12-10)
Two surfer dudes, none other than Mike and Ben from "Ghost Ship," accidentally get on a train headed for Transylvania, where they must fight back against vampires.

New Tales from the Cryptkeeper, Season 3 (1999)[edit]

No.TitleWritten byOriginal CBS air date [2]
27"Sharon Sharalike"J.D. SmithSeptember 11, 1999 (1999-09-11)
A selfish teenage girl who never shares decides to steal her five-year-old little sister's doll and soon learns that the doll doesn't like it when its owners don't share.
28"Imaginary Friend"Kim ThompsonSeptember 18, 1999 (1999-09-18)
Two teen boys torment a nine-year-old girl who has an imaginary friend who gets back at the boys for their actions.
29"Waste Not, Haunt Not"Peter SauderSeptember 25, 1999 (1999-09-25)
Two boys improperly dispose of toxic waste from their science project into a bog which creates a bog monster.
30"Unpopular Mechanics"Peter SauderOctober 2, 1999 (1999-10-02)
Randall "The Vandal" is a kid inventor who has a gift for mechanics, but uses his talent for destructive pranks—and when he invents a remote control that can cause machines to go haywire, he gets his comeuppance when the appliances say "No more!" and attack him.
31"Competitive Spirit"J.D. SmithOctober 9, 1999 (1999-10-09)
Victor tricks his rival into thinking a ghost exists in the mountains, but a real mountain spirit comes after the boy for his deceptive ways.
32"Trouble in Store"J.D. SmithOctober 16, 1999 (1999-10-16)
Two boys who are known for stealing end up getting locked in a store during closing hours and discover that the mannequins don't take kindly to those who steal from their "home".
33"So Very Attractive"John de Klein (story)
Ben Joseph and J.D. Smith (teleplay)
October 23, 1999 (1999-10-23)
An insecure girl buys a beauty cream from an abandoned drugstore that makes her an irresistible force to everything....including animals and the dead.
34"Drawn and Quartered"J.D. SmithOctober 30, 1999 (1999-10-30)

An aspiring artist named Ralph finds a magic pencil that brings his drawings to life whenever he draws with it. Especially his cartoon character named "Wahoo." He vows to get back at the bullies who torment him by having him torment them back. He then learns that two wrongs don't make a right after things go over the top.

  • Based on "Drawn and Quartered!" from Tales from the Crypt #26
35"All Booked Up"Deborah Goodwin
and J.D. Smith
November 6, 1999 (1999-11-06)
A boy who hates to read gets trapped in a library where he goes inside the dark world of classic literature.
36"Town Gathering"J.D. SmithNovember 13, 1999 (1999-11-13)
A girl known for her pranks must convince her mother that a group of businessmen are actually aliens bent on eating the townspeople.
37"It's for You"J.D. SmithNovember 20, 1999 (1999-11-20)
A fourteen-year-old boy named Gary gets his own phone line as a Christmas present that he wanted for a long time. However, he abuses his privilege and goes against his parents wishes by making several prank calls after he made an agreement with them saying he wouldn't. The problem gets worse when he accidentally makes a prank call to a mysterious old woman who begins to stalk him over the phone.
38"Monsters Ate My Homework"J.D. SmithNovember 27, 1999 (1999-11-27)
A boy named Evan lies to his teacher by saying that monsters ate his homework in order to avoid getting into trouble. All goes well until problems escalate when real monsters actually come after Evan by coming out under his bed and they want to go after his homework.
39"Too Cool for School"John de Klein (story)
Erika Strobel (teleplay)
December 4, 1999 (1999-12-04)
Two girls who don't like to follow authority rules mess around with the objects in the school science lab and inadvertently create some half-dinosaur/frog creatures after refusing to clean up frog eggs and a serum containing dinosaur DNA off the floor. After the situation gets more haywire, they then learn the hard way that it's important to obey rules.


In North America, the series was premiered on YTV and on ABC, but later on Teletoon and CBS. In August 2012, Fearnet aired reruns in their "Funhouse" block, only on weekends.

Outside of North America, the series aired on Canal+ and M6 in France and Kindernet in The Netherlands.

Home media[edit]

Season releases

In 2007, kaBOOM! Entertainment released "The Complete First Season" on DVD.[3]

Name Release Date Episodes Region Additional Information
Stacks of Fear September 28, 2004 3 1 Includes Season 3 episodes: All Booked Up, Town Gathering and Unpopular Mechanics.
Bonus feature includes: Stay Safe Halloween Tips and trailers.
Pleasant Screams: The Complete First Season September 18, 2007 13 1 Includes the complete first season.
All the Gory Details: The Complete Second Season September 16, 2008 13 1 Includes the complete second season.
Myth Conceptions September 10, 2013 6 1 Includes the first 6 Season 2 episodes: Game Over, Cold Blood, Warm Hearts/The Spider and the Flies, The Avenging Phantom/Myth Conceptions, All the Gory Details!, The Weeping Woman and Dead Men Don't Jump!
Transylvania Express September 10, 2013 7 1 Includes the last 7 Season 2 episodes: The Haunted Mine, Growing Pains, The Brothers Gruff, Uncle Harry's Horrible House of Horrors, Hunted, Chuck (and Melvin) and the Beanstalker and Transylvania Express.
Season 1 2014 13 1 Includes the repackaged complete first season.


  1. ^ Erickson, Hal (2005). Television Cartoon Shows: An Illustrated Encyclopedia, 1949 Through 2003 (2nd ed.). McFarland & Co. pp. 822–824. ISBN 978-1476665993.
  2. ^ "Television Program Logs". Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. 2016-03-02.[dead link] Alt URL
  3. ^ David Lambert, Tales from the Cryptkeeper - North-of-the-Border Release Already Out For Animated Complete 1st Season, "tvshowsondvd.com," October 13, 2007, "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-10-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External links[edit]