Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

"Classic" is thrown around very loosely, but we sincerely mean it as our shivery fingers type today...

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was written by Alvin Schwartz and published in 1981. It's a collection of urban legends, myths, and generally weird stories gathered largely from American folklore. The stories are direct and chilling.

But what many recall from this book are the illustrations, by Stephen Gammell. Can you imagine a collection of stories for kids being published today that are as disturbing as these? Nope. But in part, that is what made the 80s the 80s- "kids stuff" had real bite.

And these images STUCK. Show the above image to an entire generation, and they'll cover their eyes! But then- peek out to see it again... and again. Remarkable.

If you don't have a copy of this book, you can get one cheap via Amazon. It's exactly the right book for this time of year: chilling, unnerving... and wonderful.


  1. Heh - they did stick! To this day I still can't help but think to myself "There's room for one more" and get a shiver when someone squeezes on to an elevator.

  2. Hey Ryan- yes! "There's room for one more"... How about "The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out..."


  3. Sadly in newer editions of this book the pictures have been changed to ones that are less scary.

  4. Yes, that's what we're hearing- that newer versions have "tamer" illustrations. Well, settle only for the original! Long live Stephen Gammell's artwork!