The Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark collection is an awesome collection of tales that ranges from a little humorous to completely horrifying for readers ages 8-12.
These stories were available in our school library when I was a kid. I’m not sure how old I was when I first pulled one off the shelf, but I do know that I was hooked on these tales!
With the film coming out this year, I just had to get my hands on copies so I could re-read them! I am so glad that I did!
This was another collection I read for the Spring Into Horror Readathon!
Let’s dive into my reviews!
My Thoughts About The Scary Stories Collections by Alvin Schwartz and Brett Helquist
As a kid, I was obsessed with these tales. As a twenty-eight year old, they were just as fun and just as creepy to reread! I wish I had done it sooner!
As I was reading through, I could not believe how many of these tales and illustrations had stuck with me.
The illustrations are incredibly haunting! They certainly wove their way into my nightmares as a kid, and I didn’t spend too much time looking at some of them during this reread because of how eerie they are.
I will add a few examples of the illustrations below, so if you don’t enjoy creepy things, you may want to stop here!
I was very interested to see that for a number of these stories, I’ve seen the general plot retold time and time again over the years. For example, the tale about the ghostly hitchhiker. I must have read this tale a dozen times now from various sources.
One thing I had totally forgotten about is the prompts to help you really scare your friends as you read some of the stories aloud.
Another element that was included in my editions were the notes. I can’t remember if the original versions at my school had these. If they did, I probably didn’t read them because I was too interested in the tales themselves. However, as an adult I really enjoyed these sections because they gave the reader more information about the tales including where the stories were first mentioned, or if the tales had a history.
My favorite stories from book one, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, include:
The Big Toe
Oh my gosh, I remember this one! It’s quite gross. I mean, who plucks a toe from the dirt and eats it? And then the creature calling for it in the night… Eek!
So repetitive, but my gosh does this one build the suspense!
The Haunted House
A very sad tale of a woman that was murdered by her lover, but one that has a great ending! What a clever way to find the culprit!
I remember this one! Another sad tale, but so interesting! I love tales about not only ghosts, but ghost houses as well!
The Girl Who Stood On A Grave
I remember this one as well. I remember being so creeped out by the dare! The poor girl…
Room For One More
This is where my fear of elevators came from…
God, this one. The ending still makes me feel like my stomach just dropped!
I still think of this story every time I’m driving at night!!
This one creeped me out so badly when I was younger. It was just as creepy with this reread!
My favorite stories from book two, More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, include:
This story… I heard so many versions of this one as a kid, but this one really stuck with me!
One version that I heard growing up in my hometown was about a bride that got married on the beach. After the ceremony, she wandered out into the mudflats and got herself stuck in the mud and clay. As the tide came in, and before everyone could realize that she was stuck in the first place, she drowned.
The Man in the Middle
This is another one I’ve heard different versions of! Eek!
My favorite stories from book three, Scary Stories Three – More Tales To Chill Your Bones, include:
Book three held two of the most memorable tales that still haunt me from childhood, The Dream and The Red Spot.
I remember this one mainly because of the illustration. This one used to haunt me a bit! I think what made it worse is that the story isn’t totally clear. As a kid, I wanted to think that the woman was trying to help, but with that ending I wasn’t sure.
The Red Spot
This one is just all around terrifying. I am so afraid of spiders and this one is a real nightmare!
My Final Thoughts on The Scary Stories Collections
I loved rereading these tales for the first time in over twenty years. I will definitely be picking these up on a more frequent basis moving forward now that I own copies.
And I cannot wait to see the film! I have such high hopes for it and it looks like they are going to keep it very dark and scary. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, take a peek below:
Snag a copy through Bookshop to help support local indie bookshops: