31 Days of Halloween #25: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Reading spooky stories is one of the best parts of the Halloween season, especially when you are a kid!  You all know I love nostalgia, so I thought I would share my favorite childhood book of scary stories.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Yep, this right here fueled my nightmares for many years as a wee one, and I loved it.   This book is part of a trio, and while the stories are relatively simple and frequently pull from popular urban legends, there is one thing about this series that makes it stand out from the pack, and that’s the artwork.   The gruesome, terrifying illustrations by Steven Gammell have stuck with me well into adulthood.  Arguably, they don’t even belong in a children’s book series, but boy am I glad that I grew up during a time where things were less censored and protected.  I loved scaring the crap out of myself with these drawings.  Just look at these examples!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
This was the first story I ever read.  It’s about a bride who plays hide and seek during her wedding, and ends up accidentally locking herself in a trunk in the attic.  No one found her until decades later.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
You might recognize this one from a well-known urban legend about a spider who lays eggs in a girl’s cheek while she sleeps.  Bet you never saw it portrayed like this, though!  Eeecch.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Out of all of the stories in the books, I hated this one the most.. because of this picture.  It was about a boy (or was it a girl..) who suffered from a recurring dream that eventually came true.  This.. this thing, kept urging him/her that he/she was in an evil place and to flee while there’s still time.  I don’t know if this picture is supposed to be the creature warning the child, or some other sinister being (I tend to go with that belief) but.. this image gives me the serious heebie jeebies.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
This was from a more classic haunted house story, and oh man.. did this drawing ever paint the picture of what was going on in that house.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Another popular urban legend.. Bloody Mary.  The ole “Go into a dark bathroom and say her name 3 times in the mirror” story.  Do I need to tell you how many times my friends and I dared each other to do this during many a sleepover?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
This one kept me awake for many a night.. the story of Harold, a scarecrow that comes to life and does.. well, some pretty terrible things. I read this not long before watching an episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark about pretty much the same thing.. so me and scarecrows didn’t get along for a while.

These are great for a collector of nostalgic books and games.  They definitely hold a special place in my collection of literature from my childhood because of all of the innocent spooky fun that it brought me and my friends.  Definitely a classic!

As a bonus, here’s the episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark mentioned above if you really want to relive some childhood memories.


  1. says

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  2. says

    I think scary stories 1 was pure genius ,Not only are they scary stories they teach you how to cook to . for example arm sausage big toe soup .Thes stories are  a mind masterpeice.

  3. says

    This was pretty much my favorite book series when I was younger and I always loved the episode of Are You Afraid of the Dark was The Pinball Wizard – the kid was trapped in a mall inside of a pinball game and had to save the princess.

    I just wanted to let you know how huge my smile was while I looked over those pictures. I miss these books! And frankly I’m pretty sure this is what started me on horror movies.

    • Erin says

      How fun – I loved The Pinball Wizard, too!! The ending used to scare me to death! You know, I think that the Scary Stories book series is what turned me into a horror fan as well. Shame kids these days only see watered down versions of such genius, haha! :)

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