SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK
You may have noticed that I’m using a stock photo of the cover of this tome, instead of a picture of my copy. That’s because I don’t actually own this book; I do, however, have some very very fond memories of having the stories read to me in grade school, and checking it out from the library back in the day, curled up and taking in all of the stories that are contained within, helping to nurture my growing love of the macabre with a touch of whimsy, tempered with danger. And just a hint of cheese.
For those of you not familiar with the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark series, these were three collections put out in the years 1981, 1984, and finally 1991, all written by one Alvin Schwartz with illustrations originally done by Stephen Gammell. The stories themselves are based on various folklore and urban legends, researched heavily by Schwartz, which managed to capture the imagination in and of themselves. But, the real terrifying frosting on top of this already delicious cake are the original illustrations, which are surprisingly nightmarish even for a children’s collection. Which, for me, just made things all the more interesting. I was a weird kid.
If you’ve never read these collections, you were clearly deprived of one of childhood’s great joys. I’ve seen these sold as a boxed set and in omnibus form, and while I have yet to own them outright, I figure on rectifying this oversight as soon as possible.