Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark both are retold by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammel. They were some of my favorite books when I was a kid. I totally forgot about these great anthologies of scary folklore tales until my older son recently asked me to tell him scary story. I told him the story called “The Hook.” You might remember that one; two teenagers riding around in the night, they stopped to park (I made it PG and in the book I believe it’s PG too), and on the radio they heard a news announcement stating that a hook handed inmate had escaped from the local prison. The reporter said to be careful and stay vigilant. Once the teenagers heard the report, the girl got scared and wanted to go home, but her boyfriend insisted they stay and “talk”. While they were “listening to music” they heard a scratching sound outside. They got freaked out and decided to go home. When the boyfriend dropped off his girlfriend at her house he screamed when he went to open the car door for her, because there was a hook in the keyhole! An oldie but a goody right?!
There are some great scary stories in both these books. Who can forget “High Beams,” “The Girl Who Stood on a Grave” or “The Babysitter?” These were the stories we told at sleepovers and camp outs. I was happy to find that both books had new editions. They were re-released for their 30th Anniversary. I bought them for my 4th grader. I was around his age when I started reading them, and he has really enjoyed them. If a story is too scary, he stops reading it. I find it nice that he is enjoying something I liked so much when I was his age. The new books have the same stories, but the illustrations (they are by Brett Helquist, the illustrator of “The Series of Unfortunate Events”) are different.
I volunteer at my 4th grader school library once a week. I help re-shelve books. When I was there this week I notice that the first book (original edition) was in the re-shelve cart. It made me happy to know that this book is still being read. It made me even happier when a 3rd grader asked me if I knew of any scary story books. I just handed her the book and said, “Try this one.” As the book passed from my hand to hers. I thought, “I really hope this doesn’t give you nightmares kid.”
If you want to buy your own click here. Or go to this website which has some of the stories. If you are a parent and want to introduce this to your kids please use your judgement I wouldn’t be reading this to my 5 year old, but my 9 year old seems to be enjoying them. He also doesn’t scare too easily.
What are some of your favorite stories or urban legends? Have a great weekend! xoxo