Everyone is familiar with the classic Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark book series from the '80s and '90s. Author Alvin Schwartz drew heavily from folklore and urban legends to write the short stories in his books intended for children. Millennials and older generations will remember the terrifying illustrations depicted by Stephen Gammell. With the release of the film adaption of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, directed by André Øvredal and produced by Guillermo del Toro, Daily Dead has a few book recommendations to get you in the spirit before its' release!
In A Dark, Dark Room And Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
"In a dark, dark wood, there was a dark, dark house. " (In A Dark, Dark Room)
Fans of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will be thrilled to read In A Dark, Dark Room, written by Alvin Schwartz and this time illustrated by Dirk Zimmer. This anthology of horror was published in the I Can Read! series from HarperCollins. Followers of Alvin Schwartz will remember stories such as "The Ghost of John" and "The Green Ribbon," a story about a young girl who sports a peculiar green ribbon around her neck. This short book is suitable for young kids just learning to read and the parents who remember reading them.
Through The Woods by Emily Carroll
"Come take a walk in the woods, and see what awaits you there."
Fans of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will enjoy Emily Carroll's Through The Woods, a collection of five graphic stories. The collection includes the popular horror web comic "His Face All Red," in print for the first time. The story follows a narrator who has always been in the shadow of his older brother. When a terrifying monster begins to threaten their small village, the men go off into the woods to kill it. The monster is killed, but only the younger brother returns to the town. A few days after the younger brother’s return, the older brother returns from the woods. The only problem being, the older brother is dead… Carroll's graphics and storytelling mimic the work of popular comic books on shelves today. You might not want to read these stories on a camping trip.
Half Minute Horrors, Edited by Susan Rich
"He slipped and fell. The floor was slick with blood. And the shadows reverberated with a deep gurgle." (“Them,” Libba Bray)
How scared can you get in 30 seconds? Half Minute Horrors is an anthology of short spine-tingling stories and poems from the likes of authors such as R.L. Stine, Margaret Atwood, Lemony Snicket, James Patterson, and Neil Gaiman. This collection is perfect for young readers who find themselves getting bored with chapter books, and most stories are not even a page in length! The book features stories such as "Chocolate Cake" by Francine Prose, a story about a young boy who suspects that his parents may be imposters. There's also "The Itch" by Avi, a story about a man who wakes up very hairy… and very hungry... Half Minute Horrors is the perfect beginners guide to all things horror.
Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, Stories Selected by April Genevieve Tucholke
"Cassidy woke that night to someone tapping at her window. Through the billowing curtains, it was impossible to tell the shape of the figure outside, and her body went rigid with panic." (“In The Forest Dark And Deep,” Carrie Ryan)
A vast group of diverse young adult authors come together to create Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, with stories selected by April Genevieve Tucholke. This anthology of horror is best suited for teens and tweens just venturing into the world of horror fiction. The collection features works from the likes of Cat Winters, Jay Kristoff, Steffan Bachmann, and many others. Consisting of 14 stories in all, each author reveals their inspiration for their fiction at the end of the narrative. The authors are said to have drawn from film, television, music, and literature. Stories range from the supernatural to all-too-possible realism. You might want to read this one with the lights on.
More Bones: Scary Stories From Around The World, Selected and Retold by Arielle North Olson and Howard Schwartz
"His legs ached, but he wanted to put as much distance between himself and those horrible men with the burning corpse." (“A Story To Tell,” Ireland)
Similar to Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, More Bones derives its stories from popular folklore, fairy tales, and urban legends. Unlike Scary Stories, the stories in this anthology are based on stories from around the globe. Authors draw inspiration from Egypt, Hawaii, Iceland, Spain, and many more. Readers will enjoy stories of double-crossing witches that sleep with knives under their pillows and magic schools where one student is never allowed to leave, with each story enhanced by illustrations from E.M. Gist.
The film version of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is now in theaters, and you can visit our online hub to catch up on all of our coverage of the film!