Monday, October 5, 2009

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz


I've been sicker than a dog all weekend, and for some reason in my mind that meant - read as many scary stories as you can! Nothing like being scared out of your wits with a runny nose and cough. I now know that just increases their effect.

More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was a great place to start. Collected from folklore and retold my Alvin Schwartz, these stories are short and to the point, thereby bypassing a common error with these types of books - I wasn't bored to tears by the length and bad writing. These are supposed to be written for a younger audience (it says on the back for ages 9 & up) but I would think twice before letting someone that young read them. Not unless you want to be up with them in the night!
I'm a grown-up for crying out loud, and I was totally creeped out by most of them, covering a wide variety of haunting subjects. A new bride locked in a trunk forever in The Bride. Being buried alive in Rings on Her Fingers. The Ghost in the Mirror was enough to give me nightmares forever. Wonderful Sausage about a secret ingredient that just happens to be human flesh. The Cat's Paw. The Dead Man's Hand. In some he even includes actions in parenthesis like (Now rush at someone in the audience and SCREAM: AAAAAAAAAAAAH!)

Illustrated by Stephen Gammell, these drawings are horrifying! It's not that hard to imagine someone screaming.

These pictures would give my eleven-year-old nightmares. They'd give my fifteen-year-old nightmares! They gave me nightmares!

So, in other words, if you like a scary short story, I highly recommend this collection. Read it on Halloween for maximum effect though, or better yet, give it to an arch enemy as a birthday gift.
Trust me, you won't regret it...wink,wink.
4 stars

Helluva Halloween Challenge

10 comments:

A Bookshelf Monstrosity said...

Awesome! An oldie but a goodie. And thanks for posting the illustrations :)

Misty said...

The Scary Stories books are always on the most banned/challenged books of the year list. Always. In fact, I think they may have topped the list or come close for the 100 Most Banned of the 90s. Crazy, isn't it. I remember loving these and being freaked out by these at the same time. The pictures are just... I should really buy a copy. Great review.

Nina said...

Love the pictures, they are scary. :)

Lula O said...

Aren't they though? Cool, but horrifying at the same time. I believe it about it being banned at one time or another. It might be a lot for a nine-year-old to handle, around the campfire on a spooky night. Sounds like just the thing I'd subject my kids to, ah the horror!:D

Lula O said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mandy said...

I loved this book as a teenager. I remember reading it at slumber parties. Good times...

StephanieD said...

I can't decide whether what made these books scary - the illustrations or the stories, but I had nightmares about some of them. In particular, the one where the girl gets a bug through a used dress and dies. This one affected me so much because I was big thrft store girl.

Lula O said...

Aahh, that one sounds horrible! I don't remember that one. Sheesh, that is nightmarish. I think the stories are creepy enough, but the pictures are the final nail in the coffin..ahem, so to speak.

Mandy - I hope you scared the wits out of your friends!

natalierenae said...

I had such fun scaring the pants off of myself with these when I was younger! Thanks for the review!

Natalie @ Mindful Musings

Lula O said...

I know! They are creepy aren't they. I've heard he has a lot more books of similar type. I might have to torment my children with a few more selections.