Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #1)

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  27,207 ratings  ·  973 reviews
This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz's popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright. There is a story here for everyone -- skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the ch...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published July 27th 2010 by HarperCollins (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Laurel
The illustrations were the really scary part of these books. I remember being afraid to turn the page and look at the next one when I was a kid, peeling the next page over gradually like a Band-Aid. One pictured effed me up so badly I had to tape a piece of construction paper over it so I could flip through the book without having a heart attack.
Trudi


I'm not giving any stars here, only a warning: beware which edition of this collection you choose, for if you choose unwisely, you will be sorely ripped off in more ways than one.

I chose unwisely. My edition is the 2010 "updated" version published by Harper Collins with new illustrations by Brett Helquist. To say that it's been sanitized for safe consumption is an understatement. The reason the original 1981 edition became an instant classic and a frequently challenged book in schools and libra...more
Joel
As scary stories go, they are only slightly. Sometimes they are funny, or just weird, or sad. Except the one about Harold the Scarecrow. God, that one is terrifying. Oh and the spiders hatching from your face.

But the illustrations... The illustrations in this book are good old-fashioned nightmare fuel. I really don't know what they were thinking.



I mean, what were they thinking?



Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 8: Book that scares you.
Khanh (Kittens, Rainbows, and Sunshine)
Warning: SCARY PICTURES. Do not click on this review if you don't want to be plagued by nightmares. I don't care how old you are. Fear transcends all age barriers.

I'm a supporter of childhood literacy, but I beg you. Please, for the love of all that is holy, do not make the mistake of giving this book to your children. They will never forgive you. Think of all the therapy costs.



When I was a little girl, I was terrified of the dark. I couldn't sleep without my rituals. All blankets had to be tuck...more
Ronyell
YES…DEFINITELY YES!

scary

I have always loved reading banned books because even though I am usually curious about the reasons why they were banned in the first place, it just makes me really want to read the books even more! Well, I just picked up this spooky book for children called “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz along with illustrations by Stephen Gammell and it basically has several horror folktales collected over the years. “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” is definitely o...more
April
Is everybody having an especially lovely day? Tucking in for a blissful night's sleep? Good, I have something to show you.



I read this on my kindle late at night under the covers with nothing but the illumination of my phone screen to light the words. Can you imagine my shock at the following appearing out of nowhere after the flick of the side-button? Zoinks.



I don't have much to say about this collection other than I might be a little bit in love with Schwartz for putting together such a hor...more
Nathaniel Brehmer
Timeless stories adapted in an ageless manner, mixed with some of the most phenomenally horrific illustrations ever. These elements make Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark (and its sequels) the best horror stories ever catered to children. All the stories were well researched and no more watered down than they had to be to find their audience. All the grotesque and grossly horrific tales that once I read as a child, I never forgot. Whether they generated an eerie chill or an uneasy laugh, they ar...more
Sesana
Reading All Hallow's Eve made me nostalgic for my introduction to horror. My second grade teacher read us this book through the month of October, one story a day. And I've been trying to scare myself ever since.

So, how does the original hold up, read after more time has passed than I'm willing to admit, and more horror books and movies than I can count? Amazingly well. These are basically campfire stories, of course, but campfire stories need to be scary to work. They are, in many respects, prim...more
Litchick (is stuck in the 19th century)
This is the book of nightmares. I will never re-read it as it both scared and scarred me even when I was a child with no sense of my own mortality. If I even attempted it now...

*shudder*

Speaking of nightmares. Here, have some.

(view spoiler)
Erica
Now that I'm all fired up about these stories after reading Monster Chefs, which was the complete opposite, and then getting all snarky on some poor guy I don't even know's review, I thought, "Man, I am so glad I own two of these books and now I must scour used book stores for the third!" and THEN I thought, "Wait-oh! I'll bet I can find this being read online somewhere! Because we, the library, read books for kids all the time and post said readings online so it only makes sense I can go find a...more
Elliot
This book terrified and enthralled me as a child, so much so that I actually forgot it existed until I read about its re-release this afternoon. These stories and illustrations defined my nightmares, and they frightened me to the point that, after so many many many re-readings as an elementary schooler, I somewhere in the intervening years stopped remembering that the tales and images even came from a specific book. Schwartz condenses and simplifies various folk tales and urban legends, as frigh...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Aug 26, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids going to a sleepover
The best collection of stories to tell at a slumber party, ever! A great mix of scary tales and funny ones. Kids especially love the creepy illustrations by Stephen Gammell. Love them, and are freaked out by them, too.

Interesting fact: This book is frequently stolen from libraries.
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Since I read just about every scary book in the children's section at my library growing up, I'm going to guess I read this but I don't remember. I guess I'll have to do a reread. I hope I find it this month for October Scare Fest.
Ben
I have a feeling that I'm not the only one that added this to my goodreads many years after having read the book. Should we be doing that? Do we really remember how we felt, and even the essentials of what happeend, from books we read in our childhood? I'm guilty of making the attempt here, and while I recall enjoying these stories, and even becoming slightly frightened by a few of them, I never thought of this as a favorite book, or became particuarly excited when the second set of Scary Storie...more
Jennifer Svogar
Apr 18, 2008 Jennifer Svogar rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking to recapture their childhood
My father was a huge fan of all things "scary" when I was a child. My brothers and I grew up reading this and other collections, not to mention the classics of Frankenstein, Dracula, and other horrors. It was surprising to me when my younger brother mentioned missing this book, because I had been feeling the same way! Nostalgia takes over sometimes....

I found another copy recently, and got to read it once more. It took a little while for me to recapture that same fear I felt when I read the book...more
Kruti
Dec 04, 2012 Kruti rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy a dose of fear now and again
Warning: Proceed with caution!!

Oh bejesus, what was I thinking reading this at night?

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is not for the faint of heart. As the name suggests, you’ll find a collection of scary stories here that are perfect to tell around campfires, or at slumber parties, or if you’re like me, they’re perfect reading material at night with the lights turned off. If you do opt for the third option, I’d suggest you prepare for a rather sleepless night!

In terms of the stories themselv...more
Stefan Yates
I purchased this book as one that I fondly remembered from childhood. I don't know for certain how many times my brother and I checked this out from the public library, but it was a lot. The stories in it are fun and the artwork is fantastic. As a matter of fact, even though I remember most of the stories from reading them before, it's the artwork that lodged this book into my head so firmly. Although all black and white, the images are spooky and gruesome. Exactly what an impressionable pre-tee...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I got a chill just remembering how much these books managed to frighten me as a child. It was largely (I'd say 90%-95%) about the illustrations. Even some of the stories that weren't scary to me in themselves at all left extremely eerie, surreal, terrifying imaginings crawling 'round my mind through the strong influence of the accompanying images. I read all three of these books a lot as a child. Loved to be terrified I guess. Terror really is the wrong word. Basking in strangeness...eeriness......more
Christina Wilder
Scary as hell, but so damn good. A favorite since I was a kid.
Sunny
Scary Stories (to tell in the dark) Series by Alvin Schwartz
Rating 7/10. I remember reading (and loving!) these highly contraversial books in about fifth grade. Essentially, they are a collection of short stories adapted from mostly American folklore and "urban legends." There are ghost stories, songs, jokes, and other creepy stuff. The stories all lend themselves to being retold around the campfire (or the urban equivelent) with the possible exception of some of the longer, more detailed storie...more
Ema
I bought all three of these books when I was about nine years old, and got the scare of my life when I, reading in a semi-darkened house, turned to the next page in a story, expecting only text, and came face-to-face with the most frightening image I'd ever seen- the face of a lady's moldering corpse! I immediately turned the page back to cover it up again, sure that it would move, or attack me if I looked at it long enough. Dropping the book, I ran upstairs, seeking light and human company. Tha...more
logankstewart
Perhaps the reason I've an affinity for dark & twisted art lies with a trio of books I read as a child. Alvin Schwartz is most known for his collection of folktales marketed towards children. His most famous books--Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones--were some of my most favorite reads as a lad, and when I recently happened upon my personal copy of SS3, I couldn't help but dive in. I went to the libra...more
Miranda (M.E.) Brumbaugh
I love this book, more for its horrifying illustrations than for the universal horror stories, songs and campfire scare tactics. This is the first book I ever read as a child, when I was around 10 years old, that was so scary I couldn't read through to the end. I would highly suggest this book for anyone interested in a good old fashioned scary story mainly because of the hair-raising watercolor images. However, make sure you get the Stephen Gammell illustrated edition so you can appreciate the...more
Me, My Shelf and I
In elementary school and early junior high this series if 3 books we the coveted books to check out at the school library. My sister and I took turns reading them and even owned a copy that was tattered and beat from constant reading. This, I assume is where my love for the scary, and supernatural came from.
Maureen Glover
Jun 04, 2009 Maureen Glover rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Maureen by: no one
I really haite this book it's not even scare at all really.Well it's stuiped and not scare and really who are they really tring to convised. Really if you want to red it your going to have this comment. But really just don't read at all.
Kat Stark
Read this as a kid, but definitely might be too scary for kids. I was always a horror fan and I remember reading and getting the chills over this one.
Mrs.frenchs'favorite Student
its really more funny than scary
Tracy Poff
"That person is calling from a telephone upstairs." she said. "You'd better leave. I'll get the police."

If those lines are familiar to you, you've got a pretty good idea of how scary you can expect Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz to be. A collection of urban legends, scary stories, and miscellany, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and its sequels were the most frequently challenged books during the nineties, according to the American Library Association.

If the stories aren’t...more
Kelsey Trinkner
When I was in third grade, I discovered these books. I enjoyed them so much that I used to read them to my little brother. We always had to read them during the day, seeing as they frightened both of us. Along with reading them to my little brother, I brought the books to school and allowed everyone in my classroom to borrow them and read them during reading time. They also enjoyed these books. I recently rediscovered these books and decided to read them again. This time, they were not nearly as...more
Evan Williamson
Apr 03, 2011 Evan Williamson rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adults, adults studying oral storytelling,
Shelves: banned-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Alvin Schwartz was the author of more than fifty books dedicated to and dealing with topics such as folklore and word play, many of which were intended for young readers. He is often confused with another Alvin Schwartz, who wrote Superman and Batman daily comics strips and a novel titled The Blowtop.
More about Alvin Schwartz...
Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark The Scary Stories Treasury In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories Ghosts!: Ghostly Tales from Folklore

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