Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” as Want to Read:
Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  843 ratings  ·  188 reviews
Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from t
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 1st 2020 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don’t Turn Out the Lights, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lucy I hope not! These are horror stories, so I doubt it. But I know some of them are based on folktales.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.80  · 
Rating details
 ·  843 ratings  ·  188 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't Turn Out the Lights is a Middle Grade Horror anthology curated by bestselling author, Jonathan Maberry, as a tribute to Alvin Schwartz's, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The collection is comprised of 35-spine tingling tales, penned by an impressive list of authors!

I know what some of you may be thinking, Middle Grade though?

I can assure you, quite of few of these stories legit creeped me out. They're quick, fun and each one left me wanting to continue.

There really is something for ever
Sadie Hartmann
Oct 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Originally hosted on my blog:
What a fantastic idea for an anthology! A tribute to one of the most iconic spooky short story collections for all ages. DON'T TURN OFF THE LIGHTS edited by Jonathan Maberry is presented by The Horror Writers Association and published by Harper Collins.

To say I grew up reading SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK is a bit of an understatement. My mom is a major Horror Hound and our home library was filled with adult, young adult,
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A delightfully creepy tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

If you’re anything like me, you were simultaneously fascinated by and terrified of Schwartz’s Scary Stories books. They were fantastic for scaring yourself silly, and many of them still send shivers down my spine when I think of them now as an adult (The girl with the green ribbon! That one where the head falls down the chimney!)

Don’t Turn Out the Lights is a satisfying homage to Schwartz’s work. Like all collec
Overall Rating : B

"But don't forget, the kid we used to be is still alive in all of us. And the civilized part of us is only one power failure, one bad storm, one unexplainable moment of strangeness away from being a primitive and terrified caveman."

35 cute, chilling, and downright freaky stories for the terrified child in all all of us. Made me so nostalgic of the ghost stories from my age. I would definitely recommend this if you want to be transported back to when you first picked up a story
Liana Grace
Oct 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Short story collections are tricky to rate. I chose only 3 stars because some stories fell flat, however, other stories I loved. This is definitely a fun, nostalgic read if you grew up with the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Jan 02, 2021 rated it liked it
This tribute to Schwartz's seminal Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Trilogy diverges quite a bit from the original. The tone and style of the narration is different, dispensing with the whimsy and creepy charm of its source to present tales aimed at a slightly older audience. They're longer too, and there are very few of the ditties and storytelling prompts which made the former unique. Some are also unabashedly contemporary, dealing with current technologies like SMS and emails. One spirit eve ...more
Irene Well Worth A Read
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
"He reaches for me and I'm sure he plans to pull out my intestines and wear them like a scarf, but instead he pats my head."

When my son was in middle school I bought him the set of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. After he read them I did too. Don't Turn Out The Lights is exactly the kind of story collection that I would have bought for him when he was younger and that he would still keep on his book case now that he is grown. Whether you have kids or are a kid at heart these stories are a spo



It invokes the original Scary Stories in a way that's both highly original and pays good homage to their forebears. Genuinely creepy, and none of the stories felt repetitive at all.

Highly recommend.
Oct 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
I was excited to read Don’t Turn off the Lights. It is a tribute to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and its sequels, and I love those books. I even like the stories as much as the gnarly pictures. When I saw a tribute anthology by the Horror Writers Association with authors like R.L. Stine and Tananarive Due, I knew I had to read it for Halloween.

I have mixed feelings. The first few stories disappointed me. I wonder if some of the stories were written independent of this project, without Scary
Oct 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect book to kick off the spooky season! Such creepy stories all told in honor of Schwartz's classic collection that is still one of my all time favorites. ...more
Jennifer Bourque (ButterflyReader77)
4 Stars

I am a huge fan of Alvin Schwartz's 1981 "Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark" and when I discovered this book "Don't Turn Out The Lights" was inspired by this classic I could not wait to read it and it definitely did not disappoint. The story offers thirty-five short stories by some of the best authors in the genre including R. L. Stine (a personal favourite), Brenna Yovanoff, Josh Malerman, D. J. McHale Margaret Stohl, and Kami Garcia. There were many authors that I have never read before
3 STARS!!!

I’ve had a big issue for the past couple of years with Middle-Grade horror being too light and even though I think this is classified as YA because of mentions the use of curse words and alcohol, these felt like they were purposefully written for children but watered down EVEN more, which I hate. If you’re going to write any type of horror, whether it’s MG, YA, or Adult, if you’re aim isn’t to scare the crap out of someone, what’s the freaking point?

I understand these were written as a
A spooky anthology with stories from various pretty well-known authors. I really had fun reading it and flew through the pages.

I have to say that I think it is hilarious how I am not a fan of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark I just love all these tribute books that are popping up. The tribute books do know how to tell a story, don’t just build it up and then suddenly the story is over, and they just weren’t scary. I know I read the book when I was an adult, but hello I grew up with Goosebumps,
Sara Planz
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely not just for kids. These stories were very much in the vein of Alvin Schwartz and repeatedly gave me the creepy crawlies.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
The SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK series, with its folklore-influenced stories, jump scares, and chilling illustrations, was a formative part of my reading life in childhood. I had no idea how many others have such strong memories of this series until recently, when I watched a documentary of the history and influence of the books. And now we have this, a book that attempts to capture the spirit of the short story collections.

While DON'T TURN OUT THE LIGHTS may be a tribute, it actually rem
Amy the book-bat
I loved the concept of this short story collection. I loved Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was a kid, so a book of scary stories by current authors that was inspired by the original Scary Stories book was definitely something I wanted to read.
As with any short story collection, some stories were better than others. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. Might be more fun if being read around a campfire while on a camping trip. I think older middle grade and young adult readers will p
Kylie Summers
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very creepy collection of scary stories for young readers. It is a tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s very spooky anthology series “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.”

There are stories by some of my favorite horror writers from childhood, such as R.L. Stine and more contemporary ones such as Amy Lukavics.

The stories are all quite eerie and unnerving, much like the stories in Scary Stories to tell in the Dark, which creeped me out as a kid.

From haunted houses and ghostly hauntings, to creep
Rachael  Fryman
Six word summary: Tons of perfectly spooky short stories!

Loved: I loved the variety of the stories. While I would have loved even more variety in cultural lore, I enjoyed what was included! I think there will be several stories in this collection for every reader, especially for young fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the dark! Also, the illustrations are top notch and very reminiscent of the books that inspired this collection!

Favorite Stories:
The Funeral Portrait by Laurent Linn
Knock Knock M
Getting in the mood for the spooky season, I picked up this colletion of short scary stories for middle grade readers. I was a BIG fan of the 'Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark' trilogy as a kid. This collection is just as creepy and terrifying as those stories were. Ghosts in the woods, monsters in the closet, and other creepy creatures lurk on every page. I'm not going to lie - I went to bed after reading a few stories and found myself genuinely spooked as I sat in the dark!

If you or your kid
Sep 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 rounded up. This is a great anthology and really honors the spirit of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Some stories are stronger than others, but they're all fun! I would give this to any pre-teen in my life who liked to get a bit spooky. ...more
Grace W
Sep 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
It’s always hard to rate a book of short stories but for the most part these are good and spooky while also being ok for middle grade kids!
May 08, 2022 rated it really liked it
I have to say, some of these stories genuinely creeped me out. Really good short horror story collection and rightfully a tribute to Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. Well done!
Max Hadraba
May 18, 2021 is currently reading it
this book is such a good book to read if you like scary stories
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
Feb 16, 2022 rated it really liked it
Nostalgic…Delightful…and Oh, sooo spooky!
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who grew up with the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark trilogy, I feel like this anthology is for those of us who are a certain age and who still like getting spooked. There are no duds in this collection however, some tales are truly more disturbing than others. My favorites of Don’t Turn Out the Lights are “The Carved Bear” by Brendan Reichs, “Tag, You’re It” by N.R. Lambert, “Lint Trap” by Jonathan Auxier, “The Green Grabber” by D.J. MacHale and “Pretty Girls Make Graves” by Tonya ...more
5 🌟 | What a fun and creepy ride! This one is full of nostalgic vibes 🤗👻😧🎃👹 Be warned, some of these are truly terrifying 😈☠️
Nicole Amburgey
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

I can’t tell you how much it kills me, absolutely kills me, to rate this book as just “ok.” Everything about it should have been 5 stars – A great author as editor? Check. Tribute to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark? Check. A fantastic stable of writers? Check. And yet… This anthology really missed the mark for me.

My issues mostly lay with the unevenness of the collection. The book is marketed as YA horror and some of the stories are, but some are written to a very young middle-grade m
Jul 23, 2021 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No one
Recommended to Rachel by: Myself
This book in a nutshell was a disappointment. Think "Buddy the Elf thinking he's going to meet the real Santa at the mall" level disappointment.

I was ready to rip some fake beards off, lemme tell you.

WELL this was hideous.

And not even in a good way.

Honestly, the stories were bland and dumb. Mostly I found myself wondering why many of these writers even bothered...or if they bothered at all.

The writing was flaccid - most of the time the authors seemed to be parroting back a half-ba
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read an Advanced Reader Copy of this collection in exchange for my honest review. Don't Turn Out the Lights is a beautifully done tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It is edited by one of the masters of horror, Jonathan Mabery. There are a total of 35 original short stories written by an absolutely amazing assortment of authors, including some of my personal favorites such as DJ McHale, Josh Malerman, Kami Garcia, Madeline Rou ...more
Aug 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
The following is copied and pasted from my blog.

The subtitle and a somewhat lengthy editor’s foreword at the beginning of this book introduces it as a tribute to Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, and as such, it’s sure to attract a lot of eager readers. Although the book as a whole is much longer than the immensely popular Scary Stories books, and most of the individual short stories are longer than Schwartz’s stories, too, it’s still similar enough in genre and appeal f
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Dead Zone
  • The Cat in the Hat and Other Dr. Seuss Favorites
  • Hello, Darkness
  • Chill Factor
  • Black Beauty
  • Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1)
  • BEAST OF NEW CASTLE: The Heart-Pounding Battle To Stop A Savage Killer
  • Hide and Seek
  • Crank (Crank, #1)
  • The Easton Falls Massacre: Bigfoot's Revenge
  • The Awesome 3-D Art Coloring Guide
  • Shadowy Natures
  • Thirteens
  • A Painted House
  • Beachcomber
  • Selections from Skeleton Crew
  • The Black Lyon (Montgomery/Taggert, #1)
  • Quitters, Inc
See similar books…
See top shelves…
JONATHAN MABERRY is a New York Times best-seller and Audible #1 bestseller, five-time Bram Stoker Award-winner, anthology editor, comic book writer, executive producer, magazine feature writer, playwright, and writing teacher/lecturer. He is the editor of WEIRD TALES Magazine and president of the International Association of Media Tie-in Writers. He is the recipient of the Inkpot Award, three Scri ...more

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
47 likes · 4 comments