Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Reading/blogging challenge day 3: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! Because children’s books totally count, right?


I’m already cutting corners!

I’ve always liked being scared. (Actually, I just like anything I’m not supposed to do, and as a child, I guess scaring myself fell into that category.) I would beg my parents to let me watch scary movies and then I’d beg them to let me sleep with the lights on.

When I was 13 and visiting my grandparents, I read The Shining and stayed up until dawn because I was too terrified to sleep.

And I have a lot of fond (well, fond NOW) memories of the Scary Stories books keeping me up at night. I don’t remember what grade I was in when I bought the first book, but I do remember that I’d giggle and shriek over it with friends during the day, and then hide it in the back of my closet at night. Just seeing that ominous black binding on my bookshelf gave me a sense of dread.

The stories themselves are pretty basic. Urban legends and cautionary tales like The Babysitter and High Beams, that have been passed around for decades. What made them scary were the illustrations.

I’m not even going to post the scariest ones here because frankly I don’t want to have to look at them whenever I look at my blog.

scary stories

For the purposes of this post (and also to meet my reading requirement for the day!) I reread some versions of these stories online. I no longer have my own copies of the books (apparently they were not among the cherished tomes my mother saw fit to save for my own kids), but you can read them (and see all the scary pictures!) at

One of my favorites was The Girl Who Stood On a Grave, about a girl whose friends dare her to go into a graveyard at night. SPOILER ALERT! She dies.



I heard there’s going to be a movie based on the books, but I’m not really sure how that’s going to work. Either they plan to somehow incorporate the awesomely terrifying illustrations or else the movie is just going to capitalize on the popularity of the book title and it’s going to be about urban legends. Either way, it will probably be meh, because most scary movies these days are.

Do you like being scared? Do you think reading children’s books really counts as reading?


12 thoughts on “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

  1. I had those books as a kid and loved them! I’d read them all year. Guess that’s why I’m such a bucket of sunshine.

  2. I have an irrational fear of rotten fruit and maggots.

    I used to scare myself when I was in high school by reading Stephen King novels alone in our empty house while my parents were out. Every noise…every shadow…

  3. Oh MY. I love these books, and I haven’t though about them in years. I’ll have to go dig up my old copies somewhere. I’m a little offended by the idea of a movie being made of these already perfect works of art.

  4. Pingback: October recap | Cheaper Than Therapy

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