Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones

Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones

by Alvin Schwartz, Brett Helquist

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Get Ready to be Spooked!

It was eleven o'clock at night. Peter was in bed on the second floor of the old house where he lived alone. It had gotten so chilly, he went downstairs to turn up the heat.

As Peter was on his way back to bed, a black dog ran down the stairs. "Where did you come from?" Peter said. He had never seen the dog before. . . .

Welcome to the


Get Ready to be Spooked!

It was eleven o'clock at night. Peter was in bed on the second floor of the old house where he lived alone. It had gotten so chilly, he went downstairs to turn up the heat.

As Peter was on his way back to bed, a black dog ran down the stairs. "Where did you come from?" Peter said. He had never seen the dog before. . . .

Welcome to the frightening world of Scary Stories, a collection of folklorist Alvin Schwartz's most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time, with spine-tingling illustrations by renowned artist Brett Helquist.

Editorial Reviews

New York Times
Read these if you dare.
Entertainment Weekly
A wonderful collection of tales that range from creepy to silly to haunting.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Scary Stories Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
680L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Boo Men

The girl was late getting home for supper. So she took a shortcut through the cemetery. But, oh, it made her nervous. When she saw another girl ahead of her, she hurried to catch up.

"Do you mind if I walk with you?" she asked. "Walking through the cemetery at night scares me."

"I know what you mean," the other girl said. "I used to feel that way myself when I was alive."

There are all sorts of things that scare us.

The dead scare us, for one day we will be dead like they are.

The dark scares us, for we don't know what is waiting in the dark. At night the sound of leaves rustling, or branches groaning, or someone whispering, makes us uneasy. So do footsteps coming closer. So do strange figures we think we see in the shadows--a human maybe, or a big animal, or some horrible thing we can barely make out.

People call these creatures we think we see "boo men." We imagine them, they say. But now and then a boo man turns out to be real.

Queer happenings scare us, too. We hear of a boy or a girl who was raised by an animal, a human being like us who yelps and howls and runs on all fours. The thought of it makes our flesh crawl. We hear of insects that make their nests in a person's body or of a nightmare that comes true, and we shudder. If such things really do happen, then they could happen to us.

It is from such fears that scary stories grow. This is the third book of such stories I have collected. I learned some of them from people I met. I found others, tales that had been written down, in folklore archives and in libraries. As we always do with tales we learn, I havetold them in my own way.

Some stories in this book have been told only in recent times. But others have been part of our folklore for as long as we know. As one person told another, the details may have changed. But the story itself has not, for what once frightened people still frightens them.

I thought at first that one of the stories I found was a modem story. It is the one I call "The Bus Stop." I then discovered that a similar story had been told two thousand years earlier in ancient Rome. But the young woman involved was named Philinnion, not Joanna, as she is in our story.

Are the stories in this book true? The one I call "'The Trouble" is true. I cant be sure about the others. Most may have at least a little truth, for strange things sometimes happen, and people love to tell about them and turn them into even better stories.

Nowadays most people say that they don't believe in ghosts and queer happenings and such. Yet they still fear the dead and the dark. And they still see boo men waiting in the shadows. And they still tell scary stories, just as people always have.

-- Alvin Schwartz

The Appointment

A sixteen-year-old boy worked on his grandfather's horse farm. One morning he drove a pickup truck into town on an errand. While he was walking along the main street, he saw Death. Death beckoned to him.

The boy drove back to the farm as fast as he could and told his grandfather what had happened. "Give me the truck," he begged. "'I'll go to the city. He'll never find me there."

His grandfather gave him the truck, and the boy sped away. After he left, his grandfather went into town looking for Death. When he found him, he asked, "Why did you frighten my grandson that way? He is only sixteen. He is too young to die."

"I am sorry about that," said Death. "I did not mean to beckon to him. But I was surprised to see him here. You see, I have an appointment with him this afternoon--in the city."

The Bus Stop

Ed Cox was driving home from work in a rainstorm. While he waited for a traffic light to change, he saw a young woman standing alone at a bus stop. She had no umbrella and was soaking wet.

"Are you going toward Farmington?" he called.

"Yes, I am," she said.

"Would you like a ride home?"

"I would," she said, and she got in. "My name is Joanna Finney. Thank you for rescuing me."

"I'm Ed Cox," he said, "and you're welcome."

On the way they talked and talked. She told him about her family and her job and where she had gone to school, and he told her about himself. By the time they got to her house, the rain had stopped.

"I'm glad it rained," Ed said. "Would you like to go out tomorrow after work?"

"I'd love to," Joanna said.

She asked him to meet her at the bus stop, since it was near her office. They had such a good time, they went out many times after that. Always they would meet at the bus stop, and off they would go. Ed liked her more each time he saw her.

But one night when they had a date to go out, Joanna did not appear. Ed waited at the bus stop for almost an hour. "Maybe something is wrong," he thought, and he drove to her house in Farmington.

An older woman came to the door. "I'm Ed Cox," he said. "Maybe Joanna told you about me. I had a date with her tonight. We were supposed to meet at the bus stop near her office. But she didn't show up. Is she all right?"

The woman looked at him as if he had said something strange. "I am Joanna's mother," she said slowly. "Joanna isn't here now. But why don't you come in?"

Ed pointed to a picture on the mantel. "That looks just like her," he said.

"It did, once," her mother replied. "But that picture was taken when she was your age-about twenty years ago. A few days later she was waiting in the rain at that bus stop. A car hit her, and she was killed."

Scary Stories 3. Copyright © by Alvin Schwartz. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Alvin Schwartz is known for his more than two dozen books of folklore for young readers that explore everything from wordplay and humor to tales and legends of all kinds. Don't miss his other Scary Stories collections, including More Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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