Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark


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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, Brett Helquist

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 chimney. Stephen Gammell's splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.

If You Dare!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060835200
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/27/2010
Series: Scary Stories Series
Pages: 113
Sales rank: 46,816
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile: 640L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Alvin Schwartz is known for a body of work of more than two dozen books of folklore for young readers that explores everything from wordplay and humor to tales and legends of all kinds. His collections of scary stories—Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, Scary Stories 3, and two I Can Read books, In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories and Ghosts!—are just one part of his matchless folklore collection.

Stephen Gammell is the illustrator of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3, as well as many other books. He won the Caldecott Medal for Song and Dance Man by Karen Ackerman. He also earned Caldecott Honors for Where the Buffaloes Begin by Olaf Baker and The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Something Was Wrong

One morning John Sullivan found himself walking along a street downtown. He could not explain what he was doing there, or how he got there, or where he had been earlier. He didn't even know what time it was.

He saw a woman walking toward him and stopped her. "I'm afraid I forgot my watch," he said, and smiled. "Can you tell me the time?" When she saw him, she screamed and ran.

Then John Sullivan noticed that other people were afraid of him. When they saw him coming, they flattened themselves against a building, or ran across the street to stay out of his way.

"There must be something wrong with me," John Sullivan thought. "I'd better go home."

He hailed a taxi, but the driver took one look at him and sped away.

John Sullivan did not understand what was going on, and it scared him. "Maybe somebody at home can come and get me," he thought. He found a telephone and called his wife, but a voice he did not recognize answered.

"Is Mrs. Sullivan there?" he asked.

"No, she is at a funeral," the voice said. "Mr. Sullivan was killed yesterday in an accident downtown."

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

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
Christina_Mouse More than 1 year ago
These are great books, that's not why I rated them so low. I'm pretty disappointed, however, that the publisher felt the need to change the illustrations that made these books so great (and scary) for so many generations. I grew up with these books and wasn't excited to see them changed recently when I went to buy them. Were they too scary? Isn't that the point of the stories in the first place? Stop trying to sugar-coat the world so that kids can't even have a good scare anymore without some parent complaining about their kids having nightmares and being afraid of the dark. It's a crippling thought that younger generations are so sheltered against having a real experience anymore.  
JuliW More than 1 year ago
My oldest son had a favorite three book set as a child. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The tales were spooky and the artwork was amazing. In fact, the bizarre art really made the book. Flash forward a few years and my son was getting ready to join the Navy. I hit that oh-my-god-one-of-my-kids-is-really-leaving mom moment and the oh-my-god-my-son-is-engaged-to-be-married event as well.....ahhhhhhhhhh! But, before he left to start his journey to being a grown man, he brought me a set of three books he found at a bookshop in Greensboro. Scary Stories, More Scary Stories and Scary Stories 3. Through the years of moving and just living life, his copies had been lost or given away.....but he remembered how much he loved the books and brought me copies so I could re-read them. He is now forward deployed in Japan with the US Navy. I haven't seen my son in two years now. I'm going to re-read these books and think about that little boy that has grown into a very awesome man. Gotta start at the beginning. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Originally I ordered this book from one of those school book order forms. Every parent with school age children has been given these forms, crinkled from being in a backpack,and filled them out. My kids always waited impatiently for their book haul to arrive. Because this book was about stories that could be told in the dark, I remember that we took turns reading the stories out loud, showing the pictures at appropriate intervals. I think that being able to read aloud is a great introduction to public speaking and even acting, so we read out loud to each other often. This book was fun to read. All these years later I still remember us working on our scary voices. :) We even got his friends in on it. I remember one sleepover where the boys huddled in sleeping bags while we told ghost stories....some from this book. Snacks were eaten, much soda was drank.....and those pre-teen boys slept with the lights on. :) The 29 stories are varied....jump scares, ghosts, monsters, evil people, and humorous horror. The horror comes in mixed formats as well -- short stories, poetry, a song, and supremely creepy artwork. The stories are taken from folklore, and there is a notes section in the back of the book that talks about their origins and the sources used. I had so much fun re-reading this book! So much nostalgia for my son and I. I messaged him to let him know I was reading it. :) These book stay on my keeper shelf. I'm whittling down my personal library by reading and donating many of the more than 3000 books I own, but these three books are special. They get to stay. :) On to More Scary Stories!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
135KM More than 1 year ago
I choosed this book  this book because it look scary.By reading this tittle of this book i knew that it  was going to be about telling scary story in the night/dark.My reaction after i read this book is I was scared and sometimes i thought some of these stories were real. This  book is not what i  expected because there were different stories and sometimes it took time to get it.  This book has like 20 stories and they are all sort of scary stories they even sound real.these stories could be about dead people,missing people, and gosht.There a lot of character that you can't name them all.the author of this story is Alvin Schwartz i like this story because it was mysterious.
russellsgal More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I have the whole collection. I am glad I bought them before they changed the outer covers that they sell with today.
threeoutside More than 1 year ago
Which is not a bad thing! These are some very familiar, in some cases, very OLD, spooky stories of the kinds that kids and grownups have been telling around campfires from time immemorial. The style and tropes of story-telling have changed over the centuries, even over decades, so some of these seem a little pointless, or fall flat, when you just read them out of the book to yourself. But if you get the dramatization right, the timing, the hushing of voice, the expression of your eyes, just right - and the only light flickers just inside your little circle of wide-eyed listeners, with darkness and mystery looming right over your shoulders - some of these stories will have sleeping bags scrunched VERY close together for the rest of the night. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants some great spooky slumber party or campfire stories to scare the bejeezus out of your audience.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
granny-1_ More than 1 year ago
Bought for my grandson who loves scary stories. He loves it and would recommend it to anyone interested in scary stories.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Scary stories chill my bones the one story I loved is called the hook! The main characters are Donald and Sarah. The hook is about a boy and girl who go to the movies and heard some murder was on the loose with a hook for a hand it was very frightening and a real bone chiller. Another one of my favorites is called The Big Toe. It's main Character is a little boy that digs up a big toe and later that night he ate it for dinner. This one is my very favorite of them all It's called Cold as Clay. The main characters are a farmer his daughter and his daughter's love Jim. Now the daughter got sent away and while she was gone he died. I'm not telling any more so read it if you dare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this collection when I was in late elementary/early middle school. I remember my 5th grade homeroom teacher letting me read these stories to my class and scaring the snot out of them. I've read that these books have been banned in many schools due to the "disturbing artwork" and the fact that the stories are too scary. The bottom line is this: Know your kids. I really don't think they're inappropriate for older kids, such as 4th grade and up, but they would be too intense for younger kids.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Haven't read this in years. The short stories are creepy and some you might recognize. What makes it even more creepy is the drawings. Definitely worth reading, especially on Halloween.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are you scared yet.? That's just one of the many horrifying lines that Alvin Schwartz writes. Each story makes you want to scream like my favorite story. Its about these 3 brothers. They are home alone with there baby sitter, when the phone rings and everything goes dark. Theres footsteps slowly creeping down the steps when out of no where..
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Pumpkin_Pie More than 1 year ago
This book is so scary that kids and parents will like it to. Now what I really wanted to say is that this book is great.
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sugargirl84 More than 1 year ago
When I was about nine I found this book in my school library. I absolutely loved it. That was sixteen years ago and I still enjoy it. I'm a childrens lead at Barnes and Noble and I always recommend this book to the older kids if there looking for a scary book.
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