Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark


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This August, the worst nightmares of a generation will come to life in the film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Read More.


The iconic anthology series of horror tales that's now a feature film!

This is a new edition of the complete original book. Stephen Gammell’s artwork from the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark appears in all its spooky glory. Read if you dare!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a timeless collection of chillingly scary tales and legends, in which folklorist Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.

And don't miss More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062682826
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/25/2017
Series: Scary Stories , #1
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 60,114
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.40(d)
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. 68 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.  
Anonymous 9 days ago
I liked the format.
Anonymous 16 days ago
A couple of the stories stood out and were pretty creepy. But there are a few duds as well.
Anonymous 3 months ago
I thought it was way to scary
StefanY on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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-teen needs to be sufficiently creeped out!The stories themselves are usually 1 to 2 pages each and are still fun. While they wouldn't scare the bejeepers out of me today, I can see why I was drawn to them as a child. The last section of stories is also fun as they are in the same line as the spooky tales, but are intended to be humorous and silly.All in all this is a fun book for kids of all ages and I really was glad that I went ahead and purchased one of my childhood favorites.
kkcookie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book will make you shiver and scream, it will make you look behind you to check if anyones there. please i warn you DO NOT read this book in the DARK. its very chillingley scary.
ElenaEstrada on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz is an excellent collection of horror stories children may tell each other for fun. The author does a good job of telling the stories in such a manner that children may easily memorize the narratives. It is written in a natural vernacular style so that it sounds like if someone is telling the scary story. It is written in such as way that it imitates oral traditions such as noting when the teller must jump up and grab the person next to them for a climatic ending to the story. In addition, it gives different endings to the scary stories so that some endings are scarier than others. In this way the story teller can adjust the level of horror for each particular audience. If the audience is too young, the ending does not need to be so dramatic. However if the teller wants to terrify the listeners, he may choose the scarier ending. This book is an excellent choice for Halloween time, and could easily be used as part of a Halloween holiday display. The book also includes scary illustrations throughout the book. This is a ¿fun¿ book that supports the oral tradition of children telling spooky stories for entertainment purposes.Ages: 5th grade and Up
tundra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the viper book! I read this in elementary school and still remember a lot of the stories.
mwtemple on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
These stories scared the pants off me when I was a kid, and frankly, they're just as creepy now. The illustrations are an important component, and if they weren't included, I think the freaky factor would decrease exponentially.
Velvet-Moonlight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've owned the third book for the longest time, I practically know every story within it. But as for the collection, its a must read, must own. Its basically the three stories he wrote compact behind one cover, if you don't own them all, by this.
kaitlynrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
this book has frighting stories that will make you shiver and want to scream, it makes look up from the book and check if anyones around you, please i will warn you dont read this book in the dark.
the_hag on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first experience with Schwartz and the Scary Stories trilogy and I wasn't really sure what to expect as I actually picked this up as part of my reading list off of the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books (from 1990-2000). In some small way, I can see how this book (and the two others) get challenged by parents...there are some gross, gruesome, frightening, and creepy stories in this book...but (you knew it was coming...right) really, what's here, for the most part is pretty tame. For kids 8-12, this might be their first introduction to what (for most older children, adolescents and adults) are pretty standard, traditional campfire stories and urban legends. Further, they are the tamest and least embellished versions I think I've ever seen, so there is little actual gore. Probably the most frightening thing in this book are the illustrations...they are done in a style that is truly evocative of the theme...this is something that I really enjoyed about the book. Each illustration makes you squirm a bit, but then you look back and find yourself looking even more closely to pick out the details of each barely there illustration! There are 29 stores covered in this book, all drawn (as the title indicates) from American Folklore (even some of the more contemporary ones like the hook and high beams), so it's a nice wide swath of scary folklore cut from the cloth of the American oral storytelling. In the first part of the book nearly every tale is by necessity one that should be told out loud around a campfire (as they require screaming, jumping at, or grabbing someone to "get them" at the end of the story). As the book progresses, more and more of the tales stand alone as reading material...but really each is just a bare-bones minimum of the story without any embellishments and are probably best enjoyed orally (also around a campfire or in a dark room with candles or flashlights) and embellished...having a group of kids take one story each and memorize it and tell it to the group would be a wonderful activity that Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark would lend itself to quite well! Overall, Scary Stores to Tell in the Dark is a fine introduction to the oral tradition of folklore and urban legend. This book would make a fine addition to the library of anyone who regularly deals with kids in groups (particularly outdoors, like boy or girl scouts) and/or for group story telling...this book would provide a wonderful jumping off point for kids to learn a legend, folktale or urban legend well enough to tell out loud without reading and to encourage embellishment or discuss other versions (activity for older kids who are more familiar with the stories given and the many variations that are around). I give it four stars, as the text itself is rather uninspiring as a cover to cover, stand alone read...the illustrations are what saves it from getting three stars and as I said above, it's best use is as an introduction to folklore and/or as a way to increase one's repertoire of stores to frighten children with in those times and places where campfires, candlelight and flashlights rule the darkness!
fodroy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This freaked the hell out of me when I was a kid. The stories have stuck with me and the illustrations are quite disturbing. Every child should be forced, with a gun to their head, to read this book.
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