October 13, 2017

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

It's October, the spookiest of all months. This particular October we must determine which is the scariest day. Could it be Friday the 13th which falls in October this year? Or perhaps it is October 31st, Halloween! If we were to battle it out via their movie franchises it would be Jason Vorhees vs Michael Myers. A frightening battle if ever there was one.

But for the kiddos in my youth, there would be different battles of scary franchises. Undoubtedly Goosebumps was the biggest and the baddest. It's why my blog is mostly dedicated to it. But I have to admit that not Goosebumps alone in frightening young me. There were other franchises that played their part. For example there was the 3 book series of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Today I'll be reviewing book 1 in that series. Now I had actually assumed this came out in the 90s as it was so well known to my friends at the time. Turns out it actually came out in the early 80s but just had a long life span.

Now Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a different beast than Goosebumps. For one it's a collection of short stories. At that, it's not even original stories. Folklorist Alvin Schwartz researched an array of scary stories told throughout history and retold them here.

There is an interesting thing about this book though. While there are plenty of scary stories to read it may be that the most memorable thing is actually the illustrations. I think if you talk to anyone about the book they will bring up the pictures. They are extremely creepy, and not in a very "child friendly" style. Some are downright gruesome. These pictures are so well remembered that when fairly recently they were redone by a new artist for their most recent re-release of the book there was outrage from many fans.

I have flipped through these pages, and the art still is creepy. It holds up very well. But I have very little recollection of the stories. I do remember a tale or two, mostly in that they are more well known scary stories I had problem heard elsewhere at camp-outs or sleep overs. But how well do these stories hold up to me as an adult? Lets find out.

Strange and Scary Things

We begin with a forward. It discusses how scary stories have been around a long time. American pioneers told scary stories. It even discusses a young prince named Mamillius brought out in Shakespeare who would tell a scary story but never got his chance. More that, it suggests how to tell a scary story. Speak softly, darkness helps. Through this you realize that this book is more than a collection of scary stories for you to read, but ones for you to share. To retell to your friends. Perfect for the youths it is aimed at. Surely a slumber party or camp out could use these tales. Let us begin.

Chapter 1 "Aaaaaaaaaaah!"

This will apparently be featuring "jump scare" stories. The Five Nights at Freddy's of literature perhaps.

The Big Toe

A kid finds a big toe while gardening and naturally picks it up. His mom decides they should eat it.... What? Mom, dad, and son each get a piece of the toe then tired out from all that cannibalism they go to bed. The owner of the toe shows up demanding to know where it is. Seems reasonable. Kids try to sleep it away but angry toe guy is relentless. "Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?" he questions several time. Then there are directions for you jump at the person you are telling the story to and shout "YOU'VE GOT IT!"

But wait, not only do we have director cues, we have an alternate ending! The directors cut if you will. In this version the voice comes from the chimney, and there is a strange looking creature inside. Going through your typical "wolf dressed as a grandma" questions he asks "what you got such big eyes for" with some spooky replies. Why does he have big claws? To scratch up your grave. And those teeth? there for chomping on your bones. Make this clear by jumping at your friend.'

So now it is very clear, these aren't stories to just read alone in your room. These are stories you are supposed to spook your friends with. But is it scary? Well this first story seems to think the scary part is a weird man/creature coming to look for his toe. I think a family that finds a human toe in their garden and immediately eats it is the scary part. That dude clearly deserves his toe back. Frankly. neither version of the end is particularly scary.

Spookometer rating: 1 toe out of 5.

The Walk

My uncle was walking and met a guy. They just look each other and get scared. Then they do it again, over and over into the night getting gradually more and more scared. AHHHHHHH! (the book told me to scream.) And that is pretty much it.

Very little substance to this story. I think perhaps the repetition of the uncle looking at the man, the man looking back, and them both getting scared is supposed to lull you, perhaps even bore you, to make you susceptible to the startle of a scream? It is hardly even a story though.

Spookometer rating: 1 scream out of 5

"What Do You Come For?"

An old lady wishes for some company in her kitchen at night. Rotten feet fall down her chimney. SANTA? NOOO! Legs fall after the feet, and attach themselves mystically. Then the body, arms, etc. Terrorized the woman asks "What do you come for?" Well of course, he comes FOR YOU! (do the jump scare bit here.)

Well rotten body parts falling out of your chimney is a bit freaky, I'll give you that. I wonder if these are just supposed to be rough outlines of a scary story and you are supposed to fill in more details yourself? It's kind of lacking so far....

Spookometer rating. 2 feet out of 5

Me Tie Dough-ty Walker

People claim there is a haunted house where a bloody head falls down the chimney every night. I am getting a distinct chimney theme with this part of the book. So does the same bloody head fall every night? Or is it a different one and they all just keep piling up? No one has stayed there to find out. A rich guy offers two hundred bucks to anyone who will stay in this house overnight. A boy and his dog take him up on the offer. To cheer themselves up they light a fire in the fireplace. They hear strange singing in the night that says, "me tie dough-ty walker." His dog replied "lynchee kinchy colly molly dingo dingo." Damn modern music, you can't even understand the words.  Naturally the boy is kinda surprised his dog sang. It happens several times, because apparently repetition is scary. The kid is worried his dog keeps replying is gonna get the weird singer to show up. Then a bloody head falls out of the chimney and scares the dog to death. And then a scream because, ya know, jump scare.

Ok, nonsense words are not scary. Unless it is like, the devil making you speak in tongues? I don't know. A bloody head falling out of a chimney is scary. Everything that lead up to it is dumb. I am losing my patience with this book.

Spookometer rating: 1 head out of 5

A Man Who Lived in Leeds

This is a rhyming poem that ends with a simile about getting stabbed with a penknife and then you scream.

This is kinda bullshit.

Spookometer rating: 1 penknife out of 5

Old Woman All Skin and Bone

This one is actually a song. It has sheet music for the little ditty and everything. Basically an old woman goes to church and then finds a dead body crawling with worms. Dismayed she asks the preacher if she'll look like then when she's dead. He tells her she will. AHHHHH. This one really didn't need a scream. Oh well.

Anyway, contemplating your own mortality IS actually pretty scary. Who hasn't failed to go to sleep at least once while contemplating ones own death. And to come face to face with it via a corpse at church, and have the priest who you look to for comfort and guidance. I am not sure that making it a song helps make it scary though. Maybe if you had a creepy arrangement of it? Got some creepy church organ? I don't know. No kid is going to do that.

Spookometer rating: 2 corpses out of 5

Chapter 2: He Heard Footsteps Coming Up the Cellar Stairs

Thank christ, we are out of the jump scares. This one promises ghosts, murders, and other strange occurrences. This may be just the thing I was looking for.

The Thing

I don't think this is the John Carpenter movie, or even its remake. Two friends shoot the shit near a turnip field. Some strange figure lurks there but disappears. Next time it appears it comes closer, and scares them. Finally it approaches them and they are determined to see what they are so scared of. It's a skeleton wearing black pants and suspenders. This scares them pretty good and they run home. A year later Ted dies and looks just like the skeleton man.

Wait.... so did the skeleton cause him to die a year later? Or is that unrelated. Is the scary thing the death of a friend or a walking skeleton man? I'm sorry, this is just no good. So much for hoping better of this chapter.

Spookometer rating: 1 dead friend out of 5

Cold as Clay

A farmers daughter falls in love with a farmhand named Jim. Dad doesn't think he's good enough so he sends his daughter away. Lovesick Jim got literally sick and died. On the other side of the county daughter hears a knock at the door. It's Jim. He says her father sent for her. On the horse ride home he complains of a headache and she says he is as cold as clay, wrapping him in a handkerchief to keep him warm. Dad was shocked to see her, and she was surprised he hadn't sent for her. Jim, it now seems, is absent. Dad tells her about his death and they dig up his grave because what is a little desecration between friends, and his corpse is still there... but it is wearing daughters handkerchief.

Ok this one has a little spookitude. It's not just mindless repetition or nonsense. Though short there is a little actual story going on. Based soley on the fact that this one is better than everything that preceded it...

Spookometer rating: 2.5 graves out of 5

The White Wolf

The wolf population is out of control. Farmers are losing cattle, so the state puts a bounty out on the animals. Bill the butcher decides to make some money killing wolves instead of cutting up already dead beef. He is pretty darn good at it. So good in fact that not too long after the wolf population is seriously hurting. Bill decided that was a good time to retire and vowed not to kill any more wolves because killing wolves made him rich and... I don't really understand his reasoning ok? Oh well. Anyway, a white wolf shows up and kills his cow. IMMEDIATELY Bill forsakes his vow and takes a new vow of vengeance against this wolf. He ties a lamb to a tree to bait it and waits with his gun. Bill goes unheard from for awhile before his friends check up on him. His lamb is fine. Bill however had his throat torn open. There was no sign of a struggle. The white wolf was never seen again.

This is some man versus nature shit right here. Don't fuck with nature guys. It will tear your throat out. Obviously we are left to wonder, was that a real wolf or a ghost wolf. I am not sure if one is scarier than the other. Either one will apparently tear your throat out.

Spookometer rating: 2 wolves out of 5

The Haunted House

A preacher wants to unhaunt a house. Naturally he takes a bible and he builds up a fire. In the cellar he hears some sounds like someone walking around, trying to scream, struggling, then silence. He tries to go back to the bible but someone is coming up the stairs. Before he could be spooked the preacher asks the thing what it wants. This spook doesn't like questions so he goes back downstairs. Later it works up the courage to go up the stairs again. Again the preacher gives it the third degree. It's a ghostly young woman who fades away. Preacher bibles it up again before she returns. He invokes the holy trinity this time before asking her what she wants. Apparently she was murdered by her boyfriend who wanted her money. She's buried in the basement. It'd be awfully nice if the preacher could dig her up and give her a proper burial. She'd like that. Also if he put the end joint of her little finger in the collection plate at church he'd find out who killed her. A little weird... but ok.... Plus if he comes back she'll tell him where the money she had is hidden and he can give it to the church. Wait... is this one of those Nigerian prince scams? He gives it a go. At church the bone sticks to the murder as he reached to the collection plate and he screamed his head off before confessing. Ol preachy went back and the ghost told him where the money was. Where she had touch him on his coat was forever burned with the print of her bony fingers.

At 2 and a half pages this is probably the longest story yet. Length helps. (That's what she said.) It's nice to get some details, and some room to build up stuff. Now I'm not saying I'm not going to fall asleep because of this tale, but I have to admit to a little bit of eeriness.

Spookometer rating: 3 bones out of 5

The Guests

A young couple is traveling later than expected and in the dark of night decide they should stop for the evening. Nearby they find a house and go to ask if the would rent out a room to them. The elderly couple says they don't rent out rooms but would be glad to have them as guests, refusing any offer of money. The next morning the young couple departs but not before leaving an envelope of cash on the table as thanks. The next town over they stop for breakfast and tell the owner of the diner about the nice place they stayed the night at. The owner was confused, explaining that the house they were talking about burned down and killed the couple inside. Surely he was talking about the wrong house? To get to the bottom of it the couple returned to the house, only to find its charred remains. They did, however, find the table scorched but in tact and the envelope of money they left that morning was still upon it.

Ok, so the "they were really ghosts the whole time" thing is a bit played out, but it is a scary story staple. If M. Knight Shamalayamalaananan can get away with it and be called a genius why not allow it for a story like this? If you are collecting ghost stories that have been passed on through generations there are bond to be some like this. No doubt there will be more in this book.

Spookometer rating: 3 fires out of 5

Chapter 3: They Eat Your Eyes They Eat Your Nose

This seems to be miscellaneous stories. It promises stories about graves, witches, and your (the readers) corpse being eaten by worms. Cheery!

The Hearse Song

Another song? Ok lets get on with it. Basically it tells you shouldn't laugh when a hearse drives by because you're gonne die some day. Not only are you going to die but they are gonna toss you in a grave and you are going to rot, decay, and be eaten by worms. There is some pretty good imagery used in this song I must admit. I do appreciate the line "the worms play pinochle on your snout." The tune ends with an assertion that all the slimy gross puss corpse juice your corpse makes is what you use for jelly on toast when you're dead.

Ok this is just kinda gory fun. It's morbid silliness. It's a song you would use to bug your younger sibling with and freak them out. Or that you'd get in trouble for spreading around at school. Perhaps you could go around at Halloween singing horror carols?

Grossometer rating: 4 worms out of 5

The Girl Who Stood on a Grave

A rowdy co-ed party some youngsters discuss the nearby cemetery and how creepy it is. A boy details how if you stand on a grave there you'll be grabbed by a corpse and dragged down. " A girl denounces this as superstitious hogwash. A dollar bet is made that she will be too scared to do it. To prove she had done it she has to stick a knife in the grave and leave it there for them to check on later. She overcomes fear and goes there sticking the knife in as instruction. When she tries to leave something holds her back. She struggles and isn't seen again. When they go to check and see what happen they find her dead body on the grave. She had accidentally stuck her skirt to the ground with the knife and that is what was holding her back. She evidently died of fright.

Ok I have some problems with this. I mean playing on superstitions and stuff is fine and graveyards are plenty disturbing but if you are going to dare someone to stand on a grave wouldn't you go there to witness it? Wouldn't you want to be there to try to freak them out as they were trying to do it? Who hands someone a knife and says, here stick this in a grave and walk away. Also what kind of idiot girl knifes her dress and doesn't notice it? Plus, can you really die of fright? I have never read someones obituary and it listed the cause of death as "fright." Come on scary story, try harder!

Spookometer rating: 2 graves out of 5

A New Horse

A couple of farmhands are roommates. One sleeps at the back of the room and one sleeps near the door. The one that sleeps near the door was awfully tired, and explained that at night a witch comes and turns him into a horse to ride him all over during the night. In disbelief the other farmhand says he'll sleep in that bed tonight and see what happens. Sure enough he got turned into a horse and the witch rode him to a party. She tied him up and went to boogie down. Meanwhile he managed to get his bridle off and it turned him back into a human. Now that he knew the magic words to turn someone into a horse he turned the witch herself into a horse. Naturally he took this new horse and got her fitted for horseshoes. Then he decided to trade his new horse with the witch's husband. When he took the bridle off his new horse he was shocked to find his wife standing there with horseshoes nailed to her hands.

Now again, I'm confused by this story. So do the magic words turn someone into a horse or is it the bridle? Do the magic words infuse the bridle with magic? Why doesn't the witch just buy a horse? Surely it's cheaper than a magic bridle? If the previous horse-man disliked getting turned into a horse so much why didn't he move? or confront her at night or something?  I don't get it.

What I have to say positive about the story is it is always nice when the would be victim pulls one over on the villain. Also the thought of horseshoes nailed to human hands and feet is pretty gruesome.

Spookometer rating: 2 out of 5 humans turned into horses


A young couple get married and the husband likes to go swimming at night. They have 2 sons and soon the dad takes the sons out swimming at night. Sometimes they go the whole night. The wife gets lonely and soon theorizes that he is turning them into alligators. People told her that's crazy, there aren't any alligators around here. Now that retort doesn't make any sense to me. Like the craziest thing about the notion that her family turned into alligators is that alligators don't naturally live in the area? Anyway one day the lady comes running from the river dripping wet claiming her family were alligators and were trying to get her to live with them and eat live fish. They locked her up in the loony bin. Though still to this day, people claim to have seen 3 alligators out in the river. But that's crazy, there are no alligators around here...

So uhh. I don't know. I don't know what to say. Alligators? This story is about her family turning into alligators? Like... how? Why? Is it a family lineage thing? Why is this scary? Are people worried about their sons turning into reptiles? I'd be a lot more scared of being eaten by a gator than by my son turning into one.

Spookometer rating: 1 gator out of 5

Room for One More

A guy was staying at a friend's house and having trouble sleeping. He couldn't sleep and saw in the window a black hearse pulled into the driveway. The creepy driver exclaimed to him "there is room for one more." When the guy didn't jump at the chance to go into a creepy hearse in the middle of the night the car went away. Next day he is about to get onto an elevator and the driver from the hearse is there saying "there is room for one more." The guy decides he'll wait for the next elevator which is good because that elevator crashed any everyone died.

So uhh, I guess premonitions are spooky? or omens or uhh, whatever this is? Like some many of these very short stories it feels like there just needs to be more meat on its bones... Which is funny because skeletons are spookier without meat on their bones...

Spookometer rating: 2 hearses out of 5

The Wendigo

A hunter goes to northern Canada to hunt with a native to guide him. There is a wind storm but when he opens the tent there is no actual wind, which is odd because it sure sounds like wind. The wind sounds like it is calling his guide's name. The guide is clearly distraught but claims it is nothing, before running out of the tent in a madness. In the morning the hunter follows his tracks in the snow before they get inhumanly far apart. They go out onto the ice and stop. But there is no hole in the ice where he could have fallen in. Confused he leaves supplies for his guide and takes a long journey back to civilization. The next year he goes hunting in the same are again and asks the locals about the guide. None of them know what happens but tell him about the Wendigo. It is a strange being that comes with the wind and grabs you along with it, dragging you on the ground until your feet start to burn. Later the hunter goes to the trading post and sits by the fire. A native comes and sits next to him. He seemed familiar so the hunter asked him if he was his guide. After no response came he took of the native's hat to see his face only to find a pile of ash.

I don't know that this is at all a representation of what the actual belief of a Wendigo is but I guess it's nice to have some horror stories of a non anglo culture? This feels like a very shortened version of a longer tale. I think properly told it could be scarier.

Spookometer rating: 2 windstorms out of 5

The Dead Man's Brains

So this is basically an explanation of a game to play at Halloween. In the dark you pass around pieces of a corpse for people to feel while explaining them. Obviously you aren't passing around real organs but things like grapes for eyes and chicken bones and ketchup blood. This is something that people still do I think, or at least it is depicted on tv. Here's the thing, it's not very scary. Try passing around a real cadaver, now that's scary.

Spookometer rating: 1 grape eyeball out of 5

May I Carry Your Basket?

A kid goes out late at night and sees an older lady carrying a basket. As a nice gesture he offers to carry her basket. It seems that her head is inside the basket which is a surprise. He runs away but her head goes after him, biting him before it disappears.

How. How does a head follow him? Is it like, rolling after him? It says it chases him and bounds into the air to get him which makes me think it wasn't already flying. Does it have tiny little legs where the neck should be? This would be scarier if my mental image wasn't so ridiculous.

Spookometer rating: 2 severed heads out of 5

Chapter 4: Other Dangers

These are more contemporary stories told more recently in modern times.

The Hook

OH MAN! Is this the one where the hook is on the car? I think I know this one!

Let's see. A young couple go park on a hill to look in the city and if this was a book for adults they'd be banging but since it's for kids they are just listening the radio. A killer escaped from prison and he has a hook for a hand. That prison is pretty close. They decide to roll up the windows and lock the doors but argue about going home. They don't say it, but the guy wants to bang. The girl swears she hears some scratching on the car but that's crazy right? But when the guy lets her out of the car there is a hook on the door!

I feel like you lose something in the simplification of this story and the making it more appropriate for kids. I think this story is an extremely well known one, and for a lot of people it's what they think of when they think of a "scary story to tell in the dark." I guess it's nice that this book writes it down for future generations to take part in.

Spookometer: 3 hooks out of 5

The White Satin Evening Gown

A girl buys a dress for a dance, dances her heart out and dies. Turns out the dress was covered in embalming fluid which poisoned her, because the dress seller got it from a guy who robbed a mortuary.

Are dress so expensive that we need to be robbing them from corpses? I guess so. Can't you smell embalming fluid?  Isn't it really smelly? Wouldn't she complain about a smelly dress? I don't know. There are so many short stories. I'm getting overwhelmed.

Spookometer: 2 dresses stolen from a corpse out of 5

A girl is driving her car when she realizes a truck is following her. It shines it's high beams on her and speeds up to follow her. Creeped it follows her all the way home. When she arrives she runs into the house quickly yelling for her dad to call the police. When the cops get there they see the truck driver with a gun in his hand. As they start to arrest him they explain they want the other guy. The guy sitting in the back of the girls car with a knife. He only followed her because he saw the guy get in and was trying to save her. Each time the guy was gonna stab her he flashed his brights.

Oh man. This is some prime urban legend stuff right here. This is another story I am sure I heard. Now again it doesn't prosper from the abbreviated telling, but this is a classic of the modern era in urban legend scary story. The fact that it "could happen." Undoubtedly freaked a lot of people out. I feel like it's the kind of thing I could still to this day get a spam email about urging young girls to check their back seat each time they drive.

Spookometer: 4 trucks out of 5

The Babysitter

While babysitting a caller phones to say creepy and vaguely threatening things over and over. Scared and fed up the babysitter calls the operator to see what's going on. The operate says the call is coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE! Just then some strange man bursts from upstairs grinning creepily. Luckily the operator called the police and arrested him.

Again, a shortened simplified kid version is not everything it could be. Still this is a classic I have heard. If it was today someone would be texting them from the same wifi or something. damn kids. This whole story would be ruined with caller ID right?

Spookometer: 3 landline phones out of 5.

Chapter 5 "Aaaaaaaaaaah!"

Didn't we already read this chapter? Yes this chapter has the same name as the first one but apparently these stores are supposed to make you laugh.

The Viper

An old woman is terrorized by someone named "The Viper" who is coming for her. Turns out he is "the viper" that "vipes and vashes the vindows"

So is this racist? is this making fun of a specific accent? or is this making fun of a speak impediment? Maybe she really should be scared because it's Dracula. He used v's in his speech right? Like I vant to suck your blood? I don't know.

Laughometer: 1 V out of 5

The Attic

A hunter and trapper lives with his dog. He loses his dog to his dismay. While looking for him he goes up into the attic and screams AAAAAAH!

The end.

Oh wait, that's not the end. The audience is supposed to ask why he screamed and you are supposed to tell them he stepped on a nail.

BOOOOOOOOOOO. That's not a scary ghost booing either, that is me booing this bad story.

Laughometer rating: 2 nails out of 5

The Slithery-dee

A short rhyme about how the slithery-dee came from the sea and ate everyone else but not him, but then it ate him.

It's kind of cute. I guess that is neither funny nor scary, but it's something I guess?

Laughometer rating: 2 somethings out of 5

Aaron Kelly's Bones

Aaron Kelly died and they buried him and so forth. He didn't' feel like staying dead though so his reanimated corpse showed up at his widows place. She couldn't collect insurance money since he wasn't dead anymore, so that's a bummer. He didn't feel much like being in a grave. So a fiddler came to become a diddler with his widow but was cockblocked by the zombie. Aaron asked the fiddler to play to cheer them all up and that corpse danced up a storm until his rotting body fell apart. the fiddler was grossed out and left. The widow never got plowed by him. At least her former husband could go back in his grave.

It's 12:30 am and I'd really like to get this ready by morning so it's ready for Friday the 13th. I forgot there were so many of these damn stories. I guess the notion of a zombie dancing himself to pieces is funny. Kinda sucks for his widow though. She deserves to move on. Not cool Aaron Kelly, not cool.

Laughometer rating: 3 bones out of 5

Wait Till Martin Comes

An old man takes refuge in an abandoned house during a storm. A black cat greets him and he falls asleep petting the feline. When he wakes up there is an even larger cat there and they discuss whether they should "do it now or wait until Martin comes." The next time the old man is alert there is a third cat the size of a tiger and they ponder the same thing. The old man gets the hell out of there and tells them he couldn't wait for Martin.

Martin who? Martin Short? Martin Mull? Martin Scorsese? Doc Martin? Martin Sheen? Uhh I can't think of any more Martins.

Laughometer rating: 1 Martin out of 5

The Ghost with the Bloody Fingers

Guests check into a haunted hotel room heedless of the warnings. Each time the ghost moans about his bloody fingers. The last man to get the room is some hippy with a guitar who tells the ghost to get a bandaid.


Laughometer rating: 2 band-aids out of 5

I Read It All!

So there are the stories. There is all the text. But what about all the art? The art is eerie, creepy, and at times gruesome. Often times it doesn't fit the stories with at all. But yet it may be the best part of the book. Some scenes are truly disturbing even without the excellent execution, dead bodies and the like. But other scenes are made scary by Stephen Gemmell's unique style. Even "normal" humans seem disturbing and other worldly. Some of the contrast between silly stories and gruesome pictures is really stark. For example Dead Man's Brains is just an explanation to peel eyeballs and let people feel it. The illustration however is a gruesome picture of a creepy old lady with a steaming grotesque severed head with the top cut off. Truly gross.  I'm not going to scan the whole book but I'll try to sprinkle some illustrations here or there so you can see what I'm talking about.

So overall as a whole what do I think? It's interesting to get a collection not of uniquely authored stories but of folklore and urban legend that has been passed along for generations. The thing is, the execution isn't always excellent and the stories are frequently not that scary. Still as a resource for someone to use to start becoming a story teller this could be an interesting way to start. The art of the ghost story isn't in reading a written tale in a book after all. You take the part that work and weave the tale yourself, adding in the parts as you see fit, helping them to evolve.

This book was rather different from my usual Goosebumps. It was a good experience to try something else. I even remembered some of these tales from my youth. The more modern ones were easier because no doubt I had heard them outside the writing, but stories like the toe eating I remember. I guess a story about someone eating a toe in the garden sticks with you.

So perhaps this book is more silly than scary. I think that might be alright. It's still pretty fun. Just don't try to read it all and write a review for it all at once. You'll get burnt out. Trust me.

Overall Rating: 3 scared kids out of 5

Up Next

Well there are 2 more Scary Story books in the series but I don't know them and I don't think I'll be reading them any time soon. Truth is, it's back to Goosebumps for me for the foreseeable future. I got a special one planned for Halloween so check back for that one. Also between then and now I'd like to do 1 more discussing alternate covers for the Goosebumps books. Hope you enjoyed this and check back soon. Happy Friday the 13th! Or happy whenever you read this!

1 comment:

  1. I was shocked to see this today. It would make a good scary story if you don't remember writing this. I never wanted to reread this book because I thought it was too scary. I think I may have been misled.