For whatever reason, I decided to look up the “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” books on Amazon. If you don’t know these books, they were really popular in the 90s because they were super scary. While the stories themselves were pretty spooky, it was the illustrations that really crept to the most innocent parts of your mind, corrupting those spaces for the rest of your life. At least, that’s how it was for me when I would check these books out from my local library.
But yeah, the art was absolutely terrifying, and they would sometimes keep me up at night. So, I was a bit disappointed when I saw that these books were getting 1-star reviews on Amazon. I only had to read a couple to know that the poor ratings were due to a change in the book’s art. The original art was done by Stephen Gammell (something I just learned tonight), but apparently, some people found the illustrations disturbing enough that publishers decided to do something about it. So, they kept the original stories, but brought in a new illustrator, Brett Helquist. The new art is hardly terrifying, and people are upset about these changes to these classic books. It may appeal to a younger audience, but the people who grew up with the originals are not having it. Sadly, it seems the only way to purchase these books online is with the new art, so who knows where you can find the original books.
I’m pretty sad that these books were changed. I think that there should at least be two versions, one with the old art and one with the new. It’s strange though, because even if they did have the old art available, I probably would be too afraid to buy it. Some of those drawings still creep me out. I mean…have you seen THE THING? Look it up online, if you dare.
So yeah, this is a particularty dark part of my childhood that I wanted to share. If you like scary stories, I’d encourage you to check these books out, especially if you can find the ones with the original art. But, if you still have no idea what I’m talking about, here are a few examples. You can figure out which ones are the orignials 😉
All images from i09