Do you remember huddling up with siblings or friends, or even by yourself, in the corner of a room at night as you read scary stories to each other as kids?
Specifically, do you remember doing it with the horrifying books “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark?”
Short trailers for a movie adaptation of the compilation book were released earlier this year, but a full trailer was finally released this week, and it’s rehashing the disturbing images we had in our heads as children after reading the tales.
The first volume of the books, all written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell, was published in 1981 with 29 stories. Perhaps you remember “The Hook,” “High Beams,” or “The Big Toe?”
The stories drew from folklore and urban legends, but quite possibly even scarier than the stories were the accompanying illustrations.
The book was the No. 1 most challenged book between 1990 and 1999. In the following decade, from 2000 to 2009, it was still No. 7 on the list of most challenged books, causing it to be banned in some schools.
According to Weebly, “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” was first challenged by a school board in Michigan after complaints at a Livonia elementary school.
Teachers reported that children of all grades were becoming frightened by the stories and especially the illustrations.
Those teachers took their concerns to the principal, who agreed with the teachers’ concerns about the children reading the book.
When the books were rereleased in 2011, they came with new illustrations, ones that some fans argued weren’t as effective as those in the previously released books. Some said the new art caused the original message to be lost. Some even said the original illustrations were, if you will, a way to tell if a child could handle the book. If they couldn't handle the images, they wouldn’t be capable of handling the disturbing stories.
So what’s next? A movie.
[WATCH THE FULL TRAILER BELOW]
With storylines based on the books adapted for the film, it tells the story of teens who are haunted by the tales, tortured by a tall woman seeking her lost toe, an infestation just below the skin and a murderous scarecrow, among others.
Could the movie be nearly as terrifying as the stories? We’ll have to find out when the movie hits theaters Aug. 9.
Graham Media Group 2019