Saturday, June 2, 2012

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

I would check out these books from the school library when I was a kid.  They introduced to me some of the classic spooky songs and stories I know today.  At the time, some of the tales really freaked me out, but what really made me uneasy were the incredible drawings by Stephen Gammell.  That artist must have really dug deep into his nightmares to create such haunting imagery, because his illustrations are absolutely bone chilling.

I made this video this morning.  The boys and I got up to watch our Saturday morning cartoons and then pretty much sat around all day, so I scanned some of Gammell's drawings and made this video.  His visual nightmares play to a song taken from the first book in the series.  It can be found on Harley Poe's new album.  Our version is a combination of lyrics stitched together from several sources.  Enjoy.


  1. Wow... seeing those drawings brought back so many memories! When I was a little girl, those were my absolute favorite books. I remember being simultaneously horrified and thrilled by the stories, and positively haunted by the drawings. Still creepy, even now. I can still remember my favorite story of the bunch...

  2. Haha that's so awesome! I read all those books in middle school. I always thought those drawings were not good for kids when I was little because of how terrifying they are. They all have this incredibly lonely haunting portrait feeling to them, like someone snapped a photo of these creatures during their deeds. Thanks for posting, Joe! I think I'll read them again now. =)

  3. What was your favorite story, Ashley?

    I felt the same way, Bradley. The drawings seemed much too frightening for children. Freaked me out!

  4. I can't remember the name of it, but what I remember specifically was that if the little girl in the story didn't start behaving, she would come home to find that her mother had abandoned her and been replaced with a creature who had glass eyes and a wooden tail.

    I think it may have also had something to do with a drum...

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  6. I first read this when originally posted but now that it's close to Halloween I keep coming back to it. I forgot about these books until I read it. I can't believe I read that shit when I was a kid. The video combo of the music and photos is absolutely perfect.

    1. Funny, I was just thinking about pulling these books out tonight. I want to read some of the stories to my oldest, but I think they might scare him. He is maybe still a little too young for the tales, but he loves the drawings. Thanks for watching the video.