Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

I remember buying this book at the school book fair in 1st or 2nd grade.  The memories are a bit strange – they are like snapshots.  I can see the classroom or library with all of the books set up for the book fair.  I remember going with my mom to look at the books.  It must have been some kind of event at school.  I also have a snapshot memory of sitting in the cafeteria at the school and reading the book.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a collection of different scary stories put together by Alvin Schwartz.  In the notes at the end he explains where some of these stories originate (when the origins can be traced).  Some are urban legends, some are common folk tales, and others are just scary stories.  I do remember them being much scarier as a child.  Perhaps they are less scary because I am reading them at 7 in the morning.

I loved reading scary stories as a child.  I read books like this, books from R.L. Stine, and others.  My parents did not like buying them for me.  I talked about my insomnia and difficulty sleeping on my own as a child in a previous post.  My parents often associated it with me reading things I “shouldn’t be reading” or my older sister(s) having me watch scary movies with them that I was “too young to watch.”

In fact, for years I believed that if I read or watched something scary, I wouldn’t be able to sleep.  I avoided Stephen King novels.  I avoided horror movies.  It turns out that I actually love those types of books and movies.  I have a huge collection of Stephen King novels, and I am working to get all of them as first editions.  I enjoy going to see horror films when I can convince other members of my household to go with me – they just are not as fun by yourself.

Now, I do not enjoy the “gore porn” style horror films.  Movies like the Saw series, Hostel, and other gory movies just don’t do it for me.  I prefer the psychological thrillers.  Movies like The Lighthouse, The Shining, and The Blair Witch Project are far better than movies where we see a lot of body parts cut off in gruesome ways, bloody and gory deaths, and the like.  I just get annoyed with movies that feel the need to fill the screen with the worst gore imaginable.  I prefer a horror film that makes me think.  I also love psychological thriller books.  This still surprises me, but there you have it.

The Scary Stories books appear to have been made into a movie.  Somehow I missed this. It looks like it was released during my “overwork” spell.  I had several months where I was working 70-80 hour weeks, traveling for my job nearly every week, and not paying attention to anything outside of my work.  I think I missed several really good movies during this time as a result.  This appears to be one of them.

I am disappointed that I missed this in the theatre.  I get the feeling that this is a movie that would be much better in the theatre than watching it at home on my small television.  I suppose I will try to hunt down the DVD once I have finished all three of the books so that we can watch it.  I wonder if the movie will live up to the stories in the books.

That is all for now.  I am considering trying my hand at writing a ghost story now.  If I do, I will try to post it here and see what you think.  Please feel free to comment on any of my posts and let me know what you thought of the books and movies that I talk about here.  I would love to know how others feel, the memories it brings up for them, etc.

Until next time, aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!  Just kidding, Happy Reading!

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