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Original “Scary Stories” Books Were Just Re-Released With Original Drawings Restored

These are the things that make us smile.

Anyone who ever read one of Alvin Schwartz’s controversial Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books as a kid probably remembers being terrified both by the stories and equally so by the drawings, which were contributed by Stephen Gammell. Schwartz and Gammell collaborated on the three books in the series, released between 1981 and 1991.

In celebration of the 30th anniversary, however, Harper Collins re-released the three books with new artwork from artist Brett Helquist. That 2011 re-release drew the ire of fans, who were none too happy about Gammell’s iconic illustrations being removed from the books.

It was downright blasphemous, they felt.

Well, six years later, Harper Collins has made right on the flub by re-releasing the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books with Gammell’s original illustrations put back into them! We tip our hats to Reddit for letting us know that the latest re-release of the three book collection was put up for grabs just this week.

And all is once again right with the world!

In the series, folklorist Alvin Schwartz offers up some of the most alarming tales of horror, dark revenge, and supernatural events of all time.



  • No Nose Nosferatu

    About time we got those sick puppies back. Now they should bring back SCARY STORIES FOR SLEEPOVERS series!!

    • scream4ever

      Amen! I’ll never forget A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing and Camping Trip.

      • No Nose Nosferatu

        That shit still gives me the Willies.

        • asnaes

          Kids got killed in gory ways in those.

      • NoGutzNoGory

        Was camping Trip the one about the game warden?
        Yeah this series was genuinely grim too. I dig it.

    • Rick-Taylor

      OH SHIT! Totally forgot about these books. That cracked open vampire skull brings back the childhood memories.

    • MrX13

      Never heard of these books! Guess I need to read up on those

      • No Nose Nosferatu

        Do itttt. There are a total of 8 books.

  • Ocelot006 .

    Does anyone actually remember the stories or just the artwork?

    • Meisha’s Taint

      I do

    • Bart Crowe

      The stories were bog standard scary campfire stories but if it’s your first time reading them as kid along with the creepy art and you’re in for a sleepless night as a kid.

    • Fracassi

      Yeah – generally they were slightly modded folk stories. They almost all have a pretty vast oral and written history. There is actually a bibliography in the book. I don’t have my copy of Scary Stories in front of me, but I do have “In a Dark, Dark Room” on my desk (also Alvin Schwartz). To give you a line for line from that book’s, Where The Stories Come From section:

      “The Teeth” is based on a story from Surinam (Dutch Guiana) collected in the 1920s by Melville and Frances Herskovitz.

      • NoGutzNoGory

        The Wendigo one was based on Algernon Blackwood’s story of the same name. Just super condensed, slightly different outcome. Worth a read too.

      • No Nose Nosferatu

        In a Dark, Dark Room still gives me happy shivers. The illustrations alone were a delight to see. The yellowed paper, the simple drawings and simple story structure stuck with me throughout my entire adolescence…

    • Buk Lau

      Me tie dough-ty walker.
      Lynchee kinchy colly molly dingo dingo.

    • Jack Derwent

      Yep. A few were pretty creepy, like the singing head falling down the chimney. That being said reading the omnibus edition gets repetitive after a while because a lot of stories are variants on the same legend.

    • Trent Owens

      the mall parking lot one with the rubber gloves freaked me out lol

    • Rick-Taylor

      People do mostly remember them for the art. Many of the stories are lame punchlines. Some of them are scary for youngsters, but yeah, a lot are the equivalent of what we call “Dad Jokes” today.

      • No Nose Nosferatu

        Are you kidding? There are some urban legends and other stories inside that still give me goosebumps and I’m almost thirty years old! I’m greatly desensitized sure, but damn! Some of these bits hit close to home. Must be the nostalgia. Sweet, sweet nostolgia.

        • Rick-Taylor

          Yeah, it may be that nostalgia. I had gotten the treasury of all 3 books, about 2 years ago. A big chunk of the stories are those cheap and silly ones. The scary ones you do like are fantastic, though.

      • Vicente Garcia

        Most of the first book was more “punch-line”-y, but the second and third books have some longer stories that truly chill.

    • Justin McGill

      I looked through the titles. I remembered high beams. Don’t think I ever read vol 3 though

    • MrX13

      The story with the girl who had baby spiders in her cheeks…ugh always freaked me out

      • asnaes

        Ew! I hated that one!

  • Cain Horton

    Why is it getting almost all 1 stars if it’s the original stories and pictures re-released?

    • Jack Derwent

      Because the Amazon review system automatically pulls over reviews from prior editions of something even if the edition is different.

  • Peter Johnson

    There was also another series of books, one being title “Invasion of the Road Weenies”. I got that and another when I was kid because they looked goofy and silly, but this book had some of the most terrifying and weird stories I’ve ever read. One story, a kid sees people jogging all over town, day and night. They never stop. He decides to investigate and finds out people are being enslaved and forced to jog because the jogging keeps the town alive. It ends with him also being enslaved and forced to jog, losing all sense of his identity. Reading that as a kid scared me shitless

    • Derk McDerkinton

      Seems pretty interesting. I’ll have to check that out lol

    • Vicente Garcia

      Yep, there’s about 3-4 books in the Weenies series and they’re all stand-alone short story collections with some wicked yarns in them. Even reading them as an adult, the author has some fantastic ideas. The jogging one has “weenies” in the title only to sell it as a kids book, I swear…the actual story is pretty damn dark.

  • Samaras_Madness

    Thank Jeebus. The art was such an integral part of the books. I bought them at an elementary school book fair and could only get through the folklore by covering the illustrations

  • Werewolf

    I was 5, or 6 the first time I saw this:

    Wound up being my first ever purchase at the 1986 book fair.

  • zombie84_41


  • DarklingMagick

    YAy! I don’t know what possessed them to think we’d want “new” cute illustrations on the 30th anniversary edition. That pretty much ruined it. Whoever made that decision should be fired from the publishing company.

  • Rick-Taylor

    I don’t care what anybody thinks. I just wanna pick up and hug that cat with bat wings, so bad.

  • Bad Travis

    I’m glad this was posted, I just drove 30 minutes to buy it for my kids. I still have my original first and third, but couldn’t find my second one. My kids are the same age as me when I read it for the first time.

    • MrX13

      I never could find my originals so I had to buy all 3 on Amazon for my boys. They liked the books

    • asnaes

      I never liked the third book.

  • zombie84_41

    order it 😛

  • MrX13

    Loved the book since I was a kid! I actually bought them all for my boys and they both read all them. I was happy to share that book (part of my childhood) with them!

    • asnaes

      Your kids are going to be cool when they grow up.

      • MrX13

        They’re already kool! haha

  • Peep_Jerky

    These books are probably my earliest memory of anything horror related, and are probably why I’m a horror fan to this day. I found them in the elementary school library, and the illustrations were a huge part of the reason why the stories scared me and kept me reading. I’m so buying these.

    • asnaes

      Mine too. Also Jaws.

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