Scary Stores 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones
as told by Alvin Schwartz
drawings by Stephen Gammell
Publishers destroy Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’s amazing artwork
Gammell’s black and white monsters and images of exploding spider nests burrowing under your skin make children everywhere cry. They’re beautiful and horrifying at the same time (and still haunt some of my most spectacular fever dreams even to this day). But now, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this book trilogy, the publishers have decided to take a giant dump on Gammell’s spooky legacy and replace his illustrations.
The publishers have hired Brett Helquist (another talented artist) to replace the original illustrations. No disrespect to Helquist — but this is an atrocity. We totally understand what the publishers are trying to do here, and appeal to a younger demographic with these images. But if your child couldn’t handle Gammell’s paintings, they’re certainly not going to be able to stomach a short story about a scarecrow who skins a farmer alive and dries out his skin sack trophy on the roof. Gammell’s art is an integral part of this collection. The least they could do is release a special art book as a companion. This is just supernatural blasphemy.
I always remembered ‘The Hearse’ poem from these books that I read in grade 4. I recently was able to find what those books were called and I remembered certain illustrations. These are from the three book series called Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
This was my childhood. This explains a lot.