The Complete 3-Book Collection with Classic Art by Stephen Gammell

ByAlvin Schwartz

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Bought this set for my son. I was really excited to get it for him. The stories are the same, however the artist changed. I was a bit disappointed with that because i thought the original art was much more creepy than the new artist. But it is about the stories so I'm happy with the purchase.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ronald cheng
I purchased for a good Halloween read, reminiscing back to child hood. Good price for all three books. I would of given it 5 stars, but the amazing creepy original artwork is not in these books. Still great classic stuff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alm melson
New covers but all of the great stories and illustrations from my childhood (90s). Bought it as a Christmas present for my 8 year old and she loves the stories and songs! A must have for any little reader!
Falling Up :: Dark Room and Other Scary Stories - Reillustrated Edition (I Can Read Level 2) :: More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark :: Player Piano: A Novel :: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I was so excited to see this book online; I remember reading this as a child. One of my favorite campfire story books of all time, excellent condition and excellent material, I would suggest this to children and adults alike.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
shirley truong
I got this for a camping trip after reading several reviews that the stories would be scary for adults too. Definitely not the case, in fact you sit there wondering how they could end these stories like they do. I mean you're waiting for the conclusion but it never comes. They start the next story and you're sitting there like what the heck? There were a couple of good stories but the group I was with ended up laughing because they couldn't believe we were actually listening to these. Get it for the children but spare the adults. The stories are just too shallow for adults to enjoy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
natalie g
I have not read through all the books, but I am pleasantly surprised so far. I like the way they give suggested inflections for the story teller to give it a better delivery.I'm not a big reader, but I've found these short stories are something I can handle.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I wanted this series for my niece and nephew. They love to tell ghost stories and I knew they would love these books. Somehow the original illustrations are just so much more creepier, scarier, and overall better than this new version. I returned the next day and plan to buy the right one.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
All the old school books I grew up on, wish I could have kept an eye on my autographed copies from back in the day but a great replacement for it. Can't wait to read to my daughter who is just as much into this as I am!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
'''I am in love with this book! for those who are leaving a one star, if you look closely when you click on PAPERBACK USED books it will show that you are purchasing the book with the new illustration, it even shows a picture of the book on the upper left hand corner (scary stories box set). The only way you can get the book with the ORIGINAL illustration by Stephen Gammell is if you click on HARDCOVER USED books, that will also show you the picture on the upper left hand corner(scary stories treasury). hope that helps :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The book was pricey but I was replacing the same book that was stolen many years ago. I read the stories to my own children at home and my elementary students in class. They all loved the stories and the images in the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike jonze
Classic set! Grew up reading the first book; it was a favorite around my house. Good mix of humor and horror. To be honest, I'm not as fond of the second and third volume. There are some okay ones, but they aren't as good as the first book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emma lee
I loved these scary stories as a kid and now my daughter is reading and loving them, too. She is not a fan of reading but worked her way quickly through these short scary stories :) I wish there were more of them!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
kristen howze
I ordered this box set hoping to get the trilogy, I'm looking for the story about a girl with a green ribbon. I open the box and the second book is missing. I received two copies of the third book instead. Odd. So now I have book 1 and 2 copies of book 3 but no book 2. What a waste of money.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
elizabeth schurman
I didn't read the cover completely and didn't know that it was a different illustrator than the original. I wanted the original creepy illustrations. The good thing about these illustrations though is that they are more kid friendly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
OK I just order these books for my kids and I keep seeing people say the art work is bad but my question is are the story's still the same? The reason I order was because I love these story's growing up.. As long as the story is the same I don't care about the art work..
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I love this box set-bought it for my sister and she is in her 30's. She wanted it for her collection for her kids when they get older and it is just like we remember it. Buy it-you will not regret it!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
debbie viggiano
Someone made a very bad call when reissuing these books. No personal slight to Mr. Helquist who, I'm sure, does fine illustrations for many other books...but this series is meant to be illustrated by Stephen Gammell. It's a team effort. Schwartz and Gammell, Gammell and Schwartz. It's an iconic pairing and it shouldn't have been changed. So, if you can find an older version of this series, or can wait a few years for the publisher to realize their mistake and reissue the books with the original illustrations. Do that instead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa p
I read these stories when I was a boy and was permanently disturbed by them. Just kidding. I never forgot them and now that my children are old enough (ages 11, 9, 7, 4) I wanted to read something with them that would be fun. They stayed in rapt attention for hours as we read by flashlight laying on the trampoline with blankets looking up at the stars of the Nevada summer sky. As a father, you can't trade those times for anything. I'm grateful to risk-taking authors like this one who have freedom of speech to upset all the self-righteous do-gooders. I'm a dad and I'll expose my children to healthy doses of fear and mystery from within the safety of my arms. Later.

p.s. I need to add that my review is of the Treasury with the original artwork. I had no idea that a newer edition had the weak-sauce art added. When I saw those new drawings it was clear they have ruined the book. My family has the trilogy with all the original, heart stopping, nightmare inducing drawings that scarred me for life as a boy. Two thumbs way up for the original artist! If you get this book, get the original art! How will you tell? You'll know because you'll be nauseous.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Who's wretched idea was it to remove the beautiful, terrifying artwork by Stephen Gammell and replace it with this bland, cutesy nonsense? Way to ruin the entire series. I grew up on these books, and Gammell's art literally MADE the tales. Even as an adult, there's no comparison between the original illustrations and Brett Helquist's dreadful new replacements. Gammell's work was and is terrifying, inhabited as it is by strange beings, sinister shadows, and weird tree roots. Helquist's work, on the other hand, looks like something off a cheap Halloween card.

Go out of your way to buy the real, authentic "Scary Stories" with Gammell's classic illustrations, and avoid this horrible update like the plague. Maybe if enough people voice their displeasure the publishers will bring back the classic "Scary Stories" and quit trying to ruin a classic with their needless tampering.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
These are advertised as having the original art work. They do not.
I'm excited to have another pointless book that no one will ever touch. I'll spend my life dusting garbage. Thanks for lying seller!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Stephen Gammell's original art was a large reason why these books were forever ingrained in the memories of readers. Replacing them with Brett Helquist's milquetoast revisions is yet another sad instance of tactless PC whiners tromping all over someone else's hard work. Don't waste a penny on this useless re-release.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
New artwork was given to these books for the 30th anniversary in 2011. If you want original versions avoid any with a publication date of 2011. The July 2017 box set does contain the original artwork. The ISBN is 9780062682895.

The face on the cover of the edition I'm reviewing, Scary Stories Treasury, is from the story The Haunted House, from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The stories were alright considering they were meant for fifth graders. Some are only one page long, some are two, and a few are a little longer. Some sort of end abruptly and leave you asking, "Where's the rest of the story?!" and some just really aren't scary and some seem really pointless.

There's a story from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark called The Babysitter and it's cleary a ripoff of the first 20 minutes of the 1979 film When A Stranger Calls.

There are only four stories that I really like:

Cold as Clay- From Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I can't sing the praises of this one enough.

The White Satin Evening Gown- From Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Perhaps one of the most unusual ways to die.

Cemetery Soup- From More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Downright disgusting and cringe-worthy.

Harold- From Scary Stories 3. Harold's a loveable scarecrow. He's a bad mofo and he knows it.

Just Delicious- My eyes widened when I read a certain line and realized what she was about to do to make up for the piece of food she'd eaten.

The stories below contain some of my favorite images though none of the stories are favorites.

The Dead Hand
Sam's New Pet
Is Something Wrong?
You May Be The Next
The Bride
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
trent haughn
The whole creepy factor WAS the illustrations in the originals. Did they finally cave in to the moral guardians of the world? Why did they have to pull this on the 30th Anniversary Edition and not just co-release with a set with the original drawings? Not cool.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
These series of books have a classic collection of horror folk and urban legend stories and have been around for over a decade. I have fond memories from reading these stories as a child. But what put these books over the top was the original disturbing artwork by Steven Gammell, which is sadly no longer present in these new editions and needs to be brought back. Replacing the classic illustrations was a very dumb move on the part of the publisher. If you can, track down the older editions with Gammell's illustrations they are well worth it and vastly superior. They are no longer in print, but copies are still plentiful and not too hard to come by.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This reprint of what should be Schwartz's masterpieces are utterly worthless without the original artwork. The point of Schwartz's work was the true terror it inspired - if you want to emotionally coddle your children with "less scary" art, then why are you reading them horror stories to begin with?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
brian lynam
I still remember the exact location of these books in my third grade library; the very end of the 2rd row from the back southwest corner, 3rd shelf from the bottom. Each week on library day all the boys in the class would hurry (no running allowed) to that hallowed location in hopes of seeing that red, black, and white spine staring back at them. It was like Christmas morning if you were able to secure one of these books.

Like a modern day Brothers Grimm Alvin Schwartz collected American folklore and put the stories to paper. However half the magic of these books, perhaps more, is in the wonderful illustrations by Stephen Gammell. The artwork and stories play off of each other perfectly, so much so that the series is essentially a graphic novel. And this is why I have to give this set 1 star. The publisher has vivisected this perfect marriage and has returned to us not a whole entity but a watered down, soulless clone which has probably been filtered through no less than a dozen focus groups. Hell Bent on reaching the lowest common denominator the publisher has sanitized all charm that this series had.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ancuta clim
This is THE definitive scary story set - the ones you loved, loved, loved in school. Always look to see that the illustrator was (he's deceased) Stephen Gammell. Brett Helquist is NOT the illustrator you seek. Helquist's toned down pictures will make you cry. Parents be warned - these stories and pictures are not for your young ones, nor for the faint of heart. While some stories and pics are okay for second graders, others will give them nightmares. Absolutely no joke!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Oh my goodness, they re-released these books WITHOUT the original illustrations!! They were sparse black-and-white images that haunted the nightmares of a generation of kids and made the scary stories much scarier.

I still shudder when I picture the large woman with a blank face, tiny eyes and stringy hair... there was something so unsettling about her, to the point where I had to avert my eyes while reading the book. I can't bear to look up the image, even now. It was just too scary. I'm getting the chills just thinking about it.

I can't believe the publisher would leave out these legendary images. Scary Stories just won't be the same for new readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephen hnatow
I hadn't even started kindergarten when my mom read these to me (she's a confirmed ghost story and horror film addict).
I had almost completely forgotten about them until one day back in the early 2000's I saw *stacks* of this now rare edition on the discount tables at Barnes & Noble. The moment I saw the raggedy screaming man on the cover I instantly remembered him and how much I'd loved these stories. It was almost like bumping into an old friend (well, frienemy). Nostalgic, I picked a copy up for a song and spent that evening getting reacquainted with these old stories... To my delight, I found out that there were one or two mom very wisely never read to me! One word: Harold.

Ah, if only I'd bought 50 of these, I could make a mint... But I never imagined it would become so scares - or that they'd ever do away with Stephen Gammell's original illustrations in the latest editions! What on earth were they thinking? Swapping the Stephen Gammells for toned down versions (by Brett Helquist for goodness sake!) is like drawing eyebrows on the Mona Lisa.

Anyway, my advice to anyone looking to revisit these books for old time's sake, or to share them with their kids/grandkids, or anyone who is looking for a *masterclass* in horror writing, is buy this book now! It's only going to get more expensive especially now they've changed the new editions... Wrap it's cover in a library jacket and treat it like gold, and you'll have a useful family heirloom to scare many generations of your young family members into never EVER going alone anywhere near attics, basements, abandoned houses, gypsies, cemeteries, forests, caves, cabins, boarding houses... and strange black dogs large and small...
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
When I was in my youth I loved to check these books out in our school library and at the time only the first and second book were out.The stories were good especially after the third book you catch on that a few were derived from urban legends.A good deal of them are small town folklore.And some of them were just flat out comedic in a dark and scary sort of way.But even as an adult I jokingly ponder on how the story would have played out if I 'waited until Martin came'.At that younger age I didn't get much of the whole storyteller involvement part until I was an adult and enjoyed making my niece jump and my little ones.Out of all three books I can't really rate a particular as a favorite because they're all good.Each one has a delicious mix of terror and doesn't lean towards a type of genre.Moving along I've had the three paperbacks since I was young so I was going to get the set for my child.I combed the youth section and couldn't find it at all.I ask the cashier which was some hipster (Starbuck's cup,hemp bracelet,and dreadlocks said enough...plenty in Asheville).And she directed me to the books I overlooked.No wonder I couldn't find them the artwork was completely different.Looking at the more 'gentle' covers I browsed through the pages and the only way I can describe it is the Scary Stories trilogy has been pacified.Every illustration that substituted the original possessed a very tame piece of artwork in it's place.And this isn't to start a political debate but it looks like some whiney liberal parent got a hold of this series and had it distilled down to their vision of what should be sold in America.Heaven forbid we hurt anyone's feelings or don't keep the things in life to a coddling state emotionally.Bottom line you've still the stories here which are the big picture.I think what would have been a fairer solution on this series is to sell the original and 'edited' version as an offering for concerned parents.But that probably would have stirred up controversy on 'editing' a book found in the youth section(though for any age really).The artwork by Stephen Gammell not only was very good and detail but the illustrations breathed more accurate life into the stories themselves.What can I say...times have changed.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
david whovian
These stories scared the hell out of me as a child. I've shared them with my sons and still love them now. There are some real thrills and chills, and even a few laughs. Several of the stories have been set up with read-aloud instructions for sharing at a party, and there's a couple songs in there for a sing-a-long. The notes and sources section at the back of this anthology is worth reading as well, as Schwartz explains where he got the story from and it's canonical origins.

Stephen Gammell's illustrations are a large part of what made these books so nerve-wrackingly scary. The art is simple macabre pencil drawings on white backgrounds. Faces are distorted, animals are melded with human parts, hair becomes a broom-brush wild with static and oil. These were the first drawings I'd ever seen that I felt had a physical texture. I had to put Post-it notes over a few of them as a child. These are, in my humble opinions, the best illustrations ever included in a childrens' book.

I hunted for this collection for months, finally nabbing a copy on eBay in excellent shape. Totally worth the time spent searching and the cost.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Most of the good reviews here specifically mention the illustrations by Stephen Gammell, yet this version of the book has the less scary illustrations by Brent Helquist. Did the store just take the old positive comments from a previous printing of the books and pass them onto this newer version? Very misleading, and very disappointing. I was looking to get a new set of the Scary Stories books (with original illustrations) as my copies are worn to pieces, but this is not even the same. No offense to Brent Helquist, but these illustrations ruin the original feel of the books.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
erin robbins
Brett Helquist is a decent artist and a good person, but the publisher's decision to switch the artwork to appease an obnoxiously loud vocal minority was a cowardly move.

Parents shouldn't be allowed to usurp creative control, but this publisher caved and gave them what they wanted.

Concerned parents have a right to decide what their kids read and what they don't, so WHY give your kid a scary book if you don't want them to be scared? Rather than simply give them something else to read, you went back and demanded the same book be remade, and not scary. You guys are worse than George Lucas. Don't mess with the original.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
christy breau
My husband had never read these books before. I had a lot of fond memories of the super spooky images that went along with the stories. I was very disappointed to learn that this set has the more "kid friendly" drawings in it. I guess I should have read the other reviews more closely! Needless to say I plan to purchase the original books with the images I remember. I decided to keep this box set for my son to read when he's a bit older, since I do remember being creeped out by the original!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This trilogy of books are some of the scariest ever written (and mainly drawn)
not just for kids, but also for people of any age.

My teacher and her aide used to read these books to us when I was a kid during
the mid 90's, around 9 or 10, in elementary school and they really creeped me out!

Though not in a bad way. Just scary. Really Scary!

Scary Stories is just brilliant. Simple, scary, brilliant
and already a classic.

Update: Without the original illustrations by Stephen Gammell
this treasury/trilogy of books is almost worthless, see here
for more details:

"In a way, it's a matter of principle; they stood firm for so long, why finally fold after thirty years? But it's also that, after so many, many years and being fondly remembered by so many generations of terrified children, "Scary Stories" has come to be defined by the art of Stephen Gammell; remove his contributions while leaving the text untouched and, well, it just isn't "Scary Stories" anymore.

That's not to say Brett Helquist isn't a skilled artist of the creepy and the obscene. Helquist is perhaps best known for illustrating the books and the merchandise for the "Series of Unfortunate Events" children's novels. He is extremely talented and respected... but he isn't Stephen Gammell. His contributions to "Scary Stories" are admirable, and while they'd be superb when attached to any other collection of ghost stories for children, they have thirty years of an established visual presence to stack up against and there's just no overcoming that."
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
aurora rivendale
The original illustrations are why I sought these books out for my kids. When I read these growing up, they creeped me out even more by the artwork. Now it's as if I'm reading Harry Potter. Not to say that that's bad, but it's supposed to be "SCARY STORIES" PEOPLE! Why change this now after nearly 30 years? Epic fail.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
victor logmao
As a kid I loved sitting around reading these, sometimes by myself tucked away in a dark, musty corner, or better yet, on Halloween with friends. OK, so the stories weren't really all that scary, but they are a lot of fun. The illustrations are morbid and occasionally gruesome, and really lend to the atmosphere of "terror." There are tons of other, scarier books on the market, sure, but these are a lot of fun for parents and kids alike. No murdered cheerleaders à la R.L. Stine. Some of my favourite moments include the voice moaning out "Bloody fingers...." and the hippie is just, like, "Get a band-aid, man!" and the Viper ("I'm here to vash and vipe the vindows").
These stories were collected from folklore and retold by Alvin Swartz. And you'll find all types of timeless, classic tales in here. Ghost stories, graverobber stories, tales of people raised by wild animals, zombie stories, humourous stories, even modern tales based on urban legends. Each book is prefaced with some history, and their are annoted sources and extensive bibliographies.
There are loads of creepy, morbid, and yes, scary illustrations throughout the book in ink and grey watercolour...very gravelike. Some of them still creep me out today years later. Some of them might give you nightmares and resurface in front of you when you're all alone in the dark.
To make a scary atmosphere try reading these on a dark, rainy, preferably stormy night by flashlight. Put on Danny Elfman's creepy, creepy soundtrack to "Sleepy Hollow." Listen for unexplained crashes, creaks, and moans in between crashes of some will end up scared in the end.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
danny lu
I was very disappointed when I got these. I did not know the original illustrator's name so I had no idea the art had been replaced. Horrible idea. The art is, as book art goes, just fine. It is well done, the man clearly knows his work. But this is not some new series he worked on, this is something that already HAD illustrations. GOOD ones. Ones that stuck with you, haunted you and made your skin crawl, even with the cheesiest stories. These? They are not memorable. They don't evoke the atmosphere they should. Shame on the publisher for making this call.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
david lebron
I bought this book because I remember reading the "Scary Stories" books as a kid, and thinking how creepy and cool they were--and when I saw a hardcover anthology with all three books at Borders for under $10, I decided to spring for it, mostly for nostalgia's sake.

As far as the actual content: The stories (which are all very short, mostly just a page or two in length) were much less scary to me as a 26-year-old than they had been as a 10-year-old. In fact, I was surprised at how lame and non-frightening they were, on the whole. But they are still entertaining, if only for the fact that they are pretty humorous as an adult. I suppose they also might be scary for first-time readers if they have a very active imagination and read them in the dark.

The REAL place this book shines is the creepy illustrations by Stephen Gammell. They have a very distinctive style and, if there is anything in this book that will give you nightmares, it's those images. I still remember having trouble falling asleep at night as a 10-year-old after immersing myself in them. Without the artwork, I am convinced that these books (and this volume) would never have sold.

In conclusion, if you have never read or experienced these stories before, pick up a copy and enjoy the kitsch of it, particularly the wonderfully creepy artwork and the silliness of the stories. Or give it to your kids and let them get scared (if you think they'll handle it well). But don't go expecting a literary masterpiece. This book is just for fun.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
melody radford
These books are absolutely amazing, the stories and ESPECIALLY the illustrations shaped my astethic as a kid who grew into an adult obsessed with special fx make up and horror movies, that's why it is such a disappointment that they have removed most of the original artwork, the trilogy with the original illustrations is 5 stars easy.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ehsan seratin
Without the original drawings, this is just not the same. I am a fan of the original. I guess for kids who don't remember these books or remember when teachers would hand out the book order forms, I guess these would be fine. But for those of us who remember the initial printing and are wanting to revisit those freaky stories and the creepy illustrations, this edition is not for you. It's kind of like picking up a copy of 'Truly Tasteless Jokes' with every punchline changed to be PC. Or buying 'E.T.' on Blu-ray only to find out that you got the crappy copy with all the changes made. I bet the day is coming that 'Titanic' will get a re-release with a different ending. Maybe the boat flies up in the air to eventually meet up with Danny and Sandy's car from "Grease".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa k
Well...myself like pretty much every single reviewer on here are fans of this series from childhood. I read this trilogy sometime around 3rd grade. I remember sitting in my room with the lights off..with a flashlight and reading until I got frightened outta my jammies. The stories are so-so ,even as a kid the stories alone were just entertaining. The illustrations however..gave me NIGHTMARES!!..I mean c'mon just look at them..what 9 year old wouldn't get nightmares..they're extremely grusome and gross..I LOVE EM!!. I'm so glad I found this box set , when I was a kid my mother thought these stories were a bad influence on me because she found a collection of stories I had written that "disturbed" her , so she threw these books away. Reading these now at the age of 20 bring back the days when children's horror stories were actually scary instead of moronic (Goosebumps , ect)..where a illustration scared a kid to death rather than them just taking up space. I want my children to have these. Children need a good scare. Beyond the imagery of death and decay , alot of these stories can teach valuable warnings to children such as "don't talk to strangers" and "stay away from this" and ect,ect. It's sad i've read where these books are being banned for "warping the mind's of children"..ha the Nickelodean channel has been doing that for decades...allow your children to read these books. Horror literature for kid's doesn't get much better than this
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bryan ellis
If You love horror, then I strongly recommend getting the Scary Stories To tell In The Dark Series.

These books have some of the greatest horror stories and pictures ever written.
They are perfect for reading on a dark Lonely night, Camp outs, Halloween gatherings, Slumber parties, College gatherings, Even reading underneath a blanket with a flashlight. Have some fun with your friends and made a video of yourself narrating some of your favorite Scary Stories and then post the video onto youtube to share with the world.

You can even write out the stories onto emails and print them out along with the pictures after scanning the books and then print them out on paper, and handing them out to friends at School, parties, or even to trick Or Treaters for HALLOWEEN.

You can even save your favorite images from these books onto your computer and send them to Custom [...] web site, To get them printed onto black T shirts that say SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK in dripping blood red text to help promote these great books and get them noticed by those who never heard about them.

You can even share the images to your local tattoo parlor and ask if they would post them onto their tattoo walls as suggestions to customers

If you really loved these books and they meant something to you in your childhood, why not have a few of the images tattooed onto your body? Just take these books to your tattoo artist and ask them if they would.


I only hope that a horror movie producer will make some horror movies about these books with some of the stories in it. something kinda like the urban legends movies or one missed call

The Movie is about A girl goes to a dance club and shows off her little brothers Scary Stories to tell in the dark books to friends.

Only each one of her friends die in the Styles of each story after reading them online or from watching the video from youtube on their cell phones.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rebecca trinite
This is NOT the original versions of the books! If you are a fan of the originals with Stephen Gammell's twisted imagery, and are purchasing mostly for that aspect, don't fall for buying this garbage. The illustrations by Bret Helquist in the newer editions do not hold up as good accompaniment to the stories, they are too mild and unimaginative. Please avoid buying this if you have respect at all for the older artwork and believe it should not be censored.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sheila lowery
These are classics! This review is for the original books with original artwork. These books were truly an inspiration for me as a child, the artwork was so macabre it influenced my art 30 years later. If you are getting these for a child I recommend checking them out yourself first. Just note these are now available with Stephen Gammels original artwork intact!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
toni rae halladay
When I was a kid one of my old teachers explicitly stated that we could check out any book that we wanted to read in the kid's section at the school library. However, there was one exception to this rule; we were not allowed to even consider checking out any of the Scary Stories books. She claimed that these books traumatized her younger niece. Naturally, that kind of ominous warning did nothing but intrigue me at such a young age. I wanted to see what was so bad about these books. And when I finally sat down to read them for the first time, I was more surprised than horrified by the content inside. Maybe they frightened me a little at the time, but it was also a nice feeling. I felt intrigued, like I was peering into a macabre, mysterious, surreal, and ominous world that I never even knew existed. These stories were my fairy tales while growing up. In order to enjoy them fully, you have to let your imagination get carried away by the content inside. If you are hindered by the cynicism that usually comes with adulthood and adolescence, then you will probably hate these stories. You will write them off as being stupid and irrelevant, but they are an important part of human culture and their relevance is still important to this day. And on a side note, the artwork in these books is good. The drawings are very surreal and dreamlike. They are essential to the atmosphere that these books try to evoke.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Pretty ballsy of them to keep in the review that not only praises the written works, but the great artwork by Gammell when clearly Gammell was given no place in this box set. The artist who did the current works is by no means BAD, but he had some pretty big shoes to fill and just didn't pull through. And hey, as much flack as that guy gets for replacing much beloved pictures, at least give him credit for it- edit the Entertinment Weekly review so that Gammell isn't mentioned and it doesn't confuse buyers.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
gregory frayser
Just going to echo the sentiments of several reviewers here. Replacing Gammell's original haunting artwork with this super generic and quite childish style is a huge mistake by the publisher. Gammell's incredibly dark and often disturbing artwork made every story that much more effective. The good stories like Harold were amplified to a very high level, and the bland stories were still super effective simply because of Gammell's illustration. Now we have generic drawings with no soul or atmosphere coupled with mostly average stories. Go with the original set of books instead of this crap.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lucy j jeynes
I remember when I got the first book of the series. I was little and looking through some old books my brother wanted to give away. I found it and kept it, although I didn't read it for a long time, the cover scared the b'geezus out of me. When I did read it, around the third grade or so, I loved it. It frightened the heck out of me and gave me nightmares. The most fun I had out of the book was sharing it with people, friends, cousins, ect. When I bought the rest of the series, everyone wanted to read them at SRR and I lent them out at a quarter each (hey, 75cents back then could buy an ice cream bar and a nutty buddy!). My mother always looked at me weird when she saw the books, she was like "how could you read that stuff?" and her and my dad would sit me down and have talks with me on how they didn't want me too interested in the occult or reading "books like that". Although I just ignored them, after all, they were the ones who bought me the books in the first place and continued to let me buy things like that, even though they were the ones who paid and took it to the checkout! Aren't parents funny?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
sarah jo
Garbage. Don't waste your money on this trash. The publisher has ruined this series and whoever decided to include new illustrations should be fired. The stories are indeed creepy, but let's be honest here - the original illustrations were what made the Stories to Tell in the Dark scary and kept you up at night. This new version should have also changed it's name to "Watered Down Almost-Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." In the words of a review I came across about this atrocity - "...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."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ibrahim bashir
When I was a kid, Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories books represented the first collection of stories to truly SCARE me. In part of course to the brilliant illustrations, these stories are perfect for telling, whether you are around a campfire or hosting a Halloween party for children, these stories will definitely ensure NO ONE goes to sleep easily. I know some of the reviews say that these stories are too scary for kids but really I think that it's the pictures you have to watch out for, the stories themselves are scary but not worse then anything kids see on tv or in movies these days. As and adult, I revisited these stories and they brought back a lot of fond memories of late nights reading under the covers with a flashlight. This is truly a top of the line collection of both familiar and obscure scary stories.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Only buy the original one. The Stephen Gammell illustrations are essential. Whoever decided to mess with them was seriously censoring one of the most effective combinations of text and artwork. Buy the old one. Yes, the stories are still chilltastic, but it's not the same thrilling revelation the earlier editions were.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

This collection of folklore is absolutely wonderful. Alvin Schwartz writes in a style that is both easy to read and has a lasting effect that tells the story in a unique way for readers of all ages.


I am VERY disappointed in the artwork. I have the original copies that were printed in the early 90's with illustrations by Steven Gammell. If you wish to see a some examples of his works, here are some links:


I'm not knocking Brett Helquist; his style is well suited for "Series of Unfortunate Events" but not Alvin Schwartz' "Scary Stories" collection. Some reviewers wrote that this collection was not scary at all; I beg to differ....

The reason the stories are scary is because of the ART! There's the overused saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words" ... that sums up Steven Gammell. I first read these books in third grade and they stuck with me ever since, simply because of the terribly gruesome and disturbing imagery. The stories by themselves are uninteresting and honestly, Brett Helquist's illustrations do not give this book series justice whatsoever!!

I also realize that the older copies that have Steven Gammell's illustrations are hard to find here on the store. This saddens me... If you happen to find the originals, PLEASE buy them. You won't regret it.

See for yourself. You make the judgement call.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I am 27 and the Scary Stories books were a favorite when I was in elementary school. Both the school and public libraries were always out of them, so it was necessary to pester your parents to buy you your own set. I got this anthology when I was in 3rd grade and it was one of my most prized possessions.

When my parents were moving a year ago, I was going through my childhood bedroom and ran across my old copy. However, the dust jacket was gone and it was falling apart at the binding, and I was happy to see that I could get a replacement copy, if at a highly elevated price. I cannot stress enough that if you are looking for the books as you remember them, it is worth every penny.

The books were published again in 2011... BUT instead of featuring the original illustrations by Stephen Gammell, the artwork has been replaced with cutesy dreck. Now, no offense to Alvin Schwartz, but Gammell's artwork was what REALLY made the Scary Stories books terrifying and nightmare-inducing, and replacing it to make the books more palatable to namby-pamby parents is a deplorable travesty.

I highly suggest getting the books with the original artwork however you can, be it this treasury or purchasing them singly if you have to, before the price gets truly unaffordable or they cannot be found at all. If you have kids, they deserve to experience the stories as they were originally intended. To this day, I won't step into a bathroom after dark without turning the light on first because of the "Ghost in the Mirror" story.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
When I was a kid I would check out these stories at the Library all the time because I absolutely loved scary stories and all things scary in general. The reason this book in particular was so scary were the chilling illustrations that were beautifully demented oil paintings. I bought the original versions at a now closed down book store when I was a teen. The covers were slightly different from the library versions but chilling none the less. I'm so glad I bought those when I did since I didn't know just a few years later they'd ruin the beautiful artwork with tame basic and totally not scary crap. This book was meant to scare children and parents were mad about that. But children are meant to be scared its good for them to have a little fright. Please bring back the original artwork so we can terrify a whole new generation. Also try a local library as some of them still carry the original versions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
trena kelley
I too possess fond memories of these books. Like many of the other reviewers, I purchased these while in elementary school, and even today when I show people the illustrations they freak! The stories are traditional, well-written campfire tales that don't really stand out on their own; however, when coupled with the drawings, they will give anyone a jolt. The way that Stephen Gammell sketches the stray hairs and fleshy strips of his monstrosities is amazing, and they go a long way in giving the book a true macabre feel. Even after so many years, I have yet to view pictures that generate as much fear and desolation as these. Gammell reminds me of the artist depicted in H.P. Lovecraft's short story "Pickmen's Model," whose drawings were so shocking that no one could grasp how a human mind could create them. These stories are just the thing to spook children and adults alike, and if your kids are young the illustrations will definitely leave a lasting impression. . .which is a good thing (everyone needs a good scare).
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
heather wadia
Whenever you mention Scary Stories, the consensus among anyone who has ever read them is that the art made everything. The stories were decent, but the art with them is what made the stories stick in your mind.

Why the publishers would remove the most memorable part of a book makes no sense to me. The new art looks like Harry Potter artwork, which would be fine if Hogwarts was somehow terrifying.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole gildersleeve
I must have been all of 10 years old when I was first introduced to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Although written here for children, these are still some of the creepiest pieces of folklore around. Schwartz did a remarkable job collecting these stories from tradition and telling them in easy-to-understand language. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are chilling, gruesome, and haunting charcoal sketches that will stay in your mind for years afterward. The three Scary Stories books are hardly collections I would have imagined to be written for children, but I am so happy I had the original three books as a child and have been glad to get the treasury containing the three now as an adult.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
matthew dale
These stories scared the crap out of me as a child, but it was the illustrations that really put the stories over the edge from scary to can't-sleep-with-the-lights-off terrifying. I want to be able to show my kids the REAL Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. No disrespect is intended to the new illustrator, but these books lose most of the impact without the originals.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
arjan deutekom
Got on here to buy this set, until I discovered the atrocity that was the decision to remove the brilliant artwork by Stephen Gammell and replace it with cutesy trash by the other guy, whom I shall not name. This is a disgrace, and I hope that sales tank to the point of them being forced to restore this set to its original greatness. BRING BACK GAMMELL'S ILLUSTRATIONS.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rudolph harmon
Scary Stories Box Set: CENSORED EDITION -- Terrible reprinting of awesome books - someone decided that the outstanding imagery of the originals was too scary for children these days. Not surprising as we've taken everything that can possibly be any danger or offensive to anyone and nannified it to the point of stupidity.

I found the originals and purchased them instead. Don't buy this garbage reprint. 0 stars, but can't go that low.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
daire hogan
for me, these have been a staple in my childhood. I could easily give this a 5 just for the nostalgia. however, reading them now makes me realize something: all those nights i stayed up with the lights on, freaked out of my mind with images of murderers and demons floating through my head were caused mainly by the pictures in the books. yes, its true that the stories are well written, but going through each book makes you reailize that these are mostly urban legends/folklore with a few new details here and there. but i can live with that: its a long-standing technique in horror. no points off for that. however, going through them makes you realize that several of them are basically repeats of others in the books, just with different characters and settings. and also, they're not that scary. at least not when compared with the illustrations. eyeless zombie women, corpses with huge cracks in their skulls, gruesome demons... what the hell is up with that picture on the front of the 3rd one anyway??!?! It's impossible to describe the pictures in this book. i'd like to say i'm just a wimp, but the stories today dont scare me as they should: the pictures, however, achieve their purpose. and then some.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Scary Stories (series) by Alvin Schwartz are books filled with horrifying detailed stories that will definitely spook you and your friends on sleepovers. There great around Halloween or just reading them in the dark, while watching every corner in your house and every light flicker. I can see how these books could be banned because they are very detailed in there language and pictures of ghastly creatures and so on. With there gruesome and sick stories you could be terrified for days. But, all and all they are just exciting stories that will put chills down your spine. So if you love to be frightened or just want to have a little fright night I think these stories are for you.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
elizabeth roberts
Awful awful awful. These books really aren't the whole package without the original drawings. This is a terrible executive decision. I'll pay the extra bucks to snag the old books on the second-hand market and recommend everyone I know looking for these to do the same. Boo.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I remember these books in my elementry school long before they were banned from schools. I used to get one of these books out at least once a month on library day, until the sixth grade.

I still recall barely sleeping for the two nights that followed the story of the scarecrow that came to life and danced on top of the shack, holding a human skin. I still love the darm, creepy illustrations, which can best be described as hairy.

I've missed these books so much. I was happily shocked when they were rereleased in a single bound form. I NEVER thought these would be in print again. I love these books still.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I read these books about 15 years ago and I must say to this day they are still among the scariest I've ever read. In fact I'd almost NOT suggest letting little children read them. The stories are short and truely frightening. The only suggestion that I have is that you do actually read the books. I have yet to hear the audio CD but I intend to get it in the near future just to have on hand. The reason for this is the pictures. The drawings done for these books are utterly horrifying. In 15 years I STILL have trouble looking at some of them. And better yet, they are burned into my memory. If your a parent, I'd suggest flipping through the pages first to see if you're okay with the stories themselves...but the pictures as well (as the pictures can really pack a punch, nightmares all around).
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
liz mueth
These stories were some of the best as a kid, and the one thing that always stuck out was the killer art work. In this new re issue, they butcher all of the horrifying art from the original scary stories books and make it look all Disney/fisher price-esque.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah mackey
I remember reading at least the first book as a kid and then the books as a young teenager. The pictures that were in the book were pretty gross, but effective. I bought the cd version of thse books to hear how they sounded when preformed. I preformed one of the stories out of the second book in this series in high school and I scared the crap out of one of the girls that was in the audience, because they put a spot light on her right at the end of the story. I told "Bloody Fingers" at a family reunion several years ago, during a "Scary story contest" that my family was involved in that year. I have also given a copy of this cd set to one of my two goddaughters when she was about 8 or 9 years old and she was THRILLED to get it, not to mention that it wasn't even the little one's birthday. I distinctly remember the little one saying "Cool -- 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' CD set!! My older brothers will be SO JEALOUS of me!!"
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
wendy lavine
The stories are fantastic; But it's not the same without the original artwork. It's an absolute travesty that the publisher would destroy something so iconic just because the original art was "too scary". That's the point of these books. To scare the hell out of you, and keep you awake at night afraid that Harold the scarecrow will rip your skin off, or that a spider will lay eggs in your face. I'm glad I still have my original copies. This change is horrible. The only reason I give it one star is because I can't give it less than that.

Do not buy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
daniel pelfrey
I got this collection for my 10 year old niece who was having a slumber Party.She and her friends like to sit around and each take turns reading a story.The stories in the box set are great. Some just alittle scary and some real scary.One of her favorite's was called Clinkity -clink.It's about an old lady who dies they put sliver dollar coins over her eyes.The gravedigger steals them buries her and goes home.Yet when he gets home she's there seeking revenge.This is a good set for a slumber Party,also a campfire,a rainy day or as my niece says anytime.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jack phoenix
I personally think the reading level for these books that's given is a bit low. Any sensible adult reading one of these books at nighttime, or outdoors around a campfire, or anywhere for that matter, could easily be frightened out of their wits. These books are by far the best scary stories books I have EVER read. They've been handy for me since I was very young and I have always loved them...and not just for Halloween. I didn't know there was a boxed set, but ah well, owning them is a must.

The stories in these books are genuinely terrifying, but I can't come up with the right word to describe the illustrations. Let's just say that I still can't look at them without feeling a shiver. When Stephen Gammell decided he was going to make pictures for a SCARY story book, he really didn't mess around. I could not recommend these books more, for telling around campfires, for reading to classes at Halloween, for just generally freaking yourself out. They are quite amazing that way.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alejandro sanchez
Not too long ago, I had a nightmare about "The Wendigo" in one of these books. When I read it now, I just have to read it more than once. I do not recommend it for kids who aren't as old as 10 yet. 10+up.
{The Guests is also very good}. These books can possibly keep someone up at night. I AM NOT KIDDING. THEY CAN BE FREAKY.All of the stories are very very much enough to make someone shudder after thinking about what they had just read.{It makes me do that for some of them LIKE The Wendigo}. I DO recommend The Wendigo for camping trips. Read these books! They rule.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie herrmann
This boxed set of "Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark" is absolutly incredible! I am now 18 years old and still can't get enough of this spooky stuff. The stories aren't too scary, but the illusions are very scary, morbid, eerie, and will give you nightmares!! Hey, ... these books still give me chills even after all these years. I love 'em. Stephen Gammell has given readers a rare treat with all the spooky and realistic black & white illusions. Alvin Schwartz is a heck of an author! These books are wonderful. Get em' all in this incredible boxed set. Enjoy it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
donna graffagnino
Schwartz' books are a wonderful trip down memory lane. I'm reviewing the first boxed set released in the early 90s (the author Schwartz died in '92 and I only learned of it when my high school got Internet access), but I'd first read Scary Stories 1 sometime in the mid-80s.

Don't look for depth in the writing because it's children's fiction, and if you're a kid at heart it's great for a lark and a mindless thrill. Enhancing Schwartz' decomposing world are Gammell's elegantly grotesque illustrations of blood-drenched silhouette and fog. Don't pass up on this gem when you're with the kiddies in Border's.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elizabeth cannon
My favorite book is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. It is an horror book. It is good for scaring kids. I like this book because it puts me on the edge of my seat. I think the authors writing style is horrifying. The stories are great and fun to read. I love this book because it thrills me. I love being scared by books.
My favorite story in this book is Cold as Clay. I like this story, because it is romantic.
I would recommend this book to someone over 10 yrs old.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
michal filipowski
I recall reading this delightful bunch of short stories about strange folktales, camping stories and things that happened in the woods at night. I liked the illustrations and the way some of the stories questioned the existence of the afterlife, these books were banned from the library because parents thought that the subject matter was too gory and bloody and graphic and that it talked about religious ideas such as where the soul goes after the body had died.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nora walker
As a kid these books creeped me out beyond belief, and now they're all here in one nifty package. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are simply mind-blowing. I saw that they re-released the books with different artwork by some lame illustrator who can't hold a candle to Gammell's work. He was the reason these books were so great, although Alvin Schwartz does do an amazing job re-creating old folk ghost tales. This is the true scary stories to tell in the dark don't bother with the new versions.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
derek sandhaus
When I was 8 years old I went to my school library to look for scary stories to read. I got all 3 of the books and LOVED THEM!! Some of the stories were scary and some I didn't understand. But the pictures were the scariest part! Now I'm 12 and my mom got the box set for me.I read all the stories in 1 day. They didn't scare me now but the pictures are still VERY scary!! I tell all my friends about the stories and would recommend them to kids ages 7 to 11.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
robert burnett
This new collection is bare bones and doesn't add anything you haven't seen before, from what I can see. There's little reason for its existence. It also doesn't include the fantastic original cover art for each book. If you're looking for a complete collection of drawings Gammell drew for this series, you'll have to find it elsewhere.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
bohdi sanders
Reminiscent of how George Lucas slowly destroys his original Star Wars film masterpieces with every edition, this priceless trio of books is destroyed by the censorship of the original illustrations. The original art was incredible and gave the perfect look for every spine-tingling tale told. I will never purchase this set. If you value the original intent of the author, you will not as well.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
This book is absolutely nothing without the pictures. They are the reason the Scary Stories series has the cultural impact it has.

They could've released an updated hardcover for all the (now) adult fans to treasure and introduce to their own children, but instead they sanitized it and wiped clean the most original and captivating element of the entire series.

Rerelease with the original art and I'll buy 10 copies. Or keep printing copies of a version nobody wants while all the money goes to second hand sellers of the originals.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carol lesaicherre
I use to love the stories in the first book. I enjoyed the second too, but never got to read the third. Was so excited when my daughter brought home an order form for the set! I remember these being just scary enough to give me that creepy feeling when I read them, but not enough to fill the night with bad dreams. ... I think we will have to do a spooky Halloween sleepover later this month - complete with stories from these books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexis mokler
I can't tell you how sad it is that while the utterly horrid Goosebumps series got huge media exposure and mainstreem success, including 2 tv series', this series was pretty much unheard of in my area. The stories are great, aside from a select few, but I agree with some of the other reviews in that the illustrations are utterly horrifying! Words don't do them justice. I don't see why they have previews of books with just words and they leave the pictures in this book unnoticed. When I was in 4th grade, I was so freaked out by them that If I saw a picture through a page that was especially scary I'd skip to a differen story. Even the ones from the funny stories were sometimes scary. Read these.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Folklorist Alvin Schwartz displays his knack for carrying on the tradition of storytelling and genuine folklore with these three volumes of "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark," here in a special boxed set. Award-winning illustrator Stephen Gammell's wonderfully chilling pencil drawings go along perfectly with Schwartz's selection of spooky folklore, using a writing style that is delightfully shiver-inducing, sounding as if the story is being told straight from around the camp fire or in a kid's unlit bedroom. These three volumes are essential for keeping the folklore tradition alive.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura wilson
I bought this book at a Walden Book store in Mercer County, W.Va. I found it to be a steal, as it was in the bargain Bin. I read several of the stories right before I was to go to bed, and I had continuous nightmares throughout the night!!! The most terrifying one in my opinion was a short poem-like story titled "Oh, Susannah!". I would without hesitation reccomend this book to anyone who likes scary stories!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mindy campbell
I spent my parents' hard earned money at scholastic book fairs, as an elementary school kid, on all three of the individual "Scary Stories" collections. I was thrilled the other day when I saw this treasury in the bookstore, and couldn't resist bringing it home. It combines all three of the collections, and includes the amazing illustrations by Stephen Gammell that absolutely scared the bejeezus out of me as a child!
I have to admit, reading through the stories now, that even as a kid these must have been pretty vanilla. I guess the fact that they have whole chapters dedicated to stories where the last line instructs you to jump at one of your friends yelling "AAAAAAAGHGHGHGH!" should have given it away. Still, there are a lot of stories that honor the old, classic urban legends; you know, phantom hitch-hikers, hook-handed psychopaths on lover's lane, face-nesting spiders, and dog-sized rats from Mexico.
The real reason this book has such unshakable soft-spot in my heart, though?
The drawings... For goodness' sake, the drawings! Stephen Gammell's artwork gave me nightmares back then that still make me shiver today. Yet, even as a kid, I was addicted to them. When I was four, I wanted to tattoo myself with them. Today... I just want to paper the walls of my office with them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary crouch
It's good reading to spook you. I especially like the excellent illustrations, so much that I adopted a similar pencil drawing style.

I was scared half to death long ago after hearing the story "The Thing". I had to go down a dark street at 10 at night to get home, and my mind created images of the zombie in the white tuxedo. So I thought it was following me and I raced home very quickly. But I like the books now.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mikah young zeller
These are destined to be classics! All 3 Scary Stories books in a box, I don't know if it gets better than that. The books themselves are full of ghost stories and songs, all taken from modern and less-modern folklore. The stories are superb, and the artwork is magnificent... a little abstract and surreal, but spot-on frightful.

And for everyone over the age of the back are sources and references, and tons of anecdotes about the original stories.

These were favorites of mine when I was younger, and I'd recommend them to anyone with a penchant for spooky tales.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
steph lanning
This is the edition you'll want from the Scary Stories collection. It still has Stephen Gammell's classic artwork, which sell the stories to the reader. Avoid the newer 2010 editions with the new and unscary illustrations at all costs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
pam zayia
i love the "Scary Stories" books... not so much for the stories, which were good but not especially good, but for the pictures. Stephen Gammell's illustrations are haunting and elegant, ghostly and fleshy, with every surface oozing with something like blood. my boyfriend thinks that it was probably unhealthy for me to be reading these books at a very young age. It would explain a lot...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ben fogle
Stephen Gammell's illustrations were what made these books a classic. They're also the reason I still remember every story, a decade and a half later. The Helquist illustrations neutered what were once the most popular books in my middle school library. I mean, we FOUGHT over who got to check them often does that happen? Bring the original illustrations back, publishers!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
oh my goodness, this book is absolutely fabulous.
when i was 12 years old, i was so afraid of this book i would purposely leave it at my friends house.
i actually thought the stories would come alive while i was sleeping.
but now, i am 22 and i have been searching for it for ever!
i couldn't remember the title name, i had to search all over the web.
finally, when i typed in "book of short scary stories", and i saw the title, it hit me.
i am so glad i found it.
i never actually read parts 2 & 3, but i will a.s.a.p.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Let's just say that twenty years after reading the vampire story, I still won't sleep next to a window. I enjoyed these stories as a child, and continue to enjoy reading them as an adult. If you have children that are very sensitive, please don't read this to them at bedtime if you have any serious desire that they sleep!! At the very least, don't give them a glimpse or the truly horrifying and sometimes deliciously disgusting illustrations. Wonderful book, would recommend to all readers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
keshia thompson
I last read these books at the age of 11 (14 years ago). I recall the stories as being well-paced for reading to a group, occasionally funny, and usually very predictable.

The illustrations, on the other hand, are probably the creepiest I've ever seen. Photos from Nazi concentration camps are less disturbing than these pencil illustrations. Stephen Gammell has created bizarre, surreal, contorted landscapes, and ragged, rotting, dripping creatures straight out of your nightmares. Even worse, the illustrations are often minimally detailed, giving more reign to your imagination (as all the best horror images do).

Even adults will shiver when reading Scary Stories, and kids will be scared half to death. In short, it's a fantastic series of books, even if the illustrations do 90% of the scaring.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
graham petrie
I'm serious, when I was a kid I read these books and they scared me silly. The stories by themselves will set you on edge, but what I remember most is the illustrations. Even now just looking at the covers give me a little chill and makes me want to turn on all the lights I can find. THIS is the book that made me scared of the dark. Give it to your kids, pass on the trauma, for science, to keep psychiatrists in work, for America. If you don't like these books, the terrorists win!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
janet logan
These books (and the audio that MUST be purchased separately) are a must for any horror fan or for someone looking for a late-night, spooky read. I remember being given these books as a child and loving to listen to George Irving tell the stories in his unique and over-the-top spooky style. I've always fancied the scary stuff, as I was a rare breed of female who became addicted to the blood-and-guts slasher flicks after watching Child's Play at the age of three. So, if you're a seasoned horror veteran who thinks you've become immune to achieving that feeling where the hair on the back of your neck stands up and you look around the room to make sure you're alone, think again! Buy these books, read along with the narrator, and be sure not to skip the intensely frightening illustrations. GREAT BUY!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephen schwegler
When I was in first grade, I read these books in the school library. They had always been checked out for months, and I soon discovered why... in other words, these books scared the bejeezuz out of me and they still do. That was really when my fascination began with demons and the paranormal, and I found that fascintion was in my line of blood from my dads side of the family. Our family came from slaves in neworleans, who were voodoo witches. I always come back to these books for a good scare.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Replacing Stephen Gammell's original illustrations on this series is an absolute tragedy. I hope this reprint fails so hard. I will do everything I can to help. Please bring back the original prints so our future children aren't a bunch of soft, scared, imagination-less robots.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I think that this book is for people who don't get scared easily. I FREAKED oout when I read this book, but that's just me. Some people would say they like it others would say it's GROSS and others would say it scares them too much because it is very scary esspecially to read at night WARNING: DO NOT READ AT NIGHT!!!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
zach zelq
If you love to be alone during thunderstorms, believe that you hear footsteps on the stairs, and know that it's not just the wind outside, then these are for you. Should you not believe in the supernatural, you think again after reading the stories contained in this collection.

I read them for the first time when I was in elementry school, yet the combination of Schwartz's storytelling and the Gammell's macabre illustrations still leave me with a deep-seated need to leave the light on when I go to bed.

Though not for young children, these books are perfect for pre-teens and on, and I would suggest buying the whole set because once they read the first one, they are going to want more. (Just don't be suprised if they want to sleep in your bed on a dark and stormy night.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
angela cribb
The stories you will find in these books are the most terrifying I have ever read. As I understand it, they originate from American Folklore. This, in addition to Gammell's truly disturbing artwork, adds the minute shot of realism that transforms harmless fiction to something that reads more like a short, historical, tale of warning. They are told in a simple, blunt manner, giving the reader the impression that they are hearing a historical account. As a kid I was addicted to horror, but these were the tales that led to literally months of sleepless nights. If you are buying them for a child with a vivid imagination, prepare his or her parents' for the ensuing insomnia.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This was one heck of a spine-tingling collection of books for kids! I haven't read these for a good 10 or 12 years now, but the memories I have of being genuinely frightened from reading these stories as a kid have stuck with me still to this day. And not only that but the illustrations that were featured on every other page were enough to induce nightmares for nights on end as well! I highly suggest that parents flip through this book first before giving it to their [your] kids as some might find those said creepy illustrations to maybe be a little too disturbing for their youngsters!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mandi degner
Gammell's art work is the only reason I would ever buy these, but the decision to replace his artwork with the current illustrative crap that's in the book is just insulting and ruined a true classic.
I'll be hunting down the original prints from here on out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kevin parks
I am 22 years old and still scared by these books. I first read them when I was about six or seven and checked them out from the school library. The stories still haunt me to this day, and the illustrations that go with them make them even creepier. These stories will scare you. To this day, I still have an irrational fear of the dark, because of these stories! For that reason, I think that people should be careful about reading this to really young children.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I first obtained these books as a boxed set in grade school. They scared me when I was a kid, and as an adult who is quickly approaching 30, I can say with full confidence that these stories STILL scare me. The art work that accompanies each story certainly helps, but the stories stand on their own. Actually, art work AND stories each stand on their own, but combined made for many nights spent cocooned under the covers as a kid.

Everyone who loves scary stories really should have these books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cathy botte
I remember this from when i was younger, the stories scared me so much. now that i am grown, i have all three books in one and i like to read the stores sometimes to remember the times when i was a child.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jonathan perry
I say once you read this book I would say you would want to read the story more and more. Well I was Walking in the libary (Cerritos) looking for a scary book to read then in a while I saw this book called Scary Stories.
First I thougth it was a lame book but then I went Throught the book and then I was like wow now that's freaky man.But then after I check it out I thouth hey this is one of the freakest book I ever read in my entire life, so then I went looking for more.
The only books I read is three of this scary Stories books. But then I wonder why it did'nt make more.Scary Stories is one of the scariest books I read. It was even scaryer than that guy R.l Stine.But R.L Stine is still a good writer,but his stories aint as scary as Alvin Schwartz book's.
This book is one of my favorite books in the world. I am a guy who likes to read scary stories. I am a guy who dosent like to read books that are borning and that make's me want to fall aSleep.I also like this book because it's really not borning or stupit but it is cool.
I also really like this book because of all the pictures. The pictures are so scary and they look like they were going to jump of the book or some thing. The pictures of this book lookes like just the picture of a movie I watch called THE RING. But it is not close to be as the same becuase the ring is ten times as scary but lets not get of mind.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I own this, and the collection put into one book, and the audio set. I love it, its scary im 15, and im telling you this book will at least freak you out. Not really the stories (although they are pretty freaky) but the pictures are truly frightening. My favorite perhaps is 'Harold' Thats a wild story, i wish they would make it longer though. Anyways I believe this book has been banned from a few schools. So i would make it at least ten and up. lol but you can go ahead and read it even if ur not that old, its still fun.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
lacey miller
Feeling nostalgic I wanted to pick up a box set of these wonderful books. I've come to find that the publisher has changed the illustrations. Bad form caving to pressure like that. Honestly the stories aren't that scary but the illustrations used to be terrifying!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
When I was in elementary school in the early 90's my Girl Scout troop used to camp at the local Girl Scout Camp which had its own scary story/local legend to go along with it. We'd scare eachother around the campfire, taking turns reading these outloud. To this day, I am 22 now, we joke about "Wherrrrrrrrre's Myyyyyyyyyyyyy Liverrrrrr?" They are definitly stories meant to be told around a campfire, or at a slumber party when you can snuggle up in your sleeping bag and have fun. I also love the illustrations. They still creep me out! I recomend that every kid has these stories. They were definitly a memorable part of my childhood.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I loved these books when I was little- this is what got me started off on my love for scary books/movies/tv shows. I still remember some of the stories from the books, especially one where the dark is creeping over the ceiling and walls, and they always seem to come to mind when I'm in the dark trying to sleep. The pictures still scare me and I'm 26 now. I'd recommend these books for anyone who loves scary stories- get those kids started off early! And they'll scare adults too...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
No disrespect to the late Alvin Schwartz or to Brett Helquist but the original illustrations are what made this series so popular. I understand updating the book to appeal to younger readers, maybe softening it a little to sensitive readers, but leave the original illustrations available for purchase and see which ones sells more...
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I was very excited to see I theses books I loved them so much my grandpa read them to my sister and me when we were young. I wanted to buy them so I could read them with my daughter I was very upset to find out the the stories are the same but a condensed version so they are not the same at all and some of the best parts of the stories are now gone. still happy to have them but would have been nice to get the original set I intended for
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great value for the price, and it's much more convenient to have this one volume than having to buy all three books. Basically, the text is copied directly from the original books, including the title pages and glossaries, and the books are arranged in the same order they originally were, just in the one volume. I read the series in high school and it is still nice to read today.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chris wells
I love the Scary Stories Treasury. It has all of my favorite scary stories in one. It sent chills down my spine when I read it and I really loved "Just Delicious!" I checked it out of the library at school and it was so good that I wanted to buy it for myself. I strongly recommend it to others, ages 7 and up. If you want a chill at night I recommend you read it before bed, but it might give you nightmares if you're a softy. If you haven't read this book you should probably check it out at the library and read it for yourself, then you would probably want to buy it, like I did.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I fell in love with this set when I was younger, I used to scrap up money from my parents and grandparents just to get each book at the book fair at my school, the stories are sooooo awesome and inforgetable!!! And the drawing's are just wicked!!! If you don't have this book set get it!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
megan barnhart
These are great sitting around a campfire kind of stories (which is where I read them), but I can't say that I would actually just sit and read them. They aren't scary like Poe or King. Just creepy and pretty predictable. But aren't all campfire stories?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
i am 14 and these are scary , they are really scary and i mean please note that before buying them and the drawings are damn freaky they ll freak you out ((they are scary)) i still can5t sleep from them i mean the simple words and the great plot is easily beileved
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amber martens
These are some of the best short stories of the "scary story" classification I have ever read. My friends and I use to poor over these pieces of work all the time when I was in elementary school. I am now a senior and I still enjoy reading the mass of tales contained within the spines of these books. What more, the illustrations are still the most frightnening and ambient I've ever seen. Good work and congratulations to the author/illustrator.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ahmed na em
I think Scary Stories Treasury: Omnibus was scary, yet funny in a way.I really liked the stories. I have all of Alvin Schwartz's books, and there all very good. I recommend them all to you.

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
drew dunlap
i remember reading these books when i was in elementary school and a few years later they are still as great as i remember. A lot of them are pretty common urban legends that a lot of people probably already know (for example: ghost in the mirror, vanishing hitchhiker) and the artwork is pretty interesting and creepy at least for a childrens book. Great book
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I remember reading these books as a kid. They scared the heck out of me. Now, 10 years later, I still find myself rummaging through the pages often. But aside from the great stories, the one thing that truly makes this series shine is the artwork. Stephen Gammell is truly one of the most talented artists when it comes to the strange and spooky. This boxed set is *definatly* worth getting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maggie campbell
I gave each of my kids this collection for Christmas, as a "Blast from the Past"! We took this series on every camping trip when our kids were younger. We read them to the point of the books falling apart. They were THRILLED when they opened this on Christmas Day!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jerome wetzel
I have been searching everywhere for this audio collection! I have found only audio cassettes. The books have been in my mind since reading them as a young child. The illustrations are unlike any I've ever seen. This is a good collection to keep in your house for entertaining those few "weird" friends that come over. The audio collection is good too but you have to experience the books first.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bennett cohen
Scary Stories is a very interesting (and spooky) book that I own. I have read all the stories over and over like five times!! This is a very good book and I hope you will enjoy it. Read it at home to yourself, at a sleepover, or over a campfire. These stories never get old!

If you like this book I recommend:

More Scary Stories
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephanie zundel smith
OK, I am trying to get ahold of the original Scary Stories trilogy by Alvin Schwartz and Stephen Gammel.

The only difference I know is the artwork:

Scary Storys to tell in the Dark: [...]

More Scary Stories to tell in the Dark:[...]

Scary Storys 3: More Tells to chill your Bones: [...]

I would really like to find the original books/artwork...Thanks!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

In my childhood, THE HOOK and "OH, SUSANNAH!" scared me the most. But, I'm 13 now, and the good scare has worn off. But, I still fear a dangerous hook-man with a knife and a severed hand replaced by a hook lurking somewhere......
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lee cate
I read these books as a child and the amazingly terrifying artwork still gives me the creeps. I've never seen scarier illustrations and the selection of stories they accompany will scare the daylights out of you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
m rae nelson
Some of the stories were familiar to my husband and I....which we enjoyed then and now.....I bought the series of books for my grandchildren. I am finding them for adults too. The drawings are terrific. Good buy!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
philip keymer
I love horror movies and thought I'd try some horror books, since I am not that good at reading and wanted to learn how to read better, these books do help you because they are interesting. I recommend them to people who have a hard time reading those big words in books like Stephen King, and hopefully I'll be able to read those later and understand them better by reading more of these kinds of books that are laymen friendly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meg barrett
when i was a little girl, my friends showed me these books and i screamed in fright over the illustrations. :D
i still have a bit of a hard time looking at some of them. i fully recommend all these books for any young reader who loves to be scared. the stories are wonderfully wicked and stephen gammell's illustrations would send a chill up anyone's spine.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
cynthia levinson
Amazing book Great book. Illustrations by Steven Gammall are stunningly creepy. Really disappointed by all the people doing the price gouging. It is unnecessary and greedy. I hope no one pays 120-599 dollars for this book. Alvin Schwartz would be disappointed at you guys.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I love the scary stories books and to have all 3 in one big book is SWEET. I remember in elementary school going to the library and always checking them out a lot of the time someone beat me to it. But now its nice to own all 3 book in one book i like the new hardcover look. Thanks the store.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
will oxtoby
I had this once and I got rid of it!!!!!! I still regret it and I'm going to order a new one. DON'T pass this up! It's a great book. Has the old stories and some new ones(well, new twists from when it was made). It was a sad, sad day when I got rid of the box set I had. My brother was sad too. I think he may have hated me for a brief second.;)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I encountered the first book when I was 6 years old. The intense drawings are still a big influence on me today. I had never seen anything like it. The stories are good and frightening but without the nightmares Gammell lays out for the reader they would be nothing. These books could only help to fuel a creative soul.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I remember reading these books at a young age & they terrified me so much that I couldn't stop reading them. I highly recommend them to anyone who'd like to read a few chilling stories. The pictures are awesome too with gruesome detail. Stephen Gammell does a wonderful job of illustrating.
Please RateThe Complete 3-Book Collection with Classic Art by Stephen Gammell
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