With both a movie and a documentary on the way, we're in the middle of a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark revival, and the kiddie-horror fun has hit publishing. The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books have been republished with the original art that terrified us as kids, which means that fans can sleep fitfully again, knowing that those macabre illustrations have returned to bookshelves everywhere.
Few reading experiences are as universal as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Alvin Schwartz's short-story collections spooked Eighties and Nineties kids alike, and Stephen Gammell's illustrations continue to haunt our nightmares today.
So you can imagine the outcry in 2011, when Scholastic released a 30th-anniversary edition of Scary Stories that replaced Gammell's work with art from A Series of Unfortunate Events illustrator Brett Helquist. There was no denying it: the new illustrations made Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark feel no more terrifying than his much-less-scary collection, In a Dark, Dark Room. Under Helquist's pen, "Harold" and "The Red Spot" felt more like mild entries in the Goosebumps series than bone-chilling horror.
Now, Gammell's illustrations are back to terrorize another generation of children. At the time of this writing, the three-book boxed set is the No. 1 Best Seller in Children's Spine-Tingling Horror on Amazon, where I'm willing to bet it will linger.
The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark re-releases are available now at your favorite bookstore.