Graveyard Shift HarperCollins Released An Updated Version Of 'Scary Stories' With New Illustrations  

Jodi Smith
6.5k votes 705 voters 9.8k views 17 items

List Rules Vote up the tamest new illustrations.

Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark became infamous after its initial 1981 release, thanks in no small part to Stephen Gammell's horrific illustrations. In 2011, however, HarperCollins re-released the book of terrifying stories, replacing the original images with benign art from A Series of Unfortunate Events illustrator Brett Helquist

In place of the haunting, wispy drawings of crumbling corpses and ethereal ghosts, Helquist contributed less evocative and more kid-friendly images. The changes backfired, though, with some critics calling the new artwork disrespectful and boring.

Though HarperCollins restored Gammell's original art with an updated Scary Stories trilogy in 2017, the contrast between the cleaned-up and classic versions remains shocking.

1 450 VOTES

Sam's New Pet

Sam's New Pet is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list HarperCollins Released An Updated Version Of 'Scary Stories' With New Illustrations
Photo:  Scholastic/HarperCollins

Sam's mother discovers what she believes is a dog while vacationing in Mexico. Smuggling the animal back home, the mother presents it to Sam as a pet. The rescued animal seems to suffer from a strange affliction, though. 

A trip to the vet reveals the pet is actually a sewer rat with rabies.

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Was the original art scarier?
2 436 VOTES

The Wonderful Sausage

The Wonderful Sausage is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list HarperCollins Released An Updated Version Of 'Scary Stories' With New Illustrations
Photo:  Scholastic/HarperCollins

Butcher Samuel Blunt murders his wife, grinds up her flesh, and hides her bones under a rock. Samuel mixes his wife's remains with animal meat and begins selling the grisly mixture in his shop. The townspeople can't get enough of the special recipe, so Samuel starts harvesting citizens to keep up with demand.

An ill-fated attempt to kill a rather large boy exposes the butcher, and he eventually disappears.

425 11
Was the original art scarier?
3 505 VOTES

The Haunted House

The Haunted House is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list HarperCollins Released An Updated Version Of 'Scary Stories' With New Illustrations
Photo:  Scholastic/HarperCollins

A preacher visits a haunted house and spends the night at the property, reading his Bible in hopes of deterring any spirits. A ghost appears, however, and tells the preacher someone killed, robbed, and improperly buried her. She asks the preacher to dig up her remains and put a bone from her little finger in his church collection plate to identify the killer.

When the culprit touches the bone on Sunday, it sticks to his finger. The killer eventually confesses to the murder and goes to jail. After giving the dead woman a proper burial, the preacher discovers the rest of her money and donates it to the church.

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Was the original art scarier?
4 435 VOTES

Harold

Harold is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list HarperCollins Released An Updated Version Of 'Scary Stories' With New Illustrations
Photo:  Scholastic/HarperCollins

Two men create a scarecrow that looks like Harold, a farmer they hate. They insult and abuse the scarecrow, but it starts making noise and moving by itself. Eventually, the straw figure captures and skins one of its tormentors. 

422 13
Was the original art scarier?