Weird History

In The Original Little Red Riding Hood, The Wolf Forced Her To Eat Her Grandma

Fairy tales are full of creepy and terrible things, and the original "Little Red Riding Hood" is no exception. Cinderella’s stepsisters cut off parts of their feet before the ball. In the Hans Christian Andersen version of The Little Mermaid, the mermaid commits suicide. And even popular collections of fairy tales like the one from the Brothers Grimm include stories like “The Girl Without Hands” and “The Death of the Little Hen.” 

Little Red Riding Hood’s full story is pretty dark. Unlike the modern version, where a naive and trusting girl who can't tell the difference between a wolf and her grandmother escapes in the end, in most older versions, Red is eaten alive. And that’s only the beginning of the horrible things that happen in "Little Red Riding Hood."

The versions circulating in 17th-century France, when Charles Perrault first wrote down the story in his collection called Mother Goose Tales, featured a cannibalistic granddaughter and a pedophile wolf who tells Red to strip down before she climbs in his bed. No wonder the fairy tale was changed – it’s for children, after all!