Dim the lights and gather 'round, because here we have the best of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. These are stories you might remember from your childhood, stories that left an indelible mark upon your young psyche as you read them by flashlight, underneath the covers. Packed to the brim with horror, one can hardly believe that these were written for children. Apparently, kids were made of hardier stock back then.
Kids have long had to endure horrors as part of the growing-up process. The classic game of Bloody Mary is but one example. Even as infants, kids are subjected to some pretty horrific nursery rhymes. Telling urban legends is a sandlot pastime that goes back generations. Plus, in the modern age, there are talking dolls that amount to pure nightmare-fuel. Telling scary stories, though, will always have an important place in the world of childhood. Perhaps they prepare us for the real-world horrors of adult life.
What makes these the scariest stories for kids? Well, the book's haunting illustrations by Stephen Gammell certainly play their part, so much so that a reprint had to replace them with more "child-friendly" fare. Thanks to the power of the Internet, however, we can still enjoy the scariest children's stories as they were meant to be experienced: how we experienced them, recoiling in horror at the images shown in low light as we tried our best to scare the pee out of our best friends. Vote up the ones that left their mark in the dark recesses of your mind.
The Red Spot
Waking up one morning to find a blemish on her face, a young girl soon finds out that something other than bacteria is festering inside the bursting boil. Her face eventually explodes with a torrent of spiders.
A poor scarecrow shaped in the image of a person his creators simply despise, Harold is a silently sentient being who is routinely abused. Harold grows sick of this treatment and psychologically tortures the two men who've been putting him through hell, before skinning them and spreading out their bloody skin to bake in the sun.
The Haunted House
One day a priest decided to spend the night in a haunted house. He figured that he could put the spirit to rest. Well, in the course of that night, he did meet the spirit. She was murdered, and she knows who did it.
Ted and Sam were the best of friends. One fateful night, they saw - well, a thing. They couldn't exactly make out what it was at first. After overcoming their fear, they managed to get close enough to see it clearly. Yet it wouldn't be until later that they realized what the thing really was.