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.
- 12,833 VOTES
This tale is a classic. It's so common, it could even be considered a horror trope. A babysitter is minding her own business, taking care of a few children one night. Trouble starts when she starts getting weird calls from some creep. Things escalate rather quickly from there.
- 26,102 VOTES
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.
- 32,703 VOTES
Something Was Wrong
John is confused when people scream and run in horror at the sight of him. Although, it all becomes very clear when he comes home to his wife – at his very own funeral.
- 42,585 VOTES
When you are up in northern Canada, be careful where you decide to go hunting. There are creatures up there that defy comprehension. If you aren't careful, you might just run into a wendigo. When the wind picks up, listen closely.