Graveyard Shift

The Scariest Stories From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark  

Christopher Myers
94.1k votes 17.9k voters 484.7k views 37 items

List Rules Vote up the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark that still make you go to sleep with the light on.

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.

1
The Hearse Song
The Hearse Song is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest Stories From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Photo:  Stephen Gammell/HarperCollins

What happens when you die? This song explains it all in gruesome detail. All goes well for about a week... until the coffin begins to leak.

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2
Room For One More
Room For One More is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest Stories From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Photo:  Stephen Gammell/HarperCollins

Dreams should never be taken lightly, least of all if they involve a hearse. One night, Joseph Blackwell has such a dream. He is staying with friends when he dreams that a hearse pulls up in the middle of the night. The hearse is just packed with people, and the driver explains with a maniacal grin that there's "room for one more."

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3
The Wreck
The Wreck is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest Stories From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Photo:  Stephen Gammell/HarperCollins

On the way to the Christmas dance, a high schooler drives a girl he met home and gifts her some charming Christmas tinsel. He comes to find his new friend died in a tragic car accident on the way there... but she takes off with the tinsel he gave her.

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4
The Guests
The Guests is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest Stories From Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
Photo:  Stephen Gammell/HarperCollins

A young couple is on a long drive when they decide to stop for the night. On the side of the road, they spot an old house and decide to see if they rent rooms. An old couple welcomes them and invites them to stay the night, but not everything is as it seems.

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