he Wrath and the Dawn is finally being adapted for television. The author of the series, Rene Ahdieh, published the book in 2015 and, now that 1212 entertainment optioned the rights to this epic fantasy story, it's finally going to get the adaption it deserves.
One of the major themes of books and movies this year seems to be nostalgia. Everyone is constantly looking for a hint of that childhood magic and mystery, and with Halloween coming up, it’s a perfect time to revisit some of our favorite scary stories reminiscent of elementary and middle school Halloween parties. Here’s a list of seven of our favorite childhood spooks.
1. The Black cat by edgar allan poe
Image via dreadcentral
There are so many perfectly disturbing Poe stories that are suitable for Halloween, most of which feature themes of delusion, madness, and all-around creepy vibes. The Black Cat is one such story about a normally docile man who lashes out at his pet cat in a fit of rage while under the influence of alcohol. Poe describes the man cutting out his cat’s eye in horrific detail, and after the man comes back to his senses, a combination of alcoholism and guilt continue to drive him to madness. The man finally snaps and attacks his cat once again, but his actions lead to an even more gruesome, unexpected death. In typical Poe fashion, the man tries to bury his guilt until it returns to him in the form of the supernatural. This one’s sure to send shivers down your spine and may have traumatized you as a kid. It’s definitely not for cat fans!
2. The Monkey’s paw by w.w. jacobs
image via comingsoon.net
If you remember The Monkey’s Paw from elementary or middle school, you probably remember being seriously spooked. The monkey’s paw is a charm from India that has the ability to grant three wishes to three different people. It had two other owners, the first of which used his final wish to take his own life before it ended up in Mr. White’s hands. But every time the White family makes a wish on the monkey’s paw, there’s a horrible catch. Their first wish for money results in the death of their son, Herbert, and the White family receives money as compensation for his death. In the midst of her grief, Mrs. White demands that her husband wish her son back to life. Just after he does, there’s an ominous knocking at the Whites’ door. This creepy story reawakens our childhood imagination and teaches us the ultimate lesson: Be careful what you wish for.
3. The Legend of sleepy hollow by Washington Irving
image via fantasy & world music by the fiechters
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a classic short story that tells the tale of Ichabod, a teacher living in smalltown Sleepy Hollow. Hoping to win the hand of Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter of one of the richest farmers in Sleepy Hollow, he goes to her father’s farm to win her over. But Brom Van Brunt, one of Katrina’s other potential suitors, is known for physically imitating anyone who tries to woo Katrina. Brom plays pranks on Ichabod until he gets frustrated, and as he’s heading home he runs into a creature far more terrifying than Brom. A dark figure riding a horse begins to follow Ichabod on his path home, and Ichabod notices—with utter horror—that the man’s head is detached from his body. The Headless Horseman throws his detached head at Ichabod, knocking him off his horse. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is spooky in a comforting kind of way. The world can’t be all bad as long as we have Sleepy Hollows with legends of Headless Horsemen. Or middle school legends of Bloody Mary hiding in the bathroom.
4. In a dark, dark room and other scary stories by Alvin Schwartz
image via the paris review
In A Dark, Dark Room is a book to be read and chanted aloud, classroom-style. In the title story, things just keep getting darker and darker and spookier and spookier. Another memorable story in this collection is The Green Ribbon. It’s about a little girl named Jenny who always wears a green ribbon around her neck. When she grows older, her husband, Alfred, asks about the ribbon but she refuses to tell him. Once Jenny had grown old and was nearing her death, she removed the green ribbon and her head fell off. Jenny and her green ribbon are absolute proof that we pretended to be the bravest children ever (even though most of us were probably terrified.)
5. High beamS (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark by Alvin Schwartz)
image via scaryforkids
Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark is possibly the most nostalgic collection of spooky short stories of all. The movie was released this past month, but it’s worth revisiting the short stories and the movie in celebration of Halloween. There are three stories in the collection that are particularly terrifying, one of which is “High Beams,” a story about a woman driving home and paranoid about a man following her and flashing his headlights behind her. Once the woman gets home and runs inside calling for her dad, the man who had been following her explains he was trying to warn her about the person hiding in her backseat and holding a knife. This story is definitely shiver-inducing for anyone who’s ever driven alone in the dark.
6. “The red spot” (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark)
“The Red Spot” is serious children’s—or adults’—body horror. In it, a girl gets a red boil on her face that turns out to be a bunch of spider eggs that hatch. Anyone will arachnophobia or a general disgust of eight-legged creatures has to shudder at that one, not to mention the horror movie-level illustration included with it.
7. “Harold” (Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark)
image via refinery29
Finally, we have “Harold,” which might be the creepiest of all. It’s about two cowherds who hate a particular farmer and create a scarecrow imitation of him to taunt and spit at only to find that the scarecrow comes to life at night. One of the cowherds goes missing and when the other goes looking for him, he sees a giant version of Harold stretching out the bloody human skin of his friend. Serious childhood trauma right there.
Featured image via Dread Central
This Friday, August 9th, the film adaptations of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is finally being released!
The creatures that have haunted us since childhood are coming to life, and this time they’re three dimensional. We’re going to watch them run, jump, scuttle, stab, and limp their way into our nightmares. And in addition to reuniting with the horrifying monsters we met in our elementary school’s library, we get to meet an entirely new creature as well.
Before we delve into that, let’s reconcile with some of our old friends.
Sarah’s ghost/Image via GeekTyrant
Sarah Bellows is taken directly from the book. She comes from “The Haunted House”, a story about a priest who meets a spirit while hiding away in a haunted house. The book describes her as “a young woman about twenty years old” who has no eyes, but “a sort of blue light way back in her sockets.” The story follows the priest as he attempts to avenge Sarah’s death, and expose her murderer.
However, the film has used Sarah’s story in a different way. According to an IMDb summary;
“It’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind…but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time-stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying tome.”
Harold’s updated look/Image via Vox
In case you don’t remember, Harold’s story was included in the original book. Harold is a scarecrow who was made by two farmers, and modeled after the least liked farmer on the ranch.
The farmers constantly took out all their frustrations on the doll, mocking him and covering him in dirt and food. Until Harold grunts in response.
No spoilers, but things only go downhill from there.
In the trailer there don’t appear to be many farmers. Harold is instead being picked on by a group of high school jocks, though the story seems to end in a similar fashion. It’s safe to say that while our favorite creatures are returning, they may not be entirely how we remember them.
4-The Red Spot
The image that will haunt my dreams tonight/Image via Syfy
From what we can gather from the trailer, this story seems like it’s been kept pretty close to the original. In the book, a spider plants eggs under a girl’s skin as she’s sleeping.
She wakes up with a red spot on her face, that grows into a massive boil over the course of a few days. The night before she’s meant to see a doctor, the boil bursts, and hundreds of spiders pour out of the wound.
I don’t consider any of this a spoiler, since it’s all in the trailer. Plus, I doubt there are many people who haven’t heard this tale either directly from the source, or as an exaggerated rumor on the schoolyard.
3-The Pale Lady
The pale lady/Image via Bloody Disgusting
The pale lady comes from “The Dream,” a story about a girl who is visited by a pale woman during a dream about a house with strange carpet and locked windows.
The girl is terrified by this dream, and moves into a new town down the road. However, the house she moves into appears to be the house from her dream.
I won’t spoil what happens next, but you can probably guess.
2-The Big Toe
The infamous foot/Image via Bloody Disgusting
This is another classic creature. The story describes a young boy finding a big toe sticking out of the ground. He pulls until it pops from the dirt, and brings it home to his mother. She cooks it up in a stew, and their whole family enjoys a slice of toe with their meal.
That night the boy hears a voice out in the street moaning, “Where is my toe?”
We hear this voice in the trailer, on top of seeing the creature it comes from. In the book, we have no description of what this monster looks like. The little boy only hears it groan in pain, before hiding under his blankets, making the monster we see in one of the only ones not based on the book’s original Stephen Gamell illustrations.
The only other original creature we can see in the trailer is The Jangly Man.
1-The Jangly Man
Guillermo del Toro’s horrifying creation The Jangly Man/Image via Highsnobiety
The Jangly Man is the only monster in the trailer who has no relation to the book. He’s a creation from Guillermo del Toro, monster connoisseur and producer behind this film. Toro is known for his work on Pan’s Labyrinth, and Shape of Water where his knack for bringing non-human creatures to life was used to the fullest extent.
The Jangly Man is an amalgamation of several different Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark characters, giving him a twisted and ‘stitched-together’ kind of appearance. According to Polygon, del Toro stated that “The difficulty with this was to not do a normal decomposing corpse that you’ve seen a million times, but to truly try to give it evil.”
The Jangly Man is played by Troy James, a contortionist, and according to the trailer his skills are used to the fullest extent.
Featured image via GeekTyrant
There’s a new trailer for the Guillermo Del Toro-produced film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Image Via Goodreads
The series of three children’s horror books are written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.
Released in 1981, 1984, and 1991 respectively, the series shocked the world with its terrifying stories and its gruesome images.
Image Via Nightmare Nostalgia
Image Via Lit Reactor
Drawing heavily from folklore and urban legends, the series set light to the imagination of one Guillermo Del Toro. For one, according to Hollywood Reporter, he humorously an audience at the trailer launch luncheon in Hollywood that, “I was really, really broke. But I was extravagant and I bought the key illustrations from the book that I love, which led to a lot of financial trouble after that.”
For the record, Guillermo Del Toro was in financial trouble because his father had been kidnapped with a million dollar ransom, and he had sunk all of his money into a film project he was working on. Luckily, James Cameron helped him pay the ransom and save his father.
In case you’re wondering if this will be an anthology following each story, not quite. Instead, it’s one cohesive narrative that draws on the books. It’ll be close however. Check it out below!
Image Via Comingsoon.net
Image Via NowThisNews
Now we’ve gotten a new trailer. Check it out below!
For the record The film won’t be directed by Guillermo Del Toro, but instead André Øvredal, who has directed critical darlings Trollhunter and The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Don’t worry, Guillermo’s in the producers chair and he’s still very much involved.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark opens August. 9. Check it out!
Featured Image Via Zay Zay
Did you ever read the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series when you were younger. If you don’t know what that is, they’re those books with those terrifying illustrations that haunted your nightmares. I mean, just look at these characters.
Well, get ready to get freaked out again because Guillermo Del Toro is bringing the terrifying tales to life. Written and produced by the Oscar winning filmmaker and directed by Andre Overdal, the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie comes out August 9th. Here’s the trailer:
In addition, a documentary on the books themselves will come out this summer. Titled Scary Stories, it features more than forty interviews with authors, readers and family members of the author, Alvin Schwartz. The film explores the impact that the series has had on readers and children’s literature, as well as the efforts from various parental and religious groups who felt the subject matter and illustrations were too intense for young readers.
Scary Stories will have a limited release in select cities before being available on VOD May 7th. The DVD release is scheduled for July 16th. Watch the trailer here:
Featured Image Via Fiction Unbound