Academic

With each book of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, Alvin Schwartz includes detailed annotations about the sources and interesting notes about the history of the tales he told. To pay homage to this practice, you will find here links regarding the many topics and background information that will be explored in this upcoming documentary.

These scholarly and news articles on the Scary Stories series as well as children’s folklore, gothic literature, and censorship are very relevant to the topics to be explored with Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

Under the Bed, Creeping: Psychoanalyzing the Gothic in Children’s Literature (2014)

This book explores the gothic elements in numerous classic children’s tales such as Pinocchio and Caroline.  It argues that gothic literature encourages a useful developmental stage of childhood development.

“If childhood is a journey, then Gothicism is just one of the roads we’ll have to travel, sometimes frightened, and sometimes wounded, but almost always alone. To be sure, this is a gloomy path, but one that all children should be allowed to explore on their own, for how can children appreciate the light if they have never played in the dark?”


The Gothic in Children’s Literature: Haunting the Borders (2007)

This book explores the complexities of scary children’s literature used throughout the ages, from cautionary tales to merely entertaining reads.

“Children’s and young adults texts have become veritable playgrounds for revising and expanding the Gothic chronotope. Indeed the children’s book itself becomes a new location for the Gothic with its intricate architecture of intertextuality and labyrinthine reference.”


Removing Barriers to Voluntary Reading for Reluctant Readers: The Role of School and Classroom Libraries (1996)

This article explores the issues with promoting reading in elementary schools and makes the case for encouraging popular books that children are inherently attracted to.

“Later, the librarian told us that she knew all along that he was looking for a book entitled Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Schwartz, 1981), one of a series of 3 scary stories collections, because she gets many request for it every day, but the books were ‘always checked out.'”


Censors and Librarians: Changing Perspectives and Approaching a Dialogue on Public Library Challenges in North Carolina (2009)

This paper approaches the discussion over public library challenges objectively and outlines some of the opinions expressed by both sides.


Censorship Watch: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark PDF (2002)

This article excerpt from American Libraries (Vol. 33, No. 3) describes a specific case of parents and others attempting to challenge the access of the Scary Stories books in an elementary school


Our World Without Decomposers: How Scary! (2014)

Along with this study is a recommendation of using the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark text as a gateway to explore decomposition in a 5th grade science class.