General

With each book of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz,  included are 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.

Below is a selection of writings and blog posts found throughout the web for further reading in reference to the history of the book series and the illustrations.

5 Reasons the Scariest Thing Ever Written Is a Kids’ Book

This Cracked.com list is humorous, but it also is a concise detail of many of the aspects of the book that has made it so engaging for generations of children.

“Mr. Schwartz was, by all appearance, an interesting, intelligent man who loved folklore and was willing to scare the bejeezus out of kids. This is difficult but necessary work for any man of conscience. After all, if children never know fear, what will they overcome to grow stronger? Schwartz wasn’t trying to ruin our childhood; he was seasoning us to inherit the earth.”


Who Is Alvin Schwartz And Why Do Parents Want To Bann His Books?

This Chicago Tribune piece was written back in 1993, which is a year after the author passed away and a couple of years after the last book in the series was published.


BannedLibrary.com Podcast: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

This podcast describes the banned history of the books and goes on to detail some of the stories and illustrations.


NPR: Eerie Reads for Halloween

Petra Mayer with NPR describes the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series and its place in many people’s hearts.


Blood from the Air: The Phantasmagoria of Stephen Gammell

This blog post is an artist’s interpretation and analysis of what makes the illustrations from the book so effective.

“Gammell’s illustrations gain their eerie affective strength from – paradoxically – his reliance on a compositional veneer of vague cloud-forms and frayed shreds of indistinct material.”


Contents of a Nightmare: The Artwork of Stephen Gammell and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

This blog post describes the artwork of the original books and the controversy involved with changing the artwork in its recent rerelease.

“A basic search of Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark will deliver all kinds of anecdotes about how this person remembers this drawing, and this reader is still haunted by this image…and so on. There are even people who love the books so much that they have gotten tattoos of Gammell’s artwork.”


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Gammell vs. Helquist

This respectful but opinionated blog post outlines the sentiment of many when the books were rereleased with different illustrations.


Nightmare Fuel: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

This page on TVTropes.org has keen descriptions of many of the stories, with various links for context.

“It illustrates the climax of the (relatively simple) ghost story in the most sparse yet terrifying way possible.”