Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

10 Bone-Chilling Tales From ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’

Are you a fan of horror stories that send shivers down your spine and make your heart race? If so, then you’ve probably heard of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ by Alvin Schwartz. This iconic collection of spooky tales has been terrifying readers for decades with its eerie stories and haunting illustrations. In this article, we will explore 10 bone-chilling tales from ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ that are sure to leave you feeling spooked and unsettled.

‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is a collection of bone-chilling tales that have haunted readers for generations. Compiled by author Alvin Schwartz and featuring eerie illustrations by Stephen Gammell, these stories are sure to send shivers down your spine and leave you sleeping with the lights on.

  1. The Hook: The legend of the hook-handed killer is a cautionary tale often shared among teenagers. It’s a dark and stormy night, and a young couple seeks solace in the privacy of their car parked in a secluded spot. The radio crackles with news of an escaped mental patient, a dangerous man with a hook for a hand. Fear grips the couple as they hear reports of his heinous crimes. Suddenly, a noise startles them, and they hastily drive away. When they arrive home, they discover a chilling sight – a hook dangling from the car door handle, a grim reminder of how close they came to encountering the madman.
  2. The Babysitter: This tale plays on the primal fear of being alone in a house at night, especially when strange and unsettling events occur. A babysitter settles in for a routine evening, but her peace is shattered by a series of ominous phone calls from an unknown caller. The voice on the other end of the line asks repeatedly if she has checked on the children. Alarmed, the babysitter contacts the police, who trace the calls and deliver the shocking revelation – the calls are coming from inside the house. This revelation sends shivers down the babysitter’s spine as she realizes the danger lurking in the shadows of the seemingly innocent home.
  3. The Haunted House: Daredevils are drawn to the thrill of spending a night in a haunted house, but the reality often exceeds their expectations. In this tale, a group of friends accepts a challenge to spend the night in a notorious haunted house. As they explore the decaying corridors and eerie rooms, they encounter inexplicable phenomena – ghostly apparitions, disembodied whispers, and chilling screams echoing through the darkness. Fear takes hold as they realize they are not alone, and they flee in terror, leaving behind the haunted house and its malevolent spirits.
  4. The Red Spot: Arachnophobia reaches new heights in this gruesome tale of body horror. A young girl innocently scratches at a mysterious red spot on her face, unaware of the horrors lurking beneath the surface. As the spot grows larger and more painful, she seeks medical attention, fearing the worst. But when doctors attempt to treat the affliction, they are met with a horrifying sight – a swarm of spiders burst forth from her cheek, revealing the true nature of her torment. The revelation leaves both the girl and the reader paralyzed with terror.
  5. The Viper: This chilling tale preys on the primal fear of a mother’s instinct to protect her child. A mother discovers a deadly viper hidden in the folds of her baby’s blanket, poised to strike. Despite her frantic efforts to shield her child from harm, the viper’s venomous bite leaves them both fighting for their lives. The race against time begins as the mother struggles to find an antidote before it’s too late, her love for her child driving her to desperate measures to save them both from the serpent’s deadly embrace.
  6. The Drum: In this tale of supernatural possession, a seemingly innocent object becomes a conduit for dark forces. A young boy unearths an old drum buried in his backyard and begins to play it, unaware of the malevolent spirit lurking within. As the beat grows louder and more insistent, the boy realizes too late that he has unleashed a force beyond his control. The drum becomes a vessel for the spirit’s rage, and the boy finds himself in a battle for his soul as he struggles to break free from its sinister grip.
  7. The Wreck: The remnants of a tragic accident become the backdrop for this chilling tale of revenge from beyond the grave. Two friends stumble upon the wreckage of a car crash deep in the woods, their curiosity piqued by the scene of destruction. But as they investigate further, they unwittingly disturb the restless spirit of the accident’s victims, who seek vengeance on those responsible for their untimely demise. The friends find themselves pursued by a vengeful specter hellbent on dragging them into the afterlife to pay for their sins.
  8. The Window: The fear of the unknown takes center stage in this spine-tingling tale of nocturnal terror. A young girl is awakened in the dead of night by tapping on her bedroom window, a sound that fills her with dread. When she peers out into the darkness, she is met with a chilling sight – a pale, ghostly face leering in at her from the other side. Paralyzed with fear, she retreats under her covers, but the tapping grows louder and more insistent, until she can bear it no longer. This tale serves as a chilling reminder that sometimes, the things that go bump in the night are all too real.
  9. The Hearse: Graveyard encounters take a sinister turn in this eerie tale of spectral menace. A group of teenagers stumbles upon a sinister hearse parked in a deserted graveyard, its presence casting a shadow of dread over the moonlit scene. Undeterred by the ominous atmosphere, they decide to investigate, unaware of the malevolent force that lurks within. As they draw closer, they realize too late that the hearse is not abandoned – it is inhabited by a ghostly driver who will stop at nothing to claim their souls for eternity.
  10. The Dead Hand: The macabre reaches new heights in this gruesome tale of reanimated horror. A man unearths the grave of a suspected vampire and severs its hand as proof of its demise. But when he brings the severed hand home as a trophy, he discovers that the horror is far from over. The hand comes to life, possessed by an insatiable hunger for revenge, and embarks on a bloody rampage that leaves death and destruction in its wake. This tale serves as a chilling reminder that some evils never truly die, and that the past has a way of coming back to haunt us in the most horrifying ways imaginable.


In conclusion, ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is a collection of bone-chilling tales that have been terrifying readers for generations. From ghosts and monsters to haunted houses and vengeful spirits, these stories are sure to leave you feeling spooked and unsettled. Whether you’re a fan of horror or just looking for a good scare, these tales are guaranteed to send shivers down your spine and make your heart race. So, if you dare, pick up a copy of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ and prepare yourself for a night of terror and suspense.

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  • Q: Are the stories in ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ suitable for children?
  • A: While the stories in the collection are considered children’s literature, some parents may find them too scary for young readers. It is recommended that parents read the stories first to determine if they are appropriate for their child.
  • Q: Are there any adaptations of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’?
  • A: Yes, there is a film adaptation of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ directed by André Øvredal and produced by Guillermo del Toro. The film brings some of the most iconic stories from the collection to life on the big screen.