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Halloween Countdown, Day 28

Do you remember Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and its two sequels? They were collections of creeptastic tales collected from folktales and retold for children by Alvin Schwartz and originally illustrated by the brilliant Stephen Gammell. These books were widely challenged at public libraries around the United States and even banned at a number of school libraries. Why were they so controversial and what was their allure for a generation? Filmmakers Cody Merck and David Thomas plan to answer these questions in their forthcoming documentary Scary Stories.

Here is the trailer.



"The Slithery-Dee" (from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, 1981)

The slithery-dee,
He came out of the sea;
He ate all the others,
But he didn't eat me.

The slithery-dee,
He came out of the sea;
He ate all the others,
But he didn't eat--
SL-U-R-P...

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Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
gilda_elise
Oct. 28th, 2015 11:03 am (UTC)
I guess these were after my time. *g* But I do remember books of horror stories being readily available at our local library. Mainly, because I checked them out all the time. One in particular had a story of a person who keeps running into people with larger and larger teeth. The illustrations were something else. But I think it was a more open time, in that children weren't "protected" from so many things.
jan_u_wine
Oct. 28th, 2015 12:05 pm (UTC)
oh my goodness. I don't actually remember these myself, but my 33 year old daughter asked me over the weekend (as we were watching my first ep of American Horror Story) if I remembered her reading them. When she showed me the covers, I *did* remember.

Have to admit, I'm a horror wuss. Like my horror....oblique, shall we say. Subtle stuff that smells more of brains yet embodied than disemboweled ....bowels....

been lurking and reading your entries and not commenting. Hope to catch up on that, but must say you have not lost your Halloween scary sparkle and thank you!

When I saw *these*, I SO thought of you:

http://www.americancinemathequecalendar.com/content/the-quay-brothers-in-35mm

http://www.atlasobscura.com/places/robert-doll
mosinging1986
Oct. 28th, 2015 03:30 pm (UTC)
I am so tired of hearing about "banned books". If they had been banned, no one would've ever heard of them.
sittingduck1313
Oct. 29th, 2015 12:37 pm (UTC)
I would argue that you have it backwards. Banning a book actually brings it (frequently unwarranted) attention it might not have gotten on its own. Then there's how forbidding something has a tendency to perversely increase the desire to sample the forbidden. I maintain that a significant chunk of the Gawdawful crap forced onto unsuspecting English students to effectively kill any desire to enjoy reading would hold the status of ignored files on Project Gutenberg had someone not attempted to ban them.
mosinging1986
Oct. 29th, 2015 01:09 pm (UTC)
Banning a book actually brings it (frequently unwarranted) attention it might not have gotten on its own.

Well, sure, which is probably one of the main reasons the fuss is made to begin with.

I maintain that a significant chunk of the Gawdawful crap forced onto unsuspecting English students to effectively kill any desire to enjoy reading would hold the status of ignored files on Project Gutenberg had someone not attempted to ban them.

Ha! Probably so!
byslantedlight
Oct. 28th, 2015 05:39 pm (UTC)
I've never heard of these books (maybe I was just a bit too old to catch them if/when they had an impact outside the US) but I do like the Slithery-Dee poem, and I would have loved it when I was a kid! (My mind is still boggling at the idea of banned books in numbers big enough to be listed, too...)
buymeaclue
Oct. 29th, 2015 02:04 pm (UTC)
Those covers still creep me RIGHT out.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )