June 2, 2014

“Scary Stories” from the 1980s are now being made into a movie


Do you remember this image from your childhood?

Do you recognize this image of a woman’s head after the mysterious green velvet ribbon she wore around her neck is removed? If so, you may have been a kid who couldn’t sleep after reading the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books by Alvin Schwartz, which have sold more than 7 million copies worldwide.

Released in the 1980s, the first three books in the series are now being made into a movie, according to Deadline.com. CBS Films will produce a movie that is “about a group of outcast kids who stand up to their fears to save their town when nightmares come to life.” The screenplay was written by Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan.

It’s unclear if the best Alvin Schwartz book called In a Dark, Dark, Room will be included in the film. That book features the most frightening story—“The Green Ribbon,”  about a girl who has a creepy secret—with a dramatic illustration (pictured above) by Dirk Zimmer as the terrifying final climax. That book also includes “The Night it Rained,” about a hitchhiker named Jim who seems perfectly normal when he borrows the driver’s sweater — except the driver learns that Jim apparently died a year earlier.

The original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark—the first book in the series that will definitely be featured in the filmincludes a story called “The Big Toe,” about a boy who digs up a human toe in his garden and is haunted by someone who is looking for it. Other segments in the book are collected from the Grimm brothers, Mark Twain’s scary stories, the British Isles, the Kentucky mountains and other folklore and urban legends.

The series made the American Library Association’s “Most Frequently Challenged” lists in the 1990s.


Claire Kelley is a the former Director of Library and Academic Marketing.