The Halloween Grab Bag!
Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark
by: -RoG-

Libraries. Remember those? I sure do. Before the Internet came around, we had to resort to paying these places a visit for research... or just some good ol' peace 'n quiet, a commodity that's becoming harder and harder to find these days. You may be surprised to know that libraries still exist today. I know, I know, you think I'm trying to pull your leg, but I swear they're still around! Sure, most of them are probably used as homeless shelters, but there are a few legitimate ones as well.

So why all the blabber about libraries? I'll tell you why. When I was a kid, I often went to the local county library to check out the latest Choose Your Own Adventure books. Titles such as "You Are A Shark", "The Cave Of Time" and "The Green Slime" were amongst my favorites... but there was something else at the library that I treasured even more. You see, around the time I started going there, I had received my first boombox. It was a Yorx brand boombox and I was convinced it was the best thing anybody on the planet had ever seen. It had a dual cassette player with high-speed dubbing. It had an equalizer and detachable speakers. It had a black and white TV set built right into it. It even had a portable walkman that you could plug right into it. How cool is that? Oh sure, we have iPods 'n all that crap now, but trust me... it was simply the greatest boombox a kid could ever have at the time. And what better way to make use of it than by checking out all of the tapes that my local library had in stock?

Sure, the place had some pretty awful stuff that nobody in their right mind would want, but they actually had some truly good tapes as well. Out of all the things I checked out from that library, none were checked out more than this one:

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. It was a collection of spooky stories based on urban legend and folklore, written by Alvin Schwartz and narrated by George S. Irving. There are some absolutely classic tracks on here. "The Hearse Song", "Cold As Clay", "The Big Toe" and the infamous story about "The Hook" just to name a few. I have to say, as fun as these classic stories are, it's Irving who really puts this album over the top for me. You can just tell the guy had a lot of fun recording it, and as a result, it was an album I never forgot. Well, I finally found a copy of the album and now I would like to share it, one of my favorite childhood memories, with you guys. While some kids would lay down to sleep at night with "soothing sounds of nature" albums, this was one of the albums I dozed off into dreamland with. This is a true Halloween classic and I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did and still do. Once you're done listening to it, perhaps you can answer one question for me... WHEREEEEEE ISSSSSS MYYYYYYY TOOOOOOEEEEE????

Have any questions or comments about this piece?


If you enjoyed this piece, be sure to check out:

Watch The Blob With -RoG-!
Watch "The Blob" With -RoG-

Reader Comments



Forum Virgin
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Dude!! I had the book, and it's sequel "More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark". One of my all time favorites as well. And the CREEPY illustrations by Stephen Gammel used to give me nightmares
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:59 AM
This is great!
Sloth, PhD
Oct 10th, 2008, 02:41 AM
Still have all 3 books and I read bits of them to my younger cousins every Halloween. The stories are almost universally loved by 'em.
Big In Japan
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:34 AM
You've got it, Rog!

Heh, a great find here.
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:36 AM
Yep, the books do indeed rule, but nothing beats the audio tape as far as I'm concerned. Irving just had the perfect voice for this kind o' project.
Last of the Time Lords
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:36 AM
I had the books too. The stories were great, but the illustrations were pure nightmare fuel. No movie has ever freaked me out as much as those pictures.
Magic squirrel
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:56 AM
Belive it or no I do have both the first book and it came with the tape, And RoG is absolutely right. The tape is quite amazing. The voice that George Irving uses for most of the stories is just perfect.

I still have the tape and a working "Tape Deck" and along with my Dumb and Dumber soundtack and "Sing time with the Smurfs" (My Daughter is my excuse for that one)It is the only reason the deck is is use.

RoG Please tell me Where you found the MP3's For these!
100% Regulator
Oct 10th, 2008, 07:40 AM
yup I remember those the drawings were badass.
Exploding In...3...2...1
Oct 10th, 2008, 07:43 AM
I have read all three of these. The stories were quite scary. The illustrations where the nail in the coffin (Get it?) to make these scary as hell. The drawings in there were perfectly placed, and they looked nightmarish. (They gave me nightmares.)
Forum Virgin
Oct 10th, 2008, 08:44 AM

Scary Stories

Forum Virgin
Oct 10th, 2008, 08:46 AM
The books were amazing... the creepy illustrations alone make them the better choice over the audio... or better yet, try a combo of both.

For more scary story and sounds of halloween downloads check out www.scarstuff.blogspot.com
Forum Virgin
Oct 10th, 2008, 10:02 AM
Alvin Schwartz may have done an excellent job of compiling scary folk tales and urban legends from all over the globe, but it was really Stephen Gammell artwork that drew me to these books when I was a child.
Drunk Yamo
Oct 10th, 2008, 10:30 AM
I never returned that book to my elementary school's library, and I'm pretty sure I stole the sequel from a bookstore when I was 10 or 11....the sequel was not so great, but the original is excellent.
Ninja in training
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:03 PM
oh god yhis takes me back... i never heard this tape my ibrary had more scarysotries to tell in the dark on tape though.... used to give me nightmares as a kid. thanks rog, now i'll never get to sleep tonight
Movie Enthusiast
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:09 PM
I'm fairly certain that every single one of us who were youngsters around that time are well-acquainted with the trio of Schwartz collections. Remember, that's not a dog, it's a rat...
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:18 PM
I had the books when I was eight. I was easily scared back then so after I thumbed through it for a few minutes I threw it across the room and locked myself in my bedroom. Those pictures still scare the shit out of me.
Oct 10th, 2008, 01:30 PM
I just listened to the stories. That's the voice I always had in my head when I read the book. Is anyone else disturbed by the Big Toe? The boy went in his parents' garden, found a human toe, ripped it off, brought it to his mother, and the family ate the bloody toe for dinner. And the whole time the monster is the guy without the toe? If I had body parts in my garden and I saw my kid bring it and think of food I'd go ahead and call myself a serial killer.
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:03 PM
I have the complete series in audio forum if you want me to link the files
Oct 10th, 2008, 03:07 PM
Thats so fuckin awesome man. i had to buy the newer boxed set of the books a few years ago when i wanted to read em cuz my sister has our old copies, she used to read em to me when i was a kid, but id never heard these recordings. youve truly outdone yourself on this one mr.RoG. this is best place for bihalloweenay!
Forum Virgin
Oct 10th, 2008, 04:42 PM
I remember when these books first came out and how they were ALWAYS gone from the school library (checked out, of course, by all the boys who loved the creepy pictures and stories).

I went out and bought all three and still have them.
I hate this hacker crap!
Oct 10th, 2008, 04:48 PM
I do indeed have this book, never came with the album though. Had no idea it did.
Ninja Meatloaf Fox
Oct 10th, 2008, 05:34 PM
The illustrations in the books I think were scarier than the stories. My personal favorite is the wedding dress one.
Oct 10th, 2008, 06:34 PM
The illustration for the Black Dog story always creeped me out.
Oct 10th, 2008, 08:44 PM
Hey ROG How did u make a playlist like that?
Oct 10th, 2008, 09:29 PM
all the drawings creeped me out but damn rog, thank you, this is awsome
Oct 10th, 2008, 09:33 PM
Totally had all three! Must have been standard child hood issue back then. Agree with all, the illustrations haunted my child dream world!!!
Scary guy
Oct 10th, 2008, 09:38 PM
...I love you rog.

In a kind-of non-gay way.
Oct 10th, 2008, 09:42 PM
...I love you rog.

In a very gay way.
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 10th, 2008, 10:02 PM
I bought the boxed set recently. Even though I don't get nightmares from them (and oddly enough, I didn't when I was a kid), Steven Gammel's illustrations are still downright bone-chilling. Schwartz may have strung together some interesting stories, but without those drawings, they don't have much impact.

"If I had body parts in my garden and I saw my kid bring it and think of food I'd go ahead and call myself a serial killer."

Eh, it's a folk tale; people have to do retarded things to move the plot along when they star in those. For example:

Jack: "Magic beans? Are you fucking kidding me?"
Salesman: "Look, kid; this story's never getting off the ground if you act all savvy and post-modern, so cut the crap and make with the cow. "
Jack: "You mean these beans are MAGIC? I'll take 'em!"
Oct 11th, 2008, 01:58 AM
I remember the one where those spiders burst out of that chick's face. That was like the most disturbing thing I'd ever read/seen as a kid.
Oct 11th, 2008, 12:14 PM
ROG, I owe you big time for this.
This book was my favorite Halloween book as a kid. I must have taken it out a million times from my grade school library. I even told my girlfriend the big toe story less than two weeks ago - but for the life of me I COULD NOT REMEMBER THE NAME of this book.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm ordering this on Amazon right now!
Forum Virgin
Oct 11th, 2008, 02:31 PM
I always loved these stories when I was younger.
Forum Virgin
Oct 11th, 2008, 08:28 PM
There's a version of The Viper on "God Bless Tiny Tim." I wonder what the origin of this story is...
Mr. everywhere
Oct 11th, 2008, 09:30 PM
i remember this book! i used to read this all the time! but now i've lost it. so the question is: WHEREEEEEE ISSSSSS MYYYYYYY BOOOOOOOOOOOOK!!!!
Sympathizes with the foo'
Oct 11th, 2008, 10:32 PM
Neoboman: Oh yeah, you're talking about "The Red Spot." That one was from the third book.

Fluffkomix: Now you're supposed to turn to the person next to you and shout: "YOU HAVE IT!!"
High Priest of Burbank
Oct 12th, 2008, 08:01 PM
Yeah, so, Room For One More... definitely Twilight Zone-inspired.
Filthy Hirate Pooker
Oct 12th, 2008, 08:10 PM
Wow, I too used to fall asleep listening to that tape when I was a kid.

I wish I still owned the original volumes. But at least I have the "Scary Story Treasury" that I can share with my nieces when they're old enough to stop eating books that you put in front of them.
Forum Virgin
Oct 13th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Yeah, I'll echo everyone else and say I love these books. Man, I remember getting them during the school's book fair. Good times. On another note, awesome Bill Hicks avatar, Seesawbooy.
Our Last Hope
Oct 13th, 2008, 08:15 PM
Dude, i totally grew up with this series! these books were/are awsome!
Crazy Cat Lady
Oct 14th, 2008, 11:26 AM
The illustrations in these books still creep me out! Especially the "Mexican dog" one...
Pickled Patriarch
Oct 14th, 2008, 01:00 PM
Glad to see so many of you remember the books! They're still available you know, so don't hesitate to pick 'em up. And when the mailman delivers them, politely ask him, "Wheeeeere iiiiiis myyyyy toeeeeeee???"
Oct 14th, 2008, 05:44 PM
Damn, I wish I had known this book existed. I only got Even More Short and Shivery when I was in girl scouts and got the book as a gift for participating in the cookie sales (God, I hate girl scout cookies). Did the guy who illustrated the cover of this book illustrate the Short and Shivery series too?
Pip Pip is offline
Forum Virgin
Oct 15th, 2008, 09:42 AM
Its pretty cool actually. Even though I'm a decade or so younger then you Rog, I still remember going to the library and checking out these things. In fact, I remember one night when I was sleeping over my aunt's house, my cousin actually told us his own version of the toe story.
Forum Virgin
Oct 16th, 2008, 07:33 PM
My brothers and I used to listen to these as a kid. In fact they scared the living crap out of my youngest brother. I just called him on the phone to play the big toe and he hung up on me screaming in terror. Sweet dreams Jason.......
Oct 16th, 2008, 08:00 PM
This picture freaked me out big time as a kid

Forum Virgin
Oct 26th, 2008, 10:35 AM
I know I'm late to the commenting party, but I had to thank you for putting this up. I loved (and feared, thanks to the illustrations) the books as a kid.

And now, the book on tape version. I never knew it existed. But it's surprisingly creepy, even as an adult!
100% Regulator
Dec 7th, 2008, 06:11 PM
the one that scared me was for some reason I dont understan "Oh Suzzanna" I really dont know why.
Forum Virgin
Sep 11th, 2009, 10:24 AM
man i just saw this now, talk about behind the times

yeah i remember these books, particularly i remember a story about a kid getting hung up by his wrists and bleeding out, and one about these guys nailing a scarecrow to their roof, i'm pretty sure those were both from these books

and yeah the illustrations freaked me out in my youth. oh nostalgia
Forum Virgin
Sep 23rd, 2009, 06:50 PM
I love scary stuff. But unfortunately, I've never read those books. I want to though. my favorite book right now I think is either Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park-the lost world, or the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe.
Forum Virgin
Oct 23rd, 2009, 10:43 AM
Thanks very much for posting this. It brought back a lot of memories.
Unfunny Python Reference
Sep 2nd, 2010, 10:53 PM
The picture Esuohlim posted looks like Heidi Fleiss.
Ninja in training
Nov 14th, 2010, 11:39 AM

(piratebay link)

found this enjoy i love these from when i was a kid so many a sleepless night over these tapes lol
teacup of sunshine
Nov 15th, 2010, 07:31 AM
Now that I hear the stories, I know I must have heard that tape at some point. Only I can't remember how or where.

I also had some sort of Alfred Hitchcock scary stories record I used to listen to all the time.

There were a few of the Scary Stories I didn't understand, including one that (if I remember correctly) had the monster or killer or whatever saying, "Me Tie Doughty Walker".
Nobody hipped me to that!
Sep 12th, 2011, 05:49 PM
I still have all these books! I never had any idea that they ever existed in audio form. This is great!
Unfunny Python Reference
Sep 4th, 2012, 12:41 AM
They re-leased this book series and replaced the illustrations with the guy who drew for The Series of Unfortunate Events books. This is indeed and unfortunate event
Cranberry Everything
Sep 4th, 2012, 10:48 PM
You're right, Ex Leper! That's so strange as the awesome illustrations are the only thing that anyone seems to remember about the books, since the stories are mostly just urban legends we've all heard a thousand times before. That sucks.

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