“When Alfred came to a rise in the path, he looked back for Thomas. He did not see him anywhere. But he did see Harold. The doll was on the roof of the hut again. As Alfred watched, Harold kneeled and stretched out a bloody skin to dry in the sun.” -Alvin Schwartz, “Harold”
Happy Halloween everyone! This week we’re going to have a cartoon theme. Because literature is important, but so is art! So sit back and enjoy the right. Anyway, I know Halloween was yesterday, but I thought you all would appreciate a spooky story for this week’s “Read This!” blog. Anyone remember this? This was my favorite book as a kid! The Scary Stories Treasury by the late, great Alvin Schwartz (illustrations by Stephen Gammell) scared the crap out of me when I was a youngster. And I loved it. It’s actually a collection of all of the Schwartz books, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.
Let’s be honest, the stories were creepy, but what really freaked us all out were the illustrations. That cover art alone is the stuff nightmares are made of.
Some of the stories in this anthology are more goofy than scary, and some are just downright horrifying. If you’re the type that scares easily, I would suggest that you start off with one of the more milder stories, like “The Viper” or “Sam’s New Pet.” There are even copies of sheet music for songs in here, like “The Hearse Song.” (If you check out the video, you can see more of those great illustrations.)
If you’re a little more hardcore and prefer something a little spookier, like me, may I suggest to you “The Wreck” or my personal favorite, “Harold.”
“Harold” is about a demonic scarecrow. I’ll let your imagination handle the rest. Below are my two favorite illustrations, from “Harold” (left) and “The Bride” (right).