'Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark' Book Tales Included in the Movie

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, in theaters now, differs from the original books and its sequels by creating a frame story that ties together some of the most famous horror short stories in the collections.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark follows Stella (Zoe Collenti), who visits a haunted house with her friends on Halloween night and discovers a book of horror stories written in blood. The stories start coming true for Stella and her friends.

The movie is based on the 1981 book, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, which became famous for the grotesque charcoal and ink illustrations by Stephen Gammell that terrified generations of children. Two sequels were released to the original book, in 1984 and 1991.

While the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie adds some connective tissue — introducing us to characters who will suffer through the horrors of the book series — it's largely an anthology of straightforward adaptations of stories from the books. Here are the stories that get the big screen treatment in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

"The Haunted House"

A story from the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book, "The Haunted House" forms the basis of the overall plot of the movie. In the original story, a preacher stays the night at a haunted house and begins hearing footsteps and banging in the cellar at midnight. A dead woman with no eyes appears and tells the preacher she was murdered and dumped in the cellar. By giving her bones a proper burial, the preacher releases the ghost and solves her murder in the process.

This story is only loosely adapted in the movie version of Scary Stories by replicating Gammell's illustration of the murdered young woman. In the movie, the ghost is Sarah Bellows (Kathleen Pollard), who wrote the magic book that haunts the teens of Mill Valley.

"The Red Spot"

The premise of this one is simple, even by Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark standards. In the original story, a spider walks over a girl's face while she's in bed. In the morning she finds a red spot. It grows like any acne blemish, until it's a painful and unsightly blemish. Later, while she's in a bath, the red spot bursts and baby spiders pour out all over her face. "The Red Spot" first appeared in Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. In the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie, it's Ruth (Natalie Ganzhorn) who suffers the spider outbreak.

"The Big Toe"

Based on a folk tale, "The Big Toe" begins with a boy finding a big toe poking out of the soil in his garden. He picks it up and hears something groan beneath the earth. That night, the boy and his family divide up the toe and eat it for dinner. Later on, a toeless monster visits him in his bed. "The Big Toe" appeared in the original Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

"Harold"

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Harold the Scarecrow in "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark." CBS Films / Lionsgate

Harold the Scarecrow is a prominent part of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie. In the original story, Harold is a scarecrow who's treated poorly by two farmers until he comes to life and takes revenge. Harold appears in Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.

"The Pale Lady"

One of the most iconic illustrations from the Scary Stories series, the Pale Lady, appears in the short story "The Dream" in Scary Stories 3. In the original story, the Pale Lady appears in a girl's dreams, before appearing in real life. In the movie version, the Pale Lady stalks a boy through a red hallway instead, mirroring a scary encounter he reveals earlier in the movie.

"The Jangly Man"

The Jangly Man is new to the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark movie, created as a composite of multiple monsters from the book series. Stitched together from multiple bodies, The Jangly Man stalks Ramón Morales (Michael Garza) in the movie.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in theaters now.

'Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark' Book Tales Included in the Movie | Culture