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Documentary Explores Classic Books ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’

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One of the most exciting bits of news from last year was that CBS is working on a feature film adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a series of children’s books from the 80s and 90s that many of us horror fans have strong nostalgic connections to. Three books comprise the series, with Stephen Gammell’s illustrations being particularly memorable.

But that’s not the only exciting thing in store for fans of the books, as a documentary is also in the works…

Titled Scary Stories: A Documentary, the film is set to explore the history and background of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature. Topics will include the history of gothic children’s folklore, the publication history and spread of the Scary Stories series and its illustrations, censorship and the challenging of children’s literature, and the journey writer Alvin Schwartz took to find and compile the stories.

The first batch of interviews have already been conducted by director Cody Meirick, and he’s spoken with scholars of children’s literature, artists inspired by the horrifying illustrations in the Scary Stories books and even the family of the late Alvin Schwartz. Meirick’s plan is for the film to be the ultimate exploration of the classic series, telling the never-before-told stories behind the stories that gave so many of us childhood nightmares.

Meirick hopes to complete the documentary this summer, and he’s just taken to Indiegogo in an effort to raise the funds necessary to do so. He needs $28,000 to bring Scary Stories: A Documentary to life, and at the time of writing this he’s got a month to raise the money.

Perks for donating range from special thanks in the end credits of the documentary to on-screen appearances in the film, with various other goodies wedged in-between. Head over to the Scary Stories: A Documentary campaign to learn more and pitch in.

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As far as the upcoming feature film is concerned, Big Fish/Frankenweenie scribe John August will pen the screenplay, which will reportedly be much more faithful to the source material than the original iteration of the project.

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