Written by Patti Pauley

What a glorious time to be a horror fan eh? Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, the beloved trilogy of books that lined our school’s book fair shelves when we were much shorter horror enthusiasts, is not only rumored to be getting a feature film by Guillermo del Toro and company (more on that as we hear any updates), but an upcoming documentary based on the twisted tales and the illustrations that gave us nightmares for weeks. The upcoming Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark documentary is the product of SS fanatic Cody Meirick alongside his tireless crew who have worked for three years to bring this idea to fruition.

The project that so many of us are anxious to peek our little eyeballs at, is according to Meirick 90% completed and have indeed filmed over 36 interviews ranging from the family of the author of the legendary books Alvin Schwartz, who sadly passed away in 1992; to Goosebumps author R.L. Stein along with other children’s horror authors, and artists/fans who have been inspired by the books.  The documentary also interviews notable scholars from universities who excel in folklore and children’s literature in an effort to help explore the cultural impact these stories had on us, and continue to do so generation after generation.

Per the official Indiegogo page:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is a 3-book anthology of folk tales and urban legends by Alvin Schwartz and originally illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The Scary Stories book series were steeped in mythology that has been handed down for many years. The detailed appendices and source materials listed in the books invite us into a fascinating exploration involving some of the foundations of cultural storytelling. Fear, death, the unknown. And it allows us to take a mindful look at the way we entertain children, pass down our heritage, and influence them through the stories we tell.

Along with the tales, the illustrations by Stephen Gammell have had an endearing impact, as well as an interesting history. Influencing artists for years, they have made an indelible impression on so many who grew up thumbing through the pages. The vivid and haunting images can be considered some of the most influential illustrations of modern children’s literature. Delving into their gothic and ancient influences as well as looking at their captivating impact on modern artwork can illuminate the deep impression illustrations can have on the stories we tell our children.

In addition, to tackle the books as a subject inevitably involves the topic of censorship amongst children’s literature. Using arguably the most censored modern example, this documentary intends to shine a light on the practice and explore the many facets and opinions involved with challenging children’s books in America.


The documentary has been crowdfunded before to get things moving, and filmmaker Cody Meirick is asking for the fans help one last time to get this doc edited, a proper musical score inserted, professionally done graphics, and some wicked animation to give us the Scary Stories doc we legitimately want, and who am I kidding-NEED. I don’t think I need to convince a whole lot of you to help out, however the campaign is offering an incentive if you donate a flat $50 to get the project done and in our hands, a chance to IMMEDIATELY watch the first ten minutes of the documentary! How cool is that? Other perks include an official Scary Stories t-shirt, an original piece of tribute art, and even a kick-ass poster! If this is something you’d be interested in helping contribute to, you can check out the rest of the perks and full details at the official Indiegogo page by clicking here!