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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Home · Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Read more How to Tell Stories to Children, and Some Stories to Tell · Read more. More scary stories to tell in the dark by Alvin Schwartz, , Trumpet Club edition, - Trumpet Club special ed. The three titles in the Stories To Tell series are Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in The Dark, and More Tales to Chill.

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A-PDF Image To PDF Demo. download from to remove the watermark. personal/private info removed ddjpg, ddjpg, ddjpg. Scholastic SCARY STORIES to Tell in the Dark Collected from Folklore and . To make it more cheerful, he started a fire in • 14 • the fireplace.

By day, this double-storey manor was majestic: an architectural gem complete with high ceilings, mahogany floors and at least 12 rooms the size of royal chambers. By night though, the house creaked with the unnerving weight of centuries of history. Dark corners and closed doors taunted the psyche and the emptiness of a mansion meant for 20 but only housing two seeped under our skin and made it crawl. Shuddersome thoughts scuttled through our minds, but we tried to call on logic to stay calm and managed to simmer down our apprehension to just a mild sense of unease. That is, until our bedroom window suddenly flew shut, with not even the lightest of breezes outside to account for this. Then the floodgates of panic opened. We spent the rest of this endless night frigid with angst, our eyes pinned shut out of fear that if we opened them, we would find the shadows of long-passed former residents standing over us.

Young Fred did this proudly and all the guests cheered, but as he turned to trot back down the stairs, a slave rang the bell to signal midnight and the horse spooked and tumbled down the steps, dragging Frederick down to his death.

Rumour has it that in the s the house was a base for a cult group, and it seems that their activities left an ominous energy behind. Apparently, throughout the years, passers-by have spotted a translucent old man walking around inside the house and those who have dared to wander near enough have heard doors swinging open and closed again for no earthly reason. The Spirits of Groote Schuur Hospital As a site where many unlucky individuals have met untimely deaths over the years, Groote Schuur Hospital is, apparently, full of restless souls who are doomed to spend their days wandering the wide hallways of this historic building.

Similarly, a rather friendlier apparition of a nurse named Sister Fatima reportedly tries to assist the hospital staff with their chores, most notably by giving drinks to the patients from trolleys that are standing unattended.

The Ghost of Elsa Cloete at Kitima Restaurant Elsa Cloete was a young Dutch woman who lived in the age-old Hout Bay homestead that now houses Kitima restaurant back in the mids, and despite the passing of over years, many report that she still dwells here today. As the story goes, the poor lass was once in love with a British soldier who hanged himself from an oak tree near the manor when her father prohibited them from dating, and soon after, she too died from a broken heart.

Out of respect for the doomed duo, the restaurant sets a table laden with food and wine for them every night, and many will tell you, you can sense the pair sitting and supping here.

The Flying Dutchman Ghost Ship at Cape Point Over the past few centuries, a number of seafarers have come forward with reports of strikingly similar sightings of a ghoulish ship sailing in the wild waters around the tip of Cape Point on stormy nights. According to witnesses, the galleon releases rowboats filled with phantom men into the ocean and they approach passing ships with letters that they want delivered to their loved ones.

The accounts have been linked to the tale of a vessel called the Flying Dutchman that was caught in a storm near Cape Point while journeying to Holland from Indonesia in The captain reportedly refused to turn back and swore that he would round the jagged tip of Africa even if it was the last thing he did. Copyright by the Columbia University Press.

Copyright by the University of Kentucky Press. Roberts with permission of Dr. Copyright by Leonard W. The musical notation on page 19 and page 39 was transcribed and illustrated by Melvin Wildberger.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part, or stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo- copying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Published by Scholastic Inc. Printed in the U. The Haunted House 29 The Guests 33 3. The Attic 76 The Slithery-Dee At night they might gather in somebody's cabin, or around a fire, and see who could scare the others the most.

They get together at somebody's house, and they turn out the lights and eat popcorn, and scare one another half to death.

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Telling scary stories is something people have done for thousands of years, for most of us like being scared in that way. Since there isn't any danger, we think it is fun. There are a great many scary stories to tell. There are ghost stories. There are tales of witches, devils, bogey- men, zombies, and vampires.

There are tales of monstrous creatures and of other dangers. There even are stories that make us laugh at all this scariness. Some of these tales are very old, and they are told around the world. And most have the same origins.

They are based on things that people saw or heard or experi- enced — or thought they did. Many years ago a young prince became famous for a scary story he started to tell, but did not finish. His name was Mamillius, and he probably was nine or ten years old. William Shakespeare told about him in The Winter's Tale.

It was on a dark winter's day that his mother, the queen, asked him for a story. For at that moment the king came in and arrested the queen and took her away. And soon after that, Mamillius died. No one knows how he would have finished his story.

If you started as he did, what would you tell? Most scary stories are, of course, meant to be told. They are more scary that way.

But how you tell them is important. As Mamillius knew, the best way is to speak softly, so that your listeners lean forward to catch your words, and to speak slowly, so that your voice sounds scary.

And the best time to tell these stories is at night. In the dark and the gloom, it is easy for someone listening to imagine all sorts of strange and scary things. This chapter is filled with "jump stories " you can use to make your friends JUMP with fright. He tried to pick it up, but it was stuck to something.

So he gave it a good hard jerk, and it came off in his hand. Then he heard something groan and scamper away. The boy took the toe into the kitchen and showed it to his mother. Then they did the dishes, and when it got dark they went to bed. The boy fell asleep almost at once. But in the middle of the night, a sound awakened him. It was something out in the street.

It was a voice, and it was calling to him. When the boy heard that, he got very scared. But he thought. It doesn't know where I am. It never will find me. Only now it was closer. Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e? The boy pulled the blankets over his head and closed his eyes. Then the boy heard footsteps move through the kitchen into the dining room, into the living room, into the front hall.

Then slowly they climbed the stairs. Closer and closer they came. Soon they were in the upstairs hall. Now they were outside his door. His door opened. Shaking with fear, he listened as the footsteps slowly moved through the dark toward his bed. Then they stopped. Then jump at the person next to you and shout: When the boy hears the voice calling for its toe, he finds a strange-looking creature up inside the chimney.

The boy is so frightened he can't move. He just stands there and stares at it. Finally he asks: He came upon a man who also was walking down that road.

The man looked at my uncle, and my uncle looked at the man. The man was scared of my uncle, and my uncle was scared of that man. But they kept on walking, and it began to get dark. The man was very scared of my uncle, and my uncle was very scared of that man. But they kept on walking, and they came to a big woods. It was getting darker.

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And the man looked at my uncle, and my uncle looked at the man. The man was really scared of my uncle, and my uncle was really scared of that man.

But they kept on walking, and deep down into the woods they went. The old woman's eyes bulged with terror. Then two legs dropped to the hearth and attached themselves to the feet. Then a body tumbled down, then two arms, and a man's head. As the old woman watched, the parts came together into a great, gangling man. The man danced around and around the room. Faster and faster he went. Then he stopped, and he looked into her eyes. At least that's what people said.

So nobody would stay there overnight. Then a rich man offered two hundred dollars to who- ever would do it. And this boy said he would try if he could have his dog with him.

So it was all settled. The very next night the boy went to the house with his dog. Then he sat in front of the fire and waited, and his dog waited with him. For a while nothing happened. But a little after mid- night he heard someone singing softly and sadly off in the woods.

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The singing sounded something like this: Then his dog answered the song! Softly and sadly, it sang: His dog had never uttered a word before.

More scary stories to tell in the dark

Then a few minutes later, he heard the singing again. Now it was closer and louder, but the words were the same: He was afraid that whoever was singing would hear it and come after them. But his dog paid no attention, and again it sang: Now it was in the back yard, and the song was the same: But the dog sang out louder than ever: Now it was coming down the chimney: It missed the fire and landed right next to the dog.

The dog took one look and fell over — dead from fright. The head turned and stared at the boy. Slowly it opened its mouth, and — Turn to one of your friends and scream: Others are not so sure. There was a man who lived in Leeds; He filled his garden full of seeds. And when the seeds began to grow. It was like a garden filled with snow. But when the snow began to melt.

It was like a ship without a belt. And when the ship began to sail. It was like a bird without a tail. And when the bird began to fly. It was like an eagle in the sky. And when the sky began to roar. It was like a lion at my door. Now drop your voice. And when the door began to crack. It was like a penknife in my back.

And when my back began to bleed — Turn out any lights. I was dead, dead, dead indeed! Jump at your friends and scream: O-o o-o o-o! She thought she'd go to church one day To hear the parson preach and pray. And when she came to the church-house stile She thought she'd stop and rest awhile. When she came up to the door She thought she'd stop and rest some more. But when she turned and looked around She saw a corpse upon the ground. From its nose down to its chin The worms crawled out, and the worms crawled in.

O-o o-o o-ol. There are ghosts in this chapter. One comes hack as a real person. Another takes revenge on her murderer. And there are other strange happenings. They spent a lot of time together. On this particular night they were sitting on a fence near the post office talking about one thing and another.

There was a field of turnips across the road. Suddenly they saw something crawl out of the field and stand up. It looked like a man, but in the dark it was hard to tell for sure. Then it was gone. But soon it appeared again. It walked halfway across the road, then it turned around and went back into the field. Then it came out a third time and started toward them. By now Ted and Sam were scared, and they started run- ning.

They weren't sure what had scared them. So they decided to go back and get a better look. Pretty soon they saw it, for it was coming to meet them. It was wearing black pants, a white shirt, and black suspenders. Sam said, "I'm going to try to touch it. Then we'll know if it's real. It had bright penetrating eyes sunk deep in its head.

It looked like a skeleton.

Ted took one look and screamed, and again he and Sam ran, but this time the skeleton followed them. When they got to Ted's house, they stood in the doorway and watched it. It stayed out in the road for a while. Then it disappeared. A year later Ted got sick and died. Toward the end, Sam sat up with him every night. The night Ted died, Sam said he looked just like the skeleton.

She fell in love with a farmhand named Jim, but the farmer did not think Jim was good enough for his daughter. To keep them apart, he sent her to live with her uncle on the other side of the county. Soon after she left, Jim got sick, and he wasted away and died. Everyone said he died of a broken heart. The farmer felt so guilty about Jim's death, he could not tell his daughter what had happened. She continued to think about Jim and the life they might have had together.

When the girl opened the door, Jim was standing there. She packed a few things, and they left. She rode behind him, clinging to his waist. Soon he complained of a head- ache. She put her hand on his forehead. They traveled so swiftly that in a few hours they reached the farm. The girl quickly dismounted and knocked on the door.

Her father was startled to see her. She turned to Jim, but he was gone and so was the horse. They went to the stable to look for them. The horse was there. It was covered with sweat and trembling with fear. But there was no sign of Jim. Terrified, her father told her the truth about Jim's death.

Then quickly he went to see Jim's parents. They decided to open his grave. The corpse was in its coffin. But around its head they found the girl's handkerchief. There were so many wolves, the farmers could not stop them from killing their cattle and sheep. So the state put a bounty on them. A butcher in town named Bill Williams thought that was pretty good money. He stopped working as a butcher and started killing wolves. He was good at it.

Every year he killed over five hundred of them. That came to more than five thousand dollars. It was quite a bit of money in those days. After four or five years.

Bill had killed so many wolves, there were hardly any left in that area.

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So he retired, and he vowed never to harm another wolf because wolves had made him rich. Then one day a farmer reported that a white wolf had killed two of his sheep.

He had shot at it and hit it, but the bullets didn't have any effect. Soon that wolf was seen all over the countryside, killing and running. But nobody could stop it. One night it came into Bill's yard and killed his pet cow. Bill forgot about his decision never to harm another wolf. He went into town the next morning and bought a young lamb for bait. He took it out into the hills and tied it to a tree. Then he backed off about fifty yards and sat down under another tree.

With his gun in his lap, he waited. When Bill didn't come back, his friends started looking for him. Finally they found the lamb. It was still tied to a tree.

It was hungry, but it was alive. Then they found Bill. He was still sitting against the other tree, but he was dead. His throat had been torn open. But there was no sign of a struggle.

His gun hadn't been fired. And there were no tracks in the soil around him. As for the white wolf, it was never seen again. The house had been haunted for about ten years. Several people had tried to stay there all night, but they always would get scared out by the haunt. So this preacher took his Bible and went to the house — went on in, built himself a good fire, and lit a lamp. Sat there reading the Bible. Then just before midnight he heard something start up in the cellar — walking back and forth, back and forth.

Then it sounded like somebody was trying to scream and got choked off. Then there was a lot of thrashing around and struggling, and finally everything got quiet. The old preacher took up his Bible again, but before he could start reading, he heard footsteps coming up the cellar stairs.

He sat watching the door to the cellar, and the footsteps kept coming closer and closer. He saw the doorknob turn, and when the door began to open, he jumped up and hollered, "What do you want? The preacher was trembling a little, but he finally opened the Bible and read awhile.

Then he got up and laid the book on the chair and went to mending the fire. Then the haunt started walking again and — step! The old preacher sat watching the door, saw the doorknob turn and the door open. It looked like a young woman. He backed up and said, "Who are you? What do you want? The old preacher waited, waited, and when he didn't hear any more noises, he went over and shut the door. He was sweating and trem- bling all over, but he was a brave man and he thought he'd be able to see it through.

So he turned his chair to where he could watch, and he sat down and waited. It wasn't long before he heard the haunt start up again, slowly — step! The preacher stood up and held his Bible out before him.

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Then the knob slowly turned, and the door opened wide. This time the preacher spoke quiet-like. It was a young woman about twenty years old. Her hair was torn and tangled, and the flesh was dropping off her face so he could see the bones and part of her teeth. She had no eyeballs, but there was a sort of blue light way back in her eye sockets. And she had no nose to her face.

Then she started talking. It sounded like her voice was coming and going with the wind blowing it. She told how her lover had killed her for her money and buried her in the cellar.

She said if the preacher would dig up her bones and bury her properly, she could rest. And she said, "If you come back here once more after that — you'll hear my voice at midnight, and I'll tell you where my money is hid, and you can give it to the church. The preacher found her bones and buried them in the graveyard.

The next Sunday the preacher put the finger bone in the collection plate, and when a certain man happened to touch it, it stuck to his hand. The man jumped up and rubbed and scraped and tore at that bone, trying to get it off.

scary stories to tell in the dark

Then he went to screaming, like he was going crazy. Well, he confessed to the murder, and they took him on to jail. After the man was hung, the preacher went back to that house one midnight, and the haunt's voice told him to dig under the hearthrock.

He did, and he found a big sack of money. And where that haunt had held on to his coat, the print of those bony fingers was burned right into the cloth. It never did come out. Usually they arrived in time for supper. But they had gotten a late start, and now it was getting dark. So they decided to look for a place to stay overnight and go on in the morning. Just off the road, they saw a small house in the woods. So they stopped to ask. They didn't rent rooms, they said.

But they would be glad to have them stay overnight as their guests. They had plenty of room, and they would enjoy the company. The old woman made coffee and brought out some cake, and the four of them talked for a while. Then the young couple were taken to their room.

They again ex- plained that they wanted to pay for this, but the old man said he would not accept any money. The young couple got up early the next morning before their hosts had awakened. On a table near the front door, they left an envelope with some money in it for the room. Then they went on to the next town. They stopped in a restaurant and had breakfast. When they told the owner where they had stayed, he was shocked.

So they went back to the house. Only now there was no house. All they found was a burned-out shell. They stood staring at the ruins trying to understand what had happened. Then the woman screamed. In the rubble was a badly burned table, like the one they had seen by the front door. On the table was the envelope they had left that morning. The ones told here are about a grave, a witch, a man who liked to swim, a hunting trip, and a market basket.

There also is one about worms eating a corpse — your corpse. For you may be the next to die. They wrap you up in a big white sheet From your head down to your feet. They put you in a big black box And cover you up with dirt and rocks.

All goes well for about a week. Then your coffin begins to leak. The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out, The worms play pinochle on your snout.

They eat your eyes, they eat your nose. They eat the jelly between your toes. A big green worm with rolling eyes Crawls in your stomach and out your eyes. Your stomach turns a slimy green. And pus pours out like whipping cream. You spread it on a slice of bread. And that's what you eat when you are dead.

There was a graveyard down the street, and they were talking about how scary it was. He'll pull you under. She picked out a grave and stood on it. Then quickly she bent over and plunged the knife into the soil, and she started to leave. But she couldn't get away.

Something was holding her back! She tried a second time to leave, but she couldn't move. She was filled with terror. When she didn't come back, the others went to look for her. They found her body sprawled across the grave. Without realizing it, she had plunged the knife through her skirt and had pinned it to the ground. It was only the knife that held her.

She had died of fright. One slept at the back of the room. The other slept near the door. After a while, the one who slept near the door began to feel very tired early in the day.

His friend asked what was wrong. She mumbled some strange words over the farmhand, and he found he couldn't move. Then she slipped a bridle on him, and he turned into a horse. The next thing he knew, she was riding him across the fields at breakneck speed, beating him to make him go even faster. Soon they came to a house where a party was going on.

There was a lot of music and dancing. They were having a big time inside. She hitched him to a fence and went in. While she was gone, the farmhand rubbed against the fence until the bridle came off, and he turned back into a human being. Then he went into the house and found the witch. He spoke those strange words over her, and with the bridle he turned her into a horse. Then he rode her to a blacksmith and had her fitted with horseshoes. After that, he rode her to the farm where she lived.

Would you like to trade? So they picked out another horse, and the farmhand rode away. Her husband led his new horse to the barn. He took off the bridle and went to hang it up. But when he came back, the new horse was gone. Instead, there stood his wife with horseshoes nailed to her hands and feet. Alvin Schwartz, the author and adapter behind the Scary Stories trilogy, actually began his career as a journalist , writing for The Binghamton Press from to Research was a huge part of Schwartz's process for all his books.

When writing his book Witcracks, Schwartz turned to the archives at the Library of Congress and those of the president of the American Folklore Society, using that research and his connections for Scary Stories. They are based on things that people saw or heard or experienced—or thought they did.

This will involve a lot of reading and scholarly books and journals and sometimes discussions and scholarly folklorists … In the process of accumulating everything on a subject, I begin setting aside things that I particularly like.

What's interesting is that eventually patterns emerge. And they make light of death. There's a story called 'Just Delicious' about a woman who goes to a mortuary, steals another woman's liver, and feeds it to her husband.

That's sick. It was ironic and pleasing that, at the same time, their ideas were rejected by the children. One father, J. But the images in those books are surreal.