The Good, The Bad, and The Scary – Day 30

THE BAD

Short Stories

 

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Alvin Schwartz

 

This one is pulled straight from my childhood. The variety of stories, the dark creepy pictures, and the ominous threat that the story you are reading may be based on actual events, all join together for a good read. Below are just two of the many memorable things pulled from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

 

1. The Pictures

Creepy and wonderful, Stephen Gammell’s pictures were nothing less than nightmare fuel for children.

 

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A newer version of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark features illustrations from Brett Helquist, which are wonderful in their own way. I know my own preference, but which version of illustrations would you choose?

 

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              GAMMELL                         or                      HELQUIST

 

 

2. “Room for One More”

A man named Joseph Blackwell came to Philadelphia on a business trip. He stayed with friends in a big house they owned in a nearby city. That night, they had a good time visiting, but when Mr. Blackwell went to bed, he tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep.

Sometime during the night, he heard a car turn into the driveway. He went to the window to see who was arriving at such a late hour. In the moonlight, he saw a long, black hearse filled with people.

The driver of the hearse looked up at him. When Blackwell saw the man’s strange face, he couldn’t help but shudder. The driver called to him, “There is room for one more.” The driver waited for a minute or two, and then drove away. Mr. Blackwell was clearly shaken by this, as when he did go back to bed, it took him a rather long time to go to sleep.

In the morning, Blackwell told his friends what had happened. “You were dreaming,” they responded.

“I must’ve been,” he murmured, “But I could’ve sworn I was awake.”

After breakfast, he headed back to Philadelphia. He spent the day high above the rest of the city in one of the new office buildings.

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Late in the afternoon, he was waiting for an elevator to take him back down to the first floor. But when the elevator arrived and the door opened, it was a little too crowded for his liking. Some of the faces also looked eerily familiar. One passenger looked to him. “There’s room for one more.” He said. The man looked strikingly like the driver of the hearse. A tremble threatened to present itself, but he remained composed.

Blackwell only politely declined. “No thank you. I’ll get on the next one down.”

The doors closed and the elevator started down. Shrieks and screams were heard as the elevator plummeted downward, followed shortly after by a crashing sound. The elevator had fallen to the bottom of the shaft. Everyone aboard was killed.

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