The Horror Honeys: Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub - with a special guest!

Hardcover Honey's Haunted Bookclub - with a special guest!

A Hardcover Honey and Son Review by Jocelyn

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 
     – Alvin Schwartz 

This week's review is a two-for-one two-for-one – we will be talking about “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and “More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and your Hardcover Honey is joined this week by a guest reviewer, her 8 year-old (who has requested that he be referred to as “Sir Bookworm”).

Let's get to it!  “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” and its sequel are both full of short spooky tales, many well-known and collected from folklore.  These books have been around since the early 80's, which means that my generation has plenty of people who remember them well and claim childhood trauma based not on the stories themselves, but on the ultra-creepy illustrations that festoon the early editions.  (Sir Bookworm: “I don't think they're that scary – maybe medium scary?”).

Having read both books together, our favorite tales included:

The White Wolf – A skilled wolf hunter becomes the prey – Sir Bookworm says: “The surprising part is when he woke up and his throat was ripped out!”

The Girl Who Stood on a Grave – Can you actually die of fright?  Sir Bookworm: “I don't think you can, and the boy in this story didn't mean to kill the girl, so........”

Alligators – A woman is convinced that her husband and sons are turning into alligators – Sir Bookworm: “She should have proved to the other people who were laughing at her that they WERE alligators!”

Room for One More – A one-pager suitable for the Twilight Zone – Sir Bookworm notes “If they just jumped in the air when the elevator landed, they might have survived.  MythBusters said it was plausible!”

The Wendingo – Native American folktale in which a mysterious force arrives with the wind and sweeps someone away – Sir Bookworm: “I don't really understand how it was snowy out and his feet were burning at the same time, but I liked this one”

High Beams –  This is one I remember telling around a sixth grade campfire and it hasn't lost its power over the years – Sir Bookworm:  “I really liked this one, especially because they tried to arrest him and it had a twist ending!  Although I don't understand why the murderer didn't just stab the driver and take over the car.” <shudder>
Wait 'Till Martin Comes -  A man stumbles into a house, empty except for some giant talking cats – Sir Bookworm: “I really like the ending because the cats keep getting bigger and bigger and the man finally jumps out the window to escape!”

The Ghost with the Bloody Fingers – Another familiar tale from my childhood with a haunted hotel room (shades of “1408”) - Sir Bookworm enjoyed this one as it built to a finish with a laugh.  He adds that “Those other people thought they were tough enough to spend the night in that haunted room, but they couldn't do it!”

Something Was Wrong – John Sullivan wonders why everybody is acting so scared of him (Sir Bookworm: “It's funny, because he never knows that he's a ghost and was killed yesterday in an accident downtown!  I wonder what the accident was...maybe an airplane hit him or something?” - spoiler alert)

The Bride – A bride becomes trapped in a trunk in her attic on her wedding day, much to her dismay.  Sir Bookworm was interested in the idea of a game of hide-and-seek that never had a conclusion.

Rings on Her Fingers – A grave-robber tries to cut off Daisy Clark's bejeweled fingers but finds she isn't quite as dead as she seems.  Sir Bookworm: “I don't know why the doctor was so dumb to think she was dead when she was just in a coma.”

The Bad News – Friends Todd and Leon wonder if baseball is played in heaven.  Sir Bookworm: “I think it's funny that pitch kind of means throw away and in this case, it's like “die” but that's not what the author is really trying to say.”

The Hardcover Honey Verdict: Sir Bookworm requests that our scale be 1-10 on this one, and grants a generous 8 or 9.  As for me, I would rate the books more like a 6, but the experience of sharing scary stories with my one and only kid is a solid 10 on the parenting scale!
Creepy kids are the BEST kind of kids!