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Pickstarter: Documentary Based on Infamous Children’s Books SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK

For adults of a certain age, there are universal scary experiences that are shared when you’re a kid. For some it’s the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Zeebo the Clown on Are You Afraid of the Dark? And there was one book that has been terrorizing children since the first in the series hit bookstores and libraries in 1981. I’m talking, of course, about Alvin Schwartz’s collection of haunted folk tales Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark.

With original illustrations by Stephen Gammell that haunted all of our nightmares and were even redrawn for future printings, the Scary Stories franchise was the “most challenged” series of books in the 1990’s and seventh most challenged in the 2000’s (probably because the illustrations had been changed by then). Producer and director Cody Meirick has launched an IndieGoGo campaign to produce Scary Stories: A Documentary, a film about the classic gothic children’s series.

The doc promises to explore the journey of Alvin Schwartz’s compiling of the selected stories and Stephen Gammell’s iconic artwork as well as the history of challenging and censoring children’s literature and the history of gothic children’s folklore. Meirick has already conducted interviews with various experts on children’s and gothic literature, a representative from the American Library Association, artists and others. Meirick is looking to raise funds to conduct additional interviews, music and animation, among other things.

I know this is the type of documentary that I’d like to see! The campaign has just a little over a month to go and their goal is $28,000. You can donate to Scary Stories: A Documentary right here!

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  1. liz says:

    My favorite books! As a kid you enjoy these kinds of stories they made you feel excited to read.I liked the red ribbon story. Where the girl had a red ribbon around her neck and then in the end her head falls off. It was great to me and my sister.

  2. Emily says:

    Super excited about this! Loved that series and that he’s walking around Chicago! 

    • Cody Meirick says:

      Yep, it was downtown and River North. A lot of it around Lasalle Street bridge, other parts around Open Books, which is further north. Great area to film. But it WAS cold. 🙂

  3. Cheryn Jin-hee says:

    I can’t donate any money, but if you need any more narration, vocals and/or music, I’d love to donate my skills for such an awesome project!!!

  4. Ron says:

    I remember reading these in the first grade and my grandma taking me to the local bookseller to purchase all three. The illustrations in these were what inspired me to be an artist and have stayed with me for years. To this day, they still blow my mind with the horrifying realism they portrait. I hope this gets made, I’d love to see it.

  5. clos says:

    I am looking forward to this, but He sounds out of breath while walking and talking. He should stop walking and talking!!

    • Cody Meirick says:

      Sorry. It was cold.  🙂   Don’t worry. I don’t plan on being in the documentary much. I’d much rather be behind the camera. 

      • Ally R. says:

        You are awesome for doing this. Walk and talk about scary stories all you want! 

        • Michael K. says:

          Mr Meirick, I’m so glad you are trying to accomplish this goal. I remember reading the books as a young child in the 80’s and although they never scared me, I was infatuated with them. I kept reading them over and over again constantly through the years until the early 90’s. I loved the art style of the books, and inspired me to become an artist. To this day, I am more of a musician than an artist, but I still draw and paint from time to time when I can afford paint and canvas. I’m including a link to my music page, which I hope you find the time to enjoy. Thank you and best of luck on your endeavor.

  6. Zameander says:

    Guillermo del Toro is a big fan of the Scary Stories art — I believe he purchased several pieces from a Los Angeles children’s book art gallery back in the mid-to-late 90s…

  7. Camielle says:

    I loved this series as a kid!  And I think if I reread them today they would scare me and excite me just the same.

  8. echo says:

    I didn’t know this book was “challenged” — all I know is that in the early 80s, I kept it checked out of the children’s library as often as I could. I absolutely adore those drawings.