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Stephen Gammell: Inspiring Nightmares with Badass Illustrations

October 5, 2011

Ever since I was old enough to read I remember checking out the Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark series by Alvin Schwartz every October. The stories themselves were spooky enough, but what really made them scare the crap out of me were the amazingly creepy illustrations of Stephen Gammell.

A recent reprint of the series was released, in which the illustrator was replaced by Brett Helquist. Needless to say, the illustrations can’t even compare…  I’m sure enough lame parents complained about the spookiness of the original version, and the publishing company must have pushed for a version for sissies.

Who can forget Harold? The Freaky rag-doll looking scarecrow who kills his maker and stretches his skin out in the sun to dry? These are classic scary stories… Parents: Please quit raising wimps who are afraid to even go outside…

I continue the tradition every year by reading and sharing these books with my group of art students. They love to be scared, and I love to scare the crap out of them in return 🙂 Its win-win.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2011 1:14 am

    dang I cant believe I never heard of that series when I was a kid, I guess I just read sissy stuff like goosebumps! Do you remember that show on nickelodeon “are you afraid of the dark”? Loved that shit.

    • October 5, 2011 1:17 am

      Yeah I loved it too! I was a huge nerd for paranormal stuff when I was a kid… Still find it kinda interesting, not gunna lie. lol

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