Scary Stories 3 More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz (Book Review)
Plot: Here are more hair-raising tales that will make your flesh creep, from a master teller of the world’s scariest stories. Who is the Wolf girl? Why is a hearse filled with men with yellow glowing eyes? Can a nightmare become reality? How do you avoid an appointment with Death? Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories 3 joins his other popular collections of scary folklore, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and More Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, to give readers spooky, funny and fantastic tales guaranteed to raise goose bumps.
My Review: I had been trying to track down these “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” books a long time ago. I owned them all but couldn’t find them for the life of me so I ended up tracking down two our of the three of them from the local libraries. Imagine my surprise when I was cleaning out my pantry and found two of the books mixed in with craft supplies for kids that I used to babysit. One of the books, this one, was one no library in half the state had, so I’m glad I was able to finally re-read it and review it.
I reviewed the first two books in this series here: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. I’m going to review this one like I did the others, a rating scale for each story and then in depth reviews for the stories that really stood out to me.
One thing that’s funny, is I noticed on each story I had written a little note signifying how I liked the story as a kid. It was interesting to see how/if my opinion differed. Some of them I’d just write “Stupid”, “True”, or “Weird” at the top. Cute.
The Appointment: 2/3
The Bus Stop: 4/5
Faster and Faster: 2/3
Just Delicious: 3/5
Hello, Kate: 1/5 (ending sort of made this one pointless)
The Black Dog: 2/5
Like Cats’ Eyes: 1/5
I always liked stories like “The Bus Stop” I think there was a similar story in More Scary Stories called The Wreck. I’ve heard similar stories all my life. Classic Urban Legend sorts of stories. This one is about a man who meets a girl at the bus stop. They date for a few months and one day she doesn’t show up, so he drives to her house where he discovers she’s actually been dead for many years.
The story “Just Delicious” is about an abused wife who accidentally eats all the liver she’s cooked up for her husband. She doesn’t know where she’ll get another one to replace it until she remembers the funeral home next door. This story is kind of gross, and I like it, but as with a lot of “Scary Stories” this one has a ghost coming back at the end asking where their body part is. This is probably the 3rd or 4th story like this in the series.
The Dead Hand: 3/5
Such Things Happen: 4/5
“Such Things Happen” is the story of a guy who accidentally killed a woman’s cat. He starts having a ton of bad luck and assumes that the woman was really a witch who must have put a spell on him for killing her cat. So he takes some advice about doing his own “spell” on her for revenge and in hopes that she’ll take her curse off him. I’ve always had an interest in witchcraft so I think that’s why I enjoy this story so much.
“Harold” is the story about two cow farmers who out of boredom create a scarecrow and name it after Harold, a farmer that neither of them like. They treat it like garbage and it comes to life and takes revenge. I remembered this story fondly, and I was surprised it ended so abruptly, I seemed to recall Harold doing a lot of things to the two farmers, but I guess I was wrong. It’s still an interesting spooky story.
The Wolf Girl: 3/5
The Dream: 2/5
Sam’s New Pet: 3/5
Maybe You Will Remember: 1/5
The Red Spot: 5/5
No, Thanks: 1/5
“Maybe You Will Remember” Is the story of a mother and daughter who are on vacation. The mother falls ill and the daughter is sent on a wild goose chase to look for medicine. But when she returns to the hotel, she finds that nobody remembers her, and her mother is nowhere to be found. I found the writing of this story to be extremely poor. The editing was just awful. Also, to find out what is going on in the story you have to flip to the back of the book and read the authors notes. What happened? The mother died of the plague and the hotel staff as well as police and doctor all covered it up by saying they had no idea who she was, just so word didn’t get out.
“The Red Spot” is a story about a girl who thinks she was bitten by a spider. The “bite” hatches and a bunch of baby spiders come crawling out of her face. This one has always disgusted me. Anything burrowing under the skin horrifies me. I remember growing up people telling me not to be scared of this story because it can’t happen. Well guess what it can. In fact this past summer there was a story of a guy in my state this happened to. Disgusting!
The Trouble: 5/5
“The Trouble” always spooked me as a kid. I love haunted house stories. They can scare the crap out of me. Who knows, maybe this story (and the fact I lived in a haunted house, or two) are the reasons why I love haunted house stories. “The Trouble” is the story of a family who lives in a haunted house where numerous strange things happen. Its told in a diary format and shows how the activity increases as time goes on. In the back of the book, the author claims that this is a true case, and there were news articles about it in Life magazine and the New York Times. After a bit of research I came to discover that this is a case known as “Popper the Poltergeist” or “The Long Island Poltergeist“. There are stories on the internet about this case. One site is Prairieghosts another site also suggested that the movie, Poltergeist was based off of this case, I don’t think there were many similarities between the two, but I really don’t know.
The Hog: 1/5
Is Something Wrong Here?: 2/5
It’s Him!: 2/5
You May Be Next: 3/5
“It’s Him!” is another story where a dead person has come back looking for something. Too often I’ve seen it in these three books. A person steals a body part, eats one, or in this case, is killed and the person missing said body part comes back calling out asking where their toe or whatever is. This story is sort of the same thing. A wife kills her husband by chopping off his head and buries him. He later comes calling for her. Heck the story “Just Delicious” from earlier in this book has the same sort of ending.
When I was a kid I always thought the drawings in these books were scary. Some of them still are. But I always associated them with the stories. Now as an adult I can tell that most of them don’t even fit with the stories. For example, Sam’s New Pet, that story has a really messed up photo with it, and it just doesn’t fit with the description of the pet at all. Other stories the images go well with. Sadly, these books have all been re-released with new artwork and covers. I haven’t seen the re-released editions for myself, but I hear they are nowhere as cool as the originals.
Overall: While I’ve obviously outgrown these, for the fact that they are really not scary, and the writing style is for children, they will always hold a special spot in my heart. They were classics that were read to me in elementary school, and I was spooked by them then. I’ll always have fond memories of them even if I don’t really care for them now.