I was first introduced to Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark when I was 5 years old, while I rode the damn school bus (Do they even LET 5-year-olds ride the bus anymore?)
I often blame my cousin for introducing to Scary Stories in depth, but I got my first actual taste on my way to Washington Elementary.
I saw a group of older kids gathered around one girl, who was reading slowly from a black-and-white book in her hands.
It turned out to be Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones. I peeked over the seat and caught a glimpse of a picture. BIG FUCKING MISTAKE.
This is what I saw:
The story the girl was telling was “The Dream,” and it wasn’t particularly scary, even back then. An artist has a dream that this wretched woman comes into her room to warn her of nearby evil, then encounters said woman in real life. Boo. Spooky. I guess. 🤷♂️
But that picture (oh my sweet Jesus that picture!) has been etched into my memory for life.
Imagine you’re just chilling in your bedroom at night, trying to fall asleep, and you hear a knock at the door. When you open it, THIS chick appears.
No toilet in the world could hold the giant shit I’d be taking in my pajamas at that moment.
As I got older I would often skip “The Dream” when I read Scary Stories 3. Once in a while I’d muster up the courage to look at the dreaded picture.
“I’m eight years old, I can handle this now,” I’d tell myself.
That night I’d end up on the floor in my parents’ room.
“I’m ten years old, I’m too old to be scared of a silly picture,” I’d tell myself.
That night I’d sleep on the floor in my parents’ room.
“I’m fifteen years old, I’m no pussy!” I’d tell myself.
That night I sat up in bed with a baseball bat, because my parents had gone out of town.
I’ll go to my grave cringing every time I think of “The Dream.”
Yay childhood! 👻