Is Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Movie Based on a Book?

Are you a fan of horror movies? Then you might have heard about the movie ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’.

It was released in 2019 and received positive reviews from both audiences and critics. But did you know that it is based on a book series?

The Book Series

The book series ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ was written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell. The first book of the series was published in 1981, followed by two more books in 1984 and 1991. The books contained a collection of short horror stories that were popular among children and teenagers.

The Controversy

The book series gained controversy due to its graphic content and illustrations. Parents, teachers, and librarians criticized the books for being too scary for children. Some even called for a ban on the books.

Despite the controversy, the books remained popular among young readers. They were translated into several languages and sold millions of copies worldwide.

The Movie Adaptation

In 2013, it was announced that Guillermo del Toro would be producing a movie adaptation of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’. The project was later taken over by director André Øvredal.

The movie follows a group of teenagers who discover a mysterious book in an abandoned mansion. The book contains terrifying stories that start coming to life, putting their lives at risk.

Is It Faithful to the Books?

The movie adaptation of ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is not an exact retelling of the book series. Instead, it takes inspiration from some of the most popular stories from the books and weaves them into an original narrative.

Some fans of the books were disappointed with this approach, while others appreciated how it brought new life to familiar stories.


In conclusion, ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark’ is a movie based on a book series by Alvin Schwartz. The books were popular among young readers but also gained controversy due to their graphic content.

The movie adaptation takes inspiration from the books but tells a new story. Whether you are a fan of the books or not, the movie is worth watching for its unique blend of horror and nostalgia.