STARRED REVIEW
March 2021

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

By Alvin Schwartz, narrated by Alex Brightman & Melissa McBride
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Three Books to Chill Your Bones (4 hours) combines all three of Schwartz’s spooky collections (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3), mixing European folk legends with mysteries, “jump” tales and ghost stories in contemporary settings.
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Alvin Schwartz’s iconic tales from the 1980s and ’90s have an eventful history. They’ve been illustrated and re-illustrated and even adapted to film, and now they’re available as an audiobook for all ages. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Three Books to Chill Your Bones (4 hours) combines all three of Schwartz’s spooky collections (Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3), mixing European folk legends with mysteries, “jump” tales and ghost stories in contemporary settings. Memorable moments include a big toe floating in soup, a pimple infested with spiders and anything in a haunted house. 

Each of the three volumes is read by a comedy or horror actor: Patton Oswalt, Melissa McBride and Alex Brightman. The production is clean and pared down, with no extra sound effects—and we don’t need them, as these stories are still creepy after all these years. All three actors follow Mark Twain’s suggestion for telling scary stories—to speak slowly and in a low voice to draw listeners in—though the actors’ accents and screams add to the entertainment. Tracks run from 30 seconds to 15 minutes, so no fright is too prolonged, and each volume ends with detailed notes and references, perfect for listeners interested in the history of these classic tales.

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

By Alvin Schwartz, narrated by Alex Brightman & Melissa McBride
HarperAudio
ISBN 9780063030473

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