Title: Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones.
Author: Alvin Schwartz.
Artist: Stephen Gammell.
Genre: Fiction, literature, short stories, horror, picture books, YA, humour, death, ghost stories.
Publication Date: 1991.
Summary: A collection of 24 stories and 1 song, all adapted from folklore, retold for children, and illustrated. In The Appointment, a young man tries to escape his fate when he sees Death beckoning. In The Bus Stop, a man picks up a young woman at a bus stop, but she may have been there much longer than he could have ever imagined. In Faster and Faster, when two boys find an old drum in the forest and try to beat on it, they awaken something sinister. In Just Delicious, when a woman eats her bully of a husband's dinner, she chooses a horrifying replacement from the funeral home next door, and pays the price when darkness falls. In Hello, Kate!, Tom meets one of his classmates on the way to the dance, but then remembers a terrifying fact about her. The Black Dog is a tale of a man being haunted at the same time every night by a ghostly back dog. In Footsteps, a young girl is terrified to follow footsteps all throughout her house without an apparent source for them. In Like Cat's Eyes, a woman witnesses her dying husband's soul be claimed by a group of creatures in a hearse with cat-like eyes. In Bess, when it is foretold that John's favourite horse will kill him, he believes he's escaped the dark prophecy once the horse has to be put down. In Harold, two farmers make a scarecrow for the fields, but soon realize something horrible is happening with Harold when he seemingly begins to come to life. In The Dead Hand, a man pays a dire price when he refuses to abide by local superstition and goes out into the swampland after dark. In Such Things Happen, when a man comes to believe he's cursed by a local witch, he follows his superstitious father's advice about how to get rid of her. The Wolf Girl is a story about a newborn girl from a Pioneer family being adopted by wolves, and the brief attempts to introduce her back to society. In The Dream, a woman has a prophetic dream warning her away from a place she believes she's about to travel to. In Sam's New Pet, Sam's parents bring a dog for him as a gift from Mexico, but it's not quite what it seems. Maybe You Will Remember is a puzzle story in which a woman comes back to the hotel she's been staying in after being sent out for medicine for her ailing mother, only return to find everyone denying she had ever stayed there. The Red Spot is a horrifying story about a mysterious red boil that appears on Ruth's face after a spider walks across it during the night. In No, Thanks a man gets spooked when he believes a man to threaten his life with a knife in an empty parking lot. In The Trouble, a team of paranormal investigators in the 1950s investigate what appears to be a poltergeist haunting a family, with surprising conclusions. In Strangers, two strangers have a run-in at a bus stop, but one of them is not what she seems. In The Hog, a man encounters the spirit of someone he used to love in an unexpected way. In Is Something Wrong?, a man encounters a terrifying but confused creature when he camps out in an abandoned house for the night. In It's Him!, a woman who murders her husband is haunted by his lonely ghost. In T-h-u-p-p-p-p-p-p-p!, a young girl is haunted by a mischievous young spirit. You May Be the Next... is a song that asks one to contemplate on one's own death.
My rating: 8/10
~~Boo Men (Introduction).
~~Faster and Faster.
~~Like Cats' Eyes.
♥ Neither one wanted to go back for them, but the stools would cost a lot to replace. "There really is nothing to be afraid of," they told one another. "After all, what could a doll do?"
They drew straws to see which one would go back. It was Thomas. "I'll catch up with you," he said, and Alfred walked on toward the valley.
When Alfred came to a rise in the path, he looked back for Thomas. He did not see him anywhere. But he did see Harold. The doll was on the roof of the hut again. As Alfred watched, Harold kneeled and stretched out a bloody skin to dry in the sun.
♥ Finally they caught sight of the willow snag. There was Tom standing in a circle of light, looking this way and that. All of a sudden the wind blew out his lantern, and Tom stopped singing. The men stood stock-still in the blackness, waiting for something awful to happen.
The clouds shifted and the moon came out. There was Tom again. Only now he had his back pushed up against the willow snag, and he had his arms out in front of him, as if he were fighting something off. From where the men stood, it looked like dark shapes were swirling in around him. Then the clouds covered the moon again. Once more it was as black as pitch.
When the moon came out again, Tom was hanging on to the willow snag with one arm. His other arm was stretched out in front of him, as if something was pulling it. It looked to the men as if a rotting, moldy hand with no arm—a dead hand—had grabbed Tom's hand. With one final wrench, whatever had hold of Tom jerked him into the muck. That's what the men said.
When the clouds blotted out the moon once more, the men turned and ran through the blackness toward the village. Again and again they lost the path and fell into the muck and water holes. In the end they crawled back on their hands and knees. But Tom Pattison was not with them.
..They found young Tom Pattison by the willow snag groaning and gibbering as if he had lost his mind. He kept pointing with one hand at something only he could see. Where his other hand should have been, there was nothing but a ragged stump oozing blood. The hand had been ripped clean off.
Everybody said it was the dead hand that had done it. But nobody really knows. Nobody will ever know—except Tom Pattison. And he never spoke another word again.
~~The Dead Hand.
~~Such Things Happen.
~~The Wolf Girl.
♥ "He's a pretty small dog," said Sam.
"He's a Mexican dog," his father said. "I'm not sure what kind. I think it's called a Mexican Hairless. We'll find out. But he's nice, isn't he?"
They gave the new pet some dog food. Then they washed it and brushed it and combed its fur. That night it slept on Sam's bed. When Sam awakened the next morning, his pet was still there.
"Mother," he called, "the dog has a cold." The animal's eyes were running, and there was something white around its mouth. Later that morning Sam's mother took it to a veterinarian.
"Where did you get him?" the vet asked.
"In Mexico," she said. "We think he's a Mexican Hairless. I was going to ask you about that."
"He's not a Hairless," the vet said. "He's not even a dog. He's a sewer rat—and he has rabies."
~~Sam's New Pet.
~~The Red Spot.
♥ They did not tell the Lombardos about a theory they had that a poltergeist actually might be involved in such cases. According to this idea, poltergeists were not ghosts. They were normal teenagers. They had become so troubled by a problem that their emotions built up into a kind of vibration. Since it was taking place in their unconscious minds, they didn't even know it was happening. But the vibration somehow left their bodies and moved whatever it struck. It happened again and again until the problem had been solved.
Scientists had given this strange power a name. They called it "psychokinesis," the ability to move objects with mental power, or mind over matter. No one knew if this really could happen, or how to prove it. Yet most reports of poltergeists did involve families with teenage children, and there were two teenagers in the Lombardo family.
♥ When Arthur and Anne were in high school, they fell in love. They were both big, fat, and jolly and seemed suited to one another. But as sometimes happens, things didn't work out.
♥ A car broke down late at bight way out in the country. The driver remembered passing an empty house a few minutes earlier. "I'll stay here," he thought. "At least I'll get some sleep."
He found some wood in the corner of the living room and made a fire in the fireplace. He covered himself with his coat and slept. Toward morning the fire went out, and the cold awakened him. "It'll be light soon," he thought. "Then I'll go for help."
He closed his eyes again. But before he could doze off there was a terrible crash. Something big and heavy had fallen out of the chimney. It lay on the floor for a minute. Then it stood up and stared down at him.
The man took one look and started running. He had never seen anything so horrible in his life. He paused just long enough to jump through a window. Then he ran, and ran, and ran—and ran until he thought his lungs would burst.
As he stood in the road panting, trying to catch his breath, he felt something tap him on the shoulder. He turned and found himself staring into two big, bloody eyes in a grinning skull. It was the horrible thing!
"Pardon me," it said. "Is something wrong?"
~~Is Something Wrong?
♥ Did you ever think as a hearse goes by
That you may be the next to die?
They wrap you up in a big white sheet
From your head down to your feet.
And the worms crawl in and the worms crawl out,
In your stomach and out your snout,
And your eyes fall out and your teeth decay—
And that is the end of a perfect day.
~~You May Be the Next...