Coming into mid-October it’s hard to ignore the blatant signs that Halloween is fast approaching. As a kid, I was never really into the scary aspect of the holiday as I lamely get frightened extraordinarily easily. My costumes consisted of things like ballerina, genie (three times running), jester, butterfly, Peter Pan and the like. I preferred to be silly or cute rather than gory or haunting.
Candy—gobs and gobs of candy—aside, for we all know that’s the greatest part of the holiday, I’ve always found the tradition and storytelling around Halloween fascinating. The same stories have been told for years. Classic horror tales are succinct and hard forgotten and I’m sure that kids are still getting spooked by the one about the two prom goers stuck in a broken down car, with the hook methodically tapping on its roof even though cell phones are ubiquitous nowadays.
The scariest story for me, however, was The Girl with the Green Ribbon. It wasn’t particularly chilling or really that horrifying at all. Just a story about a girl who always wore a green ribbon around her neck, referenced throughout the story of her life until the day her curious husband implores her to untie it, despite her protestations. The story simply ends (spoiler alert!) with her head falling off. No aftermath, no more to say. The simplicity of the tale might have been the part the got to me, because I remember being chilled to the bone by this one growing up.
Whenever I mention the story to friends or anyone with whom I happen to be discussing scary things with (happens all the time, guys), I’m often met with blank stares, so it was with delight that I saw the tale hitting #13 on Buzzfeed’s 14 Books That Traumatized You As A Kid the other day. I wasn’t making it up! And I’m not alone!
In the spirit of the season, what are your favorite scary stories (to tell in the dark or the light)?