When I was but a child of six, I stumbled upon a book of scary stories. Being a glutton for sleepless nights, I got my mother to buy it for me. It had the relatively mundane title of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. After having been scarred by Joanna Galdone's reading of The Tailypo, I was brave. How bad could they be?
I spent the next week sleeping with the lights on. The book spent the next year shoved under the bed.
The stories themselves were nothing to write home about. Yeah, they were scary. That was the point. And some of them were genuinely frightening. My best friend and I made the dog sleep in the room with us because we thought a vampire would come in through the window. The dog was a great sport about that, by the way.
But the stories were not the worst part, oh no. That honor goes to the illustrations. Imagine, if you will, a cross between Tim Burton and the...never mind. I'll provide an example for you.
That's not even the worst of them. Most of them were much worse. Anybody remember these?