You used to be a kid (or if your parents are cool you might still be a kid) and some of the more hardcore horror was not appropriate for your younger years. Maybe you eased your way into it. Maybe you heard a ghost story at a camp out and it gave you a delicious rush of adrenaline.
Or maybe you were the kid who bought one of Alvin Schwartz's "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" books. The collected tales of folkloric terror started scaring children in 1981 and two more volumes followed over the next ten years.
As with most horror lit aimed at young minds, it was the art that tended to get people in trouble. Stephen Gammell's sketches of hideous heads with missing eyes probably scared as many or more kids away from reading one of the books than those who actually read one.
|Just one of the great Stephen Gammell illustrations from "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark."|
The books were re-released for the 30th anniversary of the first volume with art by Brett Helquist (illustrator for Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" books) but the new art just didn't have the same "Tales from the Crypt" feel as Gammell's.
Above, I offer you one of the audiobooks. Found it on YouTube. Probably shouldn't be there so enjoy it while it lasts.