Reading a book brings all manner of ghosts and monsters to life in Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark.

Monstrous creatures from terrifying tales come to life for a group of teens in Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark, the new horror film produced by Guillermo del Toro. The movie is based on a series of children's books from the 1980s by the late amateur folklorist Alvin Schwartz (he died in 1992), who drew upon common folklore and popular urban legends for his anthologies.

(Some spoilers below.)

Technically, Schwartz was a curator, collecting scary stories from all over and preserving those oral traditions on the page. Remember that classic campfire ditty, The worms crawl in the worms crawl out/the worms play pinochle on your snout? So did Schwartz. You'll also find variations on the killer with a hook for a hand who preys on couples necking in parked cars. So, too, the hapless babysitter who discovers the call is coming from inside the house, along with plenty of other frightening fare. It's all delivered in a breezy, conversational format, complete with tips on how to most effectively read the stories aloud to scare your friends. (The 2018 documentary Scary Stories delves more into Schwartz's source material.)

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