In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

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In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories.jpg

AuthorAlvin Schwartz
IllustratorDirk Zimmer
CountryUnited States
PublishedAugust 2, 1984

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories is a collection of horror stories, poems and urban legends retold for children by Alvin Schwartz and illustrator Dirk Zimmer. It was published as part of the I Can Read! series in 1984.[1] The book contains seven works: "The Teeth", "In the Graveyard", "The Green Ribbon", "In a Dark, Dark Room", "The Night It Rained", "The Pirate", and "The Ghost of John".


"The Green Ribbon"[edit]

The third story in the book, "The Green Ribbon", follows a girl named Jenny. She always wears a green ribbon around her neck, and meets a boy named Alfred. She refuses to reveal to Alfred why she wears the ribbon, and even when the two are wed, she wears the ribbon. After reaching old age, Jenny lets Alfred untie the ribbon, causing her head to fall onto the floor.[2] "The Green Ribbon" is derived from a French story of unknown origin, which was popularized by Washington Irving's 1824 short story "The Adventure of the German Student".[3][4]

"The Teeth"[edit]

This story is about a kid who is hurrying home and comes upon a man. The kid asks the man the time, and when he replies the kid sees he has long teeth and it freaks him out. He runs and comes upon another man, this one asks him why he is running but then he has even longer teeth. This continues on and the teeth just get bigger and the kid runs all the way home.

"In a Graveyard"[edit]

This is basically a story about a fat woman talking to corpses in a graveyard, and asking them if she will be thin when she's dead.

"The Night it Rained"[edit]

You may already know a story like this one, about a man driving who sees a small boy alone in the rain and offers the child a ride home. The child is visibly shivering in his car so he gives the little guy a sweater to put on. When the driver returns for his sweater the next day, and knocks on the door, the people in the home say their son had died years ago.


This story revolves upon a certain box in a house. The story starts by introducing the house to the reader. The story drags the reader deeper and deeper in the community, which is described often as "dark". Upon reaching the last line, a box is presented to the reader. The box, obviously, contains a ghost, which is shown in the next page. This story has various other versions which starts instead in a "dark,dark,wood."

"The Pirate"[edit]

Ruth goes to visit her relatives and is playing with her cousin Susan when Susan tells her a pirate once lived in the room Ruth is staying in. Ruth boldly claims that she does not believe in ghosts and she is not afraid. She goes to bed that night, and checks everywhere and finds nothing. When she gets in bed, she laughs and says "There's no one in this room but me" and a scary voice from nowhere says "AND ME!"

"The Ghost of John"[edit]

A short limerick style poem about a skeleton.


  1. ^ "In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories". I Can Read. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  2. ^ Yapalater, Lauren (March 21, 2017). "For Everyone Who's Still Fucked Up Over That Story About The Girl With The Ribbon Around Her Neck". BuzzFeed. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Peters, Lucia (August 16, 2016). "12 '90s Ghosts That Scared The Pants Off You". Bustle. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
  4. ^ Knight, Rosie (May 21, 2018). "The Urban Legends That Inspired SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK". Nerdist. Retrieved August 1, 2019.