Terrifying horror 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' is leaving people unable to sleep

Terrifying horror 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' is leaving people unable to sleep

There were some things in our childhoods which scared the bejeezus out of us when we were kids, but which later turned out to be pretty tame, making us wonder what we were so freaked out about in the first place.

But Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is not one of those things...

For a whole generation, this children's book of purported urban legends and spooky campfire stories was considered so creepy that you were cursed just by leaving it on your bookshelf, and I can attest that some of those lurid pictures left me sleepless on occasion.

Written by Alvin Schwartz back in 1981, the actual scary stories themselves are pretty cheesy by the standards of today. But what made the book so haunting was Stephen Gammell's illustrations, which were etched in simple black ink.

The pictures were deemed so terrifying that the original edition is still on the American Library Association's list of the most challenged books. No surprise then that the Spanish nightmare fetishist Guillermo Del Toro has decided to make a movie adaptation of the anthology; which critics and viewers alike are now claiming is every bit as chilling as the original text.

Check out the trailer for 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' below:

Directed by André Øvredal (The Autopsy of Jane Doe and The Troll Hunter) and written by Dan & Kevin Hageman (The LEGO Movie), the movie is set in 1968 and based on the original stories told in the book, although the blood-curdling yarns are now linked by an overarching storyline.

The film's plot involves four teenagers, Stella, Chuck, Auggie and Ramon - who attempt to solve a number of gruesome murders that have recently occurred in their small town. As a result of their amateur investigations, the kids encounter a number of eldritch terrors, including the The Jangly Man, The Pale Lady, and The Big Toe Woman.

The cast includes Zoe Colletti, Michael Garza, Austin Abrams, Gabriel Rush, Austin Zajur, Natalie Ganzhorn, Lorraine Toussaint, Karen Glave, Javier Botet, Gil Bellows and Breaking Bad's Dean Norris.

Reviewers have praised the adaptation for its frightening imagery and premise. For example, critic Jeffery Anderson wrote: "Somewhat similar in mood and tone to IT, this hugely entertaining scary story has its own delightfully demonic vibe, with strong characters, striking atmosphere, and furious frights."

Take a look at some of the reactions from moviegoers who have already seen this spine-chilling flick:

Indeed, the movie has been compared by many to the cinematic adaptation of the classic 1986 Stephen King novel, IT, and the second instalment of the saga, IT Chapter Two, is due to come out later this year.