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Mental Floss

Whether you recall them with adoration or bone-chilling fright, the “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” trilogy left a mark on horror lit lovers of the 80s and 90s. Author Alvin Schwartz’s terror-inflicting books were some of the most controversial works of children’s literature, and now there will be a documentary surrounding their history and background.

The “Scary Stories” series are among the most banned books of all time, yet many consider Schwartz’s work a testament to the power of something often taken for granted: a good scary story. The anthology of legends explore deep foundations of scary storytelling like fear, death and addressing the unknown.

In addition to the frightening tales, Stephen Gammell’s illustrations flooded the book’s pages with haunting imagery. His work is considered by many to be some of the most powerful in literature.

Scary Stories Documentary

Producer Cody Meirick is producing a documentary surrounding the series, in order to illuminate the powerful work of Schwartz and Gammell. After raising some funds through an Indiegogo campaign, he’s scheduled to finish the film by fall of 2016.

The documentary will hit on topics such as the history of gothic children’s folklore, the role of story telling for gothic children’s literature, origins of tales told in the books and censorship in children’s literature. Famed literary leaders such as R.L. Stine (author of the Goosebumps series) and Dr. Maria Tatar, Harvard folklorist and author of “Off with Their Heads! Fairy Tales and the Study of Childhood.”

Though the entire documentary is being shot on a shoestring budget, Meirick has been dedicated to making the piece robust for over two years. Despite Schwartz’s death in 1992, Meirick has been working with the author’s family members to get the inside story of the books.

Get a sneak peek of the trailer below!