Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark Movie Poster

Trivia for Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark

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  • The film is based on the "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" book series published in the 1980s, written by Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.
  • The poster art is based on the story Harold, which is featured in the third book.
  • Austin Zajur and Dean Norris previously appeared together in Fist Fight (2017).
  • The musical theme that plays throughout the film is "The Hearse Song," which is another story from the books.
  • Ruth is the only character whose name corresponds with the character of the original story. Tommy is closer for Harold, but the original farmer's name was Thomas.
  • The song that plays on the music box (and at several other points in the film) is actually "You May Be The Next", as stated by Lou Lou (Lorraine Toussaint). Both rhymes/songs start off with the same few lines though and is easily confused with "The Hearse Song".
  • While Stella is first going through the book of stories, several stories from the Scary Stories book series can be seen like The Cat's Paw, the Attic and the Wendigo.
  • The house used for the "Bellows house" is a mansion located in a small town called "Petrolia" in southern Ontario Canada.
  • The cover of "Famous Creatures" magazine (a nod to Forrest J Ackerman's "Famous Monsters of Filmland") which Ramon finds in Stella's room is the same as that of an Ace paperback weird story collection called "The Macabre Reader", edited by Donald A. Wollheim in 1959.
  • In Stella's typewriter is a story called "The Whistling Room", which credits herself as the author. However, the text below the title shows that it is a copy of the William Hope Hodgson tale of the same name, a part of the "Carnacki the Ghost-finder" series.
  • Independent film producer John R. Blythe had early discussions with the Alvin Schwartz estate in 2009 on optioning the book rights for a feature film version.
  • The walkie talkies the main characters use are Scout S-025 transistor radios. Manufactured in Japan and powered by a 9-volt battery, each of these radio transceivers operated at 27 MHz, giving them nearly a 10-mile range. Trees, houses, and other obstructions would naturally decrease this range, but they would easily reach across the neighborhoods of the characters.
  • Contortionist Troy James, who appeared on America's Got Talent, portrayed the Jangly Man. CGI enhanced the movements of his face, but he performed the movements of walking backwards and crawling upside down himself.
  • Albinism is a double-recessive generic trait, which means that Sarah Bellows had to inherit it from both of her parents. Given its rarity and the relatively small population of 19th century Pennsylvania, the twisted problems of the Bellows family may have included incest, though the marriage of first cousins at the time was also not uncommon.
  • The monster's name is "Jangly Man". "Jangly" is a Hindi language word which means "Wild".
  • In almost every frame of the movie the color orange and/or yellow is visible.
  • The climax of the movie takes place on Tuesday, November 5th, 1968. That was the day former Vice President Richard M. Nixon beat incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey. It was also, coincidentally, Guy Fawkes Day.


  • Ramon, Stella, and Ruth are the only ones to survive their stories.
  • Body count: 5 (Tommy, Auggie, Chuck, Chief Turner, Jangly Man).
  • The fictional "mill valley" town may be a reference to Downingtown, Pennsylvania, originally named Milltown. Downingtown was known for its abundant papermills, and over the decades the paper mill industry in the town faultered much like in the film. This would also make sense since pennhurst, the hospital Sarah bellows is admitted to, is only a half-hour drive from the town. Coincidentally, Downingtown is also the location of a classic monster flick, The Blob (1958).
  • Some of the monsters seen in the film are actually from different stories. The drawing the corpse looking for her toe was based on is actually from a story about a haunted house, while the jangly man seems to be a mix of his own titled "Footsteps" and from "me tie do ti ty walker," as he is initially a head that falls down the chimney and speaks the phrase, before attaching other limbs. The only monsters who are from their own story are the spiders, the pale lady, and Harold.
  • Every character's "scary story" is directly related to their own fears. Tommy hates the scarecrow, Harold, and it ends up killing him. Auggie frequently expresses concern about what's in the food we eat and he ends up eating the toe. Ruth panics when the spiderweb touches her and she is driven mad by spiders. Chuck specifically mentioned his nightmare about the red room and it came true in the hospital. Ramon feels like a coward for avoiding Vietnam and the monster that comes after him calls him "coward" when he attacks. As for Stella, she seems to relate to Sarah as she too feels like she doesn't belong, and in her story she literally takes Sarah's place.
  • The stories in the original book were adapted from old American folktales. The Wendigo, for example (one of the stories whose title is seen in Sarah's book) is a Native American legend. It refers to a vengeful spirit, not unlike Sarah herself.
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