Bonus Post: “Stories to Tell in the Dark” covers

If you’re wondering why I didn’t include a picture of the cover with any of the Stories to Tell in the Dark series, it’s because I read them as e-books without cover art. The original print editions had something a bit more interesting, so let’s take a look at those:

We have an image of a spooky old tree at sunset, with Josef Stalin superimposed over the scene. This is almost certainly an illustration of “The Death Tree” although I don’t know what the Communist dictator has to do with it. Maybe the publishers decided to put a real scare up the kids by reminding them of historical events. I applaud that thinking, and I’m glad that (in my opinion) the best book in the series gets the best cover. Even though that’s not saying much either way.


Disembodied floating head above a house, with a ton of smoke and/or ghostly shapes (it’s not really clear, due to the poor image quality; sadly, this is the only picture I could find) pouring out of a window. I would think this is supposed to be “The Vampire”, except Abby is young and this looks like a middle-aged woman. But then cover artists don’t necessarily read the books; they just have a brief from someone else who may or may not have read the book.

Bonus! It seems that “The Wrong Bus” was re-printed on its own as “The Ghost Bus”:

The cover actually looks somewhat creepy. There is a picture of a bus. There is the suggestion that ghosts might be present. It is completely relevant to the story!

Sadly, then we get:

A vampire, who’s used way too much Brylcreem, hides behind a tombstone in a cemetery. One of the Weeping Angels from Doctor Who is sneaking up on him. This bears absolutely no relation to any story featured in the book.

A clean-cut 90s boyband type is looking down at his hand, which has turned translucent and skeleton-like. Also, his face seems to have burnt off. This looks it should be “The Wrong Bus” (where a character starts turning into a corpse after being touched by a ghost) but … that story isn’t in this book, and had already been published in another collection from the series?

Unconvincing werewolf standing in front of a full moon, claws raised as if to say “Are you feeling lucky, punk?” The moon behind it looks like a halo and serves to give the bizarre impression of the werewolf as a saint in a Renaissance painting.

Zodiac Chillers #3 will be along soon, along with a couple of other bits and pieces I’d like to review.


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