We all grew up hearing all the fantastic fairy tales. Y’all know, the nice stories with fairies, nice dwarves, heroes and heroines. Little did we know that we were being fed the filtered, watered down version of these age old tales. In reality, most of these stories are laden with creepy and gory themes that were crafted to frighten children into the right behavior. Here are seven versions of fairy tales that you can tell a child if you really want to be a terrible person and scare the shit out of them.
Rumpelstiltskin: This story doesn’t even need any amending to be scary as all hell. The plot follows a miller’s daughter who is forced to try to spin straw into gold or be executed. When all hope seems lost, a little man appears to help the girl with her task. All she has to do is give him a few pieces of jewelry and her first-born child. Uh what? When the time comes for the dwarf to collect his prize, the girl evades being the worst mother ever by guessing the dwarf’s name: Rumplestiltskin; the dwarf responds by tearing himself in two. The moral of the story? Never trust a little man that appears in your house late at night.
Hansel and Gretel: For many kids, their biggest fear is being left behind by their parents and this story really plays into those fears. The brother and sister are left to fend for themselves in the woods by their wicked mother and their totally whipped father. You know the rest, they find a candy house inhabited by a witch. But not just any witch, a cannibalistic witch with a hankering for some kid meat. That right there is enough to scare most kids so bad they forget their potty training. Eventually the kids escape by tricking the witch into burning herself alive in her own stove. They eventually find their way back home to find that their wicked mother has passed away. They live happily ever after knowing that all their enemies have died. Adorable.
The Little Mermaid: You might be asking yourself “How could this tale be creepy? There were singing shellfish and they had charming Jamaican accents!” Wrong version. The original version reads a bit like a romantic tragedy. In that version, the mermaid gives up her fins to meet the prince of her dreams. There’s a few drawbacks though: not only is she mute, she also constantly feels like she is walking on knives. Yeah. In the end, the prince ends up marrying the neighboring princess anyway, breaking the poor mermaid’s heart. However, she is given a way out when she is given a magical knife that she is to kill the prince with, once that happens, she can become a mermaid again. Even after all that, she cannot bring herself to kill the prince, instead turning the knife on herself.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Another epic rewrite by the good people at Disney. The original version had the evil Queen demanding Snow White’s heart as proof of her death. The hunter in a rare act of kindness lets Snow White go, and instead brings the Queen the heart of a deer. The story pretty much unfolds as everyone remembers it, Snow White hooks up with some dwarves who agree to house her, she eats the dreaded poison apple, a prince saves her and that’s the end of that. But what we don’t get to see in the Disney version is that the Queen is made to pay for her wicked deeds by wearing a heated pair of iron shoes that she is forced to dance in until she falls dead. Snow White is apparently no one to eff with.
The Robber Bridegroom: One of the lesser-known fairy tales in the Brothers Grimm catalog, The Robber Bridegroom is a story of an engagement gone horribly wrong. When the unsuspecting bride to be enters her husband’s house, she is quickly made aware that she is going to be eaten by her fiance and his pack of murdering cronies. She hides herself behind a barrel until she escapes, but not before witnessing the butchering of another unfortunate female. Before she escapes, she picks up the dead woman’s severed finger which she presents before her wedding party. Eventually the robber and his crew are put to death.
Little Red Riding Hood: This classic went through a few revisions before it became the staple of bedtime stories around the world. In the bloodiest version, there is no hunter that saves the day and the evil wolf is actually a werewolf (but not the type to fall in love with.) After killing and dressing himself up as grandmother, the werewolf feeds bits and pieces of the deceased to Red Riding Hood. Eventually she sees through the disguise and finds a way to escape. But it’s pretty safe to say that Red Riding Hood probably had some issues to deal with after that incident.
Cinderella: Will siblings ever get along? According to the original version of this tale, most likely not. In an older version, the wicked step-mother (we’re sensing an anti-stepmom trend here) demands that her daughters find a way to fit into the prince’s glass slipper. They oblige their mother by cutting off parts of their feet. This almost works until birds alert the prince of their wrongdoing. Eventually, Cinderella fits into the slipper and marries the prince. But wait, there’s more. As a wedding present, the birds saw it fit to peck out the eyes of the evil step-family and present them to Cinderella who lives happily in the castle while they live the rest of their miserable existence as blind beggars.