This week, we checked out a series of totally terrifying French children’s books over at The Guardian, but we weren’t satisfied with just letting the French frighten us. We scoured the web for other incredibly scary (whether intentionally or not) illustrations from children’s books, from cautionary tales for bad kids to books of highly unusual monsters, to stories of um, let’s say questionable morality. Of course, many of the illustrations are fantastic, so we love them for their macabre beauty, but that said, we wouldn’t necessarily want these books read to us before we tried to traipse off to dreamland. Click through to peek inside ten of the most terrifying children’s books from all around the world, and let us know if we missed the one that gave you chills in the comments.
The most notoriously upsetting children’s book is definitely Struwwelpeter, the German collection of cautionary tales. The original 1845 version by Heinrich Hoffman is horrifying enough, but we are particularly terrified by (and enamored with) these updated illustrations by the brilliant Sanya Glisic. These illustrations are from “The Story of Little Suck-a-Thumb.”