I'm desperate and determined to track down a horror story I read/had read to me as a kid. This story was effectively creepy despite no gruesome, Stephen King-style happenings - naturally, as it was aimed at elementary age kids. I have almost no information to share, unfortunately.
In the early seventies, a friend of mine owned a set of books that were similar to encyclopedias, or like Child Craft books. One volume contained a story about a monster terrorizing a village. From the fashions depicted in the simple, color illustrations, the story must have taken place in the 19th century. I remember the monster as a Mr. Hyde type, or as being like a werewolf with hairy face, fangs, and hair-covered hands with long nails. He wore clothes. There was a pre-teen boy who figured into the story somehow. It might have been that the boy was hearing tales of this monster from relatives or others rather than witnessing it himself.
I remember no author, no names or dialogue. Just two things I seem to remember happening:
In one part, the monster knocked on someone's door while pretending to be someone else. When the door was answered, he terrorized whoever it was that answered. This part sounds like it might have been lifted from the English legend of Springheeled Jack but little else about Jack's legend fits this story, especially the description of the monster.
The monster might have died and been buried at some point. The boy goes to the graveyard and sees the monster's hand come up out of the grave. I think the final illustration showed the boy running home in the dark.
I truly hope this jars the memory of someone who had the same set of books and can help me. I have even thought of calling my friend's elderly parents to see if they still have the book and can solve the mystery, but I would say that's a long shot. Besides, they'd recommend I be committed.