I am looking for at least two books. Each book contained a collection of scary stories. I used to borrow them from the library where they were in the children section (up to age 12, but I'm unsure about the specific age category).

One story was about a boy who changed into a bat at night. I remember vividly he ate moths and would find pieces of them (between his teeth or on his pillow?) when he woke up.

One of the other stories was about a girl who saw the ghost of a horse in a meadow in the morning, possibly walking along a living horse. I believe the ghost horse was either white or grey. It might have been hers once. The clue was that she found out it was a ghost and that the horse died of eating from a yew tree which grew at the edge of the meadow.

The books must have been published before 1990. I remember them as hardcover books with at least one book having a dark red cover. The other was possibly blue. Illustrations were few, black and white and not in-your-face scary.

I read them in Dutch and I have no idea what language the books were originally in.

  • Did the blue book have a story about someone in a cave hearing voices (I think through an old radio or phone) of World war 2 soldiers and another story about a woman and her kids haunted by a poltergeist and their house was built on a cemetery? And was the blue book like a solid dark blue color with occasional black and white illustrations? I'm looking for a book like that, no luck though :l
    – user64743
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 0:09
  • Did you ever identify the book? I recall the story of the boy turning into a bat. There was also a story of a boy who had it all and was afraid of dying so he did a deal with the devil (who was called Old Nick in the story) but I have no idea of the name of the collection of short stories. But would love to know. Think it was a female author, probably British?
    – user68772
    Commented Jul 12, 2016 at 21:16

5 Answers 5


It sounds like you're looking for the "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark" series.

They where a series of collections of short stories published between 1981 and 1991 (3 books). The wiki says they were in English, but I'm pretty sure they were popular enough to be remade in other languages.

They have been printed multiple times, each time with a different cover, most were paperback, but they have printed a collection of the three books in hardcover.

  • Thank you for your answer. I had already found these myself and they are not it. The illustrations from the books I read were few, black and white and not in-your-face scary (I will add this to my description ^^)
    – silvith
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 8:01
  • Well... In that case I offer another possible answer: Have you looked at any of the Grimms' Fairytale collections? They where originally printed back in 1812, but have been republished every few years. It was originally in German, but I know it's been republished in many different languages.(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimms%27_Fairy_Tales)
    – onewho
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 21:22
  • they were too modern to be fairy tales, but thank you for the suggestion. Fairy tales are always worth checking into :)
    – silvith
    Commented Aug 20, 2012 at 7:28

The Methuen Book of Strange Tales by Jean Russell.

Cover in blue showing the boy turned into a bat

The moth story is "Moths", and is described in this forum post on AbeBooks, the horse story is " When the Grey Horses Trot", and some of the other stories are described here.

The other book would then likely be The Methuen Book of Sinister Stories

Front cover of The Methuen Book of Sinister Stories which is largely green, and depicts the woman who steals features from dolls


I would suggest looking for a series of books published by Random House for young people, they were all "Alfred Hitchock's" something-or-other such as Ghostly Gallery or Sinister Spys - I hope this helps. Each book had 11-13 stories with either black & white or black, green & white illustrations.

  • Looked into them, but unfortunately they are not the books I''m looking for. Thanks for thinking along :)
    – silvith
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 14:17

Maybe you are looking for the books from "Het Griezelgenooschap". These consist of stories written by Paul van Loon and friends. Scary as a kid, scary now. Some books contain only one story but several are collections of spooky tales. A list of all books can be found here.


The other one that comes to mind is the "Scary Stories for Sleepovers" series, the wikipedia page for which can be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scary_Stories_for_Sleep-overs

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