If Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark is keeping you up tonight then why not watch one more video that covers the film and the creatures that inhabit it?
Throughout this, I’ll be breaking down everything that you need to know about the monsters in Scary Stories to tell in the dark including their appearance in the movie and their callbacks to the source material.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t seen the movie yet or don’t want any more nightmares then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this video, now let’s get into my breakdown of all the monsters in Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark!
Ok so first up is Harold who has pretty much become the face of the marketing for the movie. Whilst the character looks exetremly close to his characterisation in the original source material there is actually a lot that differs in the on screen depiction. In the literature Harold was created by two cow farmers named Thomas and Alfred who named him after a boy that they hated and they pretty much used him as a punching bag.
One day Harold came to life and he decides to torment the two farmers who manage to escape from him with their cows, however they realise that they have forgotton their milking stools, Thomas is forced to return to the farm after drawing the short straw. Alfred waits and waits and waits for him but when he does not return he goes looking for him only to see Alfred on the roof of their house, holding Thomas’ corpse.
In the film adaptation, Harold plays a big part and is the first creature that comes to life, attacking Tommy in a field and stabbing him with a pitchfork. From here Tommy transforms into a scarecrow himself who will potentially go through the same Torment that was laid upon Harold when he himself was strung up.
Harold definitely will stick with you long after you leave the theater and the character himself went through numerous designs during the pre-production process of the film including having him with his original belly, which was removed because the filmmakers thought it made him look too friendly and a burlap sack over his face.
Either way, Harold really is a haunting sight to behold and will probably make most people think twice about crossing paths with a scarecrow.
The Big Toe Explained
Up next is the big toe which is one of my favourite parts of the film. This actually sticks quite close to the source material which centred around a boy yanking on a big toe in his garden and pulling it out of the ground. Little did he know that he’d just pulled the toe off the body that it was attached to and it’s owner begins to stalk him. The boy and his family all eat the toe which is sliced up into three pieces and similar to the film, put into a stew.
That night when he is asleep the Toe’s owner comes into his room and eats him which happens to the character of Auggie in the film who is dragged out from under his bed and then disappears, never to be seen again.
It’s a horrifying moment that lets you know that there’s nowhere to hide if you find your name in a scary story.
The Pale Lady Explained
From here we go to The Pale Lady. The Pale Lady is an infamous specter that has appeared in ghost stories over the centuries so it makes sense that she would also be part of the Scary Stories Saga. The Pale lady made her debut in the Scary Story titled The Dream in which she, like the woman in the big toe, stalks her prey menacingly.
In the source material she tries to warn the character Lexi Morgan to flee which is a warning that she heeds but the sheer vision of the creature sticks in her head long after she comes into contact with it. I think the scariest thing about The Pale lady is the fact that she is almost statuesque for the most part but there’s no real escape from her. Her facial expressions don’t display much and she almost comes across as completely oblivious to the sheer terror that she is causing.
It’s difficult to make such a slow-moving creature feel threatening but I think the creative team masterfully translate this to the film and throughout it’s difficult to tell whether what’s happening on screen is real or simply a dream.
In the film, the creature absorbs Chuck and takes him with her probably to a land of nightmare and shadow. Hopefully the next time we see The Pale Lady is on our screens and not our nightmares as she definitely leaves a lasting impression for all of those that have witnessed her.
The Jangly Man
Finally is The Jangly Man, an original creature that was created solely for the film. What’s so brilliant about him is that he perfectly fits the aesthetic of the movie and feels like a completely natural addition to the work. The Jangly Man is able to build himself from body parts and this disjointedness to his appearance makes his appearance seem almost alien.
The Jangly Man appears this way because he is put in place to torment Ramon who lost his brother in the Vietnam War and the severed limbs that he displays really hit home for the character when he makes his way to the movie. When discussing this design Del Toro said that The Jangly Man was originally meant to have more limbs attached to him to represent body parts returning from the war but this would have added more workload on the special effects which the creators wanted to keep as practical as possible.
It makes for an awesome effect and in the end, The Jangly man perfectly tops off the film with an awesome entrance that will send shivers down your spine.
And that’s all of the creatures from Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, let me know which one is your favourite or rather least favourite in the comments section below!