Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Hey, scarecrow-phobics: Your old pal Harold is the new poster-boy for Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark

Photo: George Rose (Getty Images)

Any former child unlucky enough to stumble across Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark books back in their youths has that One Story—the one that’s stuck with you for 20 years, lurking in the back of your brain and just waiting to come crawling out, like a million baby spiders bursting out of a bite mark on some poor doomed girl’s face. For some kids, it’s the hook-handed killer. For others, it’s that creepy goddamn toe. And for the formidophobics in our audience, it’s almost certainly Harold.”

You remember Harold, right? The evil scarecrow from the third Scary Stories book, who eventually gets so fed up by mistreatment from one of his owners, he fucking skins him alive? (How’s your children’s book, huh? Pretty cool?) Maybe not. But the first new poster for the Guillermo Del Toro-produced feature film adaptation of Schwartz’s books certainly suggests that Harold remembers you:


It’s not a perfect recreation of Stephen Gammell’s nightmare-inducing illustrations, admittedly, but it’s still recognizably Harold. Still not-quite human. Still angry. Still ready to go stomping around on roofs, and then stomping through all our blood, presumably with all his little spider baby buddies in tow.

The movie—directed by Trollhunter’s André Øvredalarrives in theaters this August. Hide your kids, at least if you don’t want to make them look up “formidophobia,” too.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter