Most children like to read, or at least be read to. Yes, reading is extremely beneficial for young kids and can be a wonderful way for them to learn new words as well as enjoy themselves. Plus, it really gets those creative juices flowing, which could push them into creative writing.
These days, kids are lucky to have a large number of books to choose from. However, it is also good to remind children of the books of the past, maybe the books that you read as a child or books that their grandparents read. Yes, back in the day, children's books were a lot darker when compared to the ones we see today, with some of them even frightening. Here are 10 of the most bizarre fairy tales (that are actually quite scary).
The story of Rapunzel was recently revamped into the extremely popular kid's movie, Tangled, a film that somewhat glossed over the creepy backstory. Yes, Rapunzel isn't the fun-loving adventure that you see in the movie, but instead a twisted tale of wicked witches and, well, long hair.
That's right, the original story goes all the way back to 1634 with the plot focussing on a young girl who is given to a witch who locks her up in a tower. The girl manages to grow her hair which is then used as a ladder for a prince who just so happens to be passing by. The story gets even weirder and ends with a nearly bald Rapunzel and a blind prince.
Rumpelstiltskin is one of those creepy fairy tales that stays with you long after you heard it. That's right, according to The Telegraph, the bizarre tale has been around for at least 4,000 years and is said to be one of the oldest fairy tales of all time. The plot centers around a young girl who can spin straw into gold, much to the delight of the King who locks her in a room and demands that she does it full time.
As expected, the girl is exhausted, therefore a small dwarf-like figure named Rumpelstiltskin appears and offers to spin the straw for her if she gives him a number of items. The more spinning he does, the creepier his demands become, with the imp finally demanding a baby in return for work. Yeah, it's weird.
8 Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs might be a classic, and it might have been one of the first glimpses into the wonderful world of Disney. But, when you think about it, it's an extremely strange concept, with even stranger characters and storylines. Originally named, Snow White, the tale comes from 19th century Germany and was first published in 1812.
The story focusses on a young girl who is forced out of her home by her wicked stepmother. She then ends up in a forest and meets a bunch of dwarfs who then take her back to their house and force her to clean it.
7 The King Who Wished To Marry His Daughter
Everybody knows that fairytales can be a little bit dark, however, this one seems to take it that little bit further when it comes to outright creepy. The Scottish tale, The King Who Wished To Marry His Daughter, is exactly what it sounds like: there is a King, and he wants to marry his daughter. Gross.
Unsurprisingly the daughter isn't too keen on the upcoming nuptials, so she does her very best to get out of it and run away. Thankfully, she manages to escape but instead ends up on another island working as a maid for someone else.
These days, it can be hard to believe that any of these fairytales were suitable for young children, especially this one. Bluebeard tells the story of a man who has been married a large number of times. However, each time he gets married, his bride ends up missing. Suspicious much? One day, after another wife goes missing, he decides to marry his neighbor's daughter.
He then declares he is going away on a trip and that while he is away she is to stay in his beautiful house where she can open any door she wants except one. Obviously, the first thing she does is open the forbidden door, and to her horror finds the decaying bodies of all his other wives. It's not as if there weren't any signs...
5 Beauty And The Beast
For some reason, Beauty and the Beast is considered to be one of the greatest romantic movies of all time. However, if you read the story for what it actually is, it comes across as rather strange and a little creepy. That's right, the main character, Belle, is captured and imprisoned against her will, all while trying to save the life of her father who doesn't really care and runs off home without her.
Belle then succumbs to Stockholm Syndrome in which she ends up falling in love with her jailer (the beast) despite his aggressive nature and terrible mood swings. Oh, and he is also a big raging beast with fangs and body hair.
4 Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty might now be regarded as a classic, but the original story is actually rather sinister. The story has been around since the 16th century and has undergone a number of changes since it was first released. The plot begins with a princess who is told that she will die by pricking her finger on a particular object. Even though her parents remove any object that could harm her, the princess still manages to prick her finger which results in her falling into a deep coma.
The only way to wake her up is for a prince to have his way with her (this is changed to a kiss in the Disney version) which then leads to the princess having twins. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, the prince's jealous ex-girlfriend orders her chef to kill the princess and her kids and serve them for dinner.
3 The Pied Piper Of Hamelin
One of the creepiest things about The Pied Piper of Hamelin is the fact that it might all be actually true. The story follows the tale of the Pied Piper, who was hired as a rat catcher by the people of Hamelin, Germany. In order to catch the rats, the piper uses a magic pipe which forces the rats to follow him to an undisclosed location.
After he has completed his job, the citizens of the town decide that they won't pay him, so the piper uses his magic pipe to lure away all the children instead. Over the years, the story has undergone a number of different changes. However, the core of the story has always remained. What did he do with the children?
2 Little Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood has the iconic award of being one of the most famous fairytales in the entire world. That's right, the fairytale, which has been around since the 10th century, has been told to generation after generation and will probably continue until the very end of time. However, although it might be a popular story, it doesn't stop it from being a little, let's say, unnerving.
Little Red Riding Hood centers around a young girl who is named after the hooded red cloak that she wears. One day, while walking in the woods on her way to her grandmother's house she encounters a Big Bad Wolf, who does everything in his power to eat her, even as far as eating her Grandmother and dressing in her clothes.
1 Hansel And Gretel
Hansel and Gretel is more of a horror story than a sweet children's fairy tale. The plot centers around a brother and sister who keep being abandoned in the woods by their parents. However, not taking the hint, the kids keep managing to find their way back home by using breadcrumbs to mark their path. Sadly, on one occasion the breadcrumbs are eaten, leaving Hansel and Gretel lost and alone.
Not long after, they stumble upon a cottage made of gingerbread and candy. Inside they find a little old lady, who at first seems kind but then later attempts to cook both children alive. Yes, this is actually intended for kids.