Grandpa's Ghost Stories
James Flora ~ Antheneum, 1978
One from the Flora "Grandpa" series, this book totally freaks me out. I would have been horrified by it as a child, but then my husband (who loved Rat Fink and Frank Zappa when he was little) steps in and declares it awesome. Says, if fact, that he would have worshipped this book as a child. So, I open its pages again and again, knowing that I am giving the boy what he will eventually need to fuel his nightmares, thus making him a more creative and spirited man just like his pop.
Nightmarish. Bizarre. Whacked out. All those key components that make a book perfect for the Halloween season. Reading this book is like walking into a slightly more PG and hugely more creative version of one of those Halloween superstores you see pop up along the highway in abandoned Wal-Mart stores during the month of October... and so it begins...
"Just think how terrible it would be if you were lost in the woods in a storm like this. What would you do then?"
"I don't know Grandpa. I think I'd just crawl under a log and die."
"No, you wouldn't," Grandpa said. "I know, because when I was your age it happened to me. I was lost in a forest but I didn't crawl under a log. I looked for a safe, dry place. I found one. An old woodcutter's shack deep in the forest. The door was open wide, so I went inside, and that's where I found the bag of old bones. But that's a story too terrible to tell. It might scare the pants off you."
Well, leave it to good, ole Grandpa to tell not just that tall tale, but also two more profoundly creepy and disturbing stories: The Bag of Old Bones, The Cave of the Warty Witch, and The House of the Ghastly Ghost. In these scenarios, we see our hero almost eaten alive by a giant skeleton, turned into a human-sized spider, rescued by a dismembered hand, and finally swallowed by an elephant-sized werewolf ~ knee deep in possum tails, bug fur, lizard claws and rat teeth deep inside the creature's gut. Delightfully nasty and slightly on the expensive side to buy, anybody made of snips and snails and puppy dogs tails will dig this monstrosity, and maybe even a few future Elviras will like it too.
Pishtosh Bullwash and Wimple
Kangaroo for Christmas
Great Green Turkey Creek Monster
Leopold the See-Through Crumbpicker
The Day the Cow Sneezed
Little Hatchy Hen
Grandpa's Witched Up Christmas
My Friend Charlie
Sherwood Walks Home
The Fabulous Firework Family
Read along on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and Etsy!