“Where is my toe…YOU HAVE IT!!

If you were around the library as a kid, you most likely encountered this grisly anthology of creepy ghost stories that were “for kids.” If you haven’t…well if you thought Goosebumps was bad, this is worse.

Alvin Schwartz authored the original Scary Stories to Tell In The Dark back in 1981, with Stephen Gammell providing bone-chilling ink drawings to go with the stories.

While they were for kids…they certainly didn’t shy away from scaring the pants off me and dozens of other youngsters.

And the stories got a chance to spook the attendees of Comic Con 2019, as a Master Class titled “The Making of a Monster” haunted the room of the Horton Grand Theater on Saturday.

Guillermo del Toro, serving as the producer, teamed up with Norwegian director André Øvredal to scare the pants off attendees. They were also joined by the core special effects team: Mike Elizalde, Mike Hill, and Norman Cabrera.

As the name suggests, the panel was more or less a sort of lesson, a documentary on how del Toro and the crew made their hellish haunting monsters. We also got some plot details as well.

The movie takes place in the 1960’s, in the fictional town of Mill Valley, where a group of teens investigates the mysterious Bellows Mansion, where horrors are said to lurk. These horrors were written in a book by a young girl named Sarah.

The teens soon find that the stories are real, and the book seems to write itself, with the horrors coming to life and targeting all in the town.

Sounds like a dark version of The NeverEnding Story when you think about it. Check out this terrifying trailer:


While the movie is set during a rather political time in America, del Toro describes it as not having a political tone. Instead, he says it’s a coming-of-age film – the teens are becoming adults, and America is “growing up” with its political views.

And even though it’s not an anthology series – an idea del Toro wasn’t too fond of doing anyways – many monsters from the book will appear and stalk the town.

The team also revealed that while CGI is involved, a stronger focus was placed on using practical effects.

That’s two productions we got in Comic Con using practical effects. Very nice.

Monster designs were based heavily off of Gammell’s illustrations from the book. Attendees got treated to some really cool behind-the-scenes looks at how some of the monsters, such as Harold, The Pale Lady, and an all-new monster: The Jingly Man.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark poster featuring the Jingly Man.

The Jingly Man is a menacing mixture of multiple monsters from Schwartz’s book. Source: CBS Films


Øvredal mentioned that while the movie is intended to be “very vivid and colorful” the monsters will be done in this “almost sepia” way, to give them an eerie look and mimic Gammell’s creepy illustrations all the better.

While the film is going for a PG-13 rating…del Toro and friends assured attendees that it’ll still be plenty creepy to keep us all up at night.

The movie will be haunting movie theaters everywhere August 9th. Until then…sweet dreams.