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A Terrifying Tale

I have a six year old son. He suddenly wants to hear scary stories every spare minute. And if I invent them on the fly, so much the better.

He has a ranking system. He says things like “Tell me a story that’s nineteen scary. No. Five hundred scary.” Occasionally he’ll ask for infinity scary, but I’ve restrained myself.

Recently he said, “Tell me a fifty scary story. With a zombie.”

I said, “Okay. Once upon a time, there were two guys. One was named Jim, and the other was named Bob.”

“Oh….that does sound scary,” he said with complete wide-eyed sincerity.

Then I laughed and we read Captain Underpants instead because I couldn’t figure out what to do with Bob and Jim.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • evelyneholingue December 22, 2014, 2:45 pm

    Oh living with a six-year-old is awesome. This is a sweet story, Josh. Captain Underpants is always a good choice when parents get a storyteller’s block.

    • Josh Hanagarne December 23, 2014, 1:50 pm

      I’ve never seen him take to books like this. If it takes talking toilets, so be it!

      • Aaron January 1, 2015, 7:54 pm

        I myself went though a period where I really enjoyed those books. It didn’t stick, and my tastes have evolved to more sophisticated literature. A toilet break can’t last forever 🙂

  • Daisy December 22, 2014, 6:44 pm

    Not Bob and Spin? The two goofy things are strings hanging from the dorm room ceiling?

  • Cat December 22, 2014, 9:19 pm

    Hi Josh, My 5-year-old (now 10) started doing a similar thing. She would ask for a story with “a little bit of scariness.” The Wicked Witch was hugely popular. Especially when she cast a spell on a mernaid. Somehow, the mermaid always won in the end. Now she reads Goosebumps and says they aren’t scary. She was pretty unphased by Harry Potter–even book 7–. I tell myself there are lots of scary things in this world and she has to learn to face evil in its’ many forms. That includes zombies. c. 😉

    • Josh Hanagarne December 23, 2014, 1:51 pm

      We tried The Witches, but it was too disturbing. He would just say “It gives me a very strange feeling.” And he’d get quiet.

  • Beth Gainer January 4, 2015, 5:39 am

    Hi Josh,

    My six-year-old daughter wants me to tell her scary stories — kind of. As long as they are not too scary. She tolerated a couple from me and said she wanted a scarier story, so I started with a darker one, and she stopped me, telling me she didn’t want to hear anymore.

  • Ron Geraci January 25, 2015, 6:20 pm

    My grandfather used to tell autobiographical scary stories which always ended with him in some terrible spot. When asked what happened, he’d say “I died.”