Of course, fairy tales are part of humanity's vast oral tradition, so there's rarely one definitive original version. But if you're a fan of twisted tales, here are a few modern retellings that are even darker than the versions you may be familiar with. Honestly, it makes sense that fairy tales make for excellent horror stories. Most fairy tales involve children or other young people grappling with a horrifying prospect — like being abandoned by their parents, eaten alive, or married off to a rich, beastly stranger.
Those fears still resonate with us, no matter how old or how modern we become. Deep, deep down in our subconscious, we still fear the strange things that live in the woods:. It is also so intensely frightening that I had to hide the book after I read it. Because the so-called evil queen isn't really so evil Frightened of her stepdaughter, this strange little girl with coal black hair, snow white skin, sharp, sharp teeth, and lips redder than blood.
Click here to buy. Ludmilla Petrushevskaya promises scary fairy tales, and boy does she deliver. While she was walking in a profound meditation, she heard a confused noise under her feet, as it were of a great many people who went backwards and forwards, and were very busy. Having listened more attentively, she heard one say:. The ground at the same time opened, and she seemingly saw under her feet, a great kitchen full of cooks, scullions, and all sorts of servants necessary for a magnificent entertainment.
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There came out of it a company of roasters, to the number of twenty, or thirty, who went to plant themselves in a fine alley of wood, about a very long table, with their  larding pins in their hands, and skewers in their caps, who began to work, keeping time, to the tune of a very harmonious song. The Princess was more surprised than ever, and recollecting that it was now that day twelvemonth on which she had promised to marry Riquet with the Tuft, she was like to sink into the ground.
What made her forget this was that, when she made this promise, she was very silly, and having obtained that vast stock of wit which the Prince had bestowed on her, she had intirely forgot her stupidity. She continued walking, but had not taken thirty steps before Riquet with the Tuft presented himself to her, bravely and most magnificently dressed, like a Prince who was going to be married.
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You know, that when I was but a fool, I could, notwithstanding, never come to a resolution to marry you; why will you have me, now I have so much judgment as you gave me, and which makes me a more difficult person than I was at that time, to come to such a resolution, which I could not then determine to agree to? If you sincerely thought to make me your wife, you have been greatly in the wrong to deprive me of my dull simplicity, and make me see things much more clearly than I did.
Is it reasonable that persons of wit and sense should be in a worse condition than those who have none? Can you pretend this; you who have so great a share, and desired so earnestly to have it? But let us come to fact, if you please. Setting aside my ugliness and deformity, is there any thing in me which displeases you? Are you dissatisfied with my birth, my wit, humour, or manners? The Princess had no sooner pronounced these words, but Riquet with the Tuft appeared to her the finest Prince upon earth; the handsomest and most amiable man she ever saw.
Some affirm that it was not the enchantments of the Fairy which worked this change, but that love alone caused the metamorphosis.
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They say, that the Princess, having made due reflection on the perseverance of her lover, his discretion, and all the good qualities of his mind, his wit and judgment, saw no longer the deformity of his body, nor the ugliness of his face; that his hump seemed to her no more than the homely air of one who has a broad back; and that whereas till then she saw him limp horribly, she found it nothing more than a certain sidling air, which charmed her.
Howsoever it was, the Princess promised immediately to marry him, on condition he obtained her father's consent. The King being acquainted that his daughter had abundance of esteem for Riquet with the Tuft, whom he knew otherwise for a most sage and judicious Prince, received him for his son-in-law with pleasure; and the next morning their nuptials were celebrated, as Riquet with the Tuft had foreseen, and according to the orders he had a long time before given.
The eldest was but ten years old, and the youngest only seven. One might wonder how that the faggot-maker could have so many children in so little a time; but it was because his wife went nimbly about her business and never brought fewer than two at a birth. They were very poor, and their seven children incommoded them greatly, because not one of them was able to earn his bread.
That which gave them yet more uneasiness was, that the youngest was of a very puny constitution, and scarce ever spake a word, which made them take that for stupidity which was a sign of good sense. He was very little, and, when born, no bigger than one's thumb; which made him be called Little Thumb. The poor child bore the blame of whatsoever was done amiss in the house, and guilty or not was always in the wrong; he was, notwithstanding, more cunning and had a far greater share of wisdom than all his brothers put together, and if he spake little he heard and thought the more.
There happened now to come a very bad year, and the famine was so great, that these poor people resolved to rid themselves of their children. One evening, when they were all in bed and the faggot-maker was sitting with his wife at the fire, he said to her, with his heart ready to burst with grief: . In vain did her husband represent to her their extreme poverty; she would not consent to it; she was, indeed poor, but she was their mother. However, having considered what a grief it would be to her to see them perish with hunger, she at last consented and went to bed all in tears. Little Thumb heard every word that had been spoken; for observing, as he lay in his bed, that they were talking very busily, he had got up softly and hid himself under his father's stool, that he might hear what they said, without being seen.
He went to bed again, but did not sleep a wink all the rest of the night, thinking on what he ought to do. He got up early in the morning, and went to the river side, where he filled his pockets full of small white pebbles, and then returned home. They all went abroad, but Little Thumb never told his brothers one syllable of what he knew.
They went into a very thick forest, where they could not see one another at ten paces distance. The faggot-maker began to cut wood, and the children to gather up sticks to make  faggots. Their father and mother seeing them busy at their work, got from them by degrees, and then ran away from them all at once, along a by-way, thro' the winding bushes.
When the children saw they were left alone, they began to cry as loud as they could. Little Thumb let them cry on, knowing very well how to go home again; for as he came he had taken care to drop all along the way the little white pebbles he had in his pockets. Then said he to them:. They dared not to go in, but sat themselves down at the door, listening to what their father and mother were saying. The very moment the faggot-maker and his wife were got home, the lord of the manor sent them ten crowns, which he had owed them a long while, and which they never expected.
This gave them new life; for the poor people were almost famished. The faggot-maker sent his wife immediately to the butcher's. As it was a long while since they had eaten a bit, she bought thrice as much meat as would sup two people. Having filled their bellies, the woman said:. They would make a good feast of what we have left here; but then it was you, William, who had a mind to lose them; I told you we should repent of it: what are they now doing in the forest? The faggot-maker grew at last quite out of patience, for she repeated this above twenty times, that they should repent of it, and she was in the right of it for so saying.
He threatened to beat her, if she did not hold her tongue. It was not that the faggot-maker was not, perhaps, more vexed than his wife, but that she teized him, and that he was of the humour of a great many others, who love wives who speak right, but think those very importunate who are always in the right. She was half drowned in tears, crying out:. She spake this so very loud, that the children who were at the door, began to cry out all together:.
Now, you must know, that Peter was her eldest son, whom she loved above all the rest, because he was somewhat carrotty, as she herself was. They sat down to supper, and ate with such a good appetite as pleased both father and mother, whom they acquainted how frightened they were in the forest; speaking almost always all together. The good folks were extremely glad to see their children once more at  home, and this joy continued while the ten crowns lasted; but when the money was all gone, they fell again into their former uneasiness, and resolved to lose them again; and, that they might be the surer of doing it, to carry them at a much greater distance than before.
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They could not talk of this so secretly, but they were overheard by Little Thumb, who made account to get out of this difficulty as well as the former; but though he got up betimes in the morning, to go and pick up some little pebbles, he was disappointed; for he found the house-door double-locked, and was at a stand what to do.
When their father had given each of them a piece of bread for their breakfast, he fancied he might make use of this bread instead of the pebbles, by throwing it in little bits all along the way they should pass; and so he put it up into his pocket. Their father and mother brought them into the thickest and most obscure part of the forest; when, stealing away into a by-path, they there left them.
Little Thumb was not very uneasy at it; for he thought he could easily find the way again, by means of his bread which he had scattered all along as he came. But he was very much surprised when he could not find so much as one crumb; the birds had come and eaten it up every bit. They were now in great affliction, for the farther they went, the more they were out of their way, and were more and more bewildered in the forest.
Night now came on, and there arose a terrible high wind, which made them dreadfully afraid. They fancied they heard  on every side of them the houling of wolves coming to eat them up; they scarce dared to speak, or turn their heads. After this, it rained very hard, which wet them to the skin; their feet slipped at every step they took, and they fell into the mire, whence they got up in a very dirty pickle; their hands were in a sorry state.
Little Thumb climbed up to the top of a tree, to see if he could discover any thing; and having turned his head about on every side, he saw at last a glimmering light, like that of a candle, but a long way from the forest. He came down, and, when upon the ground, he could see it no more, which grieved him sadly. However, having walked for some time with his brothers towards that side on which he had seen the light, he perceived it again as he came out of the wood.
They came at last to the house where this candle was, not without abundance of fear; for very often they lost sight of it, which happened every time they came into a bottom. They knocked at the door, and a good woman came and open'd it; she asked them what they wished. Little Thumb told her they were poor children who had been lost in the forest, and desired to lodge there for God's sake.
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The woman seeing them so very pretty, began to weep, and said to them:. Do ye know that this house belongs to a cruel Ogre, who eats up little children? To be sure, the wolves of the forest will devour us to-night, if you refuse us to lie here; and so, we would rather the gentleman should eat us. Perhaps he will take pity on us, especially if you please to beg it of him. The Ogre's wife, who believed she could conceal them from her husband till morning, let them come in, and brought them to warm themselves at a very good fire; for there was a whole sheep upon the spit roasting for the Ogre's supper.
As they began to be a little warm, they heard three or four great raps at the door; this was the Ogre, who was come home. Upon this she hid them under the bed, and went to open the door. The Ogre presently asked if supper was ready, and the wine drawn; and then he sat himself down to table. The sheep was as yet all raw and bloody; but he liked it the better for that.
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He sniffed about to the right and left, saying, "I smell fresh meat. With that he dragged them out from under the bed one by one.
enter The poor children fell upon their knees, and begged his pardon; but they had to do with one of the most cruel Ogres in the world, who, far from having any pity on them, had already devoured them with his eyes; he told his wife they would be delicate eating, when tossed up with good savoury sauce. He then took a great knife, and coming up to these poor children, whetted it upon a great whet-stone which he held in his left hand. He had already taken hold of one of them, when his wife said to him:. Here is a calf, two sheep, and half a hog.
The good woman was overjoyed at this, and gave them a good supper; but they were so much afraid, they could not eat a bit. As for the Ogre, he sat down again to drink, being highly pleased that he had got wherewithal to treat his friends. He drank a dozen glasses more than  ordinary, which got up into his head, and obliged him to go to bed.
The Ogre had seven daughters, all little children, and these young Ogresses had all of them very fine complexions, because they used to eat fresh meat like their father; but they had little grey eyes, quite round, hooked noses, wide mouths, and very long sharp teeth standing at a good distance from each other. They were not as yet over and above mischievous; but they promised very fair for it, for they already bit little children, that they might suck their blood.
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