As most of you know – I am a Halloween FANATIC! (Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we didn’t feel it, we couldn’t protect ourselves from legitimate threats).
So when I just read this great post on Country Living and The Line Up (see their full posts in each link – more scary ones on The Lineup) – Disturbing Origins of Fairy Tales – including the 25 Dark & Disturbing Original Versions – via YouTube.
For those of you who also enjoy Halloween, do you have your own ‘renditions, versions, family stories’?
Michael said that Halloween was not celebrated in Denmark, but since 2000 it is now as popular as it is in the US. And for Ethan he doesn’t really care for the scary/morbid version (that I so enjoy)… (insert evil grin here). lol
From the CL post: The sugarcoated renditions we know and love come from much darker places.
Bedtime is often sweetened by stories of handsome princes and beautiful princesses, comical witches and lovable forest dwellers. But what happens when we follow the breadcrumb trail to a fairy tale’s gloomy origin?
From the Little Mermaid to Little Red Riding Hood, the sugarcoated renditions we know and love come from much darker places. If a Disney-themed wedding is in your future, beware: The disturbing origins of these classic stories are anything but sweet.
Hansel and Gretel – I have to admit that even as a child I found this one quite ‘disturbing’ (especially when you think the whole IDEA of Trick or Treating is to be given candy by strangers / adults)…hmmmm, really? lol
The nightmare of Hansel and Gretel is largely intact compared to other watered-down fairy tales. A cruel stepmother (is there some irony there? – poor Ethan) HA HA convinces her husband that the only way to avoid starvation is to abandon their children. The siblings learn of the plot and escape into the woods. Soon thereafter, a not-so-kind old witch kidnaps the pair with plans to fatten them up to eat. (Ethan does like MY cooking…)
What is shocking is that Hansel and Gretel doesn’t stray too far from the reality of the Great Famine of 1315-1317, which serves as a backdrop for the dark cannibal tale. Starvation and disease devoured Europe during this time, resulting in crime, mass death, and cannibalism. In addition, many famished parents were forced to abandon their own children if they wanted to avoid starving to death. (Don’t care for THIS part).
Little Red Riding Hood – Surprisingly, it was the Brothers Grimm who softened Little Red Riding Hood in the 19th century with their addition of a huntsman who saved the day. In earlier versions, as well as the 1697 edition by Charles Perrault, Little Red Riding Hood unwittingly cannibalizes her own grandmother after the wolf tears apart the old woman and serves her guts to the girl. (Seriously, were these stories read to children?)
I won’t share the rest of the post (warning it IS disturbing) – but as a reader/writer, I am intrigued by the original origins as well. Like history, there are different ‘versions’ from different regions too… that’s pretty scary too!!
But then again a GOOD horror story and movie are meant to illicit fear. These certain will.
Anyone watching the latest version of American Horror Story?