Whenever I see a link to those infamously disturbing “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” illustrations I go in expecting to see the picture that scared me so much as a kid that twelve years later it’s had a major effect on my artwork. But it turns out that the woman with a horse skull for a face clutching at the terrified man who picked her up off the side of the road was from a different series that I read, called “Short & Shivery”. I was so frightened by that illustration that my mom put a sticker over the horse skull face so I couldn’t see it (but I was still scared because I knew it was there).
I’ve found out the artist’s name is Katherine Coville and the story is Cegua but the picture doesn’t seem to exist on the internet (above is a different illustration of this legend). I don’t think it’s really all that scary, though, aside from the horse skull face, but I’ve had a life long thing with horse skeletons. It started with the stupid Night on Bald Mountain part of Fantasia, with those fucking Apocalyptic Horsemen. My current fascination with horse skulls only recently developed out of my fear of them when I said to myself, “Emily you are being ridiculous” and sat down and made myself draw these ladies
Anyway, the other scary story that upset me for years was “Tailypo”, from the same book. This illustration does exist online:
It wasn’t that picture in particular that scared me though, just in general the monster creeping up the end of your bed and clawing your intestines out.
If anyone knows anything about the Cegua I’d love to hear it, as most of the pages about her are in Spanish and translate poorly. I like this gem from wikipedia though—
I think she and I have a lot in common.