Stephen Gammell's work is perhaps some of the most recognizable of all time- having traumatized generations of young, unsuspecting children that opened a 'Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark' book completely unprepared for the horrors that lurked within. This is a man who was able to channel raw nightmares through the tip of his brush, translating them onto paper in a manner that I really can't say I've ever seen matched.
As I grew older, I wondered about the man who created these illustrations. I thought for sure this must have been a man who had survived the Holocaust, or time in a war zone, or endured some unspeakable, abusive event during his childhood. What else would explain his remarkable ability to conjure up such unsettling, surreal imagery.
Not much can be found about Mr. Gammell's personal history online, but I've read articles describing how he realized at a very early age he loved drawing. As a child, he would lie on the floor of his home using his father's office supplies to draw, knowing that he enjoyed art more than he enjoyed anything in school. He's also completely self taught, and has drawn illustrations for other unsettling looking children's books, but none reaching the pure terror of what he created in the 'Scary Stories' series.
Should you be one of the few who are unacquainted with Stephen Gammell's work, allow me to introduce you. Feel free to click through the gallery below, but proceed with caution!