I know many of you are readers, but how many have ever read the original fairy tales as penned by the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen? They are about as far as possible from the Walt Disney version most of us carry in our heads.

I remember great delight when finding a classic fairy tale book in my teens. I paged over to my favorite Cinderella and settled down to read. Hmmm… Let’s just say it’s not a story I read over and over again.

So today I list for you the top five most terrifying fairy tales as originally written by their authors. (The list is compiled by Top5.com and can be found here.)

5. Rapunzel — 12 year old girl, kidnapped and locked in a tower. Enchantress climbs up her hair everyday, during which at some point the Prince sees her. After several months, the enchantress becomes suspicious because of the girl’s growing midsection. She catches the Prince in the tower and throws him out the window which causes him to go blind.

4. Sleeping Beauty — The original folk tales were very dark, and the sleeping princess was awakened by the lips of an infant that she had given birth to while sleeping.

3. Cinderella — Disney followed the original story somewhat closely, except for the part where the step-sisters try on the glass slipper. To get their feet to fit, they cut off their toes! And the Prince doesn’t notice any blood until a bird tells him about it during the journey back to the palace.

2. Little Red Riding Hood — In the original story, the wolf eats Grandma. And Little Red Riding Hood. But thankfully a woodsman noticed the wolf and decides to cut him open just in case he’s eaten anyone. Out steps both Grandma and Red.

1. Hansel and Gretel — Okay, why do we find this a good story for children? Two kids are abandoned–twice!–by their parents in the woods. They are lured by a witch who plans to eat them, and they escape by burning her alive in her own oven, her screams described in the story. And where do the kids go? Right back home.

Did you know the stories behind these favorites tales? Will you be looking up any of them to read for yourself?


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