You can have your blood-sucking vampires, haunted houses, and gut-wrenching screams from the average Hollywood movie, but if you’re looking for something scarier, look no further than the OG’s of twisted horror: the Grimm Brothers.
These tales are so diabolical that they will chill you to the bone. Their typically blood-soaked sagas have everything from beheading, cannibalism, filicide, and dismemberment to the usual maelstrom of lies, deceit, and murder.
Here are some dark fairy tales with more blood-soaked gore than a Blumhouse movie marathon.
One of the O.G. Dark Fairy Tales: Cinderella
The Cinderella story is one of the most beloved fairy tales in the world, with many adaptations. With that said, the original Brothers Grimm version is by far the most twisted – unlike the Disney interpretation with its sugar-coated sweetness that children love.
In the Brothers Grimm original story – Cinderella has an evil stepmother and two wicked stepsisters. She has to do the nastiest chores and sleep in the heath of cinder and ashes. Cinderella has a magical tree (fairy godmother) with birds that help her. After the ball, the prince tries to find her using the glass slipper.
Then, her stepsisters cut off parts of their feet to fit into her glass slipper. Meanwhile, the two doves sent from heaven warn the prince of the bleeding fake shoe. Ultimately, when the prince and Cinderella get married, the doves poke out the eyes of the wicked stepsisters and make them beggars.
Yes, Hansel and Gretel is Dark
This dark fairy tale from the Brothers Grimm is even more sadistic. In this version, the parents abandon the brother and sister, Hansel and Gretel, during a famine in Europe in the 1400s. The cruel mother leaves her stepkids in the woods to die. Somehow, they wander and find a cottage in the dark woods owned by a cannibal witch. After the children feast on the food the scary old witch gives, they shove her into the oven meant to cook them and kill her.
The Juniper Tree is Dark and Yummy
The Brothers Grimm seem to love their stereotypical villain, the evil stepmother. In this one, she kills her stepson, the heir apparent, and decapitates him. To make it even more gruesome, the hateful woman hides the crime by cooking his flesh and serving him to his father. Then, she asks the daughter to bury his bones under a juniper tree beside his mother.
The boy transforms into a bird, recanting his story in songs to many people who offer him gifts. He receives gifts and uses them wisely; he gives the gold chain to the father and the shoes to his sister and drops the millstone on the stepmother! At last, the boy comes alive again and has supper with his father and sister. When it comes to dark fairy tales, this one is one of the more grotesque given the, you know, cannibalism.
The Goose Girl is Fairly Dark
The Goose Girl is one of many dark fairy tales that starts with a beautiful princess engaged to wed a handsome prince. When it is time to marry, her mother sends her to his castle with a handmaid and a treasure trove of wealth. On the way, the vile handmaiden attacks the princess, wears her clothes, and switches their horses. When they arrive, the handmaiden tricks the kingdom into believing she is the princess.
Meanwhile, the rightful princess stays at the castle and cares for the geese. Finally, when the truth comes out, the unscrupulous handmaiden is put in a barrel with sharp nails, tied to 2 horses, and dragged away. Oops! That’s a dark fairy tale, that’s for sure.
Rumpelstiltskin Gets Pretty Creepy
A poor miller tells the king his daughter can turn straw into gold, so the king locks her up and tells her to spin it all into gold by morning. Then a mysterious gnome-like man shows up and tells her he will help her if she offers her firstborn child. When she gives birth to her first child, the little gnome appears again and demands his payment.
After begging him to let her go, he gives her three days to find out his name, and if she cannot, he will take the baby. The girl hears him sing his name, and when she does, he flies into a rage and rips himself apart or in half.
Bluebeard for the Husband/Wife Drama
Bluebeard is a wealthy nobleman with a shady history of wives – they keep dying on him! He gets married to his seventh wife. Soon after, he leaves his wife in charge of all the locks in his castle and tells her not to open one specific door.
Curiosity gets the better of her, and she finds the bodies of his slaughtered wives in a locked room. Bluebeard catches her, and she asks him for a few minutes to pray. Finally, her brothers show up and save her by killing Bluebeard.
Dark Fairy Tales, Spells, and No Kissing Frogs
And if you thought these dark fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm were white-washed by Disney, think again!
We all know the story of the ugly frog that transforms into a handsome prince when the princess kisses him. With that said, the original story doesn’t have a kiss at all. Instead, the princess throws the ugly frog against the wall to break the spell. Until next time, Booyah!
Last Updated on August 13, 2023.