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Top 10 Gruesome Fairy Tale Origins

Jamie Frater . . . Comments

Fairy tales of the past were often full of macabre and gruesome twists and endings. These days, companies like Disney have sanitized them for a modern audience that is clearly deemed unable to cope, and so we see happy endings everywhere.

This list looks at some of the common endings we are familiar with – and explains the original gruesome origins.


The Pied Piper


In the tale of the Pied Piper, we have a village overrun with rats. A man arrives dressed in clothes of pied (a patchwork of colors) and offers to rid the town of the vermin. The villagers agree to pay a vast sum of money if the piper can do it – and he does. He plays music on his pipe which draws all the rats out of the town. When he returns for payment – the villagers won’t cough up so the Pied Piper decides to rid the town of children too! In most modern variants, the piper draws the children to a cave out of the town and when the townsfolk finally agree to pay up, he sends them back. In the darker original, the piper leads the children to a river where they all drown (except a lame boy who couldn’t keep up). Some modern scholars say that there are connotations of pedophilia in this fairy tale.

Read the disturbing origins of hundreds of fairy tales with the original masters. Buy the Kindle edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales: Complete Edition & Over 200 Fairy Tales for only $0.99 at!


Little Red Riding Hood

411Px-Little Red Riding Hood - Project Gutenberg Etext 19993

The version of this tale that most of us are familiar with ends with Riding Hood being saved by the woodsman who kills the wicked wolf. But in fact, the original French version (by Charles Perrault) of the tale was not quite so nice. In this version, the little girl is a well bred young lady who is given false instructions by the wolf when she asks the way to her grandmothers. Foolishly riding hood takes the advice of the wolf and ends up being eaten. And here the story ends. There is no woodsman – no grandmother – just a fat wolf and a dead Red Riding Hood. The moral to this story is to not take advice from strangers.


The Little Mermaid

Little Mermaid

The 1989 version of the Little Mermaid might be better known as “The big whopper!” In the Disney version, the film ends with Ariel the mermaid being changed into a human so she can marry Eric. They marry in a wonderful wedding attended by humans and merpeople. But, in the very first version by Hans Christian Andersen, the mermaid sees the Prince marry a princess and she despairs. She is offered a knife with which to stab the prince to death, but rather than do that she jumps into the sea and dies by turning to froth. Hans Christian Andersen modified the ending slightly to make it more pleasant. In his new ending, instead of dying when turned to froth, she becomes a “daughter of the air” waiting to go to heaven – so, frankly, she is still dead for all intents and purposes.


Snow White

Snow White Tarrant

In the tale of snow white that we are all familiar with, the Queen asks a huntsman to kill her and bring her heart back as proof. Instead, the huntsman can’t bring himself to do it and returns with the heart of a boar. Now, fortunately disney hasn’t done too much damage to this tale, but they did leave out one important original element: in the original tale, the Queen actually asks for Snow White’s liver and lungs – which are to be served for dinner that night! Also in the original, Snow White wakes up when she is jostled by the prince’s horse as he carries her back to his castle – not from a magical kiss. What the prince wanted to do with a dead girl’s body I will leave to your imagination. Oh – in the Grimm version, the tale ends with the Queen being forced to dance to death in red hot iron shoes!

Watch all of these classic Disney movies and thousands more titles with a FREE trial of Amazon Prime at!


Sleeping Beauty


In the original sleeping beauty, the lovely princess is put to sleep when she pricks her finger on a spindle. She sleeps for one hundred years when a prince finally arrives, kisses her, and awakens her. They fall in love, marry, and (surprise surprise) live happily ever after. But alas, the original tale is not so sweet (in fact, you have to read this to believe it.) In the original, the young woman is put to sleep because of a prophesy, rather than a curse. And it isn’t the kiss of a prince which wakes her up: the king seeing her asleep, and rather fancying having a bit, rapes her. After nine months she gives birth to two children (while she is still asleep). One of the children sucks her finger which removes the piece of flax which was keeping her asleep. She wakes up to find herself raped and the mother of two kids.




This fair tale is a little different from the others because rather than sanitizing the original, it was modified by the original author to make it more gruesome. In the original tale, Rumpelstiltskin spins straw into gold for a young girl who faces death unless she is able to perform the feat. In return, he asks for her first born child. She agrees – but when the day comes to hand over the kid, she can’t do it. Rumpelstiltskin tells her that he will let her off the bargain if she can guess his name. She overhears him singing his name by a fire and so she guesses it correctly. Rumpelstiltskin, furious, runs away, never to be seen again. But in the updated version, things are a little messier. Rumpelstiltskin is so angry that he drives his right foot deep into the ground. He then grabs his left leg and rips himself in half. Needless to say this kills him.


Goldilocks and the Three Bears


In this heart warming tale, we hear of pretty little goldilocks who finds the house of the three bears. She sneaks inside and eats their food, sits in their chairs, and finally falls asleep on the bed of the littlest bear. When the bears return home they find her asleep – she awakens and escapes out the window in terror. The original tale (which actually only dates to 1837) has two possible variations. In the first, the bears find Goldilocks and rip her apart and eat her. In the second, Goldilocks is actually an old hag who (like the sanitized version) jumps out of a window when the bears wake her up. The story ends by telling us that she either broke her neck in the fall, or was arrested for vagrancy and sent to the “House of Correction”.


Hansel and Gretel

Nielsen Hansel

In the widely known version of Hansel and Gretel, we hear of two little children who become lost in the forest, eventually finding their way to a gingerbread house which belongs to a wicked witch. The children end up enslaved for a time as the witch prepares them for eating. They figure their way out and throw the witch in a fire and escape. In an earlier French version of this tale (called The Lost Children), instead of a witch we have a devil. Now the wicked old devil is tricked by the children (in much the same way as Hansel and Gretel) but he works it out and puts together a sawhorse to put one of the children on to bleed (that isn’t an error – he really does). The children pretend not to know how to get on the sawhorse so the devil’s wife demonstrates. While she is lying down the kids slash her throat and escape.


The Girl Without Hands

Girl With No Hands By H J Ford 4

Frankly, the revised version of this fairy tale is not a great deal better than the original, but there are sufficient differences to include it here. In the new version, a poor man is offered wealth by the devil if he gives him whatever is standing behind his mill. The poor man thinks it is an apple tree and agrees – but it is actually his daughter. The devil tries to take the daughter but can’t – because she is pure, so he threatens to take the father unless the daughter allows her father to chop off her hands. She agrees and the father does the deed. Now – that is not particularly nice, but it is slightly worse in some of the earlier variants in which the young girl chops off her own arms in order to make herself ugly to her brother who is trying to rape her. In another variant, the father chops off the daughter’s hands because she refuses to let him have sex with her.



Arthur Rackham Cinderella

In the modern Cinderella fairy tale we have the beautiful Cinderella swept off her feet by the prince and her wicked step sisters marrying two lords – with everyone living happily ever after. The fairy tale has its origins way back in the 1st century BC where Strabo’s heroine was actually called Rhodopis, not Cinderella. The story was very similar to the modern one with the exception of the glass slippers and pumpkin coach. But, lurking behind the pretty tale is a more sinister variation by the Grimm brothers: in this version, the nasty step-sisters cut off parts of their own feet in order to fit them into the glass slipper – hoping to fool the prince. The prince is alerted to the trickery by two pigeons who peck out the step sister’s eyes. They end up spending the rest of their lives as blind beggars while Cinderella gets to lounge about in luxury at the prince’s castle.

Contributor: JFrater

Jamie Frater

Jamie is the owner and chief-editor of Listverse. He spends his time working on the site, doing research for new lists, and collecting oddities. He is fascinated with all things historic, creepy, and bizarre.

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  • Oh – and I spent an hour trying to find an item 10 and couldn't – hence we have only 9 on the list :) If someone wants to give me a 10th I will add it.

    • GLENN


    • Samantha

      beauty and the beast!!

    • Scott

      pinocchio gets hanged and burned, I’d say that makes the list

  • ligeia

    Does anyone know if there are any books available with all the fairy tales in their orignal form? In the version I heard of the Pied Piper he didn't give the kids back – he led them all into a cave and there was a gateway to another world which the adults couldn't enter. I had a book of fairy tales as a kid and according to it Rumpelstiltskin stamped his foot so hard a big crack appeared in the ground and he fell in.
    I've never even heard of number 2, which is possibly the creepiest!

    • pandaonveranda

      Reader’s Digest has a two-book anthology entitled “The World’s Best Fairy Tales”, and I highly recommend it!!!

      Some tales are a tiny bit “softened”, but certainly not Disney-esque… it’s a great anthology and even includes many lesser known tales, such as “Snow White and Rose Red”, “Little One Eyes, Little Two Eyes and Little Three Eyes”, “Bluebeard”, and “The Red Shoes” (which haunted me as a child).

      You can find both of these books on Amazon.

    • Nola

      I found some books from Barnes and Noble for about $20 each, there were about 7 or 8 of them. There was one with only the Grimm Brothers stories and one with Hans Christian Andersen’s stories. I love them, they are so cool. They are gold bound with nice, hardbound covers. Check them out.

    • s

      I have two books with a lot of fairytales in their original form, but they’re Dutch, so…

  • Eve

    Niels Toft at No 24, hate to break it to you, mate, but the story that you mention, has nothing to do with Hansel and Gretel whatsoever. Although equally gruesome, it is a story about 7 brothers, lost in the forest in the way you describe. There was a cannibal involved,who gave them a shelter and he had seven daughters. He was outsmarted by the youngest brother (to cut a long story short, he replaced the boys' hats with the girls' crowns and the cannibal cut the throats of his own seven daughters, mistakenly believing that the 7 boys slept in that bed. Cheerful stuff!
    Much as I love Hans Andersen, I have to admit that quite a few of his stories might disturb some children. There was the story of the red shoes, who made anybody who wore them, dance until they collapsed with exhaustion. The girl had to amputate her own feet to get rid of the shoes! Wonder where the 'Saw' director got his inspiration from?! :)
    1001 Nights are also very gruesome-from the woman cut into pieces in Three Apples to the talking severed head of Dr. Duban, who poisoned the king who killed him form beyond the grave…

    • GB

      the 7 abandoned sons is entitled the “7 league-boots”.. it was in my fairytale book when i was a kid. haha! quite disturbing then.. though in my book’s version, it wasn’t a cannibal of sort, it was an ogre..

    • Name

      You are definitely wrong, and Neils is correct. Hansel and Gretel happens exactly that way.

  • joshpincusiscrying

    Great list! I found a lot of these while doing research for an illustration. Take a look… The Tale of the Juniper Tree

    • Delightfully creepy!

    • GB

      i also read that story in my grimm’s fairytale book, it haunted me for a week!

  • chershey

    Love this. Reminds me of that Simpson ep with Maggie understanding and envisioning the baby falling out of the cradle in the tree. :)

  • chershey: I always wondered that very same thing when I heard that nursery rhyme as a kid – it is totally bizarre!

  • chandramouli

    Are they real?

    • Mary

      Yes , I have seen a Cartoon series which tells the real stories but not all of them , I know most of this stories but I am surprised by the sleeping beauty 0.o

      • Yazmany

        jajajaj i didn’t believed it either, until my little sister told me about it… Its amazing how they manage to hide the actual story from us as a kid(s)…

  • chandramouli

    And Cinderella must be ‘1’ not ’10’…

  • Jono

    This is the first list I’ve ever seen count back up to 10!

  • chandramouli: the tales are not “true stories” they are fairy tales – all made up. And thanks for the correction – I have fixed it :)

  • Taylor

    Fairy Tales are AWESOME.

  • anna


  • Jubbs

    JFrater you always make good lists :)
    keep up the good work.

  • Jubbs

    Oh, and for 10 you could do the ring-around-the-rosy and the Bubonic plague. Its a stretch i know but still. better than nothing :P

    • Liz

      That's an urban legend. It really has nothing to do with the Bubonic plague

      Read here:

      • Bub89

        Actually no its not. Ring a ring a rosey is based on the black plague… and how viral it was.

      • Emma

        the flower petals were used to rid the stench of decaying bodies. The rings were the sores from the plague and the ashes were the burned bodies.

        • Colin

          It’s believed to be about the black plague, but its not, just alot of people believe it is, it makes for a good story, It’s actually not true. It’s like how acetone “knows for fact” that SOS means save our ship or souls, SOS actually has no meaning it’s just the simplest sound of 3 dots, 3 dashes, 3 dots. it’s the easiest signal in morse code which is why its used instead of like zwz

  • Kealey

    That was kind of traumatising.
    Nursery rhymes are also pretty messed up. Like one my daughter is so fond of, ring a rosie. I can’t help thinking of dead people everytime she makes me jump around on the trampoline singing it.

  • MPW

    Great list. Another supposedly innocent nursery rhyme is one that goes “It’s raining, it’s pouring. The old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head and couldn’t get up in the morning”.

    That poor guy either died or knocked himself unconscious. Either way it’s awful. Poor old man!

    • Nayy

      Actually, there’s a rhyme exactly like that but in Spanish and it is very different. Worded differently.

      “Que llueva, que llueva
      La Virgen de la Cueva
      Los pajaritos cantan,
      Las Luna se metio.
      ¡Que sí, que no,
      que caiga un chaparrón!”

      • Emily

        I’ve searched this up and found out what it means.

        There were three translations:

        It rains, it rains

        The Virgen de la Cueva

        The birds sing,

        The Moon is METI.

        Yes, than no,!

        That drop a downpour!

        Rain, rain

        The Virgen de la Cueva

        The little birds sing,

        The Moon went down.

        What if, no,

        That fall a downpour

        That it rains, that it rains

        The Virgin of the Cave

        The birdies sing,

        The Moon got.

        That yes, that not,

        Let a soaker fall down!

        • kassie

          Let me translate this the right way…

          “let it rain, let it rain
          The virgin of the cave
          The little birds sing
          The moon went in
          Is it yes or is it no?
          Let a little one fall!”

          The moon is pretty much gonna impregnate the virgin of the cave. Lol

    • Nya?

      I thought it went “and couldn’t get up TILL morning”

  • matthewsej

    Where do you find all these things……….I love these lists.

  • Hey jubbs – thanks for the suggestion – I actually just realized that I could add the Pied Piper – so I now have ten and it is now the top 10 – it has to be “top” because there are no others to make a second list or to be selective about! :)

    MPW: haha I liked that nursery rhyme – and yes – poor old man. Though perhaps at his age he should not be sleeping in bunkbeds! :)

    • discoqueendiva

      you forgot the tale of the frog prince, in the original tale he gets thrown into the wall by the princess to become a prince again.

    • marie

      What about the goose girl?

  • kealey: Wikipedia has quite a hilarious “modern” version of “Ring o’ Roses” if the plague interpretation is true:

    “Symptoms of serious illness
    Flowers to ward off the stench
    We’re burning the corpses
    We all drop dead.”

    It doesn’t have quite the same ring to it :)

  • MPW

    jfrater: Too old for bunkbeds! Never! :)

  • MPW: okay yeah – I did feel a little tear come to my eye when I thought I might one day be too old for them myself :(

  • Jubbs

    MPW: Agreed!


    Ok enough star-struckness for today.

  • Jubbs: hehe – I might not respond to EVERY comment, but I try to read them all at least and usually succeed :)

  • geronimo

    wow!!!! now why would ppl want to recite such tales to their children?????

  • Jubbs

    Also, that signs in evolution thing will be a good study guide for a debate with my fundamentalist friends :)

    Pied piper: “Connections with pedophelia”
    In a dark twisted way i couldnt help but laughing.

    • Gabe

      So cool

  • Copaface

    Rumpelstiltskin used to scare the life out of me as a kid.
    Thank God Disney turned most of these stories into happy endings or else I would be a seriously disturbed individual by now…
    Great list :D

  • Niels Toft

    In the original Hansel and Gretel, the children are led into the forest by their parents who can’t afford to feed them. The first time they drop stones and follow them back, the next time it is breadcrumbs but those are eaten by birds so they get lost.

    Gee, thanks mom and dad…

    • Victorriea

      I’ve heard a version where the parents and also abusive and hate the children so the dad leads them into the woods and sneaks away

    • Tif

      I actually had a children’s book with that version while growing up. So when I went to school and heard the clean version, I was horrified by the lies my teachers were telling the rest of the class.

  • jajdude

    Mortified guns on the list, g – this is one of my favourite lists that I’ve read here.

    PS – Go Habs!

  • wolfpack

    What about the Tailypo?

    Used to scare me witless as a child!

  • Rusty

    “The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales”, Knopf, New York, 1976

    “In The Uses of Enchantment, Bettelheim suggested that traditional fairy tales, with the darkness of abandonment, death, witches, and injuries, allowed children to grapple with their fears. If they could read and interpret these fairy tales in their own way, he believed they would get a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Bettelheim thought that by engaging with the stories, children would go through emotional growth that would better prepare them for their own lives. He believed that the tales had an organic quality because of having evolved in societies, and that they allowed children to grapple with their darkest fears in symbolic terms.”

    • Bettelheim's book is, indeed, excellent in explaining the psychology of children's lives and how classic fairy tales are metaphorical stepping stones that introduce the concepts of pain and loss. Remember, too, that Life was very different when these tales were written; it was hard and harsh, with many living hand to mouth, laboring for the higher classes and having few comforts or dreams that could possibly come true. Education was reserved for the elite (unless you were lucky enough to attract a Sponsor/Mentor), disease often meant early death, and superstitions persisted, despite the influence of churches.

      Fairy tales had a dark cast as they reflected the lives of those who read them. Children learned early about deceit, disappointment, and the concept of Evil. Reading these stories allowed them to metaphorically face those fears and learn how to cope in their own lives.

  • downhighway61

    Jfrater, I KNEW those bunk beds were yours!

    I liked the list, BTW. There’s definitely a book out there going into the fairy tails in detail, and speaking about the underlying themes. Too bad I can’t remember the name of it, or the author.

  • Tricia

    ligeia: Amazon’s being stupid and won’t let me click on the books, but if you search for Grimm’s fairy tales you can look in the first one and see if it has the correct stories.

  • phlegm thrower

    this list just made my niece cry

  • Shadow

    Also, a great story for anyone who's interested, is Neil Gaiman's "Snow, Glass, and Apples". It's a retelling of a fairy tale, and is absolutely delicious. If anyone can find a free version, by all means let me know, because I absolutely adore that story, it's at least as good as "American Gods", and that book alone caused me to have an even greater respect for Mr. Gaiman than I do even for King and Barker.

  • emc

    The town of Hamlin in Germany where the story of the Pied Piper is supposed to have been based, was over run by rats this year.

    • Wow! Talk about life imitating Art (or was the original based on a true event?????)

  • STL Mo

    legia – I have a great book that explains the true meaning behind fairy tails but but darn it, it’s packed away and I can’t recall the name.

    jfrater – excellent list choice. Personally, I prefer Tex Avery’s versions of Little Red Riding Hood.

  • Aimée

    I think this list is fantastic! I’ve tried looking for the original versions of faery tales before but could only find sleeping beauty or the little mermaid.
    I’m positive that whenever i heard the tale of the pied piper he brought the children to a cliff like the rats.
    I think the only true faery tales are stories like “The Children of the Wind” or “The Buttercup and the Bluebell”

    • I've never heard of "The Buttercup and the Bluebell." Can you tell us who wrote it?

  • Elsa

    JFrater……..I know there are more fairy tales, but from the sound of these I must have blocked them out :)

    What timing.I just read a similar list last night….though they didn’t have 10 there are a few more tales in the comments section.

  • Elsa

    geez…it’s like some kind of fairy tale conspiracy….after reading a list last night, then a new list this morning.just saw this on another site..

    *hears the beginning strains of the Twilight Zone theme*

  • Suskis

    I always despised Disney for their need to change fairytales (Little Mermaid being the worst of the treatments…)

  • veri

    the pied piper tale reminds me of Marilyn Manson; or should it be the other way ’round?

    as in:

  • Ernmas

    I have always loved the “truth” behind fairy tales. I have been fascinated with it ever since I heard about the true beginnings of them. Great list!

  • jhoyce07

    fascinating!!! more jfrat! ü

    • princess

      who thats kind of fucking gay

  • Dane

    Eve: I know Hansel and Gretel the same way as Niels Toft were telling it. I guess the same elements can be present in many different stories.


    you did very good research.

  • zigra

    Also of interest for those liking grim or alternate versions of fairy tales is Anne Sexton’s book of poetry called Transformations.

  • Sugen

    i like the older versions because they reflect life…

  • Melody Kitn

    I looove fairy tales, gruesome and revised.

    One you missed out (if I remember right) is Rapunzel, where they do the dirty deed at one point and the witchy who imprisoned her notices her belly getting just a bit bigger (that or it was a part where Rapsy slips up and mentions how a man can be so umm *ahem* ‘perfect’). Anyhoo, the witch lops off her hair and throws Rapsy out who then has to raise her kids off in nowhere land. The prince, who is tricked to coming up the tower by witchy, gets his just desserts by being pushed out the window and onto some brambles where he gets his eyes scratched out, which for the next couple of months, he wanders around blind till he chances upon where Raps is raising the bundle of joy he left her with. Her kisses are miraculous and somehow clear his eyes of whatever thorn got lodged in there and he’s no longer blind (but saddled with kids).

    Not as gruesome as the others, but I’m sure Disney isn’t too keen on making this one for the kids (yet…).

  • Brickhouse

    Oh I love this list. I own the Grimm fairy tales and read Cinderella, too. I was expecting it to be on the list. There were singing birds… just not singing pleasant songs. The one of the step-sisters cut off her big toe and the other part of her heel. They were told on by the birds because the blood was seeping out of the slipper (which he used to check the next sister with, who bled in it, then Cinderella…)

    I also read Rumpelstiltskin in the same book where he slams his foot in the ground and tears himself in half.


  • Brickhouse

    We need some of these movies made, I think…

  • TAG

    Funny that did an article like this not too long ago.

  • StLouisGirlie

    love it.

  • Callie

    I never knew there was a “nice” Pied Piper. I’ve only read the one where the kids drown.

    In the original Beauty and the Beast, the beast is turned into a beast because the fairy he is left as a child/into adulthood with tries to sleep with him and he says no.

  • STL Mo

    I have a treasured, 75-year-old book of children’s fables and rhymes, withs stories that haven’t been softened, made PC or “friendly.” Among my favorites is the Grimm Bros. tale “The Fisherman and His Wife,” which, while not gruesome, is a great tale/warning about never being satisfied with what you have.

  • GTT

    Hey all! Here is one of my favorite sites for more, uhm, “interesting” fairy tales. Some of these are truly disturbing… Enjoy! :)

  • DiscHuker

    this sort of fits this category.

    a look at the alphabet through the eyes of edward gorey. someone has taken the poem and illustrations and made it into a video seen here.

    definately about a children’s subject yet very dark.

  • never heard of number two and i thought i had read most of the originals…all the others i had heard of…also in one of them (sleeping beauty or snow white or cinderella i think) i thought the original ending had the prince ask the evil witch/stepmom/whatever what the punishment should be to someone who tried to kill the princess and she replied to be dragged about in a barrel with nails stuck in it by two white horses thru town till she died…so the prince ordered that sentence carried out…i remember reading it in the original grimm brothers fairy tails book…i just cant recall which one…

    • leddie

      "i thought the original ending had the prince ask the evil witch/stepmom/whatever what the punishment should be to someone who tried to kill the princess and she replied to be dragged about in a barrel with nails stuck in it by two white horses thru town till she died…so the prince ordered that sentence carried out.."

      i can clearly remember this story…. it's "The Goose Girl"… and it was not her stepmom… it was her maid who pretended to be her…. i love this story…

  • thewebpromoter

    Nice list JFrater, although I have heard the same story about Sleeping Beauty a couple of months ago in our forum. And has confirmed the story at the useful or unuseful things website, I cant remember the exact URL, but the site entitles that way, “useful or unuseful things”

  • Mom424

    Excellent list Jamie. I had both The Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson fairy tales as a kid. They were all disturbing in one way or another. I remember Snow White and Rose Red, The Little Matchstick Girl (I cried when I read that one), The Ice Princess, Hansel and Gretel, Sleeping Beauty. All of them creepy; involving death, cannibalism, incest, and dreams NOT coming true (unless you mean nightmares). The Disneyfied versions have their place in the nursery; but once your kids are reading, give them the real ones. Not only are the stories fascinating, they’re well written and unlike much modern children’s literature, they are not patronizing. Not in the vocabulary, nor in the story-line.

  • ringtailroxy

    great list…as a little girl I loved “The Robber Bridegroom” without really knowing how gruesome the tale really was… as I reread it in adulthood, I was amazed that the tale was so dark and violent! Murder, rape, mutilated bodies…

    I also loved “The Cat and the Mouse in Partnership” is also a good tale…

    love the original Grimm stories!

    p.s. thank you DiscHuker for mentioning Edward Gorey. The dark macabe is fun…

  • Melody Kitn

    Oooh, longball, I remember reading something along those lines too (with the barrel of nails), but I’ve also heard of the red hot dancing shoes.

  • Hyla
  • Nusi

    Repunzle, In a version i read after the prince visted her the first time and was sent away by the witch when she escapes she gives birth to twins, deduce the fact that they didnt do mutch talking on there first meeting.
    Ps Love the list i never heard of the girl without hands it awful!!!

  • arvaamita

    This is an awesome list! I was glad someone in the comments mentioned Rapunzel. I love the sex and lies and total violence of fairy tales! How sweet . . .

  • Jerry

    Waoh. That really was a very interesting and disturbing list. Though i knew most of them it was still pretty cool. Didn’t know number 2. Fairy tales are pretty awesome. I love ’em. i did research on most fairy tales when I was younger. But hmm.. girl without hands. Overall, really interesting n cool list frat boy..

  • Callie

    I know Disney changes all of these to make them happier, but there ARE some macabre things that go on. Think about it:

    The Lion King:
    The uncle kills the dad to become king, marries the mom and tries to send the son away/have him killed. Sound familiar?

    The Little Mermaid:
    Evil witch gets stabbed. With a ship.

    Beauty and the Beast:
    Bad guy falls off a castle to his certain death.

    No one bad in Disney movies just fades away for goes to jail. If you mess with a princess and/or good guy, you’re gonna die. Probably by falling off something.

  • Vallen

    You can read all of Grimm’s Fairy Tales at Project Gutenberg.

  • Ken

    I had a book of The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales as a kid. Though sometimes scary and gruesome, they are (were) much more interesting than the sanitized versions. Most were the same as, or very similar to, the original versions you detail in the list.

    I agree with the person who said the evil Stepmother of Hansel and Gretel talked their father into abandoning them (getting them lost) in the forest since there was not enough for all to eat. The father later regrets what he has done and goes searching for them (and finds them after they’ve killed the witch). The stepmother dies, but I don’t remember the details. At least, that’s the version of the tale I’m familiar with.

    I also agree with some others here. I have never ever heard of #2 – The Girl Without Hands.

    Good List. Took me down memory lane.

  • I think Grimms “The Three Little Men in the Forest” deserves a place on the list, although, for the life of me, I can’t think of a happier ending version.

    As a child I read all of the Anderson and Grimm Bros. Tales, in their original forms, and loved them. Of course they were gruesome, but each had a moral. The moral is lost in many of the “cleaned-up” versions. We learned to tell the truth, to act kindly toward others, to share.
    I like the originals.

    • seashell66

      Well said!

  • Mikaela

    today is my birthday and i really enjoyed this list!! :)

  • Freca


  • itsmejld

    Great list. I love fairy tales. They are so twisted.

  • Randall

    ahhhh…. Bruno Bettelheim…. The Uses of Enchantment. I love that book. I read it for the first time when I was 17, and it helped to shape some of my attitudes towards literature and no doubt affected my work as a writer. No matter what one might think of Bettelheim and his somewhat shady background, there’s no question that in regards to the psychological nature and impact of fairy tales, he was dead right.

    The reason adults find the original versions of fairy tales “gruesome” is because–no matter how much we may believe we can manage it–we are no longer capable of thinking as children think. Not without some great effort, at any rate.

    We may view the results and details of a story as “gruesome” and feel that it uncloaks harsh realities to children—and find this to be inappropriate—but in fact when the core elements of a fairy tale are examined from the vantage point of a child’s more self-oriented picture of the world, it becomes clear that the “harsh” elements serve as solid basis from which a child can reach understanding and make a judgement about certain actions, themes, and situations. This forms the basis of a consciousness which results in a more grounded, well-adjusted adult. (Again, we tend to find this to be counter-intuitive, but evidence supports the conclusion, and if you think about it, you see why it works this way).

    The reason “watered-down” or Disneyfied versions of fairy tales are a travesty is because they simply present one more re-edification and reiteration of a world where kids can want, desire, ask for, or demand certain outcomes, and can expect to find them or get them. There’s more to this than simply the later disillusion of realizing that life usually doesn’t bring happy endings; it also does nothing in assisting a child in creating, within his or her own mind, a natural morality and understanding of how the world works. Adults like the Disney tales because they find escapism and happy endings enjoyable–forgetting that kids don’t require escape yet (at least, they *shouldn’t*) but rather are instinctively seeking out the same solidity of understanding that we as adults continually seek out in life. We’re always better off when we have an underpinning of understanding with which to work from–witness, for example, the miserable train wreck that is the life of someone like, say, Lindsay Lohan, or any other number of child stars who were handed life on a platter at an early age, given no real adult guidance (and if anything were in fact encouraged outright into guideless lives) and end up finally as unable to truly cope with adult life.

    Denying children the solidity they seek–that is, denying them fairy tales that to us seems “gruesome” and terrible but are viewed in their eyes very differently–does them no good. Offering up to them only Disney falsehoods and distortions (along with, oddly enough, in many Disney films certain moments of violence and tragedy–the perennial loss of the mother, for instance, with no attending explanation or solid basis on which a child can understand this) is the equivalent of handing them candy without any greater, substantive food.

    Ah… how easily I can still slip into the psycho-speak of my college days. Funny how somebody could write whole papers of stuff like that for a class and then put on a skinny tie and go out barhopping, dancing to Heaven 17 and Cabaret Voltaire, while simultaneously drinking oneself into a stupor AND trying to get laid all at once. And then go right back the next day and write MORE of that same stuff.

    Humans are complex and very odd creatures.

    • Very well written, Randall. I responded above to the post about Bettelheim, too, but you did a great job of revealing the consequences of sheltering the kids of today from the "gruesome" fairy tales of yore.

  • RandomPrecision

    happy birthday mikaela

    awesome list!

  • Hemza3000

    Wow, to imagine these are the happiest stories in the world. Shudder to think what the sad ones are.

  • HollyTamale

    What the hell is “the big whopper?”

  • SuperHero3

    Certainly some very sick and twisted minds thought of these stories…….I like it :-)

  • Jordan

    never even heard of the second one! fascinating though

  • MHogan

    I remember having to translate Grimm Fairy Tales in high school German class. They were all more er…. grim then their Disney counterpart.

    I could be wrong, but i believe in the Grimm version the slipper is made of fur not glass.

  • YogiBarrister

    Did anybody see this version of Snow White, with Sigorney Weaver as the wicked witch? It was quite good and true to the original story.

  • Shadow

    Randall – Indeed, they are odd and complex.

    I love the list Jamie! But then, I always love stuff like this, where the raw underbelly of our world is laid bare for all to see.

    And to Dischuker – Thank you for that link! I enjoyed that very much.

  • Andree

    I read somewhere that little Red Riding Hood was cut up into peices and baked into a pie by the wolf. The wolf had intended it to be eaten by her rescuers.
    Prior to that, the wolf, dressed as the grandmother, tries to seduce little Red.

  • rushfan

    Awesome list! Never heard of the girl without hands.

  • Jason

    Snow White and Goldilocks are proper names in these cases and the first letter should be capital. Sleeping beauty I am leaving as is since this was to describe her.

  • JayArr

    Geronimo(21) We tell these tales to our children because they also include a moral to the story – if not obvious in the telling of the tale, we discuss with them what the story means to them and to us. Can be a great learning experience for them, and keeps their attention throughout the story.

  • 0 Life

    So much incest in these fairy tales!!! All these fathers who want to sleep with their daughters! Was that a common occurance at the time?

  • Daddy247

    Guys, I’m sorry. I post way too much info. How dare I subject you all to these short novels. I’m such a dumb shit.

  • copperdragon

    The Wizard of Oz is kind of a modern fairy tale.
    What do you think of the book and play “Wicked”, which is told from the Witch’s point of view?

  • flibbertigibbet

    This list kills me. I knew all of them, and have a couple things to add, so I guess it was right up my alley. In The Girl Without Hands version I read, the Devil wanted her hands chopped off because she had wept all over them, then she wept all over her wrists and he gave up. Then she left her home, wandered around, married a king, got betrayed by the king’s mother, etc. In Little Red Riding Hood, in the original French version, there where a lot of sexual undertones… in the famous “What big (etc.) you have!” “The better to …” dialogue, there’s a very explicit reference, but I’m afraid trying to explain it would be NSFW.

    More striking stories: The Poor Boy in the Grave (very sad, no magic in it at all, just sadness)
    The Mother in Law
    The Goose Girl
    The Little Old Man (origin of apes!)
    The Willful Child
    The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn How to Shudder
    Fowler’s Fowl
    Allerleirauh (just plain weird, really)
    Clever Hans
    Three Snake Leaves
    The Frog Prince (she doesn’t kiss him to make him a prince..)
    Mother Hulda (only slightly gruesome, I’ve just always loved the story…)
    Dog and Sparrow
    Vasilisa the Beautiful

    See? Plenty to make another list!

  • babygirl2882

    Wow. Very creepy stories…But I love them! They are so much more interesting :)

  • Les

    You could include the tale of Undine. It’s basically the same as The Little Mermaid but Undine is a water nymph.

    An old version of Sleeping Beauty I once read ended with Beauty being attacked by the Prince’s parents who were ogres. The prince kills them to save her. There is a website that has many of these stories and variations of them posted but I forget the address.

  • guy

    awesome list.makes me think that the children of today are rather sissy compared to children who grow up with those tales

  • copperdragon

    The Tales of Beedle the Bard!!!

  • Legend and Lore

    That Sleeping Beauty one shocked me the most.

    • leo

      and in plus, that's not all to the story…… in the earliest version of sleeping beauty the hunter rapes her, she has babies, wakes up, and a couple of years later the hunter decides to come back and have some more fun and rape her again
      but then he sees that she's awake and confesses that he raped her
      that's not all though……
      they then have sex in a barn, she has more children and they live "happily" ever after

  • ReVeNg3

    I want to get my hands chopped off too!!! :)

  • Anna

    flibbertigibbet – I have the Grimms fairytale book, but I never realised before that the princess has sex with the frog in the frog prince. In the book it only says that she shares his bed with him…
    But I guess that it is a demonstration of the innocence of a childs mind:)

  • Randall

    Obviously post #88 was NOT composed by me… A) I never apologize… B) I love my lengthy and verbose postings and will never change… C) I dare all KINDS of things… and D) I am the FARTHEST thing from a “dumb shit” that there is.

    Clearly one of the bored and deeply unimaginative teenagers who cruise around this site from time to time has, once again, hijacked my username. Seriously, something needs to be done about this. I know I’m not the first one that’s encountered this kind of thing. Surely it can’t be that hard to put a stop to it.

  • Cyn

    98. Randall –
    i know. ;)

    people who use other folks identities to spout off nonsense are subject to some creative housekeeping. :)

  • MsMassey

    Out of curiosity, why were the older “fairy storied” so grimm? And were theyy meant for children or adults ?

  • Mom424

    Cyn: wouldn’t asshole be more appropriate than imposter?

  • Mom424

    MsMassey: read Randall’s (the real Randall) post. He explains it very well.

  • Cyn

    101. Mom424 –
    goddamn it woman i was trying to keep it PG! ROFLMFAO
    guess i’ve fucking blown it now, eh? but yeah..asshole. asswipe. total waste of protein…etc etc etc

  • Older than Dirt

    Also interesting are stories from “The Pentamerone” by Giambattista Basile. Most of the Grimm and Perrault stories were based on this collection. While not as long or glamorous as the later stories, it’s an interesting read.

  • Randall: I have modified the name on that post. If it happens again I will deal with it more fully.

  • evacreek

    Do you know the musical “Wicked”? It’s the brilliant Steve ondheim take on many of these tales. Many actors approaching this piece are surprised to hear for the first time the part of the Cinderella story where the stepsisters attempt to make the shoes fit by a little elective surgery. The Prince is fooled that the shoe fits, but not the birds! They sing, “Look for the blood within the shoe…” And so the Prince is tipped to the deception, and all is made right, except for the surprised actors saying things like “Ew! Blood in shoe, I never heard of that before. Ew!”
    (Wussy actors)
    BTW, in the original French-not German- version, the slipper is made of verre= fur. It became corrrupted into Vair= glass, which explains a highly impractical item in any heroine’s closet!:)

  • Callie

    s’ok Randall…I think anyone who visits this site on a regular basis knew that wasn’t you.

    MsMassey- Randall does explain it well, but I’d like to add on. Fairy tales were written for adults. The most famous authors (although several stores were simply collected, not written) are the Brothers Grimm, Hans C Anderson, and Perrault- all men, but the many of the stories originated with women. They were passed on or written down by women who wanted to break out of the box (beauty and the beast, for example has two early versions, both traceable to french women.) They include generally end with a moral, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the story is meant for a child.

    ..I’m a dork :)

  • Seolyk

    Actually the Pied Piper fairy tale is based on actual events. do a search on The Children’s Crusade. There was a guy who went from village to village recruiting children during the time of the crusades to march to africa (because upon reaching the beaches of Spain, the mediterranian sea would part apparently) to do their own crusade and win. However once he got there the sea did not part and he tried to get a boat instead, the merchants agreed, but instead of taking them for what they planned they took the kids into slavery instead. the children who didnt get on the boats eventually returned to their homes.

  • 98. Randall: Obviously post #88 was NOT composed by me…
    Oh, Randall, everyone who knows you, knew that wasn’t your post! Your style is distinctive, no one could copy it, not for one sentence. Your friends, and you have many, support you all the way.
    Don’t let the little buggers get you down, they aren’t worth the oxygen they take up.

  • Callie

    evacreek I think you might be confusing Wicked for Into The Woods.

    Wicked is a companion to the Wizard of Oz, written by Gregory Macguire. The musical is written by Steven Schwartz.

    Into the Woods is a mashup of fairy tales written by Steven Sondheim and based on another book….the name of which escapes me.

  • JAB

    Wow. This has officially become my favorite list. I knew about Little Red Riding Hood and the Pied Piper, but… Sleeping Beauty? Didn’t see that one coming. What the moral was to that particular tale, I cannot imagine.

  • Char

    Im really quite glad ive never heard of No.2! Every version seem to be quite disturbing. I think a film should be made on these.. “Nursery Rhymes For Adults: The Hidden Story.” lol

  • Carrie lynn

    Want a real sick one? Try Donkeyskin aka thousand skins. Love the list! BTW- studied fairy tales in school and Donkeyskin was my favorite! Dont know if that makes me bad or what lol. I always loved the girl with no hands too.

  • While I was putting this list together I realized that aside from the bad bits, fairy tale lands would have been quite nice to live in – they are a far cry from the big brother ridden societies so many of us inhabit these days!

  • The Grey GOAT

    Nice list. Amazing to see all these tales we thought were so cute and sweet really had some hardcore themes to them. A lot of these would make great horror movies. Back in 2000 there was a game made for the PC called American McGee’s Alice, where the story takes place several years after Through the Looking Glass. Alice’s family was killed in a fire and she was the only surviovor. Stricken with guilt for being the only survivor, she is commited to an insane assylum where she has this psychic trip through a demented wonderland. It’s a pretty decent game and a really dark twist on the Alice in Wonderland story. Rumor has it they are going to make a movie based off of it.

  • lena

    The end of the orignal little mermaid is actually really depressing. and so many of these involve rape or sex. Gross.

  • astraya

    Char 112: Stephen Sondheim has written a musical called “Into the Woods” which is very much like like “Fairy Tales for Adults”. In the first half several fairy tales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk and Rapunzel that I can think of) all interweave and are resolved pretty much as (sanitised) standard. In the second half, things go seriously awry, and the whole idea of “happy endings” is questioned. I have seen a video of the Broadway production and also a live performance in Sydney. When the Broadway production was telecast in Australia, the presenter read the quote from Bruno Bettelheim that Rusty supplied at comment 28.

  • El_Karlo

    I strongly recommend reading or watching “The Pillowman” by Martin McDonagh. Its a play about a story writer in a totalitarian country who is being interregated for the gruesome content of his fairytales. The stories in it or amazing but quite gruesome indeed.

  • lo

    such a good list!

    for my money, the BEST version of snow white isn’t the original, it’s a short story called “Snow, Glass, Apples” by Neil Gaiman published in 1994.

    it’s told from the point of the “wicked” step mother and the “snow white” child has vampiric tendencies. it’s deeply, deeply creepy! you can (and should) read it online here:

    it is posted at the above site by permission of the author. if you like it check out his book “Smoke and Mirrors” where this story and many more can be found :)

  • astraya

    PS Now that I’ve scrolled through the previous comments I see that people have already talked about this. Sorry. Must read comments before posting.

  • krchuk

    These fairy tales are a moral base to learn from as a child. Most parents would not talk to their children about the issues in these stories so they are an important resource for young minds. I can’t stand the modern sanitised versions! Bring it back!!!

  • Brad P

    As I am reading a certain list, I always know when I will see “JFrater” at the bottom — The lists are well put together, very interesting and consise.

    I especially liked this list.

  • Precision

    Very entertaining list, well done jfrater!

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the Rumpelstiltskin version (morbid sense of humour I know). Talk about one of the all time greatest dummy spits, can you imagine the headlines:

    “Strange little gnome creature is so angry that a girl knows his name that he rips himself in half”. He must have been having a REALLY bad day ;)

  • Kessie

    I grew up on the “old” versions of fairy tales–I had Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale books, and I loved them. “The Little Mermaid” was one of my favorite stories, and it upset me terribly when I saw the Disney movie. I couldn’t believe they would ruin the story that way.

    Now that I’m grown up, I can look at those tales and see the dark and disturbing themes, but as a child I only remember feeling wonder and fascination. I’ve grown up to be a stable, well-adjusted adult, so there must be something to what Randall said.

  • newlee

    i know a version of the handless maiden story in which her trials only *start* at losing her hands. like many myths and fairy tales, it’s an allegory for the journey made by our psyches.

  • Blogball

    Another very entertaining list jfrater ! Are you on some kind of list- making steroids or something? Randall, I appreciated your thoughts on explaining how these types of tales would be appropriate for kids. Thinking back when I was a kid myself I remember horsing around with friends and pretending to do gruesome stuff to each other including things mentioned in some of theses tales without the help of reading them in the first place. So I don’t think any of these versions would have mentally scarred me in the least. Maybe these writers were just giving the kids what they wanted.

  • Diogenes

    I say we all need to reinstate the original stories to tell our kiddies before nighty-night.
    You know,… to set them straight.

    I was lucky enough to have a book of these goodies that my great grandmother gave me as a child and look at me now!

    makes me think of Max and Moritz
    still have the original german edition that was passed down.

  • Renee Somebody

    IIRC, the fairy tale where the evildoer is punished by being drug around in a barrel full of nails is Falada. I second the recommendation of Deerskin for a twisted story, and love Robin McKinley’s novelization of the story. has many great annotated fairy tales, as well as listing variant and modern versions of them.

  • fivestring63

    The Brothers Grimm have a statue of them in Hanau Germany. One of them standing and one of them sitting. It is said that at New Years on Midnight that they switch positions.

  • Courtney

    Jfrater, if you’re looking to make a second list, The boy who cried wolf would make a good start.

  • Nikki

    I already knew the Cinderella grossness, but for the rest I was mostly unaware of the awesome original stories.

    Sleeping Beauty made me laugh so hard too. Imagine the moment one realises they’ve been raped and had two kids AND wondering what your surroundings are, everything being unfamiliar to the time you knew when you fell asleep.

    I’ve been reading for months and this is truly the best list ever. Great work, Listverse!

  • astraya

    Before and between my classes this morning I read up about the Grimms and Andersen. The Grimms collected their stories, and tried to maintain the original style of oral tradition. The wiki article doesn’t say so, but Andersen seems to have written his. His seem to be based in cities more than the Grimms, which seem more to rural.
    The sanitisation of the Grimms’ stories started even in their own lifetime. As their volumes were reprinted, various changes were made, including changing several mothers into step-mothers.

  • Nikki

    Also, what about The Red Shoes? I remember my grandmother giving me that book as a child but scribbling out “cut off her feet” with “removed the shoes.”

  • sheltiesan

    Very good list! I’ve always loved fairy tales. I am a very moralistic person and I think part of the reason is due to reading or having fairy tales read to me as a child. Times have changed so much. Parents try to protect their children from the horrific things that make up fairy tales, but look around us. It seems to be most of those kids that are clueless, getting into trouble, and just want to lie around and do nothing. The kids these days couldn’t handle being kids like we were when I was growing up. Not only the fairy tales! :)

  • Rosa

    Why in the world does Rumpelstinskin WANT a baby anyway?..
    That has always confused me a bit… Does he want to eat it?…

  • Nicosia

    I must say… Listverse is kicking ass the past few days! Rock on with your bad self, Jamie :)

    Even as a little kid, I thought the Disney movies were lame. You always knew how it would end. I don’t think I’ll be reading these versions to my little ones! Maybe when they are older ;)

    When I was growing up, we had a very old fairy tale book. I remember a story about a girl’s finger being cut off because the robbers couldn’t get her ring off. Anyone know what it might be?

  • robneiderman

    I’ve actually heard of all of them except the Girl Without Hands. I’ve even heard most of the original endings! I have to ask, what the hell was wrong with Hans Christian Andersen?! Here’s a guy who has cool ideas for stories, then tears the readers’ hearts out at the end. The Little Match Girl freezes to death, the Little Mermaid dies miserably, the toy soldier melts in the fire. Somebody wasn’t held enough as a baby or something!

  • evilk8

    wicked list ;)

  • DK

    Awesome list once again Jamie! I absolutely love the Disney-fied versions (sorry Randall!) but the darker side of me really likes the gruesome “original” versions as well. I bought a book of “The Original Grimm’s Fairy Tales” or something a few years ago, and read through some of it, but not all, and now it’s packed up in a box somewhere, I’ll have to find it.

    @ Copperdragon’s comment way back near the top- The book “Wicked” by Gregory Maguire and the musical adapted from that book are both amazing. Your question “What do you think of the book & play…” can’t be answered together though, since the two are so incredibly different from one another. I’ve read the book once, seen the musical twice in San Francisco, and have the soundtrack on my ipod. The play is more upbeat, fun & silly at times, cheerful, with a happy ending believe it or not! The book is more disturbing & morbid. Again, both amazing.

    Gregory Maguire has actually written a few books that are a different perspective or different version of well-known stories. There is a sequel to Wicked called Son of a Witch, then there’s Mirror, Mirror (based on Snow White), and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (based on Cinderella of course). He’s got some other books out as well, but these are the only ones I’ve read.

  • strych9

    Great list. “Grimm’s Grimmest” might be one of the books some people have been referring to. Morbid, awesome stuff.

  • Victoria

    JFrater, as a possible future list you could do all the different versions of worldwide Cinderella stories. I’m a big fan of fairy tales, especially Cinderella, are there are just so many.

    The story of Vasilissa the Beautiful and Baba Yaga, from Russia, with her talking doll.
    Catskinella, a story told in the black communities of the 19th century, about a girl who in trying to get out of a marriage she does not want, asks for a dress made from the skin of a single cat.
    The Chinese version about the beautiful Yeh-Shen, who has no fairy godmother, but the bones of her only friend, a magic fish.
    The story of the Many Furred Creature, where the kings daughter refuses to be married except to the someone she cares for, so she blackens her face with soot, and works in the kitchens, only to come out to three balls in her three dresses, one like the moon, one like the stars, and one like the sun.
    There are many different versions of that one including Allerleirauh, Northvegr, and in a way Catskinella, which I mentioned above.
    The african story of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, about two sisters, one sweet and kind, the other mean and selfish who are called before the king for him to marry one of them.
    Or the story of Nomi and the Magic Fish, a Zulu girl starved by her stepmother, is given food by a magical fish. The stepmother finds out, and kills the fish. The bones of the fish tell her to throw them into the chiefs garden, who promptly decrees that he will marry the girl who can pick them up. Nomi is the only one who can.
    Or of Rhodopis, a story written by Strabo two thousand years ago. An eagle steals her sandal and drops it in the lap of the king, who thinks it’s beautiful and decides to marry the owner.
    And there is the story Benizara and Kakezara of the Japanese girl who uses magic and her brains to win over a noblemans heart, not only with her beauty but also her superb poetry.
    Even the story of the Indian boy who cares for a cow after his father dies and brother leaves, and is rewarded with beautiful golden hair, of which a princess finds a strand of and searches to marry him, in How the Cowherd Found a Bride.

    I’m sure you can find many more, but they are all pretty fantastic, and I would love to see a compilation of them

  • Victoria

    Also, loved this list. So much.

  • Idreno

    This is a great list, however, I think the actual origins (when known) should be cited for all of them and the descriptions could be a bit more accurate rather than just a cut and paste from a wikipedia article.

  • dionysos2012

    It doesn’t look like anyone’s mentioned the story of Rapunzel yet – I can’t remember the details, but it involves a prince being blinded by thorns and Rapunzel being banished to the desert while pregnant. Pretty fucked up.

    Also, instead of watching the musical Wicked, which is decent but not quite brilliant, the musical Into the Woods by Sondheim interweaves many of the original fairytales as an allegory for the complexities of the human condition.

  • Idreno: there is not a single line copied and pasted from wikipedia in this article – it is completely original. But thanks for presuming the worst – always a pleasant trait in a person.

  • guy

    Randall- i looked at your post at i think #72 and i gotta say, that is one of the best explanations for why something is the way it is on the site. in this case, why the storys have been so watered down. good job even though i understood maybe 75 to 80% of the words you used. good job.

  • warningdontreadthis

    I haven’t been on this site for some time now, and gosh how I’ve missed it. Jfrater, this is now one of my favorite lists, I really enjoyed it. My grandma died on Sunday so I need to escape my thoughts and this helped. Thanks.

  • warningdontreadthis: welcome back! I am sorry to hear about your grandmother – you have my condolences.

  • guy

    jfrater- victoria on 141 has a good idea for a list

  • sharlu

    oh wow . . this is why i love this site :D . . haha so gruesome i love it!

  • warningdontreadthis

    Thank you, just keep making great lists and I’m sure to make it :)

  • MPW

    Warningdontreadthis: Welcome back and I to am sorry for your loss.

    Last time I visited this list(about 24 hrs ago) there were only 9 entries, glad to see you found a tenth! :)

  • Znyrk

    Wow, great list I’m always fond of your rather morbid lists!:D In retrospect it’s a little frightening that since I wa just a little boy my mother always told me the gruesome version of Cinderella…No wonder I didn’t understand a thing when I saw the disney movie for the first time:P

  • Caysha

    Re: the fur vs. glass slipper in Cinderella, (106.evacreek) I always heard that the ‘fur slipper’ was a euphemism… ?

  • warningdontreadthis

    I heard that her glass slippers were actually squirrel fur slippers.

  • Freca

    From out of the ten listed, I knew 8.
    (the exceptions are Rumpeltstiltskin and The Handless Girl)

  • Freca

    Hungarian cartoon films are several times better than any of the Disney productions.
    I recommend you them.

  • Lana

    Wow this is awesome!!
    I didn’t know anything bout this!!!

  • copperdragon

    how about Shrek (the original book and the first movie)

    Great mashup of fairytale creatures and stories. Definitely designed for adults.

  • cass

    ligeia – I don´t know if anyone has mentioned this book, but I found it a flea market. It´s called ´The Classic Fairy Tales´ by Iona and Peter Opie. It´s awesome. It has most of the above tales plus histories of the stories. The original tales are written in the english language of the time, which is also fascinating.

    Great list!

  • ringtailroxy

    anybody watch “Pan’s Labyrinth”? not exactly a Grimm’s Fairy Tale, but a modern, adult fairy tale anyways. What I loved best about this movie is that it shows the world of a child’ imagination… being used to overcome the hardships & uncertainties, cruelties and fear of normal life during war…


    p.s. I can remember a Japanese fairy tale I read years ago about ‘fox maidens’, or women who are fox spirits by day and beautiful maidens by night…that seduced young men…stole their souls & strength… i think they are called kitsune…

  • ligeia

    cass: thanks! that sounds perfect, I’ll have to order it in my local bookshop.
    ringtailroxy: I love that film, the end always brings a tear to my eye, its so sad, but also happy.

  • Stephen Clark

    This entry has been stolen and used in the Scottish Newspaper ‘The Daily Record’ today, 7th January on page 8 and online at, without an ounce of credit being giving to the author or this site.

    I encourage everyone to email the person who has stole this and claimed it as their own at [email protected].u and register your disgust.

  • Freca

    The products of Listverse are worth to steal :)
    it’s a kind of acknowledgement…

  • The_Patient

    Wow, thats pretty creepy, espacially Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel!
    Although, I must say, I have never even heard of The girl without hands…..

  • The_Patient

    *especially. (I CAN spell, I swear)

  • Nixx

    I had a yellow book once called Grimms Faerie tales… alot of the tales in their are more along the lines of the original, I remember the cinderella oneand such. Though the one I remember the most was blue light about an old soldier who smokes a magic pipe. He gets thrown in prison and on the day of his execution he asks for one last puff and the whole town is slaughtered….some scaryness.

  • 119. lo:……..ass-apples…
    If that isn’t one of the more macabre and gruesome tales I’ve ever read, I don’t know what is!
    Thank you for a truly interesting, and twisted, story.

  • Skydiver

    The easiest way to avoid identity theft on a forum is to not allow anonymous postings. Only registered users can post and then Randall’s posts are ALWAYS Randall, unless his wife figures out his sign-in password and posts for him. It also stops most immature postings that do nothing but insult. For those registrants who do abuse the posting system, you ban their IP number.

    Most forums on the web are handled this way.

  • DK

    Skydiver: Jamie has been pretty adamant in the past about allowing people to post without registering, it has allowed tons of people to post who otherwise wouldn’t have bothered registering. Some of these people post once or twice on a list, never to return, some end up registering & becoming “regulars.”
    They do have the ability to do an IP ban, even without us being registered. It has been done before.

  • evacreek

    ueah, how embarrassing, don’t know if it was a senior moment or a simple brain fart, but I did mean to say Into the Woods, not Wicked. Thank you Callie.
    And “fur slipper” might,indeed, be a euphemism for,um,something else furry. That appeals to my admittedly dirty mind, and conjures images of Walt Disney rotating like a top!

  • MOni

    If anyone enjoyed reading these you should consider purchasing the Grimms Fairytales book… It is filled with many of the popular fairy tales (like Cinderella) which were originally written by the Grimm brothers. Might I add that some stories are pretty gruesome! BUT TOTALLY AWESOME :)My mom used to read them to me when I was little… haha

  • Shakespeare’s Girl

    Okay, so two of my most remembered fairy tales aren’t even mentioned. “Bluebeard” is the story of a man who gets married and then skins and eats his wives, or tortures them in some other way. When his latest wife finds out, she manages to escape with help from her family. Although I think there is a version where Bluebeard eats her too. In “King Thrushbeard” a princess refuses all her suitors because there is something wrong with them, even if it’s completely arbitrary, like not liking a guy’s facial hair. Finally her daddy gets fed up and commands her to marry the next man who walks through the door. It’s a peasant, and once they’re married and happily installed in his shack, he sets about some pretty horrendous physical and mental abuse, all on the premise of teaching her a lesson. Of course, in the end, it turns out that she’s married the guy who’s facial hair she didn’t like

    Another that I remember was “Faithful John”, where the king’s faithful servant, John, saves the king’s life twice and the life of the queen once. What does he get for his trouble? He gets turned into stone. Well, somehow, his statue gets anthropomophized, and he tells the king that if he would like to get his old Faithful John back, all he has to do is cut his twin boys in half and smear the blood on he statue. And what does the king do? Cuts his boys in half and smears the blood on the statue, of course. As if that wasn’t enough, John (who apparently has magic powers now) ressurects the children, but says that now they must test the wife. So they stick the kids in a trunk and torture the wife when she comes home by telling her that the king killed his sons to bring back John. And the wife says, “Oh, that’s nice. Good to see you John, hope you’ve been well. Can I see my kid’s bodies now?” So then they tell her that it was a test and that she got it right and the kids are shown to her (still in the trunk) and does that seem wrong to anyone else?

    Also, to the poster who asked about the girl who gets her finger cut off–I think you’re referring to eiher “The Seven Swans” or “The Seven Ravens”, which are pretty much the same story. It’s about a sister living with her seven brothers in a hut in the woods, and while they’re out, some robbers come in and try to rob them. Either she hides, or the ring she’s wearing makes her invisible, or something, but in anycase, the robbers don’t see her. And for some reason, the robbers have a witch with them. So when the brothers get home, they get turned into the birds of the title, and now the sister has to find a way to save them. She does, and I don’t remember all the details, it’s been a while, but eventually, in order to get into heaven and get their cure, she has to cut off the finger with the ring on it to use as a key. Which doesn’t quite make sense, why can’t she just stick her finger in the lock still attatched to her body? But whatever.

  • Ouroboros

    I remember reading a snow white picture book-all the characters were dogs and in the end the queen was made to dance on hot coals until she died! Good, wholesome, traumatizing times!

  • lo

    168. segue-

    i’m so glad you liked gaiman’s “snow, glass, apples.” i have the book and was so pleased to find it legitimately posted online.

    it’s such a haunting interpretation of “snow white” (shivers, thinking about it)

    here’s the link again, if anyone wants it without scrolling up.

    (and i DO realize that it coming up abbreviated “dreamin…….ass-apples…” is pretty fantastic :D )

  • Freca

    In psychology and psychiatry it is a common place that childhood traumas can ruin one’s personality for his entire life.

  • Freca

    The “moral” of these stories are the moral of the Middle Ages!

  • Sherry

    While stationed in Germany, I was able to follow most of the fairy tale trail.

    It was quite worthwhile.

  • sean

    I wanna see sources.

    *edited due to excessive use of capitalization in violation of FAQ*

  • megsie

    hey i think there may also be some truth behind the pied piper of hamelin if you research about the childrens crusades. sounds like it could be a similar story. also read sylvia by bryce courtney i know its only a story but it gives you a different perspective!

  • Cyn

    169. Skydiver –
    this comment brings up an oft mentioned topic that is based on a misunderstanding. this is not a forum platform. it is a blog platform that allows for public commenting. and yes, to most people that means absolutely nothing. but it is a substantive difference when it comes to what can and can not be done in terms of coding for commentors..registered or not..and selection of usernames. there are limitations to a blog platform. and yes, in extreme instances an IP can be J.. but until such time as this site’s platform is upgraded to allow for more ‘social site’ bells and whistles ..your best bet to protect yourself is keep an eye on comments. post a refutation to a comment attributed to your selected username. if it gets outa J to ban the IP. or let me know and comments can be edited to get established usernames to jive w/ the long standing IP address originally associated w/ that username.
    i would encourage new commentors to be as original as possible in the selection of their username…we have an Anon who is well established member of our commenting community. if you’ll take some time to review previous comments you’ll find many names repeated..these are established community members whose usernames can be traced to a particular IP. and yes, i’m more than familiar w/ most of them by now. i can look at a username and its IP and i know if its ‘the real McCoy’ or the real Anon. or whoever.
    anyway…for now..just watch the comments. if something comes up let an admin or J know there’s a problem and it’ll be fixed.
    just consider it a part of the site’s growing pains. i’m hoping in time there’ll be revenue enough to warrant a total site overhaul and upgrade so that community members can ‘lock in’ their established usernames/identities and all the other bells and whistles you see at the subscription websites or the ones that have some serious revenue to support that kinda thing.
    but hey, for a free site where you just have to put up w/ a few ads and its basically a one man operation w/ a coupla helpers on the side… can’t beat Listverse for content or community. :)

  • astraya

    According the the wiki article, one of the Grim Brothers married the woman who’d told them the Little Red Riding Hood story.

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  • Mother

    In the version of Little Mermaid that I’m familiar with, the mermaid did make a deal with an evil witch for legs, but she didn’t trade her voice. Instead she got her feet, but walking on them were like walking on a thousand knives-excrutiatingly painful! And that was how she had to live out the rest of her days.

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  • FrankiiDoodle

    Just two things, thought you might be interested to know that in the original Cinderella the slippers were made of squirrel fur, people just think it’s glass because of a mistranslation and the other thing is that Ring-a-Rosie was around before the plague/Black Death so it probably wasn’t about that.

  • Rolo Tomasi

    I dont know if its been posted yet. Although its not a fairy tale only a nursery rhyme. I believe “Ring around the Rosy” is based on the Bubonic Plague

  • wannalist

    I was disappointed with myself because I thought I knew at least all the famous fairy tales. In this list, I know all stories except for “the girl without hands.” I have to read this one.

    Anyway, I love this list!!

  • karolina

    Well I had a happy childhood with my fairy tale books and I intend to keep it that way with my kids. Interesting though…

  • obsidianking

    nice list though i had never heard of a story about a girl with no hands. of course fairy tales were more scary and grusome back then as they were meant to scare kids and warn them about rapists and stuff rather then entertain like they are today.

  • Guy on the internet…

    mines not really a fairy tale, but a nursery rhyme…
    Ring Around the Rosie is actually based on black-plague-filled Europe. “Ring around the rosie” refers to the ring around the sores on their skin, “pocket full of posies” refers to the fact that people kept things like posies and garlic in their pockets so they could pull it out and smell it instead of the death all around, “ashes, ashes, we all fall down” refers to them burning the bodies and either the ashes falling or just the kids falling, due to being dead.

  • Guy on the internet…

    aww Rolo got to it before me, but I elaborated on the subject…

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  • DaniBee

    One of my favorite lists (: But I think the peid piper or sleeping beauty should be at the top. Rather crazy :/

    Didn’t the little mermaid’s sisters cut off their hair and go to the sea witch to attain the dagger? Hmmm.

    I hope you make a sequel to this one (:

  • Vera Lynn

    “Gingerbread Man” and “Puss in Boots” also. I have a book at home with all the old endings. Im going to go home and reread these. And Hansel and Gretal did use stones and then breadcrumbs which were eaten by birds. They were lost and stumbled upon the witches house made of gingerbread and candy.

  • Clarkie

    Just so everyone knows, the ring around the rosie song is a common misconception. It does not describe the symptoms of the bubonic plague, as the song has it’s orignis about 60 years after the plague ended.

  • amac

    If you want to read some of the older darker fairy tales, there is a book out there called Grim’s Grimmest. Warning: they are not your Disney stories

  • ian g.

    hahaha. it is so wonderful i cant believe perhaps…….. but the most i want was the sleeping beauty. the girl very beautiful just like me beautiful but simple……………….

  • DrWalpurgis

    Great list, but at the risk of sounding pedantic Charles Perrault, Jacob and Willhelm Grimm, Hans Andersen et al didn’t write the ‘original’ versions of any of their stories. They were all collectors of folk tales in their respective countries and with each story having a myriad variations homogenised them in their collections. But I still enjoyed your list.

    • Actually, Hans Andersen DID write his own stories. You're right about the other ppl not writing theirs, though.

  • Virus

    Alice in Wonderland is supposed to be Alice all high(form smoking or something) and is a psycho wielding a knife.

  • lo

    actually, alice in wonderland/through the looking glass (which i love, love, love, both the books and films) is about politics. boring but true. i’m glad i learned the story when i was too little to care about politics, it’s a more enchanting vision that way.

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  • the funky chic’n

    didn’t know any of them.

    but srsly.
    i think sleeping beauty was the worst.

  • Signe

    In the original Little Mermaid it is true that she pays for her leg by having every step fell like she is stepping on knives.
    The moral in the story actually is that children shlould be kind to their parents. When the Little Mermaid is turn into a “daughter of the air” she is told that she has to wait 300 years before she is allowed into heaven, but if she can find a child that is kind to her/his parents a year will be cut firm her sentences, on the other hand is a child is bad to her/his parents a year will be added to the sentences….

  • Signe

    167. Nixx, the fairytale you remember is The Tinder-Box, a soldier get a migic tinder-box from a witch – by cutting of her head – , with the tinder-box he can summon three huge dogs. He gets the dog bring the princess to him in the nights when she is sleeping, she just remember having stange dreams about a soldier kissing her – who knows what else he was doing to the sleeping princess! When he is discovered he is sentenced to be hanged, but he is granted one last wish. He asked to be allowed to smoke a cigar, and with the tinder-box he summons the three dog who kills the king, queen and all the king’s soldier. The soldier makes himself king and makes the princess marry him!

  • Lady Werewolf

    I’m being picky I know, as I loved the list and all the comments and additional links provided, but I think there might be a mistake in this paragraph under Sleeping Beauty. Its it meant to say ‘In the santised Sleep Beauty’ instead of ‘In the original…”?

    Other than that, fantastic! Got to prefer the originals to the Disney versions, no cheesy singing for a start!!

  • GTT

    ARGH… Websense blocked the Gaiman’s “snow, glass, apples” link! I hate that I cant not work while I´m at work! :(

  • 203. GTT :…I hate that I cant not work while I´m at work!
    And that’s why they call it “work”. Otherwise, they’d call it play, and everyone would want to do it.

  • Lazieta

    Great list! and as recommended I’m going to have to get my hands on that snow white spin off mirror,mirror!
    There is a fairy tale about 7 gentlemen who come to town and steal everyone’s voices. They run through the town by night cutting out people’s hearts while they are wide awake and screaming the whole time. They all die when this girl screams. There is an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer (yes I’m obsessed with that show, so what?) Called Hush that is a creep-taculer representation of it. It’s chillingly amazing.

  • Lazieta

    P.S. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that version of sleeping beauty before, let me be not the first…nor I’m sure the last the say,eeeaaaaagh, GROSS!

  • matsuoamon

    whoa to sleeping beauty. I think that’s the best one, imagine waking up to found out you have been raped and you’re a mother of two. >_

  • e.

    38. Eve – as has been mentioned before, ive gotten to know the hansel and gretel story exactly as recalled by Niels Toft.

    also, concerning the fairy-tale origin issue, ive once read a very interesting book by Hans Traxler (the german version is called “Die Wahrheit über Hänsel und Gretel”, which roughly translates to “the truth about hansel and gretel”) in which he points out a court case file of around the time and place the Grimm brothers very likely had access to. According to this, the siblings were adults who tried to steal the gingerbread recipe of an old lady who lived in the woods. Since she didnt want to give them the recipe (it was the best gingerbread around, and hansel and gretel were also connected to a bakery), they first threatened and then really killed her. Ironically, they never found the recipe and were put on trial for murder afterwards.
    Traxler went to the place where the story is supposedly set and found out that the landmarks can only be true for people taller than the children were supposed to be, discovered the home of the “witch” and even found a piece of paper that could have been the recipe hidden away, alongside some human bones (cant quite recall if it was in the oven).

  • No no no no

    F^@# your advertising. F^@# $cientology.

    Sorry, but your site might be quite interesting, the taint of L. Ron’s mafia has ruined it for me. Choose your advertisers with care or not, none of my business.

    But F^@# that noise.

  • no no no no (209): can you tell me where the ad appeared and the address it linked to? I don’t pick the advertisers – I get no say – but I can block ones I don’t approve of – and if you look at the list archives you will see that I do not approve of scientology. If you tell me where it was I can ensure it stops appearing.

  • Lizzy

    I’m very surprised that The Juniper Tree is not mentioned here. There is scarcely a more gruesome fairy tale. There is serious child abuse, leading to a murder by (of course) the evil stepmother, then the murdered boy gets revenge after his reincarnation as a bird by dropping a millstone on his evil stepmother. It’s some pretty grotesque stuff.

  • Lizzy
  • kat87

    Loved this list! I took a course on Childen’s Literature in my third year and read all of these gruesome fairy tales. In the version of Little Red Riding Hood that we discussed, the girl gets into bed with the wolf and then is “devoured,” with the moral being don’t get into bed with random bad-ass men. Or you will get raped. Or eaten hahaha love it.

  • LickyLicky

    I have a book called Young Years, which has most, if not all, of the stories mentioned in the original list and in the comments. My mom found three copies on eBay, so I’m guessing they are still out there. It has many, many in it that are not mentioned here, as well as poems and Aesop’s fables (which I LOVE). I also have a book my mom gave me when I was a kid that’s all Grimms’ tales. It has The Goose Girl, which is the one with Falada. Falada was a talking horse, not the main character.

    I knew about the stepmother in her red-hot shoes, the sisters mangling themselves trying to get a man, and Rumplestiltskin. There are also a lot of Giant stories out there that are pretty gruesome. All the cannibalism, etc. Jack the Giant Killer was always one of my favorites.

  • Luna Dark

    what about beauty and the beast?

    in the old one, “Beauty’s” (main character)father was going on a trip over seas. he asked is three daughters what they wanted.
    the two older sisters wanted dresses and jewelry of the finest.the littlest wanted just a simple rose.
    When the man set off he had to travel through the woods to get to the docks, but a pack of wolves attacked and made the man lost. That’s when he found the castle.
    he knocked on the heavy door and he was let in. no one was there though… it seemed like everything was set up just for him. He helped himself to the food on the diner table. he claimed he repay the service… he found a bath ready and a bed all warmed up for him.
    when morning hit he woke up and decided to try and find the people who made everything for him. he checked the kitchen, diner and the living quarters but found no one. so he tried out side and stumbled into a massive garden full of the most beautiful flowers a man could see.
    Since the mans ship probably left dock with out him he thought he could at least bring his youngest daughter her rose. But when he cut the rose the beast came out and attacked him.
    “what have you done to my garden! why did you do I gave you everything a meal! a bath! a place to rest!”
    the man speechless at the site of the ugly beast all he could do is studder the words ‘I am truly sorry. I only wanted to give my daughter this rose.’
    the beast touched by his apology he decided not to kill him instead he gave him a deal. he was to go back to his daughter and bring her here as his prisoner.
    the man thinking of his other daughters agreed. the beast sent him back on the trip through the forest back to town.
    When the man returned the eldest daughters got angry that they did not receive the gifts they wanted. even when the father told his daughters everything.
    “well I’m not going”
    “me either.” said the older sisters.
    “Then I have no choice, I will have to go” the youngest said.
    the father tried to convince her to stay here but she agreed to do what her father promised.
    Her father lead the way back to the castle where the beast waited. they said their good byes as the beast loaded a cart for the man. and then “beauty” was left with the beast.
    Through the months the beast tried and tried to woo the girl but what ever he did it was the exact opposite of what she wanted. he gave her slaves, jewelry, dresses, and even the fanciest bed room. but all she wanted was to stay in the garden and read.
    years past and the beast straighten up and watched what she liked. Beauty began to fall in love with him for his kindness, for looks didn’t matter for her. when they had their wedding the witch who casted the spell on the beast lifted the curse for someone could actually love a beast. but instead casted a spell on her two sisters. they were to be turned to stone and watch their sisters unselfish love forever.

    I guess the only difference really is that the beast didn’t have a temper and the whole sister thing…

  • Jim

    Shadow 83: I agree, Neil Gaiman’s rendition “Snow, Glass, Apples” is a refreshing, yet disturbing version of Snow White with the tables turned. I loved it. As i started reading it, i noticed the similarities. When I reached the main body of the story, my terror grew with every word, leading to disbelief and a new-found respect for the author. Really intense. I found a free version at:

  • toxic.monkey

    seriously!! rape here, rape there! i’m never gonna let anyone say that modern movies and stories are perverted and that before it was much betterXDXD

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  • bigski

    Love list`s like these good job JF.

  • LickyLicky

    There’s some gruesomeness (is that a word?) in Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves. When the thieves are all waiting, late at night, to break into the merchant’s house, they are in big drums that are for oil. They are all killed when boiling oil is poured into the drums on them. That’s pretty nasty… Lots of death in that story, too.

  • Soell

    Here’s the link for Snow,Glass and Apples. It’s great but chilling and I love vampire tales.

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  • Carlos M.

    Dude even before reading this list I’ve always questioned these stories like really a little girl’s walking through a forest to see her grandmother and she’s being followed by a wolf who eats the grandmother?! And Jack and Jill story where one of them cracks their head open? Like wow even without their original tales being told you can still see how some of these stories are pretty gruesome!

  • Egg

    I’ve always thought the Pied Piper was a joke – like, satirizing the (then) contemporary treatment of children. I know that many children were considered like pests until they grew older and useful, so it isn’t unlikely that this was like a medieval New York Times comic — get rid of our pests! (Out the children go).
    Could also be the plague and how children suffered the worst – but everyone knows that reference.

  • drea

    Love the list and all of these stories…I grew up with The Little Mermaid Anime from the 70’s as one of my favorites. It really stays with the Hans Christian story, knife, foam and all. As far as the Girl Without Hands, this seems really similar to the plot of Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus” where Titus’ daughter is raped by her husband’s brother who then cuts off her hands and tongue.

  • Joss

    Just posting to say that this list was mentioned in a NY Times blog…

    It was cool to see the site elsewhere!

  • Cyn

    224. Joss –
    thanks for the headsup. and yes, it is cool when LV is mentioned elsewhere…now we can add NYT to the list. :)

  • Joss: many thanks for pointing that out – it is great indeed!

  • Congratulations, Jamie! That’s the kind of advert that brings new people to the site.

  • joaan

    I read the original version of the little mermaid growing up in china.

    This is an awesome list.

    Jamie, I hope you get a chance to take a look at this some day:

    It’s a doujinshi of fairytales and I highly recommend it.

  • Liz

    Okay, you want to hear gruesome? There’s a version of snow white called “snow, glass, apples”
    in this tale, the queen narrates the story. her daughter snow white is a parasitic child that feeds on blood, eventually killing her father, the king, from seducing him and drawing blood from his genitals. eventually, the queen banishes her daughter to the woods where she seduces travelers and drinks their blood. finally the queen goes to her daughter and tears her heart out and leaves the body. The prince visits the queen and she tries to have sex with him but is unable to lie cold and motionless like he wants (he’s a necropheliac) so he leaves, finds snow white, has sex with her body, takes her heart from the queen, revives snow white and then they burn the queen alive.

  • penhale g

    this is SICK (in the bad way)
    good stories though

  • Maxine

    At least sleeping beauty didn’t have to go through the memory of the ordeal of childbirth!

  • mango

    this is a lot like the russian fairytales such as father frost where the evil step sister is frozen to death and vasalisa (sp?) the beautiful where the evil step-mother and sisters are burnt to the ground.

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  • amy

    this is an interesting list, just browsing through the comments, i can’t believe only one other person mentioned the red shoes. i remember the snow white one and several others, also a version of red riding hood where she and her grandmother were cut out of the wolfs stomach, and 89. copperdragon have you ever read return to oz? it is really quite creepy, i recall something about dorothy undergoing electroshock therapy after her first trip has left her not quite the same, then there’s the wheeled monkeys (different from the winged ones), and the desert separating oz from the rest of the world, anything coming into contact with it disintegrating into sand, the scarecrow was over thrown by an army of girls who fight with knitting needles, and the true heir to the emerald city, a princess, was hidden from the witches transformed into a boy, oh and then there is another witch who turns the inhabitants of the cities to stone and cuts off the pretty girls heads, keeping them alive with a magic dust so that she can wear them in place of her own. she intends to take dorothy s head, but dorothy escapes by strapping a moose head and palm fronds for wings to the sofa and bringing it to life with the dust, (that the witch keeps hidden with her original head), those are the highlights as i can remember them any way, there was a film version, but it writes out elements of the rebellion and the princess turned into a boy thing, and the giant talking bug…

    also confessions of an ugly step sister by gregory maguire, (also wrote wicked and mirror mirror) an interesting take on the cinderella story, it revolves around the story of one of the sisters, who befriends cinderella when they come to work in her household before her mother dies, the cinderella character is mildly sociopathic and traumatised at a young age by a kidnapping,and the stepsister also fills the disney role of the fairy godmother in assisting cinderella attend the ball, because she doesn’t really want to marry the prince. The book is based on the theme of kinds of beauty, and aesthetic beauty as a curse, definitely worth reading

  • Alyssa

    the only ones i didn’t know was the girl without hands and sleeping beauty. I love knowing the darker side to tales.

  • Crystal

    There’s the origins of the song entitled “London Brodge Is Falling Down” which is based upon the fact that people were killed and added into the concrete for good luck. (In real life).

  • Lammy

    I’m still wondering about that Sleeping Beauty version. All the other stories seem to have some point or moral, but the Sleeping Beauty version is just…sick and rather silly when you think about it. Granted, most fairy tales are, but the Sleeping Beauty story goes beyond silliness.

  • Jou

    I didn’t know about the one boy who didn’t drown in the Pied Piper story. Its interesting because I read this amazing fantasy book awhile ago that was obviously inspired by The pied piper. The main character is a girl who can’t remember who she is for a long time. Her early story is the story of the Pied Piper. The town, the rats, and the lame boy. Only in this book’s version the children are led through a gate into The land of the Fae, and the main character is the one child who doesn’t get led away.

  • Hig

    Great List, Good work.
    Still, I have to emphasize the fact that DrWalpurgis already mentioned: There are rarely “orignal” formes of these tales. Their sources lie in the realm of “oral history” (so to speak). From Basile to Grimm and Disney – these are mere versions of the topoi. Interesting though is to think about the society that favours this-or-that version: childish or adult-gruesome… Have the versions in the 17th century for example been addressed to kids anyway? Or were the kids already have-grown men? Or, or…

  • Yyo

    Wow, that one with Sleeping Beauty was freakky..

  • peachu

    Amazing revelations!! I was looking for something else but stumbled upon this website and it was interesting for sure. Though I would like to point out that the written pieces need to be edited. Rest alls good.

  • writergal

    I’ve just finished reading an interesting (and highly entertaining) version of the 3 pigs… where there were 3 wolves, and one big BAD pig! he’s a serious badass – sledgehammers their house of bricks, uses a pneumatic drill to destroy their house of concrete, and dynamites their house of armour plating. Then the 3 little wolves build a house of flowers. The big bad pig takes a breath to huff and puff this house down, but the scent takes his breath away and his “heart becomes tender and he realises how bad he’s been, so he sings and dances the tarantella”. The wolves ask him to join them in their games of pig-pog and piggy in the middle, they all become friends and ….

  • writergal

    For a good laugh – Google “politically correct fairy tales”

  • Matt

    Here in Brazil there is a nursery rhyme that tells the child to sleep fast, because the Cuca (a crocodile-like witch) is coming to get the child, and both the parents are not in the house, working.

  • Natalie

    Genius! Recently did a play based on Alice in Wonderland where the land was an escape for an abused child, it was very dark. I wanted to do something similar with a different fairy tale and make it dark but seems you have done my work for me. Thanks! xD

  • Denzell

    I didn’t predict that Cinderella be in this list!

  • Denzell

    time to tell the little girls who love the Disney Princesses about this! (nah, that’s really mean)

  • Ella

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but another fairy tale made ‘pc’ is Beauty and the Beast. In the original, Beauty is faced with some rather unpleasant and brutal reminders of Beast’s nature under the curse-at one point she stumbles across Beast covered in blood, tearing into the body of a dead animal.

  • Dgirl

    Bit of trivia:
    #10 (Pied Piper) is called “De Rattenvanger van Hamelen” in Dutch (“the rats catcher of Hamlin”).

    There has been a Dutch show centered around this – I am not sure what it was about, as it was before my time, but its theme song goes like “can you show me the way to Hamlin, sir?” which I always found reeeaaally strange… :P

  • moonstone

    loved these, some I knew others I didn’t. But one thing I would like to add about one comment someone made. “Ring around the Rosie” the old nersery rhyme. The true origin of this rhyme arose during the time of The Black Plague. These are the detials that I have come to undersand : each line represents an event of The Plague.
    -Ring around the Rosie : a rose red ring develops around the neck.
    -Pocket full of Posies : Pedals from the Posie flower were kept in one’s pocket believed to ward off The Plague.
    -Ashes, ashes : referring to the ashes falling from the shy from the burning of the dead bodies.
    -We all fall down : as to say everyone someone knows falls down dead
    I hope you enjoy this tidbit of information!

  • moonstone

    in the “ashes ashes” part it was ment to be “sky” not “shy” sorry.

  • aj

    this is fantastic! and cool?

  • aj

    always reminds me of someone i met?

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  • kristi b

    Actually, the original Snow White says the prince comes across her memorial in the forest. While his comrade is looking for water, he begins to molest her lifeless body. It isnt until he fishes out the remnants of the poison apple out of her mouth that she awkens. Ugh, making out with a dead girl And getting rotten apple in your mouth, yuck.

  • linda

    I tried checking the sleeping beauty one but the Briar rose story by Grimm, the origin of sleeping beauty is really a bit more similar to the disney and with a happy ending then the one described here. Which story is the story listed here really referring to?

  • Mark

    Rumpelstiltskin : “Needless to say this kills him.”

    LOL, that’s all I can say. Well written, haven’t laughed that hard for a while, thanks :)

  • Tomo

    How about beauty and the beast. In the original story the ‘beauty’ is actually quite a nymphomaniac. She gets tired of having human male partners and desires for kinkier things. She’s heard of this beast and arranges to get lost in the forrest in the hope of finding this beast. She gets found by the beast, whom she seduces into having his way with her, satisfying her like she had never been before.

  • Tomo

    Hence, coining the term ‘beastiality’…

  • Rebecca Dee

    My vary favorite has to be “Goose Girl”. It has a beheaded talking horse, a talking bloody hankie and one of the most delicious ends for the evil hand-maiden.

    My son is taking a lit course. His teacher HATES the disney take on fairy tales. It’s been such fun to rediscover the real stories.

    Google in “top 10 gruesome fairy tales”.

    Sleep Tight!

    Rebecca Dee

  • Sarah H

    JFrater, thanks for the list, I’ve been searching for ages for something like this.

    Much prefer non-sanitised versions of fairy tales. Great imagery like dancing in red-hot shoes, and cutting off parts of the feet.

    Cheers and thanks again!


  • Zorg

    The ide about the fur slipper, comes from france. The french word for fur is the same as the one for glas: Verre. and Fur slipper is indeed an old euphemism for … some other furry thing. That you can slip in to… and try for sice.
    and as for the story about rumpelstiltskin, what do you think a stilt of rumpeld skin is? Now imagen THAT being caught, and ripped of…

  • loma

    The story of Red Riding Hood is to teach girls about not trusting strange men. Men are symbolized as the Big Bad Wolf. It is a very symbolic story. Red Riding Hood wears red and brings red wine. She also puts on red gloves. Gloves and shoes in literature may be symbolic actions of sexual penetration. Red is symbolic of passion or sexuality. Hence the Little Red Riding Hood story is about rape. Red Riding Hood was tricked by the Big Bad Wolf and he “ate her up”.

  • Ricard

    @linda: I think it was “Sun, Moon, and Talia”

    great list..haha

  • Froggy

    Interesting… a small clarification (and I’m sorry if it’s been said before): in the original Cinderella story, they were not “glass” slippers. They were fur slippers from a squirrel. The French word for this type of fur is “VAIR” which sounds like “VERRE”, the French word for glass. I don’t know when the mistake started, but it has stuck ever since…

  • This is one of the best lists I’ve seen on listverse. Thanks to the mystery person that submitted it.
    I’ve never heard of the story of “The Girl Without Hands” Interesting and quite disturbing.

  • Julieann

    Definitely one of the best lists on this site!

  • Anna

    Juniper Tree. Look that shit up, it’s gruesome. The evil step mom hates her stepson because he’ll get the inheritance not her own daughter. One day she offers him an apple from a big chest in her room, he leans in to retrieve the apple and she slams the chest down on his neck, decapitating him! Grimm brothers were some creepy folk.

  • to_sam_ja

    I knew 8, 7 and 1.

  • Gregor

    i reccomend a book called
    The book of lost things.

    “Most evident in this novel is the use of retelling of traditional fairy tales. Anything from Snow White to Rumpelstiltskin is fair game for the author. However, none of the tales are the same as when we last heard them. Snow White is now gluttonous and no longer charming; her dwarves attempting to get rid of her. Little Red Riding Hood is no longer an innocent girl visiting her grandmother, but a seductive temptress who gives birth to the first loup (wolf-human). And figures such as Rumpelstiltskin and Kokopelli serve as the inspiration for the most despicable character – the Crooked Man.”

  • jc

    I grew up in china, and I recalled the night time stories my mom used to tell me were very different from the newer disney versions. I remember the version of mermaid my mom used to tell me, the mermaid turned into bubbles. In cinderella, her step sisters did cut the feet in order to wear the glass slippers. In the little red riding hood, however, it was a little different. The hunter saved the grandma from the wolf’s belly and put rocks in the wolf’s belly and sew it up.


    what ‘lovely’ endings, children will die of heart attack if they see this

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  • Patrick B

    I’ve always thought “Fair Rosalinda” was creepy. King falls for girl, set her up as a mistress. Queen finds out and murders her. Minstrel find her body and uses her bones to make an instrument. Plays for the king and queen. Instrument starts to sing in the girls voice and tell about her murder.

    And I don’t 5remember the name of it but there is one where the king decides he only wants to marry a girl as pretty as his late queen. So he decides to marry his daughter. She escapes.

    Want to read books about Fairy Tales that turns them on their heads, try the “500 Kingdom” series by Mercedes Lackey. Start with the first one “The Fairy Godmother” and go from their.

  • Bridget

    Victoria- The only thing that I have to say is that the stories about the the girl asking for the dresses made out of fur are not Cinderella stories(post 140). The girl ask for the dresses because her father declared that he would not marry anyone unless they were as beautiful as his late wife. Unfortunately for the girl, she’s a dead ringer. She asks for the dresses and the fur cloak to try to get her father to re-think his desire to marry her.

  • How different would Disneyland be if they stuck to the original endings or used some of the other stories?
    Can’t imagine kids waiting to get their picture taken with the “Girl with no Hands” also, how would she sign their autograph book?

  • Apostic

    re “The Girl Without Hands” see also the story of Jephthah (

  • Duane

    I decided to read Pinocchio (full-length old version, NOT Disney) to my son when he was about 7 and was amazed at the brutality in the story. It is basically a warning tale to children about the horrors that will come to them if they disobey their parents. Disney showed Pinocchio getting a little karma for his misdeeds but I remember one section in the book where he is hung in a tree for a year and has his eyes pecked out by crows. There is no subtlety or accompanying moral to the story, just a story to terrorize your kids.

  • Margaret

    These have nothing to do with “thinking like children” at all. Fairy tales, legends, and myths are all ancient teaching tales. They’re there for a purpose and sometimes it takes an expert to figure out what the deeper purpose is.

    I have heard something about sexual intercourse in fairy tales, but nothing about rape. Just because SB was sleeping, doesn’t mean she was raped — since sleep in mythical terms means something quite different than literally being passed out cold. “Sleeping” until she awoke to a different life, or something like that. So I find it a bit disturbing that the author here has characterized it as ‘rape’. That, I think, would be a Christian overlay. Many of the fairy tales have Christian overlays, and you have to find the ‘bones’ of the story as Clarissa Pinkola Estes puts it – to get what the teaching is about.

    The handless maiden in particular – if you want to learn more about that one, and the symbolism of losing your hands (your ability to fend for yourelf, your ability to do things), read “Women Who Run With The Wolves”.

    For a better education on the meaning behind and the supreme importance of fairy tales – start reading Joseph Campbell – Flight of the Wild Gander would be a good start.

    I read the most horrendous fairy tales of all when I was a kid, and luxuriated in it. Loved it — they were Norwegian Fairy Tales, with all their gruesomeness intact. Kids do not get frightened by “timeless” violence, or violence that has something behind it — a lesson to learn. IE – no, don’t go into the woods alone because there really are human wolves out there. Is anyone going to argue the fact that there are ogres, after reading about Jeffrey Dahlmer/sp, and the beheading of a passenger on a Greyhound bus in Winnipeg? The stories are intended to teach, and intended to awake all the senses to the dangers around, both physical and psychological – as in Bluebeard.

    I’ve lost all respect for Sigourney Weaver, for reading The Snow Queen with the omission of Gerda’s drinking the reindeer milk to keep going on her journey. Do not mess with fairy tales, we have lost enough as it is. Hans Christian Andersen’s stories are not true fairy tales in the sense that they didn’t come down from thousands of years of oral repetition, but they still carry the archetypes.

    The Handless Maiden, btw – gets her hands back either in silver or gold. Once she has put in her apprenticeship in the forest, and then knows how to handle life. As with the story of Baba Yaga – the girl learns how to feed her intuition (her doll) and then after a trial at the hut of Baba Yaga, she goes home with a flaming skull to light her way. The skull is symbolic for her now psychic awareness, and the fact that her nasty family can no longer manipulate and bully her.

    None of these stories were “written”, except Andersen’s and Perreault. They were folk tales that were collected by the Brothers Grimm, who recognized that if someone didn’t do it, they would be lost forever. So they went around to everyone they could find who knew the old stories, and wrote them down. They did not write the stories themselves. As is the case with people who do not read books, their memory is/was prodigious. These stories have been around thousands and thousands of years, and not only that — they are similar all over the world.

    According to Joseph Campbell, fairy tales started in India, and then moved, changing with each culture. Arabian stories and Irish stories are the most beautiful. You’ll find versions of most fairy tales in North America as well, “Loki” – “Coyote”, so it’s a human archetype – we’re all made the same way.

  • yoyo

    If you’re a fan of scary fairy tales check out this link. I 1st saw it resting on a table when i was visiting a Scottish castle many years ago, and it immediately caught my eye. Some of the stories are quite disturbing but I find it hilarious!

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  • seesmith

    The Girl with no Hands????
    Was this included to see if we were paying attention?
    All the rest are classic well known tales, but this one…… never heard of it.

  • Dr Hulda Clark

    the story is great i like the following para
    the villagers won’t cough up so the Pied Piper decides to rid the town of children too! In most modern variants, the piper draws the children to a cave out of the town and when the townsfolk finally agree to pay up, he sends them back. In the darker original, the piper leads the children to a river where they all drown (except a lame boy who couldn’t keep up). Some modern scholars say that there are connotations of pedophilia in this fairy tale.
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  • Nichola

    I have the complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm and all are in original form, I love reading them and I am collection other fairy tales in the original form from around the world.

  • Mark

    I’ve been looking and I cant find any references anywhere for the version of sleeping beauty that you have here, where she gets raped by the king and gives birth to kids while asleep. I would be very interested in seeing your source for it. As far as I can tell, the earliest version is by Charles Perrault, and doesn’t contain anything you mentioned. It would be great if you could provide source information for these things, instead of just expecting us to take you at your word.

  • Bridget

    No Problem. Italo Calvino, Italian Folktales p 485 and 486 ISBN 0-15-645489-0

    You can also check this site which is from Iowa State University and features a version of the story from Giambattista Basile and pre dates Perrault by about 60 years.,moon.htm

  • natapillar

    i have most of these fairytales,and i love them. the whole grim/gothic folklore is very appealing :)

  • Sheila

    Love this list! I wonder how twisted those authors were to come up with such teribble fairytales! Snow White was the worst, followed by the girl who chopped her hands. Great list as usual JFrater!

  • Vanina

    I’m afraid what you wrote is quite incorrect :( Try and check Bruno Bettelsheim’s essay ‘The Uses of Enchantment’about the psychoanalitical interpretations of ancient fairy tales: it is really fascinating. By the way, the source is not Perrault, who transformed some of the tales collected by the German brothers Grimm. Well, it’s a long story, I studied it a long time ago at university; sorry for bothering you… Ciao from Italy:)

  • Belle Mort

    when I was a little girl my parents didnt like the modern versions and I was given the original’s you didnt mention saturn and his devouring his sons or the beauty and the beast or the pig husband where she had to chop of her limbs
    I think my family is weird

  • Sarah

    Ok i heard about a fairy tale and its origin but i cant remember which it was…a girl/woman fell asleep and had a gruesome dream and wrote it as a story and now its been modernized. I cant for the life of me remember where i heard this and which story it is. Anyone know?

    Thanks for the list:) I had to send it to my old roommate bc she didn’t know the original Little Red Riding Hood.

  • ana

    like omgg these tales are awesomeee lol holla on myspace ;)

  • pixiee

    i love the original fairy tales, does any one know if there is a book that has the original fairy tales in them, i have been trying to find the but i am having a hard time =]

  • dapdap

    Is it me, or the autohors back then are crazy, I MEAN CRAZYYY!?

  • Flickering

    This totally ruins these stories for me…

  • katrin

    285 Belle Mort

    Mine too. My parents hated disney for some reason. My favourite fairy story ended up being one were the girls horse had its head chopped of and nailed to the castle wall, she still talked to it everyday and it replied, I think it might have been the goose girl or something. no wonder i’m morbid

  • nicoleredz3

    Great! Now I’m scarred for life! Lol!

  • twilight

    rupunzul is quite horrible in away
    Alice in wonderland is scary too
    cnt believe the pied piper, hanzel and gretal and snow white.
    isnt snow whites ending meant to be happy not with a wirdo prince tht wants her dead body for sex urrrr
    thats wrong

  • twilight

    Pinochio is scary as ever aswell
    the couchman takes the boys and tears them apart wikipedia it.

  • carmen

    In the original, it’s Hansel and Gretel’s MOM who wants to get rid of them, not their stepmother! Personally, I think that’s the most depressing aspect of the whole story.

    You should also add “The Red Shoes” By Hans Christian Anderson to the list. It’s a story of a little girl whose shoes are stuck to her feet and cursed to dance till she drops dead as punishment (to teach her humility?) because she insisted on wearing a pair of red shoes to church. Terrible story, especially the part where she CHOPS OFF HER OWN FEET to get rid of the damn shoes. You know what happens next? Her chopped off feet (still with the shoes on) keep on dancing and haunt her by preventing her from entering any church. After that she learns her lesson and dies.

  • Actually

    Actually the original Little Red Riding Hood does have the grandmother in it. The wolf kills the grandmother and leaves her blood and meat out that little red ends up eating before being killed and eaten herself.

  • guest

    Did anyone mention Allerleirauh or Donkeyskin? Basically, the Queen is beautiful. When she dies, she makes the King promise never to remarry unless he finds someone who can fit her clothes or her wedding ring or whatever (they vary) Then he realizes the only one who fits that bill is his daughter. She freaks out, of course, so to buy some time she asks for three impossible dresses–the color of the sun, the moon, and the weather. Then when he gets those, she either asks for a cloak made of thousands of furs or the skin of the King’s gold-peeing donkey (on the grounds he won’t kill the donkey just to get married). When he gets THAT she runs away, makes a prince fall in love with her, etcetera. She ends up marrying a prince and living happily-ever-after.

  • veelafleur

    To be honest, most of these stories were told to me as they are written here. The Pipe Rider (he lead them into a cave and made it collapse, as I remember it), The Little Red Riding Hood (It wasn’t really told to me but I did know the original), The Little Mermaid (she had to cut off her tounge to become a human), Snowwhite (where she was woken up by the kiss but did make her stepmother dance in iron shoes so hot they were red), Rumpelstiltskin (where he wanted the baby to eat it), Goldilocks died whenever my mom told the story, Hansel and Gretel did escape from the witch but it was their mom who got them lost in the woods, Cinderella, just as described here, as well. I didn’t know the Sleeping Beauty version and I’ve never heard of the Girl without Hands, but yeah, my mom told me most of the stories like they’re here. Can’t really think of other fairytales right now..

  • veelafleur

    Actually, now that I think about it…Isn’t there a story about some girl with 7 brothers who’s brothers are turned into swans and she has to make them sweaters from nettles, her hands and feet all bleed etc. so time runs up but she couldn’t finish the last sweater or vest or w/e it was, so her youngest brother will stay with a wing for his left hand for ever. It’s not as gory but it was rather disturbing when i was little.

    • fendabenda

      That's "The Wild Swans" by Hans Christian Andersen… and there are eleven brothers in that, actually. :)

  • Brigh

    Yeah… I’ve heard these before. I loved stories that my Grammy told me and I love finding the origins of things so when I started to look for the original stories I found these, obviously. So I love these versions.

  • mooshoo


  • kat

    Nice article. My only gripe is that the brothers grim were not the original writers of some of the fairy tales that were listed (in fact they only wrote down tales they were told by women around germany)… Specifically Cinderella, the oldest version that has been found of that one is the chinese one Victoria brought up.

    • fendabenda

      Yes, the Grimm Brothers "only" collected and wrote down dozens of stories that might have been forgotten otherwise… Charles Perrault didn't invent his own stories, either, he only modified them. H.C.Andersen was probably the only one who wrote his own, original fairy-tales, such as "The Ugly Duckling", "The Emperor's New Clothes", "The Wild Swans", "Thumbelina", "The Little Match Girl", etc.

  • Amy

    You may also enjoy ‘Fitcher’s Bird’ by the Brother’s Grimm.

    • fendabenda

      Well, that one was new to me… thanks, I loved the story! :D

  • Rhyan

    Interesting list. I didn’t know of a couple.

    But, Liz, in “Snow, Glass, Apples,” it was the Queen’s stepdaughter, not daughter that was parasitic. Plus, the Queen had people take her to the forest and cut out her heart to bring back, and then she hung the still-beating heart above her bed.

  • Biglilsis12

    Im never gonna be able to look at mother goose the same again. lol Love the post found it when i was “stumbling” around…

  • Natalis

    Haha I’ve always loved fairy tales. And I know they have this gruesome original version which I like more. I don’t get the moral behind all the sex or rape scenes but at least they were honest.

    Oh and they’re more interesting to digest.

  • Oh my gosh! My teacher told me that the original fairy tales were a lot more grusome, but I had no idea! I think I like the modern versions better: they don’t keep me up at night thinking of all the disgusting creatures coming for me.

  • ladyserenity92

    No wonder some adults don’t want children to read some ‘books’. When they get older, “they’ll know”!

  • Lady Ha Ha

    There is another vertion of little red riding hood where the wolf tells little red riding hood to get flowers for her grandmother. The wolf then beats her to the house and eats grandma. Then he puts on the grandmas clothes. When little red riding hood comes along she is tricked the wolf and ties a rope to her leg and ties it to the leg of the bed. Then he says to take of her clothes and hop in the bed but she is not tricked by that. she says she needs to pee and gos outside and unties the rope and runs away. thats all i know

  • leah

    you should tell them about the match stick girl.

  • Krummi

    Nice list.
    I grew up with the older more brutal versions myself.
    What with having a mother that very early on realised I was a bit of a horror fan, so I was allowed to read a old book of Fairytales that my mom owned that had the origional tales.

    Another great tale with some horror in it
    The Soldier and the Matchbox by H.C Anderson.
    Has a soldier chopping the head of an old women for being slightly annoying, the soldier kidnapping a princess at night and then it is heavily implied that he has his way with her, and let’s not forget said soldier making his gigantic magical dogs tear the king and queen (and a few by standers) apart.

    I remember a teacher at kindergarden read this story for my class, but it was the “Kid-friendly” version of it.
    Where while the soldier still kills the old woman, he now only stares at the princess and instead of murdering her parents just convinces them to let him marry the princess.

    I corrected the teacher. She was not pleased.

  • Siylvia

    I always try to find the true and original story of fairy tales, now i see it, is cruel and not fantasy, that is what real world are?

  • Norwegia

    I actually had two of the originals on tape as a kid, I was scarred to death by them (cinderella and rumpelskilskin). There was also another tale where a mother have lost her kids in a forrest and she meets the wolf and tells him not to eat them if he finds them. However when the mother finds her lost children they are all eaten by the wolf and only their head is left. (it's very similar to One's Own Children Are Always Prettiest) And another one where a husband drowns her wife for beeing stubborn.

  • turunen

    that was rather… disturbing
    and really interesting!
    what did they teach their kids back then?!?!

  • sashess

    wow, this was really interesting, the stories were so morbid back then, personally, i prefer the originals since they have a moral.

  • karlxiv

    This list is wonderful. Now,I can say that fairy tales are not only for children…there are also the "morbid" side of fairy tales that make them more interesting. great,great! i love to know secrets behind every things. :)

  • Another Great List Jfrater!!! I used to have a Grimms Fairy Tale book with some of the original stories in it, quite disturbing but well worth the read =)

  • remote snatcher

    i’m stoked! i have never heard of these original gruesome endings….the one about sleeping beauty is unbelievable.
    i love this list.

  • orhan94

    In "Mara Pepelashka" (Mary Cinderella) a old Slavic version of Cinderella, Cinderella's mother doesn't die before the events, she's turned into cow when Cinderella disobeys her, and she lives with Cinderella and her father as their cow until he remarries and they decide to… get this…. EAT THE COW! And Cinderella doesn't protest, she actually her mother's meat and then throws her mother's bones in the ash where she founds the slippers on the day of the ball. She gets the slippers by throwing her mother's bones after she eats her who became a cow because she disobeyed her. Grimm's version is a children's tale compared to this one.

  • ogdred

    I`ve read a quite a few books on this fascinating subject. Some think the piper instructed the townsfolk to put out a lot of salted meat. Then he had them seal off all sources of water. The rats were so thirsty they rushed to the river & fell in. But when the town refused to pay, he drugged their children and kidnapped them to sell as slaves.
    Little Red Riding Hood is thought by some to be a sinister allegory of deflowering, the red hood representing a hymen. In the original tale the wolf (still pretending to be grandma) invites the lady to bed with her and says "Throw your hood on the fire, child- you won`t need it anymore."
    In the little mermaid, every step she took on her new feet felt like walking on knives.

  • Jan

    wow… it seems we in germany are more gruesome to our children or perhaps we just like the old tales more because i have been told most of the hardcore versions of the stories in my childhood.
    I actually had to google the "fun" ones, but i must say i like mine better than the sparkling candywrapped versions of disney.
    "Ruckedigoo, Ruckedigoo, Blut ist im Schuh, der Schuh ist zu klein, das kann die rechte Braut nicht sein."

  • MissMeggle

    For those with iPod’s, in the app store there’s a Hans Christian Anderson and Brothers Grimm collection of fairy tales. Some of them aren’t quite the orginals but they’re not disneyfied either.

  • Egg

    My French teacher swears that Cinderella's glass slipper was originally, not fur but glass – la pantoufle verte (the green slipper) as opposed to verre (glass). The words sound very similar in French and it's easy to see that a mistake could be made in translation! It's a different suggestion to those already posted but makes sense and certainly is plausible.

  • Egg

    My French teacher swears that Cinderella's glass slipper was originally, not fur, OR GLASS but GREEN – la pantoufle verte (the green slipper) as opposed to verre (glass). The words sound very similar in French and it's easy to see that a mistake could be made in translation! It's a different suggestion to those already posted but makes sense and certainly is plausible.

    Sorry x x – now it should be understandable!

  • Yuu

    My fav story is "The Little Mermaid" nwn
    I preffer the orignal version,

  • Geliaebrina

    I grew up with the original version of the pied piper. I didn’t know that there where a happy ending until years later. I also heard the Grimm Cinderella while I was still in kindergarten.

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  • jorge grl

    Hmm. I grew up with some weird transition of Little Red where it was a mix of the original story and the current one, where they all get eaten but then the wolf is too fat to get far from the house and the woodsman happens by and axes the wolf open and granny and red are saved. But I also read the 3 little pigs where they ate the wolf after he fell into the fire and died. They were happy, fat, and safe. :) If I have kids, we are so reading the original versions of stories. No bubble wrap for my kids.

  • KuroChan

    apparently, Disney got rid of all the good parts

  • Anonymous

    the children who played at slaughter is the most gruesome fairy tale Ive read it was written by the brothers grimm it was left out of all their book except the first few copies of the original complete fairy tales

  • Juri

    One of my fave books ever as a child was Charles Perrault's fairy tales. Find them here: They were gruesome; one of my favourite ones was the one where one girl who is kind to a fairy gets a spell on her where when she speaks, flowers, gold and jewels drop out her mouth. The girl who is rude to the fairy, however, gets a spell where when she speaks, toads, frogs and snakes drop out. Her mother throws her out, and she ends up dying in a corner of the woods.

    And don't even get me started on Heracles, which Disney totally destroyed. -.-

  • Gtree

    I'm going to sleep with the lights on tonight!

  • memee

    snow white

    actually it wasnt the stepmother who wanted to have her killed,
    no it was her real mother wo was jealous of her own daughter

    • fendabenda

      Exactly. But in Cinderella it was the stepmother who was evil, with her two daughters. Snow White and Cinderella sometimes get mixed up, the stories do have some similarities so it's not surprising.

  • Not all of this information is true, exactly. "Fairy tales" as we have them today stem from many different cultures and countries and were passed down orally before they were recorded by folklorists. As a consequence, "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty" stories (for example) have many, many variations. Also, they were not always for children, but still served to pass on moral or social messages.
    I suppose we can't blame Disney, in some ways, for watering them down, as that just represents the next evolution of these tales, for a very specific audience (one defined by culture as well as age).

    • Bert

      I think you’re quite right! In fact even the term 'fairy tale' was made up by a French writer.

      Most of the stories listed are not 'original' versions, because they came from the oral tradition. When they were finally written down by elite during the 17th and 18th century, the writers further edited the stories to their own liking. Hence the differences between the Cinderella/Little Red Riding Hood stories of Perrault and Grimm for example.

  • Raka

    awasome. thanks a lot 4 this.

  • Hey is there a book I can buy that contains all the original gruesome versions? I got the Grimm Brother's fairytales but didn't realize until afterwards it wasn't the book I was looking for. Haha.

    Also The Sleeping Beauty original version was very shocking!

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    Sorta tall tales in supernatural.

  • Marge

    ever heard of this story of "snow white"? sure there's the ending where the evil queen is forced to wear red-hot iron shoes and is forced to dance until she dies but,there's actually an altered story rather twisted,by neil gaiman.This is the link people! : scroll up… it's retold by the evil step mother queen herself…trust me,you will never like snow white's character ever again.Also,it's not recommended you let your kids read this tale.
    And btw,the title of the short story is: Snow,Glass,Apples by Neil Gaiman.Enjoy!

  • rocklife

    Where's Hunchback of Notre-Dame? Esmeralda died.. Quasimodo wrapped his arms around her body in her grave, and eventually died of starvation.. :(

    • fendabenda

      That's not a fairy-tale, it's a novel by Victor Hugo ("Notre-Dame de Paris", 1831).

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  • THIS IS CRAZYYY ……I never knew my favorite childhood stories were orginally gruesome horror stories ….very interesting….

  • hia

    i actually knew most of these and tells them to little children :D

  • I've always said the original is the best…

  • jenniferclary

    You seriously need to edit your articles before posting them. There are so many inconsistencies and mistakes that I'm not sure where to start.

  • Kristen

    Uhm, correction to be made for red riding hood. i have the version you are talking about right in front of me as i type this, and there IS in fact a grandmother, who also gets eaten. also, red doesn't get bad advice, she just tells the wolf where she's going and he says that he'll go too, but take a different (aka faster) way there, to see who gets there first. obviously, the wolf does and then copies the grandmother's instructions.

    it litterally ends with the following sentance: "And, saying these words, this wicked Wolf fell upon Little Red Riding hood, and ate her all up."

  • brittany elston

    i think the juniper tree by the brothers grimm should be on this list it starts out with the mother dieing on child birth and the stepmther decapitates the her step son end up trick her dauther that she is the one who killed the him turns him to stew and fed it to the father the sister who loved her brother is devestated and collete the bone and buries them under the tree then he turns in to a bird and collets a gold chain a pair of shoes and a miller stone he gives the chan and shoes to his father and sisster and drops the ston on the stepmothers head which killes her then he turns back human i thin that is pretty dark

  • apppe

    awesome! this reminds me of a japanese comic book i read with a story inspired by the pied piper fairytale. the short story was about a pied piper getting tricked by a pretty daughter of a circus owner. he found out and furious. so he play the piper, calling all the rats that will eat the daughter and her boyfriend alive.

    you should read the whole comics! :D

  • WOAH!!!

  • O_O i don't believe in happy endings any more !!

  • the truth about fairy tales Sleeping Beauty was just a Sleeping Rape Victim

  • Alex

    Whare is Pepa Pig??????????
    Did u forgot!!

  • monnanon

    Im sorry i cannot remember the name of the tale but i can remember reading one about a princess and her seven brothers, the brothers were turned into swans and to turn them back she was told to make them shirts out of nettles. Thats about all i can remember.
    The first book in the witcher trilogy (the last wish) has quite a good take on fairy tales where all of them are real tales. In the books version of snow white the girl is taken to the woods and is raped by the woodsmen. She then joins up with seven men in a mercenary type gang and terrorizes the country. The books version of Rapunzel has girls locked up because they were evil and the foolish princes that tried to marry them were eaten or found mutilated at the bottom of the tower. Its a very good read

  • and people think that these are kids stories…

  • pantalaimon

    There is also another version of red riding hood, (my favourite) where the wolf eats the grandma and leaves the remains on the table. Little red riding hood then enters and eats and from what is on the table (not realising it's her grandma) she then does a slow strip tease for the wolf throwing each item of clothing into the fire.

    • Rae

      woah source.. cuz that eating grandma is correct but i doubt there was strip teasing back in the 1400s..

  • pantalaimon

    Also, if you ever add to the list, a couple of excellent candidates for the most gruesome fairy tales are Fitchers Bird (Grimm Brothers) and Bluebeard (Perrault) which are actually quite similar. Both are about new wives whose husbands go away on a trip leaving them free reign of the house except for one room which they are forbidden to go into. Of course curiosity gets the better of them and they go in anyway, to discover the butchered corpses of their husbands previous wives. I could imagine both tales being adapted as great modern day horrors.

  • kayla

    What about the fairy tale "Donkeyskin" by Charles Perrault. It was pretty gruesome, considering it was about a king who would only remarry someone who was as beautiful as his wife and the only person who fit that ideal was his daughter, who he "insisted"she should "marry" him.
    Robin McKinley retold the story in her book Deerskin, that's the only reason I'm familiar with the original.

  • hans christian andreson was not the first version of little mermaid. it is a clasic tale that was told centurys befor was a sailors tale spanning all the way to persia. please check you facts better next time.
    did you know that in one of the versions of snow wight she was 7 years old? and there where many princes that came and kissed her? pedophile!!

  • plus no one knows the real origan of fairy tales. people might know the firs print but originaly fairy tales where memorized and shared from person to peson every country has there own vesion sortof like telephone. farey tales are so old no one knows the place they started.

  • Aisling

    I know about most of these, but Sleeping Beauty & The Girl Without Hands…unbelievably shocking. Also, in the original The Little Mermaid, her voice is removed by having her tongue cut off by the sea witch. *shudder* I'm actually GLAD Disney changed the voice part.
    Oh, and Little Red Riding Hood. Well, I read somewhere that some interpret it is a metaphor for a young woman going through her period, being stalked by a sexual predator…I think it makes SENSE that they've been changed in order to be told to children, don't you? Just simpilified to a more general moral of don't talk to strangers.
    And has anyone heard of the story of Bluebeard? Check that one out. That's pretty dark without being altered.
    And The Seven Ravens. It hasn't been altered, really, but it's not as famous of a fairy tale. The girl loses the key and, so desperate to find her long-lost brothers she never knew,amputates her pinky to use it as a key. Ouch. But yeah, there you go, another gruesome thing.

  • Aisling

    I have to say that I'm kind of lingering between whether or not companies like Disney lighten the story too much. Snow White was as dark as it could possibly get to stay away from R-rated ness. Makes sense to take out the cannibalism hinted.
    Besides, Disney's goal was not to appeal to adults. Nor was it to appeal to kids. It was for everyone. It had to be something with a bit of darkness to make it intense and dramatic, but without going too far, you know? I don't think anyone would want to see the very original, pretty nasty violence in something that was promised for all ages to enjoy. I understand why they limit it.

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  • mysteriouswitchgal

    love this blog, I have always loved fairy tales eve for their gruesome origins

  • Name

    Read author Tanith Lee's version of well known fairy tales for some twists.

  • ann

    I don't understand why Cindarella is first here. I heard the version with the evil stepsisters cutting off parts of their feet (first one cut off her toe and the second one her heel) when I was a kid and I don't remember it particularly terrifying me. Oh, and the same goes for the Piper tale. I didn't even know that there was a version in which the children stayed alive.

    Well, but I've always found Hansel and Gretel disturbing. Even the mildest version.

  • Michelle

    …I've read the original Riding Hood, but wasn't she a prostitute in that? I know that the wolf was supposed to represent the devil, and she was represented as a prostitute who was also a witch?

  • nice one!

  • A little bit OT here but thought you would like to know that your blog looks great on my new IPad. Not joshing, just thought you’d like to know ;)

  • Wanjiku Muriithi

    Thank God for whoever revised the stories..we all need a little hope in this world…

  • oh thats lovely. im now disturbed for life.

  • Gabe


  • Whitney

    About your story on Snow White, i have a book most of if not all the grimm fairy tales and the evil step mother asks for only snow whites heart and when the huntsmen brings back the boar’s heart she has the cook salt it and she eats it, thinking she ate snow whites heart. pretty gruesome but i love the stories they’re nice for a change from the typical happy fairy tale ending everyone expects. also, she wakes up in the coffin becuase when she is jostled the piece of poisoned apple in her throat comes out and the wakes up, and the prince wanted to take her becuase he was so in love with her beauty he could bear to part from her

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  • Love it.

  • Samuel

    Being russian, I’ve actually grown up heard most of the originals.

  • secrethearts12

    sleeping beauty should be no.1 so shocked by that one but other than that good job on the list and i love fairy tales is there a name for the study of fairy tales haha

  • secrethearts12

    haha i totally agree Wanjiku Muriithi but these are interesting too a lil scary and messed up but interesting haha

  • StStephy

    I read a version of the Sleeping Beauty in which the prince wakes her, marries her and has two kids with her, but refuses to take her home, since his mother is an ogre, he is discovered by his mom and she insists that he brings his family home, assuring him that she can perfectly hold her appetites for his son´s wife and kids. The prince takes Sleeping Beauty and kids home, and after a while leaves on a trip. During this time, the mother decides she will eat the youngest kid, the cook feels bad and serves her a deer -I think- in the sweetest sauce to trick her while hiding the kid in his own home. The queen then decides she will eat the other kid and the same things happen, and once more when she decides to eat the princess. One day, the queen hears the remarkable voice of Sleeping Beauty singing in the forest and commands that the cook, the princess and the two kids are thrown into a pot of boiling oil before her eyes before she eats them all so that she can be sure she won´t be tricked again. The pot is set and the queen is about to throw them all in when the prince arrives. When she sees his son, she throws herself into the pot of boiling oil out of shame.

    • Natalie

      I’ve read that version of Sleeping Beauty as well! The ogre part was pretty unexpected…

  • Ali

    I think that is should have had Sleeping Beauty on here b/c That is a pretty messed up story !!! She gets raped by her own father !!!

  • Anni

    the first time i ever heard about the mice and the pumpkin in cinderella was when i watched the disney film.
    as a child i was always told the version with the stepsisters cutting of their feet and the pigeons.
    thats how most people i know know it- but maybe that’s because i’m from germany and thats the most well-known version here :)

  • hinata

    the sleeping beauty original version made my mouth open in disbelief.

  • tyler1307

    where can you read the original versions? do they still sell books that feature the original ones or can you only find them in the net? i am really really curious about it :D

  • Rawrrss

    i want all these stories. :)

  • beyekind

    Since I was young I believe so much of happy ending and such. But having knowledge of early Medieval, or when ever it was written, no doubt, it could have been the original. To think Disney made a good job altering some part to minimize the morbidity, knowing the truth at my age today,I find it more realistic.

    • beyekind

      Ah just remember… [just replied to add up]

      A friend told me about this so I searched this page. It’s good!

  • Horror Chik

    As a child my grandfather gave me a two book set of fairy tales, but I can’t remember who the author was. But I do remember that they were all the original, terribly frightening, versions. I developed a life long passion for the horror novel, and horror movie genres. They were great and what I wouldn’t give to have those two books back, so i could read them to my own children.

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  • bablu sinha

    Also, that signs in evolution thing will be a good study guide for a debate with my fundamentalist friends :)

  • erika gonjzalez

    hahahahaha funni.:)

  • butterfinger

    The sleeping beauty storie is terrible!

  • Beth

    My personal favorite gruesome tale is (naturally) a Grimm! It’s called Fitcher’s Bird. It’s about an old man who kidnaps potential brides, but puts them through a test at his house to see if they’re worthy first. He gives them an egg to keep safe and the keys to every room in the house with special instructions not to go into one particular room which they inevitably disobey. Upon entering the room, they find that it contains a bloody basin and the mutilated corpses of all of the previous bride-to-be’s. So, they drop the egg which gets stained with blood and when he gets home and finds out, they become part of the decor. :)

  • caroline

    If you want a really bizarre and gory fairytale, look up the Grimm version of “Fletcher’s Bird.” It was actually my favorite story as a child haha.

  • Name

    another part of hansel and gretel from the grimm version. the kids dont get lost their parents decide they dont have enough food and or money to feed the kids so he takes them out to the woods and leaves them there. the first two times they found their way back but the third time they couldnt and thats how they found the “witches” house

  • Cheetogasmic

    The Story of Little Suck-a-thumb or something. Hardcore. :) There’s a whole book of ’em. Look it up, they’re just plain scary.

  • mela

    you just destroyed my childhood.

  • fmg

    Enter your comment here.

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  • you dont need to know my name

    pretty kewl stories now these r the 1s we need 2 b learnin about right!!!

  • Myca

    About the little mermaid part.. that explains why my little mermaid story book seemed different from the Disney one.. there was really a knife..

    Love this. :D

  • xLuLzZzx

    This was a great list…I DEMAND MORE!!!!!

  • ken

    Wow, hmmm the prince charming turns out to be Necromaniac not so charming after all ??
    and snow white ?? hmm maybe the 7 dwarfs used her a sex toy, prince saw it, aroused by the idea decided to keep it for himself.
    I just noticed that the fairy tales writers used a lot of psycho, sex maniac, necrophylin, SAW version of characters in his story, What does it tells you !!

  • althine


  • Natalie

    Something else that is interesting and worth noting– In the original Hansel and Gretel the parents want to get rid of the children because they are too poor to care for them or feed them. In fact, I believe the mother (or stepmother?) wanted to eat them for meat, but instead the father (being a regular gentleman) sends them off into the forest. Meanwhile, the kids have no idea that their parents even intentionally want them to leave! They believe they get separated while traveling.

  • Natalie

    One more thing, you should look into the original version of Rapunzel. It’s really interesting why Mother Gothel captures the little girl!

  • I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your site. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Outstanding work!

  • LILY

    omg i think those tales r like so totally gross. especially sleeping beauty and the girl without hands. and ewww about the stepsisters without feet.

  • HerseyKiss

    OMG! Makes me want to watch the Real Movies! [hopefully there are]!!
    The nasty one is sleeping beauty and the Girl with no hands!
    i think i saw the twisted Snow white before..
    At the end of this one movie.. a Girl had to dance in a Hot Steel shoes infront of this one guy! OMG! i want to know more! :D So twisted!

  • C

    wow…origins can be very traumatizing but it was also helpful in making new versions…

  • phillygirl

    I thought Cinderella was based off of a real girl from China. The stories just added that magic factor and happy ending to it, or something. Any one hear the same thing?

  • madi

    Of coarse! I always know when a person is trying to trick me when i see a bird pecking out their eyes, rather than just noticing the bloody stumps in the place of feet…

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  • bilqui

    cant believe we know so little abt things we knew very well

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  • justme

    My daughters were given a fairy tale book where the stories are pretty close to the originals. Like in the little mermaid instead of her voice going into a shell like in the movie Her tongue gets cut off.

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  • mikhail

    I’m sorry but this was really messed up and kinda f*cked up my childhood a little bit but what th heck

  • Charisse

    You should add king blue beard on here! It’s about a girl who wanted to live in a beautiful castle and when a king invites her she goes. Later on she becomes stuck up so the king goes on trip and leaves her a key to a room she must not open. Inside she finds the kings dead wives bodies decomposing and falls in the blood. The king returns and find her drenched and tries to kill here.

  • Raavanan

    oh…dis is horrifying……I never believed dis…….I read nly d modern tales……….nd I can’t believe dis!



  • Ann

    My history class is doing a bit on fairy tales and one version of sleeping beauty is that she is put under sleep forever, etc. But instead of a prince saving her, or a prince with an ogre mother, its just an Ogre that finds her. He rapes her while she sleeps. She has a child and the ogre’s wife eats the baby, and this goes on 14 more times. End of story.
    No fairy tale ending here. Thats just how stories back then ended.

  • Millie

    In one version of Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf makes her eat her grandmother’s teeth and jaws and drink her blood before hopping into bed with him. After little red riding hood realises that it’s the wolf and not her grandmother who she is in bed with, she tells him she has to go outside to “releave herself” and he tells her to just do it in the bed.
    Also, the moral of little red riding hood is actually warning against promiscuity. Charles Perault warns “attractive, well-bred young ladies” that “unfortunately, it is gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all”.

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  • Kris

    not completely true for the sleeping beauty one

  • Moe

    The “Sleeping Beauty” which we are all familiar with is actually “Brier Rose” by the Brothers Grimm.
    I didn’t know about the one mentioned on here, but I thought I’d share that tidbit of information.

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  • tom

    that is crazy

  • Flyte

    Little Red has another ending as well:
    Told here Red and Grandma are cut from the stomach of the wolf, Red puts some heavy stones in the wolf’s stomach then sews it up, the wolf cannot bear the weight of the rocks (which must be great if it’s heavier than Gran and Red) and dies.

  • sofia

    Loved This! [disturbung too]
    Is there a book with the original stories only?
    And are there variations in stories due to age?
    As i believed most of them only had 1 [2] authors – the grimm brothers, so did they solely write this?
    Or pick them up and compile into stories?

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  • Ann

    Where can I read these full original fairy tales? Is there a link to a website where full original tales are or do you know of a book I can buy with the full original tales? Thank you.

  • lolly

    What about Beauty and the Beast?
    In the original version the Beast rapes Beauty

  • Dimarie

    I’ve actually just read number six, sleeping beauty in this version. Wow!

  • margaret

    iI thought there was a cinderella story that had a glass knife used to kill the prince.

  • Alex

    You know these Fairy Tales can actually be true, you never know.

  • Silver

    There is also a version of Sleeping beauty where the prince is the son of an ogress. He marries the princess but doesn’t tell anyone till after his father dies and he is crowned king. When he is called away to war, his mother attempts to eat his wife and kids, who are spared only by the mercy of the cook who feeds the ogress a lamb, a goat, and a deer. In the end, she discovers it and almost kills them all, but is stopped by her son’s unexpected (and convenient) return from war. She then kills herself. Also, the Pied Piper may have had its origins in a real-life occurrence and the kids are usually said to have been simply lead away.

  • Ehmonkey

    Well, I think Little Mermaid is rather sad than gruesome.
    And my country, Vietnam, also has a tale which is kinda like Cinderella. The main character called Tam, her mom died and her father married another woman. Tam was bullied by this step mother and step sister Cam. And then everything goes like Cinderella. When Tam had been the queen, her step mother planned to kill her and make Cam queen. Her soul incatnated a oriole, try to tell the king the truth. Cam catched the bird and ate it. Its feather became a china tree. The king usually slept under that tree so Cam was jealous. She chopped down the tree and use the wood to make a loom. When Cam weaved, the loom said: “Cracky cracky, tricking my husband, I’ll pierce your eyes.” Cam was scared so she burnt the loom and throw the ash outside the castle. The ash became a tree (this kind of tree only grows in my country, it’s called “Th?”) which only had one “th?”. An old woman passed by, she wanted it so she said something and it dropped into her bag and she brought it home. When she went to market, Tam walked out from the “thi”, helped the woman with her housework. The woman suddenly came home and saw Tam. Then, Tam lived with her. One day, the king went by and recognized Tam, he took her back to the castle. Tam took her revenge, she poured boiled water into Cam to kill her, took Cam’s head to make a dish and served that dish to step mother. Step mother ate, when she realized she’d just eaten her daughter’s head, she had a stroke then die. The end :)

  • What about the true story behind Rapunzel ??

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  • Emily

    The one about sleeping beauty !! It is a lot more gruesome than the story in my woodworths classic book! I wish that the still sold stories how they were when they first were written ! :D

  • kim

    Hello great side, good re-search Ive been searching for the originals for years
    question can you tell me where you found the originals I would like to read them fully without switching back and forth to the children book and the site

  • cryrose

    hey hi i think ur 10th could b pochahontas the stoy told n the ruth are actually very different n sad n as for red riding hood i was taught that the red hood was a symbol of entering woman hood (menstrual) n the forest represents the journey into woman hood n the wolf represents the dangers in the world, i guess like u said not to trust ppl. n i think i was also told that ariel (mermaid) killed the prince n herself… maybe not ill b looking up more stuff n seeing if i can find my old books that had the info, n stories bc we read the same fairy tails but in versions from all over the world bc every country has a version !! i loved this though!!

  • Sam

    where can I get a book of the orginal stories.

  • Caitlyn L

    What is wrong with the princes! this is so wrong

  • charlotte

    well the story about anastasia (disney movie) a daughter of a zarr from rusia(the romanoffs) in the fake story anastasia survives this fire and lose her memory, finally she gains it and lives happily ever after :S in the real story the mother, father og 4 of her sibling were all shot, thereafter they spilled acid on them to burn of evidence and last but not least burn of all the bodies – for years and years there were rumors about the youngest sibling of 5 ( anastasia) had escaped and therefor survived – but in the documentory finding anastasia – they found out that the girl age of 17 died as well with the whole family… (happend in real life)

  • Korilian

    I actually read the original versions of quite a few of these as a child. I’m not sure what book version we had at home, but there was also a bit of wicked stepmothers being put in barrels with nails on the inside and rolled of hills…
    I don’t think I’m traumatized 0_o

  • Meri

    I would like to find the original more gruesome versions of these stories by the Brothers Grimm. Does anyone know where i could find this? And I don’t want the “softned” versions. This is for me and I’ve become very interested in these originals. Just recently found out that they never started off with happy endings.

  • Enna

    Im from Slovakia and the stories about the Little Mermaid and Cinderella have the original(drastic) ending here…

  • Nesh91

    Oh God there goes my childhood. Ha ha.

  • Evie

    The girl with no hands is so bleak :-/

  • Salad

    Also in The Little Mermaid every step she takes is like stepping on sharp knives and the witch cuts out her tongue as payment…

  • mjj120210

    These can’t be the really endings surely?

  • Juri Han

    There’s also a version of Little Red Riding Hood where the wolf rapes her; nasty stuff. O_o

    Here’s some more gruesome fairy tales; don’t see these being made into Disney films any time soon. XD

    The Goosegirl.

    First, the princess’s mother cuts her finger and gives the blood soaked hanky to her daughter for protection; the princess eventually loses it so her maid forces her to swap places with her. When they arrive at the prince’s castle, the princess’s talking horse Falada is slaughtered and his head nailed up on an archway. Eventually things go right and the false bride gets tricked into choosing her own execution, which is to be stripped naked and put into a barrel lined with sharp nails. Two white horses are to be harnessed to the barrel and she is to be dragged all over the country til she is dead.

    The Fairies.

    Two sisters each meet a fairy when sent to fetch water from the well. The good sister is nice to the fairy, who is disguised as an old woman, and in return the fairy gives her the gift of having gold and jewels come from her mouth when she talks. Her sister is rude to the fairy, so gets the curse of having slugs and toads fall from her mouth. The good sister gets kicked out of her home after her mother blames her, and has the luck to meet a prince who knows he’s on to a good thing when his bride spits out a couple of diamonds and some gold coins. The bad sister, on the other hand, also gets kicked out; but she ends up dying of starvation in the forest cuz no-one wants to give her a home.

    The Red Shoes.

    A girl doesn’t go to church, so she’s forced to dance in her red shoes til she’s driven to cutting off her feet. Her feet then follow her, still dancing in the red shoes.

    • Rae

      actually, the girl DOES go to church but she can only pay attention to how beautiful her feet are. she abandons her sickly mother to go to a lavish party and then she cant stop dancing. she dances across the land through brambles and thorns when she finally gets to an executioner and begs him to chop her legs off and the feet inside the shoes still danced. after that he gives her wooden feet and crutches. she begins to work at the church but never goes to sunday service. she prayed for help and the angel who ignored her cries the first time did some magic or something and the girl burst into light and her soul was free to go to heaven and no one there ever spoke of red shoes. it ended pretty beautifully.

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  • Devon

    I love fairy tales and now I love them even more thanks to these original versions =-D

  • Lalaitth

    Cool, i actually knew more than ithought, I didn’t know all the softened versions though xD

    Oh btw there’s tons of disturbing fairy tales and I know far too many, well i.e. there’s this fairy tale from some muslim country ,can’t really remember which, where a girl and boy are engaged and love each other since they were kids and sultan’s evil helper sees girl without veil and since she is a beauty ofc he fells in love and tries to well impose on her and she refuses, so he tells sultan that she is beautiful and he takes her to be in his harem. Boy is so devasted that he makes a carpet with her angrily looking with knife in her hands, and since it is a felony to have someone portrayed they chop off his head. Girl in harem becomes sultans favourite, and he takes the carpet and puts it in his room since its so pretty(creepy) And one night girl enters sultans room he wakes up but fate wanted her to stand just like in carpet so when he called for guards they thought he is crazy and that she is a painting. So in the morning they found girl laughing with his body choped to pieces.

    well i know bunch of these stories, read fairy tales from many countries xD

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  • Mina

    Well, I ‘ve always liked better these versions than the common ones to the point I sometimes decided to change the end myself to make it more “dark”. What a creepy child I was!

  • Nadia

    Well I’ve heard in little red riding hood, she is a adolescent-young woman. As she goes to her grandmother’s, she meets the wolf and later on in the story, her virginity is challenged by the wolf who wants to have sex with her/ rape her. There is symbolism that her red cape represents menustration blood for youth. I know, pretty disturbing, but very interesting. I may never look at children/disney versions the same. Ever!

  • rae

    actually theres a worse red riding hood called the false grandmother, where the wolf tricks little red into eating her grandmothers flesh and drinking her blood, then after he rapes her and their sitting in the bed he suggests if she needs to go pee to do so in the bed. in the end she escapes but.. gosh.

  • Lyn

    Wait a minute. . . In the original story of Snow White, it wasn’t Snow Whites’ Stepmother that wanted her heart, but rather her own mother.

  • Rae Parks

    I always knew about The Little Mermaid, my parents had actually bought me a copy of the original story where she actually stabs herself and falls into the water and turns to froth in the waves (and in the illustration, she is surrounded by all the others that had died in the waves and become part of the ocean). My parents bought the book for me in 1991 when I was 10, so needless to say they were surprised by my coming out and asking if they had actually read the book before giving it to me, they thought it was like the Disney version. But I did keep it so my daughters can read it too.

  • Reblogged this on JORAIN and commented:
    ang mga fairytales noong 1705 ay super MALALIM, kung hindi tragedy ay pang R18! pinaganda lang ng Warner Bros. ang version nila ng fairytales!

  • HN

    disney just try to make the best story for children

  • silvenonq

    It would be more effective if the items were sorted from least scary to horrifying.

  • Zoobidoo

    OMG so weird n twisted
    its sooooo weird how we grow up thinking eveything is solved with the kiss of ur one true lover n now we know that nothing actually was going well :P

  • Rose

    How about “Pinochio?”

  • Rose

    “The Princess and the Pea”

  • Rose

    “The Wild Swans”, “The Daisy”, “The Steadfast Tin Soldier”, “Pinocchio”, “The Little Match Girl”, “Thumbelina”, “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Shadow” and “The Snow Queen”

  • Rose

    the three little pigs!

  • LenaLee

    well, when I was 9 we read the original, gruesome versions for school, and turned out, well… relatively normal I guess. Kids are overprotected nowadays and than wham!!! the world sucks and it’s hard for them to deal with the shock… Btw, it’s the parent’s behavior and relationship that mostly influences their development as people, not cartoons or media, you help them decide what’s good and what’s bad by talking with them and explaining…

  • George

    The Steadfast Tin Soldier.
    Both the soldier and his ballerina become ash while burning in the fireplace. I think the ending is still kept as is.

  • guilhermediasp


  • Shizuka

    THANK YOU! I’m doing my speech on twisted fairytales and This helped so much!!!

  • Anastasiya

    Wow. I never knew that. that is amazing (but a lil creepy) But now it all makes sense to me!! i LOVE the little mermaid (shes actually my fave disney princess:)and i love the story, its so beautiful and heart warming. i love how she fight for what she wants.. and has to pay a price. we all have to pay a price for what we want. but i happen to watch an old Russian film, 1979 to be exact, and it just got me all confused. The film is totally different, not at all like Disney, and i always wondered why. They made it more like the original, written by Hans Christian Andersen. (she loves the prince, he marries another princess, she dies, he later realises what he had done but its too late)
    It is a sad ending, but i still love it!

  • Armae

    Aww .. Grbeee . Ang rude .

  • Sara

    What I want to know is if any of these stories have and truth behind them. Are they just a gruesome story or were these real stories that were twisted a little.

  • Gg

    Horruble website

  • Trexattacks

    These are disgusting haha

  • Trexattacks

    But these are extremely awesome stories????

  • Kepito

    Oddly, I’ve read these originals before I read the improved ones! (i don’t count the bed time stories that have been read/told by parents etc) I used to have a fairy tale book but it’s certainly a necessary question that why would anyone put those gore stories into a children’s book and more importantly, why on earth my parent let me read those in the first place?

  • Fiona

    I read the original Grimm Brothers sleeping Beauty, and the king DID NOT rape her. When she fell asleep for a hundred years, so did the rest of the palace from the king and queen to the flies, every creature was asleep. Many men tried to get past the thorns which had risen all around the palace but in vain. When the prince who finally marries the princess is able to get into the castle, it’s only because the 100 years had ended, and the thorns turned to very tall flowers. That one was one of the very few Grimm brother happy endings.
    Also: in Snow White, she was 7 when the story takes place. Even when the prince marries her. How lovely…… -_-

  • Caroline

    I have the original version of Cinderella, the little mermaid and The Pied Piper. ;)

  • LauraMarcell

    I’d never heard of the version of red riding hood where she doesn’t die until now.


    i will never look at fairy tales the same way…

  • Sheman

    I will never ever view these the same. I really don’t think they are true though. They might be based off a real life event, but not the exact same. These are just barbaric.

    • Berna

      Actually, there was a fairytale that really happened. It’s called “Bluebeard” or “Bluebeard Baron” by Charles Perrault. It’s actually a toned down version of a real life event. In real life, the baron is Gilles de Rais, one of the leaders of Joan of Arc.

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  • oliviasdfs

    omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i hate the sleeping beauty story!!!!

  • Spoorspreorse


  • maura flores

    where the beuty and the beast story

  • Reblogged this on Rachael Fuller Blog and commented:
    This list sums up it up quite well! An enjoyable read, pointing out the true “Grimm” nature of fairytales and their darker roots…

  • Courtney

    Thank you so much been trying to find those story’s for almost an hour now. :D

  • rebeccaor92

    I think the most gruesome fairytale stories is perhaps the disney movie “Anastasia”, based on the massacre of the Romanov family. It’s by far the worst because its actually based on the true story of the brutal murder of the whole royal family, except the disney version tends to leave out most of the dark, eery parts. To add to the tragedy of this “fairytale” is the fact that poor little Anastasia’s remains were later found in 2007… so the mystery of her miraculous escape and finding love never could have happened as depicted in the disney version :(

  • I thought Blue Beard would be on this list too~~

  • kristy1000

    This totally destroyed my childhood…:/

  • Name

    Can I post without registering?

  • Gene

    Here’s a wonderful essay on the tale of Little Red Riding Hood.

    The original oral tale is described in the essay. The wolf (or werewolf, the male equivalent of a witch for the time) beats the girl to the grandmother’s house and kills the grandmother. When the girl arrives, he tricks her into eating some of her granny’s flesh and blood, then convinces her to strip to nakedness to join him in bed. She flees and the wolf drowns in a river. It was originally a coming-of-age tale.

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  • Beenish

    Very well written there should be more of such articles that educate one on the reality of the world and why the fairy takes were first made and how gruesome they were to what they’ve ironically become.

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  • Leonardo

    In the original version of the fairy tale, Cinderella also actually kills her stepmother first, so her father could marry their housekeeper

  • julianna mikell

    O.O disney you are insane.

    beauty in the beast was turned into a story far from the original
    Villeneuve’s tale includes several elements that Beaumont’s omits. Chiefly, the back-story of both Belle and the Beast is given. The Beast was a prince who lost his father at a young age, and whose mother had to wage war to defend his kingdom. The queen left him in care of an evil fairy, who tried to seduce him when he became an adult; when he refused, she transformed him into a beast. Belle’s story reveals that she is not really a merchant’s daughter but the offspring of a king and a good fairy. The wicked fairy had tried to murder Belle so she could marry her father the king, and Belle was put in the place of the merchant’s dead daughter to protect her.[5] She also gave the castle elaborate magic, which obscured the more vital pieces of it.[6] Beaumont greatly pared down the cast of characters and simplified the tale to an almost archetypal simplicity.[7]

  • Dustin

    The Version of Little Red Riding Hood posted here is wrong. There was a grandma and she did make it to grandmas house. The wolf was the one who asked for directions. The only correct thing i that is that there was no woodsman so Red and grandma were not saved. Don’t believe me? Look it up.

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  • andrea

    All these gruesome stories we grew up with and turned out fine….As a kid I had a series of books called “Fairy Tales”. It started with simple nursery rhymes and worked its way up to longer fairy tales. Loved them all and they were not overly sanitized. Rumpelstiltskin died…. children led away never to be seen again… had some Hans Christian Andersen and Grimm brothers too.
    BTW my version that I red, Little Red Riding hood got eaten.

  • Dani

    Actually a version I heard was when the wolf got to Grandma’s house he killed her then skinned her. Thus putting on her skin to disguise himself as the grandma. Society just cleaned it up for kids by saying he put on her night clothes. I think I like this “Silence of the Lambs” version better. Nothing like wearing the skin of another. Although we wear animal skins so mayber it’s not that different for the wolf to wear a human skin.Just a thought ; )

  • George

    Sleeping Beauty SHE GOT RAPED that’s nice to hear

  • anthony whooley


    • George

      Theses story’s are terribly gruesome, Thousands of years ago all they thought about was Sex and Rape According to a few of these story’s. Most of them are sick and twisted which would the reader to be breathless of what the writer put on the paper.

      This helped me in my assignment, Although i would of wanted a few more story’s like the three little pigs.

  • Ashe

    I’ve read the original Little Mermaid…the rest of them…well let’s just say my childhood is destroyed XD

  • Dreami-chwan

    Wow, that’s not at all like the stuff I watched in Dismey movies when I was a kid!

    I do know there’s something more to Little Red Riding Hood. In one version, she performed a strip tease to distract the wolf and she ended up in bed with him. She managed to escape by saying she had to use the bathroom.

    Some studies of this tale say that the story of the wolf devouring a young girl could be seen as a dark “wolfish” man devouring an innocent woman/virgin. Like rape. Weird thought, isn’t it?

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  • Asabikeshiinh

    When I was a kid I had a book of tales, one of which really stuck with me. It was about a poor man that loved a wealthy woman, but she wouldn’t give him the time of day. A sparrow saw how sad the man was, so he offered him a gift. At night, the sparrow landed on a bloomless rose bush, and pressed his body against a thorn, piercing his heart. To deal with the pain, he sang as hard as he could, then died. The next day there was a single red rose on the bush. The man plucked the rose and offered it to the woman, but she didn’t appreciate the gift because it was just a “simple rose”. So she threw it in the gutter, where it was crushed by a wagon wheel. The end =/

  • Reblogged this on hey silly! and commented:
    oohhh noo

  • ?????

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thank you, However I am having troubles with your RSS. I don’t know why I can’t subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  • Retta Morgan

    this is amazing…now i can finally get my new books on fairy tails started. Thank you so much and look up my name on google!!!

  • Pragnya

    I will never be able to look at a fairytale book the same way again

  • AAaaa

    Right in the childhood!

  • amanda

    i really enjoyed this. who knew this shit was so horrrible!

  • Laura

    For the cinderella story, another variation is that the prince chops the evil step sisters heads off when he sees their bloody feet. Their is another story I can’t quite remember the name of, it’s about a boy with an evil mother and sister. The mother is angry at him so she makes him take apples out of the apple box, and then drops the lid effectively chopping his head off cleanly. She is horrified by her action, and puts his head back on witha ruff. Then she commands her daughter too Bo him in the head, so she thinks she killed him. She sympathizes with her daughter and feeds the boys body to his father, all the while saying he is at his uncles for 6 weeks. Then he returns as a bird, and is made whole again, by taking his mothers life as she shrinks and blackens until she is a dead husk. His sister is so full of greif she stabs herself in the heart. This is another Grimms tale I beleive. A more unknown one, like the magic ring or such.

  • curious

    I don’t know if Hansel and Gretel and the Lost Children are necessarily the same story either. Just because they are very similar, doesn’t make them the same. Especially since they seem to have two different countries of origin. Many cultures have a story where children wander off in the woods, or were abandoned only to come across a devil/witch type character. I suppose you are just writing about the origins of fairy tales, but I think just because stories have certain thematic similarities, doesn’t necessarily make them the same story, or based of one another. For example, many cultures have a story for “Cinderella”. Yet you didn’t mention Yeh-Shen, which is 1000 years older than Cinderella. So perhaps some of these “origins” are coincidental, or collective unconscious or whatever you’d like to call it. There really isn’t one true origin. Yes we can trace it back to a documented copy, but who is to say that’s even the original story? I’m sure even the ones written down are modified versions of other stories.

    I have never heard your version of Sleeping Beauty. I do know that she does bear two children, but not while passed out unconscious. So I looked into it, and it does seem that version originates with an Italian writer, not with Perrault.

    Hans Christian Anderson did claim that the “air children” ending was his intention all along. This certainly lends itself to the notion that most fairytales are cautionary, or meant to scare children. The new ending told children if they were good, the little mermaid would get one year closer to heaven, but every bad behaviour added on time for her remaining without an immortal soul. I guess we’ll never know if he really meant that, or felt pressured to add it, or whatever his motivation was.

  • Loved this post! I re-blogged it, I loved it so much! I also loved your 10 most disturbing novels!

    Thanks for the awesome lists.


  • RDM

    Pinnochio in the original form is horrible. The illustrations are terrifying. One in particular shows Pinnochio being stabbed with butcher knives by robbers on the road. The cat and the fox are cons who are out to kill him. It’s very creepy.

  • I read most of the originals when I was younger. I was a kind of Matilda character and read anything I could get my hands on. Needless to say, when Disney brought out their version I was a bit…confused. ‘That’s not how it goes..?’ My teachers never admitted that I was right, as if the other children couldn’t stomach a botched toe or two? Please! HOWEVER, I am hearing about the TRUE origins of #’s 3 and 4 for the first time though and hearing about #2’s story for the first time ever! Those old storytellers were gorey, bad! Life was different then and I guess these stories weren’t totally and exclusively meant for children but were more akin to our modern day movies, with action and drama and evil and plotting and was meant for fireplace entertainment. Even at 8yrs, I thought they were interesting reads. Thanks for the list.

  • Skylar Blue

    you make me sick :(
    I knew about this but the rape bit is just WAY too much i mean god i knew some people are evil but thats just CRAZY.Now i can’t get to sleep cos of my stupid German projecy (sadface). =(

  • Emily

    well actually in the little mermaid, she makes a deal with the witch – cut out her tongue in exchange for humanity; the catch is that if the prince marries anyone else she will die and turn into seafoam the next morning. The prince mistakes another princess for his savior (yes the part in Disney about her saving him from an ocean storm is accurate) and marries her. So her sisters come bearing a knife from the witch to kill him with – when the blood from his neck drips on her feet she will turn back into a mermaid – but she cant do it so she meets her foamy end. Oh, and lets not forget the fact that every time she takes a step, it feels like she is stepping on a hundred daggers and her feet bleed, although she is the most beautiful, light-footed dancer in the land.

  • Deryck

    Good stuff! But I have one correction to make. In the “Red Riding Hood” story she is fooled by the wolf, raped, and then murdered/eaten. Yep. That was the real story. Obviously these old story tellers were fond of such brutalities and loved telling little kids about it.

  • saumya


  • steph

    hey does anyone know where i can read some of these?

  • Juliette

    Don’t forget- in the original Red Riding Hood (the Grandmother, as it was called) the girl also did a strip tease for the wolf and threw her clothes in the fire, and she ATE HER OWN GRANDMA XD but i knew this stuff when i was four, these were the versions my mother told me. I had a great childhood :D

  • Tom

    You’re actually wrong about the sleeping beauty one.

    That story was “Sun, Moon, and Talia” 1634.

  • Emily

    Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and The Pied Piper were the most Gruesome to me as I am 10 years old. The stories were very interesting. I’d quite like to buy and read the original books Or maybe a cartoon. Anyone want to type up some more stories for me? It can be gross I don’t really care .-. lol xD
    But please do :)

  • Rheyanna

    And did you know that the little red riding hood story was actuallly a metaphorical story for how young girls should stay away from sex. The wolf in the story is actually a man genitals. And the girl being eaten in the end is suppose to be her being raped.

  • Ninz14

    .. gosh ! i didn’t expect all of that horrible endings !! . there’s no such thing is Happy Endings in Fairytales . =(

  • Angelique Baider Mea

    Thank you for this information. I am really fond of fairy tales and this information helped a lot. I hoped there will be finding on the true story of Rapunzel. Thank you again.

  • Reblogged this on You're not supposed to be here. and commented:
    Day 20 –> 20 Me!


    REblogging this is better. I couldn’t have made a better one! :D

  • Colbey

    The Original Little Mermaid is actually really sad… I’m glad Disney gave them all a happy ending.

  • ikel

    coooless. :P

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  • Reblogged this on Emotions on Edge and commented:
    I love fairy tales.

  • haley

    i already knew the cinderalla one. i like these. they are funny

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  • nick

    is there a real book of this ?? if so where can i find it ??

  • Jemsiewemsie

    In Cinderella the reason the Prince is initially not aware that the stepsisters have cut off their heels and toes (because you would see all the blood in a glass slipper) is because when the text was initially translated the word was misunderstood it should have been a wooden slipper. The original word looks very similar only there is an extra ‘r’ and the ‘e’ is in a slighty different place.

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  • Anonymous passing by

    Red Riding Hood predating Perrault had cannabalism and suggestions of sex or rape between the wolf and Red. Although the end was either Red gets eaten or she manages to get away on her own, probably depending on who wanted the happy ending.


    I rather liked Eric Berne’s use of fairy tales in describing psychology & lifescript in terms understandable to the masses in Games People Play. Such that Little Red Riding Hood goes to gramma’s house, meets a wolf on the way who intends to satisfy a carnal appetite. She is rescued from the wolf by a woodsman who in turn would like a little carnal reward, thus becoming the wolf, from whom the girl must flee. In the world around me are re-enactments of the classic tale, with roles often played by abused women.



  • casual long blonde hairstyle

    Magnificent site. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to a few buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And certainly, thanks in your sweat!

  • Lacey Rose.

    Grimm fairy tales are ultimately the best tales ever told. I, myself, am into horror gore, and was never into the “quite so nice” fairy tales. Then, when i discovered the Grimm’s, everything changed, i was suddenly into fairy tales to see which things had changed from the original, to the nicer, child suitable version.

  • Destiney

    I was wondering if the author could possibly tell me exactly where you found these stories? I am a photography student doing a project on these stories, but need the evidence/real sources. Its like pulling teeth trying to find these versions!

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  • Reblogged this on Pieces of Lace and commented:
    that’s some fucked up fairy tales. o.O

  • mkc

    Number 2 i had never heard of, but i looked it up and its in my big book of fairytales (its very old, and includes most of the grim fairly tales, the stories from the arabian nights, and a few other unrelated fairytales. One that i feel needed mention was the hunchback of notre dame which was changed in most ways and had a really horrible original ending that just left a bad taste in my mouth after reading it, the disney version was really sanitized, but still nice.

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  • YinYangGirl

    I grew up reading the original versions, and yes, it was creepy, but to me, it wasn’t. Like i said, growing up with those stories made me realize how unfair life is.
    Trust me, i HATE the disney versions, the producers change it around so fuckin much that it twists our kids’ brains! Look what they did to Rudyard Kipling’s Jung Book! Shere Khan was crippled and was stampeded and killed in the book, yet in the disney version they made him all handsome and sexy and not crippled. Shere Khan was the sexiest disney villian, and i actually get turned on when he’s onscreen thank you fucking disney for ruininf mychildhood and making me wanna kiss Khan, you sick twisted fucking jackass bastards& :(

  • Vivienne

    My childhood is over.

  • Sarah Williamson

    this is freaking stupid shut up

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