These stories aren’t your happy endings but rather sometimes gruesome and shocking tales. Fairy tales used to be stories aimed at both adult and child alike and the grown-up themes they portray is good evidence of that. We dug deep with this list to find where our common stories come from and what the original dark (very dark) stories really were. Hold on tight as we dive into these 25 Dark and Disturbing Original Versions Of Children’s Fairy Tales.
Italian Giambattista Basile’s version of Sleeping Beauty is really dark – the king who finds the girl rapes her while she’s asleep. She later on gives birth (while asleep) and is awoken only because one of the kids sucks out a splinter under her finger which was keeping her asleep. The king later kills his wife (who tried to get him to unknowingly eat the children) to be with Sleeping Beauty.
In Carlo Collodi’s original version, once Gepetto carves Pinocchio, the marionette runs away. He’s caught by the police who assume Gepetto has abused him and they imprison the puppet maker. Pinocchio goes back to Gepetto’s house that night and accidentally kills the wise talking cricket. He later gets hung from a tree and suffocates.
Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie has more adult themes than you’d guess. Peter brings Wendy to Neverland to act as a mother to the Lost Boys. With time, Wendy starts to fall in love with Peter and asks him how he feels for her. He describes himself as her faithful son – now that’s the strangest friend zoning we’ve ever heard!
The Three Little Pigs
Some versions of this English tale have the wolf eating the first and second piggies after he blows their weak straw and stick houses down.
The Little Mermaid
Hans Christian Andersen’s original story has the newly-legged mermaid walking but in excruciating pain with every step. If the prince married someone else, she would die and turn into sea foam. Spoiler alert: the prince married another. (In an attempt to save their kin, the mermaid’s sisters traded their hair for a dagger from the sea witch. If the mermaid killed the prince with it and drips his blood onto her feet, she would return to being a mermaid. Spoiler alert #2: she didn’t kill him.)