The Jangly Man Comes to Life in Exclusive Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Featurette

Since the first Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark book debuted in 1981, its tales of terror have been causing nightmares for its readers. Those horrifying thoughts continued to multiply as writer Alvin Schwartz and artist Stephen Gammell delivered audiences two more books, all filled with unsettling adventures. With a new film adaptation of the concept now landing in theaters, fans are looking forward to seeing how iconic creatures will come to life for the film, yet producer Guillermo del Toro and director Andre Ovredal will also deliver new monsters, such as the Jangly Man. Learn more about the new character in the above featurette.

“The difficulty with this was to not do a normal decomposing corpse that you’ve seen a million times, but to truly try to give it evil,” del Toro revealed about the character during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con.

While the character himself might be entirely new, del Toro also noted that the character's appearance was meant to honor the spirit of Gammell's ghastly artwork.

“We knew that [performer] Troy [James] was so good at walking backwards, very eerily, that we decided that we’re gonna do an upside down head,” makeup effects artist Mike Hill added. "And so they have!"

In the film, it’s 1968 in America. Change is blowing in the wind...but seemingly far removed from the unrest in the cities is the small town of Mill Valley where for generations, the shadow of the Bellows family has loomed large. It is in their mansion on the edge of town that Sarah, a young girl with horrible secrets, turned her tortured life into a series of scary stories, written in a book that has transcended time—stories that have a way of becoming all too real for a group of teenagers who discover Sarah’s terrifying home.

Between both the original narratives and illustrations, the books contained all manner of otherworldly events. While CGI could make anything from the books feasible, del Toro preferred to take the old-school route to make the effects as practical as possible.

“In all the creatures — the Pale Lady, Harold, all that — 90% of everything is physical,” del Toro pointed out. “And then we have the 10% digital that makes you believe it’s alive.”

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is in theaters now.

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