Monday, August 11, 2008

Are there any really scary stories?

Scary stories are a conundrum. When telling to children there are always a few who will get scared by such innocuous stories like "The Ghost with Bloody Fingers" and there are others who think the story is lame because they were not scared. Kids want to be scared and then part way through a scary story they may not want to be scared that is why so many tried and true scary stories have a fun or light ending. Even when kids say they aren't scared at the end the truth is that many are scared through the story.

In audiences with slightly older children the fun ending stories don't always work, they want to be more scared and have it last longer. A funny thing happened the other night to one of my storytelling friends. She told a ghost story and for the most part the audience was believing it but as soon as she finished the kids asked if it was true. Since there was no fun release it was a way for them to release their fear if it was not true. My friend wondered what would have happened if it was true, would they be scared or just skeptical that she was lying.

Telling scary stories around the campfire is fun but for professional tellers it can be a tight rope experience. Make it scary enough but don't leave the audience shaking with fear, especially if they are camping out for the night.

I would be interested in hearing others experiences with telling and hearing scary stories. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Education Help

I'm not really surprised but I just read a string of messages regarding online help for teachers who have faced difficult situations. The initial questin was to try and find help from others through their stories of similar events. The first site listed was something tried in the UK, the second message referenced a blog for sage advice from teachers at . Having found these couple there are probably several sites where teachers can rant and praise classroom happenings.