More than 150 years ago, a guy named Franz Xaver von Schönwerth decided to spend his life writing down fairy tales, much like the Brothers Grimm. Actually, the Grimm Brothers recommended that he take their job once they stopped working. All his work was put in an archive in Germany and forgotten about for a century and a half. Now they've been rediscovered and published in German. I'm impatiently waiting for the translation to English, because, from the sounds of it, these will be just as gruesome and horrifying as the stories we already know. According to this article, in one story "there is the tale of a maiden who escapes a witch by transforming herself into a pond. The witch then lies on her stomach and drinks all the water, swallowing the young girl, who uses a knife to cut her way out of the witch."
While you wait for the von Schönwerth tales to come to America, here are some other gruesome stories to satisfy.
The ancient gods are still alive in modern-day America, but just barely. Hermes body is consuming itself, and Athena is sprouting feathers inside her body. "She reached into her mouth and grasped the short, exposed quill of the feather. When she yanked, it tore free with a long, meaty sound...Blood drenched her tongue and teeth. The feather hung limply from her fingertips, and she slammed it down onto the bar top. It was disgusting, coated with blood and bits of her skin."
When Joey's mother dies, he has to leave Chicago and go live with a father he's never known in Iowa. His father is known as The Garbage Man and he's no ordinary refuse-collector; he's a modern-day grave robber. Joey is forced to help with the gruesome work. Maggots, rotting flesh, and horror abound. Especially gross are the "rat kings," rats whose tails have become tangled so they move as a single mass. Ew.
If you haven't read this for school yet, read it now! I know, it's a "classic" and "required reading," but really, it's a macabre look into how evil even children can be, if left to their own devices. I'm not going to spoil the ending, but know that at one point, a kid beheads a wild pig and puts the head on a stake and then talks to it. And someone gets murdered.
To wrap this up, my apologies for any nightmares that may occur due to reading these novels. Sweet dreams!