Most fairy tales come from Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm’s collection of folktales, which contains some of the best known children’s characters in literary history, from Snow White to Little Red Riding Hood. The brothers filled their books with vast amounts of gruesome scenes that could have ended up as a horror movie, which is now known as “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”. Yet over time Walt Disney bought and re-modelled the stories to create them into the pleasant happy ending stories that they are known as today.
The amount of sexual misconduct and death that is seen is these tales is substantially high. Well, I guess you’ll know what I’m talking about very soon. Keep reading to take a look at the terrifying, gruesome and horrifying versions of our beloved classics that’ll make you think twice before you read your child that bedtime story.
In the original Grimm version, the witch is actually Snow’s mother, not her step-mother. Also, in the Disney version the huntsman is after her heart (which is quite gruesome even for a Disney movie), but in the original stories the Queen actually wants her liver and lungs, which she means to eat. Quite terrifyingly Snow White is already dead when the prince finds her, he then makes his servants carry the coffin, one trips, causing the apple inside Snow’s throat to dislodge. What a nice prince right? Not.
I even found the Disney version quite scary when I was younger with the dragon and everything. But in the original stories Aurora does not prick her finger on a spindle, but rather gets a silver of flax stuck under her fingernail. She falls down, apparently dead, but her father cannot face the idea of losing her, so he lays her body in one of his estates. Later a king hunting in the woods finds her body, and then rapes her unconscious form. Nine months after she gives birth to twins while still unconscious, one of them accidentally sucks the splinter out of her finger, so she wakes up. The king is already married, so he burns his wife alive so he can Aurora can be together.
I guess the plot for the Disney movie has quite a lot of problems even after re-decorating it, with kidnapping a little princess and locking her away in a tower until she escapes at age 18. Yet, in the original Grimm version, Rapunzel was actually 12. She winds up pregnant with the prince’s baby, and she gives away the prince’s visits by asking her adoptive witch mother why her clothes are getting too small. The witch then cuts off her locks and banishes her to the desert to give birth to twins. Such a pleasant story indeed.
In Grimm’s tale, Cinderella’s two stepsisters are so desperate to become the wife of the prince that when the glass slippers fails to fit them, they cut off parts of their feet. If that’s not enough, at Cinderella’s wedding, doves fall down upon the stepsisters and peck their eyes out leaving them blind. They really have horrible luck in the original version.
Little Red Riding Hood
This story was even more gruesome before the Grimm brothers got their hands on it. In Charles Perrault’s version, there is no huntsman. Little Red simply strips naked, gets in bed, and then dies, eaten up by the big bad wolf, with no happy ending. The sexual undertones are definitely seen between the lines, well in France, the idiom for a girl having lost her virginity was elle avoid vu le loupe – she has seen the wolf.
Horrifying right. I’m glad I wasn’t told these original tales as a kid, then I definitely would not have been able to sleep.
Do you guys know anymore of Grimm’s original tales?