As a kid I fell in love with fairy tales. I used to have a set of Disney fairy tale books that I enjoyed reading. Fairy tales took me to a different world. They made me imagine beautiful princesses, talking animals and beautiful kingdoms. Because, no matter how evil Snow White and Cinderella’s stepmothers were, their princes successfully rescued them and they had their happily ever after. Now just like how it was when I realized that Santa was my mom putting gifts on my Christmas stockings, it’s exactly how I felt when I found out that these fairy tales originally didn’t really have a happy ending, or at least events were so gruesome before it got there.
10. The Juniper Tree
Written by the Grimm brothers, this tells a tale of widower who remarries. The new wife, however, hates his son, because the new wife wanted her daughter to inherit all of his riches. To get rid of the boy, the new wife offered the boy an apple placed inside the chest. When the boy was about to get the apple, she closed the chest, eventually cutting off the boy’s head. To hide her deed, she chops the boy and made him into a pudding, letting the father of the boy eat it.
In the newer version of the story, when the girl he dealt with knew what his name was, Rumpelstiltskin scrammed and run far away. However, the original version tells that he was so mad; he drove his foot into the ground and ripped himself apart.
8. The Girl with the Chopped Hand
This story is one of the lesser known tales, but still deserves a spot in this list of gruesome children’s stories. This story begins when a king falls for his sister, Penta. Penta didn’t want to have anything to do with his brother, so he chopped her hands off to make him fall out of love with her.
7. Little Riding Hood
Originally, after following the wolf’s instructions on how to get to her grandmother’s house, she was tricked by the world and was eaten, and that’s it, definitely no happy endings here.
6. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Goldilocks is a child who enjoys her stay in a house she didn’t know was owned by three bears. After trying out their chairs and even eating their food, she falls asleep. When the three bears got back, she wakes up and escapes out of the window. Another ending was no-nonsense though, upon seeing her asleep in their bed, they kill and eat her.
5. Pied Piper
A town has been plagued with pests, so they asked the Pied Piper to get rid of them for huge fee. And so he did draw out all the rats in town using his music. But the townspeople didn’t keep their end of the bargain, so the piper leads all the children in town to a river, where they all drowned
In the version known to kids nowadays, the step sisters sure try their best to trick the prince that they are Cinderella, unlike the original version though, they weren’t as determined to be the princess that they’d cut their feet, just so the glass slipper fits. They eventually got found out by the prince, he marries the right Cinderella, and I guess, they lived happily ever after.
3. Little Mermaid
Having defeated everyone in the way of their love, the Little Mermaid and the prince gets married in the Disney version. Meanwhile, in the original version, she was asked to stab the prince to death, instead she goes back to the sea and becomes sea foam.
2. Snow White
In the original version, Snow White doesn’t wake up with a kiss, but with the jostling of the princes’ horse, while the prince carried her on his back. In another version, the queen was punished by making her dance with a pair of hot iron shoes until she dies.
1. Sleeping Beauty
Opposed to the sweet tale of a princess being cursed to sleep, but wakes up because of a true love’s kiss, the original Sleeping Beauty tells of a story of a girl who was put to sleep because of a prophecy. While asleep, she was raped by the king, gets pregnant and bears twins. She eventually wakes up with her other child biting her finger.