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The Dark Origins Of Fairy Tales

Updated on July 21, 2016

Where Happily Ever After Never Existed

Murder, rape, necrophilia and cannibalism, you will be surprise how dark fairy tales were in the olden days.

In fact, they were so dark that they have to be changed dramatically over the years to suit children nowadays.

So, here are the Top 10 Darkest Origins of Fairy Tales to give you a brief idea just how disturbing children's story were in the olden days.

Warning: Might ruin your childhood.

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List of Dark Origins of Fairy Tales

10: Cinderella
9: Snow White
8. Hansel And Gretel
7: The Little Mermaid
6: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
5: Sleeping Beauty
4: The Fox And The Hound
3: Pinocchio
2: Red Riding Hood
1: The Pied Piper

10. Cinderella

In the dark origin, the two sisters desperately wanted to marry the prince. One day, they heard that the prince was looking for a woman who could fit into the glass shoe.

The elder sister tried putting on the glass shoe but her big toe won't fit. The mother hands her a knife and said to her: “walking will no longer be necessary once you queen.”

The prince however knew it was a trick when he noticed her feet was bloody and a toe was missing.

Next, the second sister tried putting on the glass shoe but her heel won't fit.

The mother gave the second sister a knife, asking her to cut out her heel in order to be queen.

The prince knew it was a trick again when he noticed her feet was also bloody and that her heel was missing.

And finally, Cinderella was summoned from the kitchen, and the prince finally found his Cinderella.

Happily ever after I guess?...

9. Snow White

In the origin, the jealous witch is actually…Snow White’s stepmother. Now Snow White’s stepmother made 3 attempts to kill Snow White, the first two failed but the last finally succeeded, that is…the poison apple.

So, the 7 dwarf made snow white a beautiful glass casket and placed her inside. Soon after, a prince passed by and saw Snow White’s corpse, fell in love with the corpse and wanted to bring her home, and yes…. it’s necrophilia.

So, the prince’s men accidentally dropped the glass casket and Snow White caught out the piece of apple stuck in her throat, and no… there was no ‘True Love Kiss’.

And at the end of the story, Snow White got married to the prince and Snow White’s stepmother was forced to dance in red hot metal shoes until she dies.

Snow white is number 9 as it involves murder and necrophilia.

8. Hansel And Gretel

In the original work, Hansel and Gretel did not wander into the forest but was abandoned by their parents. In short, the parents expected them to rot in the jungle.

Hansel and Gretel later found a house made of gingerbread and cakes where a cannibalistic witch lived. Hansel and Gretel were both captured by the witch and fatten to be eaten later.

Hansel and Gretel outsmarted the witch and managed to shove her into the oven, where she was roasted alive.

A story on how parents abandoned their children, cannibalism and children killing for survival. For that, this grim and disturbing story secures a place at number 8.

7. The Little Mermaid

Once upon a time, a beautiful mermaid saved a prince from a shipwreck, but the prince mistaken another woman as his saviour.

The Little Mermaid fell deeply in love with the prince and wanted to meet him in person. She visited a witch, hoping that the witch would be able to give her a pair of human legs.

The witch agreed helping her, but as payment, The Little Mermaid had to give the witch her tongue…which she did. Plus, there was another catch, if she failed to win the prince’s affection, she will be turned into a foam of bubbles.

The Little Mermaid tried wining his affection but he fell in love with the woman who he thought had saved him from the shipwreck.

In order to save The Little Mermaid, the Little Mermaid’s sister visited the witch. The witch gave the sisters a knife which The Little Mermaid must kill the prince with in order to be turned back into the mermaid.

But The Little Mermaid just couldn’t kill the prince, she jumped out the window and was turned into a foam of bubbles.

The Little Mermaid is number 7 as it involves mutilation, attempted murder and a sad ending where The Little Mermaid died for chasing the one she loved.

Note: Her real name is not Airiel, that name was given to her by Disney.

6. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Long ago in Paris, Frollo tried to kill Phoebus after seeing him trying to seduce Esmeralda, Frollo then blamed it on Esmeralda and she was charged with attempted murder of Phoebus. Because of this, Esmeralda was badly tortured and was sentenced to death by hanging.

Quasimodo swung down by the bell rope of Notre Dame and saved Esmeralda, but she was later caught by Frollo again. Frollo tried winning her heart over again but failed miserably. Out of frustration, he handed her over to the troops and laughed out loud while they hung her.

Quasimodo saw Frollo laughing and pushed him from the heights of Notre Dame to his death. Quasimodo went to the graveyard where Esmeralda was left. He stayed with Esmeralda and died from starvation.

This story reaches number 6 as it involves attempted murder, actual murder, torture and the good guys died at the end.

5. Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty
Sleeping Beauty

The original name of this story is actually Sun, Moon, and Talia. The story goes that Talia fell into a sleep like death when a flax splinter got stuck under her nail. Out of frustration and depression, Talia’s father decided to place Talia in one of his country estates.

Soon after, another king found Talia. Unable to wake her up, he decided to…rape her. She got impregnated and a few months later, gave birth to twins.

The twins was reaching out for the breast when one of them mistakenly sucked on Talia’s finger and drew the flax splinter out. The King went back to well… rape her again, but found that she had woken up with his two children.

The king decided to marry her, however the king’s current wife got jealous and ordered the chef to cook the twins and served them to the king. But the chef hid the twins instead.

The king's wife wanted to burn Talia alive next. Talia screamed as she could, and the king came into the rescue. The king was outraged and ordered his guards to roast his current wife and his secretary alive.

Sleeping beauty is number 5 as it involves seriously bad parenting (Talia’s father), rape, marrying a rapist, telling children having 2 wives is ok and killing people by roasting them alive.

4. The Fox and The Hound

The Fox and The Hound
The Fox and The Hound

In the original work, the hunting dog named Chief was actually ran over by the train and was pretty much turned into minced meat. The hunter became furious, and he swore that he would kill Tod no matter what.

A few years later, Tod was raising his own family when his den was discovered by the hunter and he gassed Tod’s children to death. Tod’s mate was also killed by a leg hold trap which was set by the hunter.

A few years down the road, Tod was raising a new family, but all of them were shot by the hunter.

Further down the road, there was a rabies outbreak. Most foxes were infected so the townspeople hired the hunter to eliminate all foxes near the town. The hunter set up traps like leg hold traps and poison. The poison killed most foxes, domestic animals and even a little kid but ironically not Tod.

Tod was later spotted by the hunter and Copper chased after him. Too old and too weak, Tod died from exhaustion and Copper collapsed on top of him. The hunter finally got his revenge...

Few years later, the hunter was also getting too old and agreed living in a nursing home. As he could no longer take care of Copper, he took his shotgun, led Copper outside, pet him gently before ordering him to lie down and covered copper’s eyes… (You know where this is going right?)

The Fox and the hound is number 4 as it involves killing the whole family of Tod twice, rabies outbreak that killed a lot of people and animals, the fact that innocent domestic animals and even a little kid was unintentionally killed by the hunter, the fact that most of the characters inside the story died and at the end of the story, everyone is miserable, even the hunter.

3. Pinocchio


Pinocchio was actually a horrible son/friend. Pinocchio’s father was imprison because of Pinocchio as people thought he was abusing him. At home, he was visited by a talking cricket and he responded by smashing the cricket with a mallet.

Pinocchio later got his feet burned off by sleeping with his feet in the stove… (Don’t ask me how that happened)

Later, a cat and fox approached Pinocchio to rob him, the cat grabbed hold on to Pinocchio, and Pinocchio responded by biting his paw clean off. The bandits hung Pinocchio on a tree to suffocate him. Thankfully, he doesn’t need oxygen since he was a puppet.

Pinocchio’s father was worried about Pinocchio, so he set sailed to find Pinnochio and was swallowed up by not a whale but by The Terrible DogFish (I swear I’m not making this up). Pinocchio was later swallowed up by the The Terrible DogFish as well.

They later discovered that the monster had asthma, started a fire and with the help of a giant tuna managed to escape from the belly of the Terrible Dogfish when it was gasping for air. (Again, I swear I’m not making this up) They returned home and met the cat and fox who had become blind and lame (the author wanted to show karma I guess).

But at the end of the story, Pinocchio did manage to become a real boy so that’s somewhat happy ending.

Causing your own father to be imprisoned, running away from home, killing someone who wanted to help, burning your own feet off, biting a character’s paw clean off and hanging someone on a tree to suffocate a person are the reasons why Pinocchio is number 3.

2. Red Riding Hood

The Original Red Riding Hood is one of the darkest story I have ever read.

So in the origin, the wolf did not hide the grandmother but ate her instead. The wolf then cooked the leftovers and saved some of her blood so he could serve it to Red Riding Hood later.

When Red Riding Hood reached her grandmother’s house, she obliviously ate her own grandmother and drank her blood.

The still oblivious Red Riding Hood then striped down and got in bed with the wolf and was eaten whole. And the woodsman who was supposed to save them...yeah… he didn't exist back then.

Red Riding Hood is number two because it involves people being eaten alive, a kid stripping (which I am pretty sure it is illegal today), the bad guys win and most importantly, a child cannibalizing her own grandmother.

1. The Pied Piper

The Pied Piper
The Pied Piper

Which is the original is debatable, however the most disturbing version is the one which involves pedocide.

The story goes that the townspeople hired the pied piper to kill all the rats in town. The pied piper was promised a hefty reward so he led all the rats into the river where they all drown.

After the job was done, the people refused to pay the Pied Piper, so he took revenge by leading the children into the same exact river where they all drowned like the rats.

The Pied Piper, even though the story is short, reaches number 1 because unlike other fairy tales, it involves the mass murder of innocent children.

I mean we might be talking about hundreds, thousands or even more innocent children. And this one reason have made the pied piper the most disturbing fairy tale ever told.


Author's Last Thought

Fairy Tales, I guess it was created to scare kids straight... Thankfully, this practice is no longer encouraged because let's face it, traumatizing kids can't possibly be healthy.

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