Although they are known as Brothers Grimm's Fairy Tales, they were not the actual authors of the stories. These tales were legacies, passed on from one generation to the next, and it's said they came into existence with women weaving these tales to pass their time while busy with household duties. These are stories of murder, extramarital affairs, and brutality, things we really don't recommend kids read while growing up. Here are twelve of the goriest tales we could find, good luck reading these without cringing.
1. The Frog King
A princess accidentally tosses the ball she was playing with into a nearby pond. Listening to her cries, a frog jumps onto the surface and offers to help her, only if she promises him her friendship. Once the wily princess gets her ball, she flees only to have the frog on her doorstep. She is forced by her father to keep her promise, but when she's in the room with her new 'friend' she throws the frog against the wall in a fit of rage. And it turns into a handsome prince. They spend a 'night full of love' together.
2. The Robber Bridegroom
A girl is to be married off to a rich man, who she later learns is a robber and a cannibal. Also, he isn't alone. He has a band of robbers with him, who will all share the meal (of human beings). This is a story of how she saves herself and gets him punished.
An ugly nobleman (with a beard the colour blue, of course) has had many wives and they all disappear mysteriously. He throws a week long party, as a show of his wealth and the underlying purpose of finding a new wife. Enamoured by his wealth, a young woman does marry him. He leaves for a trip handing over all the keys to the lady of the house and instructs her that she has access to everything but one room. And just like Eve's longing for the forbidden fruit, she too opens the one room that she's not supposed to - and finds all the dead wives hanging from the ceiling. The husband returns and she faces the danger of execution, but at the last moment is saved by her brothers.
4. Herr Korbes
All the characters in this story survive, but they accidentally kill the owner of the house. His eyes are poked out, he's set on fire, and then hit by a milestone. Brutal.
5. The Juniper Tree
This is a story of greed. A stepmother, wanting his son to have the entire inheritance to her daughter, she beheads the son who is then reborn as a bird. The bird goes around singing the song of its death, and asking for gifts in return. He gets a pair of shoes, a gold chain and a milestone as gifts. He then drops the stone on the stepmother's head and kills her.
6. The Strange Feast
A blood sausage and liver sausage had been friends for the longest time. At his invitation, liver sausage arrives at the house of the blood sausage. She is greeted with a monkey with a broken head and more such disturbing things. Later our poor liver sausage learns that all the guests are to be cooked. She flees.
7. The Hand With The Knife
A mother had three sons and one daughter. She loved her sons dearly, but not her daughter so much. She sent her out every day to get wood for the fire, and she's always given a blunt weapon which makes her job twice as hard. But luckily for her, an elf she finds on her way, gives her a tool that makes her job easy. The suspicious mother sends her sons to find out how she gets home so fast, they find the elf and cut off his hands. He dies thinking it's his beloved girl who sent her brothers.
8. Faithful John
The quest to find a beautiful princess leads to a faithful servant turning to stone. Blood of innocents is what can save him now. Infants are killed and their blood poured on Faithful John's stone body, so that he can be brought back to life.
9. How Some Children Played At Slaughtering
A group of small kids decide to play slaughter. One child is the cook, another is the butcher, and they actually kill the child who plays the pig. And that's how the game continues.
10. The Three Snake Leaves
A princess makes a strange demand. That her husband should be buried alive with her if she has an untimely death, or dies before him. There's just one man who is ready to do just that. As she dies due to severe illness he is bound to be buried with her. Inside her vault however, he finds leaves that can bring back the dead. But when the princess does come back to life, she falls for another man. The plan she made to get the prince killed falls flat, and she is then packed off on a ship into the ocean. The ship was full of holes.
11. Little Louse and Little Flea
Little Louse dies trying to brew beer, which further leads to the death of all the characters. All you will find here is pointless death.
12. The Jew Among The Thorns
A child finds a magical fiddle which forces people to dance whenever it's played. The child plays it to trap a Jew into dancing on thorns. He then takes all the money the Jew had, and leaves.
If we could offer a critique, these books are racist, the very opposite of women's empowerment and many other things that deserve another article of their own. But yeah, there is gore enough here, that you can't imagine reading these to an angel-faced little one.
Design credits: Disha Bhanot