Fairytales may seem like innocent stories used to instill good virtues and help children develop a sense of morality, but they’re not always as harmless as they read. Behind the picture-perfect cartoons popularized by Disney, many of the most famous children's fairytales have much more sinister undertones, born from shocking tales of blood, guts and gore.
The Brothers Grimm are responsible for popularizing some of these stories. In the early 1800s -- determined to preserve oral storytelling -- they wrote and revamped hundreds of age-old myths and legends about real historical events. While the ominous metaphors are well-hidden, if you look deep enough they're still present in many modern adaptations. The sheer brutality surrounding these cautionary tales may seem a little unnecessary, or even barbaric, in modern society, but in their purest form, their message remains the same: the righteous live happily ever after and the evil are punished. So the next time you sit down to read your child a bedtime story, you better do your homework to ensure the content is appropriate for a young'un!
10 Little Red Riding Hood
9 Sleeping Beauty
8 Beauty and the Beast
6 Hansel and Gretel
5 The Little Mermaid
4 Snow White
2 The Frog Prince
1 The Pied Piper
The year is 1284 and the town of Hamelin is suffering from a severe rat infestation. Luckily, the Pied Piper promises to solve the problem. After luring the rats into the Weser River, the mayor refuses to pay him, so he seeks revenge by luring 130 children into a cave, where they are never seen again. In other versions of this twisted tale, he either drowns the children in the same river as the rats or takes them up onto Koppelberg Hill to have his “wicked way” with them.
Sources: National Geographic, Huffington Post, BBC Culture
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