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10 Original Dark Versions Of Children’s Fairy Tales

Happy ending’s nowhere to be found.

We all have fond memories of watching our favorite animated fairy tale movies back in our childhood days, all thanks to Disney. These films made us laugh, cry, and even taught us some valuable lessons about life. We practically owe a lot of things from them.

However, unbeknownst to most people, the origins of some of these stories are actually not quite kid-friendly. From gruesome mutilation to mass murder of children, get enlightened by the disturbing truth about these original versions of children’s fairy tales.

1. Cinderella – mutilation and eye gouging

Ah, Cinderella. Almost everyone knows about her miserable life under her step-family and her magical tale towards a happy ending with the prince. Cinderella’s story tells us that no matter how your heart is grieving if you just keep on believing, your dream will come true.

However, in the original version, it’s a bit darker than what we’re accustomed to. First and foremost, in this version, Cinderella’s glass slippers are actually made from squirrel fur. And you remember her stepsisters’ memorable pathetic attempt to fit their feet in the shoes? In this version, they went an extra mile by cutting their toes just to fit in the slippers. In the end, the doves gouged their eyes as punishment for their cruelty to Cinderella.

2. Pinocchio – child abuse, murder, and torture

Source: Walt Disney

Pinocchio, our favorite wooden marionette that turned to life also has a disturbing origin.

In the earlier version of this tale, Pinocchio actually kills Jiminy Cricket by crushing him with a hammer. What’s more disturbing is that Pinocchio did this without feeling remorse.

The bizarreness doesn’t end there. In the earlier version of the tale, Pinocchio immediately ran away from Gepetto after turning into a human child. For some unknown reasons, Pinocchio decides to tell everyone that Gepetto was abusing him which ends up causing the imprisonment of the old man.

The story ends when the authority catches Pinocchio and hangs him for his misbehavior.

3. Sleeping Beauty – r*pe, domestic abuse, and cannibalism

Sleeping Beauty is the fascinating tale of Princess Aurora that got inflicted with a curse that caused her to fall into a deep slumber. The only way to awaken her is through a kiss from a king’s son.

In the early version, a king comes across the Sleeping Beauty’s body. Being fully aware that a sleeping woman can’t refuse anything, the king does the obvious thing any disgusting pervert would do. So, by the virtue of his raging manhood, he r*pes her before leaving to return to his kingdom.

Sleeping Beauty ends up pregnant with the rapist king’s seed. Later on, she gives birth while still sleeping. Unexpectedly, her baby sucks the cursed thorn stuck on her fingernail which causes her to wake up. The news about her awakening immediately reaches the rapist king. The king’s wife’s unhappy about this so she decides to hunt down the Sleeping Beauty and tries to eat her baby. The king does not appreciate this so he decides to do the most logical thing any dark fantasy king would do – burn his wife.

4. Snow White – cannibal queen

Snow White’s early version is pretty crazy. In this version, the evil queen is actually Snow White’s real mother. However, for some reason, her mom decides to send a group of huntsmen to kill her.

So why did the evil queen send these huntsmen to Snow White? Simple, she wants to eat her liver and lungs.

5. Hansel and Gretel – demon and murderous children

If you think about it, the tale of Hansel and Gretel is already pretty messed up, considering that we’re actually rooting for the children to murder the hag. However, the early version is ten times crazier than that.

The French version of the story features a disturbing demon that lives in a cottage in the middle of the woods. This demon has this weird habit of bleeding their victim children dry on a grotesque sawhorse.

On the brighter note, the demon’s spouse does not appreciate this so she often helps the children get away. Later on, when the children discover the demon’s dark intention, they plot an escape plan and end up slitting the wife’s throat in the process.

6. Red Riding Hood – greed, bestiality and dangerous stranger

Source: Carl Larsson

The tale of the Little Red Riding Hood is an adorable story about a girl who managed to escape a terrible fate at the hands of the big bad wolf with the help of a brave woodsman. This story came from several different versions, none of which are well-suited for kids.

In one version, the Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother and the wolf are one. In the other version, Red manipulates the Big Bad Wolf into eating her granny in order to inherit all the old lady’s possessions. The most disturbing version involves bestiality. Yes, in order to avoid imminent death, Red Riding Hood convinces the Big Bad Wolf to do the nasty instead to prevent him from literally eating her.

7. The Little Mermaid – misery, betrayal, and murder attempt

The Little Mermaid’s original story that was written by Hans Christian Andersen was a bit obtuse in some regards. First and foremost, the mermaid pays a terrible price in order to get her legs.

In Andersen’s version, the consequence of the mermaid’s legs is the feeling of immense pain whenever she’s using them. Worse is that should the prince decides to blow her off, she’d end up turning into a sea foam. Talking about diminishing returns here, huh?

So, as you would expect to these tragic tales, the prince ends up blowing the mermaid off. In order to save the mermaid, her sisters capture the prince because according to the stories, letting his blood flow to the mermaid’s feet is the only way to get her fins back. Unfortunately, like a true old-fashioned damsel in distress, the mermaid finds herself unable to murder the prince. Crap hits the fan, and voila – the little mermaid ends up dead.

8. The Goose Girl – identity theft, murder, and disturbing death

In the Goose Girl’s original story, a maid flips the bird to the gods and decides to trick a prince into marrying her by stealing the identity of a princess. Unexpectedly, a talking horse discovers the maid’s crime. Unfortunately, the maid does not like any half measures so she decides to silence the talking horse for good by killing it.

The unfortunate princess turns into a maid and is forced to take care of the geese in the farm. Luckily, justice prevails later on because the bastard maid ends up getting shoved inside a spike-covered barrel and gets rolled down a hill to the death.

9. Hercules – the son of Zeus, the rapist

If you think about it for a second, Zeus is pretty much the catalyst of most of the problems in the Greek mythology. All of these stem from the fact that he could not stop himself from tricking women into sleeping with him despite being already married.

Unfortunately, he is the father of the Hercules we know and love in the cartoons and the animated film.

10. Pied Piper – mass murder of children

Pied Piper’s original story is one of the most disturbing tales you’d ever hear.

In this earlier version, the mayor hires the Pied Piper in order to take care of the persisting rat infestation. After doing the job, unfortunately, the scumbag mayor decides not to pay the full amount they agreed upon. The Pied Piper gets furious so he decides to get revenge by luring all the children of the town to the sea to drown them.

Petty revenge at its finest isn’t it?

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