10 Horrifying Original Endings of Fairy Tales

We all grew up with the beloved Disney versions of fairy tales and stories, which have wonderful "all's well that ends well" happy endings.  What you may not know is that Disney left out a few horrifying details from the original version in order to keep its customers happy.

Here's a post about 10 original fairy tales in their full and gruesome glories. Take, for example, Snow White:

In the tale of snow white that we are all familiar with, the Queen asks a huntsman to kill her and bring her heart back as proof. Instead, the huntsman can’t bring himself to do it and returns with the heart of a boar.

Now, fortunately disney hasn’t done too much damage to this tale, but they did leave out one important original element: in the original tale, the Queen actually asks for Snow White’s liver and lungs – which are to be served for dinner that night!

Also in the original, Snow White wakes up when she is jostled by the prince’s horse as he carries her back to his castle – not from a magical kiss. What the prince wanted to do with a dead girl’s body I will leave to your imagination.

Oh – in the Grimm version, the tale ends with the Queen being forced to dance to death in red hot iron shoes!


From the Upcoming ueue, submitted by coconutnut.

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The earliest version I have read was one from even before the grimms. It was even more cruel than the grimm version. Snowwhite was killed by the huntsman and she ate the lungs and liver for diner. I have to note that I do not know from which source I got this since its a long time ago.

To G who posted before me. I read a simmular story in a japanese manga by Kaori Yuki where the prince (ludwig) is a necrofile and only takes her with him because that is his interest. Snowwhite wakes up and screws his dad. The price kills her in the end and preserves her with a bunsh of other girls. In this story both snow white, the prince and the queen are rather evil in nature.
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Growing up, my parents had an old book set of tales that did have the varied gruesome versions in them. But I think the stories were also told with consequence and morality so the gruesome parts were just "parts" but not the focus of the stories. I remembered these stories were entertaining and not scary. Just like how we used to love huddling together in the dark sharing ghost stories or urban legends.

I read the Neil Gaiman version about Snow White from the Queen's perspective where the prince was actually a necrophiliac. It was supposed to be a take on how the Queen was misunderstood. It was an interesting take and obviously not for children to read.
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As Willo the Wisp pointed out, due to the long & tangled histories of folk tales, "original" is a rather meaningless term here. Earliest dates of publication are usually quite recent; by then, many stories had gotten around and branched off into different variants. But I do agree that the darker versions of stories are often more substantial & satisfying! I never liked the Disneyfied versions. (Well, "Aladdin" works well - but that's really "The Thief of Baghdad," a modern tribute to Arabian Nights tales.)

Someone on the listverse.com site wondered WHY these stories would be considered suitable for children. There are several things to keep in mind here: 1. They were usually meant to be cautionary tales; 2. Adults enjoyed them, too; and 3. People were generally much more closely acquainted with death & disease, and often as a matter of routine. They didn't go to the store and buy a frozen tray of stuff called "chicken"; they grabbed the bird, chopped its head off with an axe --- basically supervised the entire transformation from living thing to pile of greasy bones on the kitchen floor.

I don't think anyone was traumatized by these stories at all. For a great collection of Grimm tales with surprisingly spooky illustrations by Maurice Sendak, check out a book called "The Juniper Tree" in the Folklore section. The title story contains the delightfully morbid line (during a scene in which a mother opens a wooden chest full of apples so her son can select one) "But then the Evil One whispered in her ear, and she dropped the lid. The boy's head flew off and rolled among the apples."

Pleasant dreams!
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@Willo the Wisp

When I hear the word "original", it's usually meaning first known publication. Sure, the story may have been adapted over the years, but the original will be the oldest copy available in my opinion. Just as long as we are able to keep excavating our past, we will keep gaining more insight into our origin, and in what ways we have changed.
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