This shit SCARED THE FUCK OUT OF ME when I was a kid. I had this exact book with these exact illustrations, and I would literally avoid it because the mere thought of reading that particular story made me feel really anxious.
This freaked me out, and also, my sister and I would get cassette tapes of scary stories from the library for long car trips, and there was one called “Room for One More,” and honestly it triggered my earliest episodes of OCD/anxiety issues. SOME THINGS ARE TOO MIND-BLOWING FOR CHILDREN.
My fragile world was rocked. Thanks a lot, public libraries.