One of my posters, who goes by the name of Tekton, sent me this link, a film version of the folk tale, Bearskin:
These films were made in the '70s by Tom Davenport, and they are not available online to link to. Only trailers are available at YouTube. I strongly advise you to watch this.
These versions are exactly what the misnamed "fairy tales" are really about: they're horror stories. Does Stephen King writes fairy tales or horror?
Horror is always about Chaos or Evil intruding into the normal. Chaos is pushed back or defeated, and the normal reasserts itself.
Disney, of course, bowdlerized them, although some of the scary stuff did make it through.
"The tales are a magical, scary, comedic, and often violent journey into the forests of ancient Germany and France where every path leads to mystery and adventure," writes the site, Candlelight Stories.
So what exactly is the use of telling children such stories?
Bruno Bettelheim, in his The Uses of Enchantment: the Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales, suggested "that traditional fairy tales, with the darkness of abandonment, death, witches, and injuries, allowed children to grapple with their fears in remote, symbolic terms. If they could read and interpret these fairy tales in their own way, he believed, they would get a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Bettelheim thought that by engaging with these socially evolved stories, children would go through emotional growth that would better prepare them for their own futures."
In other words, they deal with it in the safety of their own minds. In addition to folk tales, think about how much horror there is in urban legends, print, radio, film, comics TV. Think The Walking Dead. Think even Breaking Bad. There must be a purpose to this, and an important one
Kids know how much they can take. They tell you to stop or put their hands over their eyes. But in the long run, most love the stuff.
Think about it this way: if kids were raised pure and innocent and knew nothing about life, how would they turn out? They'd be nuts. They couldn't deal with the unknown, the threatening, the deadly, the stalking, the thing under the bed, the scary stranger. Horror teaches us how to react in situations of dread and terror and fear and threat.
In fact, they'd end up like those stupid naive girls who stagger around at 3 am drunk and half-dressed, and end up butchered by a serial killer.