The days grow shorter, there’s a chill in the air, let’s all settle in for a creepy-good scare. We’re changing things up this week with recommendations from our children’s collection. Whether you fancy a short classic like “High Beams” from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, or you’re in the mood for something with just a touch of Halloween spookiness, light a candle, get out a flashlight or gather around the fire and enjoy these tales together.
Half-Minute Horrors, Edited by Susan Rich
These short stories, each about a page long and penned by a variety of popular authors, will satisfy your need for all things thrilling, creepy, and darkly humorous. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming
Take a walk down a dark street on Halloween night, filled with werewolves, spirits, and skeletons. The rhyming couplets and vivid language (“swooping bats, hissing cats”), paired with the rich, yet worn look of the illustrations, creates just the right atmosphere to set tiny spines tingling. Recommended for ages 4 and up.
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Creepy dolls– need I say more? Zach, Poppy, and Alice have created and elaborate world with their dolls and figurines. They launch into a haunting adventure together when a porcelain doll named the Queen communicates to them that she must be properly buried in order to put a ghost to rest. Recommended for ages 10 and up.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
If you’re looking for that scary story your friends told you in middle school, it’s probably in this book. Alvin Schwartz brings to life standbys, like “The Babysitter” and “Room for One More,” alongside spooky black and white illustrations (by Stephen Gammell). Don’t miss the sequel, More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Recommended for ages 9 and up.
For beginning readers who would like to take a turn telling stories, consider In a Dark Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories and Ghosts! Ghostly Tales From Folklore, also by Alvin Schwartz.
Looking for more? Try these:
by Jonathan Auxier
By Dave Shelton
By Mary Downing Hahn