In a time of falling leaves and spiderwebs, it is only fitting to read stories that perhaps make you look twice at the dark corners of you room. Admittedly, it may be a bit challenging to find entertaining scary tales for younger audiences. After all, they could be too intense or (alternatively) they could be lacking that extra goosebump-inducing detail.
To make your life a bit easier, here is a list of 10 books young readers can tackle if they look for a fright or for a Halloween-themed laugh.
1. In A Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz
When I was in elementary school, an old teacher of mine would read one of these short stories to the class. Several years later, I still am slightly creeped out by one involving a girl named Jenny and the green ribbon she wore around her neck.
2. Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
R.L. Stine molded thousands of childhoods across the globe with his books. It could be said he is the slightly lighter, kid-friendly version of Stephen King. The best part is: anyone can take their pick out of a great variety of Goosebumps books, and even collect them all as a personal challenge. Either way, they are perfect tales to read during the month of October.
3. The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
The plot deals with 14 year-old Molly and 10 year-old Kip – Irish orphans – who witness bizarre events after they are employed as servants in an aged, unkept British manor house.
4. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A young girl named Coraline stumbles upon the seemingly improved, parallel version of her everyday life behind a door on the wall of her new mysterious home. Yet, the longer Coraline stays at this other world, the more she begins to realize that what was a dream is quickly turning into a nightmare – in this case, a nightmare with buttons for eyes.
5. The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Lazlo is a boy who is terrified of the dark. The dark, however, does not feel that way toward Lazlo, and introduces itself after the latter’s nightlight does not turn on. This peculiar little story is accompanied by slightly nostalgic and intriguing illustrations. Technically, the book is recommended for 5-8 year-old children, but it can be enjoyed by older ages as well.
6. Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories by Roald Dahl
Plenty of years ago, Roald Dahl self-appointed the quest for the scariest and the most satisfying ghost stories he could find. So, after reading 749 supernatural pieces from the British Museum Library, Dahl chose 14 to be included in his collection, which he later adapted and published in 1983.
7. The Witches by Roald Dahl
As it turns out, witches do exist. Unfortunately enough, they apparently despise children, and cast all sorts of spells to terrify them. One of their favorites, however, is a classic: turning these children into mice.
8. A Good Night For Ghosts (Magic Tree House #42) by Mary Pope Osborne
In another of their Merlin missions, Jack and Annie must travel to New Orleans. Their main purpose? Inspiring disillusioned artists who have been mistreated by the world. The situation becomes a tad complicated once Jack and Annie encounter actual ghosts during their stay.
9. Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery by Deborah and James Howe
An amusing, slightly ironic interpretation of Dracula. In this case, however, Dracula is portrayed by what appears to be an adorable, unassuming, fanged bunny. Chester the Cat is convinced that this bunny is up to no good, and tries his best to reveal the truth to a skeptic Harold the Dog. Not to mention, there are six more books about the trio’s adventures together.
10. Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
This published work met some controversy on behalf of parents who wished to remove it from school libraries, as it is not shy when it comes to topics like death and suicide. It is one of the darker options in this list – the recommended ages would be 12 year-olds and above.
Which spooky books would you recommend? Comment below!
Featured image via Life In the Library