More Children's Scary Stories

Staff PicksShepherd Park/Juanita E. Thornton Library

More Children's Scary Stories

For a bone chilling read

Ok, ghost story loving kids. Get ready, because this year I have even more spooky books for you as we head into the long nights and the winds grow chillier. You may remember some of my other haunted lists of books (four links there!), but if you are still aching for more scary tales instead of fairy tales, I have you covered. 

For the budding brave: 2nd grade and under

Ghosts in the House by Kazuno Kohara
A little girl moves into an old house on the edge of town that turns out to be haunted. How inconvenient! She knows how to take care of all these ghosts. This book is by the author of The Midnight Library.

The Dark by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark, and most of the time avoids it, until one day when the dark comes to visit him. This story is excellent for children who need to know that the dark is okay. 

The Ghosts in the Cellar  by Jacques Duquennoy
When four ghost friends have their card game interrupted by a loud banging in the cellar, they need to overcome their fears and investigate. Their search leads to a surprising conclusion.

Ghost in the House by Ammi Joan Paquette
Join a ghost as he meets a mummy, a skeleton, a witch, and a monster in a spooky house. This rhyming book cheerily introduces readers to these five friends before they meet the scariest house dweller of all. 

The Scariest Book Ever by Bob Shea
A super scared ghost does not want you to turn the page, and most certainly does not want you going through the dark forest to a scary haunted house. It's too frightening! Find out how brave you are with this funny and brightly colored book. 

Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh
When Jose Guadalupe Posada saw problems in the community, he used his art to create political cartoons with skeletons. Find out why he used the concept of death to create change in his country in this great biographical work. (This one isn't really scary at all but it's a great book and a great introduction to the calavera art associated with Day of the Dead.)

For the unafraid: 3rd - 6th grade

Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
Serafina knows that as a machinist's daughter she's not supposed to interact with the wealthy residents of the Biltmore estate, but when child after child goes missing with no trace of being found, she realizes it is up to her to intervene. This is the first book in the Serafina series.

The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Corinne doesn't believe in the dangerous creatures her fellow islanders call jumbies, but when she chases an agouti deep into the forest and senses a creature following her, she's not sure what to believe. Baptiste's book is lush with Caribbean folkloric elements and a thrilling read. This is the first book in the Jumbies series. 

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
When Ollie picks up a book that a panicked person has thrown into the local creek, she thinks she may have found the true history behind a number of historical disappearances in her town. But when her classmates are the ones about to disappear on a school trip, will she be able to save them? Find out in Arden's first children's horror book. 

Nightbooks by J.A. White
Alex has been trapped in a mysterious witch's apartment and the only thing preventing his imminent peril is his ability to tell scary stories. This modern version of the Scheherazade story is an excellent choice for budding writers who enjoy a good scary tale.

A Festival of Ghosts by William Alexander
Rosa Diaz is back and she has a whole lot of work to do. With school starting up in the now ultra haunted Ingot, her mother has tasked her as the school's appeasement specialist. Yet, something is not quite right, and she begins to think the ghost of her father is haunting her. This book is the sequel to the popular A Properly Unhaunted Place.

Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruhac
When Molly's parents disappear and she is placed in the care of an uncle she has never met, she can't help comparing her mysterious uncle to the horrifying skeleton man that her father has told stories about. This masterfully written book by Joseph Bruhac will leave you chilled to the bone. 

Thornhill by Pam Smy
With two stories told in alternating words and illustrations, Thornhill follows the haunted history of a condemned home for foster children while exploring concepts of bullying and trauma. A terrifying ending places this read firmly on the older children's side of this list.