Best Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Goblins, ghosts, witches, and ghouls are getting ready for the spookiest night of the year!  If your kids are getting excited about pumpkins, witches’ hats, and trick-or-treating, it’s time for the best Halloween stories!!

Festive reads to get your kids in the spirit to be spooked

Get into the spirit of a spooky celebration and spend the Halloween night huddled under blankets reading these thrilling and chilling Halloween books. Some of the stories scare the pants off you, others make you laugh, but all of them put us in the Halloween mood!! From spooky tales and stories about Halloween to a Frightlopedia of mythical creatures and frightening places, this collection for ages 1 to 15 offers a ton of enjoyable surprises.

Ages 2-6

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex 

Good night Goon - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Goodnight monsters everywhere, in this parody romp with its own special twist! “Goodnight tomb. Goodnight Goon. Goodnight Martians taking over the moon.”
It’s bedtime in the cold gray tomb with a black lagoon, and two slimy claws, and a couple of jaws, and a skull and a shoe and a pot full of goo. But as a little werewolf settles down, in comes the Goon determined at all costs to run amok and not let any monster have his rest.
A beloved classic gets a kind-hearted send up in this utterly monsterized parody; energetic art and a hilarious text will have kids begging to read this again and again.

Mommy? by Maurice Sendak and Arthur Yorinks, illustrated by Matthew Reinhart 

Mommy? - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Maurice Sendak’s first pop-up book! They’re all here! Everybody’s favourite monsters are just going about their business when a plucky little boy wanders into their cuckoo house. And what does he want? He wants Mommy! No matter how scary these monsters are, there’s no besting a little boy who’s looking for his mommy. In one hilarious pop-up extravaganza after another, this kid shows them a thing or two.

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween, by Alice Schertle

Little Blue Truck's Halloween - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Jill McElmurry’s illustrations fill the pages of Little Blue Truck’s Halloween with beautiful costumes and fun details. Toddlers and preschoolers will have a great time unmasking Little Blue’s friends in this new lift-the-flap book.

Ages 6 – 9

Bookasura, by Arundhati Venkatesh

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

A strange many-headed creature, Bookasura, makes an appearance when Bala is at his grandparent’s house. Bala keeps Bookasura at bay by supplying him with a steady stream of books. But Bala will soon run out of books. What then? Will Bookasura eat Bala up? Or will Bala be able to save himself? A delightful tale about the power of stories and imagination. Celebrate the love of books and reading with Bala and Bookasura!

The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen 

The Dark - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark is not afraid of Laszlo. Laszlo lives in a house. The dark lives in the basement. One night, the dark comes upstairs to Laszlo’s room, and Laszlo goes down to the basement. This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Roald Dahl paints a seriously scary picture of child-eating witches in this eerie chapter book. A young boy and his grandmother move to England, prompting her to teach him about the various bands of witches throughout the world. When he accidentally wanders into a gathering of the English witches, led by the Grand High Witch herself, he sets out to warn others about their evil plan.

Vee loved garlic by Richa Jha

Vee Loved Garlic - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

When Miss Vee Noonie falls in love with garlic, there is pandemonium in the house. She is a vampire, after all. Her parents do their best to urge her to stay away from it. Garlic, they tell her, is fatal for vampires. Freethinker Vee’s research tells her that’s not true and she leaves no stone unturned in convincing her folks. Does she succeed? Richa Jha celebrates a young thinking mind’s spirit of inquisitiveness, questioning the given, persuasiveness and non-conformist free will in this pacey picture book that is packed with sharp dialogues, intense passion and chic humour. The breathtaking sweep of Kunal Kundu’s detailed etching and dramatic artwork lingers on till long after the book has been put aside.

She Made a Monster by Lynn Fulton

She made a monster - Spooky reads for kids


 Ages 9-12

The Most Frightening Story Ever Told, by Philip Kerr

The most frightening story ever told - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Roald Dahl meets R. L. Stine in this spine-tingling and hilarious tale from a bestselling author! Billy Shivers doesn’t have a lot of excitement in his life. He prefers to spend his days reading alone in the Hitchcock Public Library. So it is a bit out of character when he finds himself drawn to the Haunted House of Books, and a competition daring readers to survive an entire night spent inside. The Haunted House of Books is a cross between a bookstore and a booby trap. It’s a creaky old mansion full of dark hallways and things that go bump in the night, and the store’s ill-tempered owner, Mr. Rapscallion, only adds to the mystery.
But the frights of the store itself are nothing compared to the stories it holds. These stories are so ghastly, so terrifying, so shocking that once you’ve read them, you’ll never be the same.

Moin and the monster by Anushka Ravishankar 

Moin and the monster - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

One night, in the dim darkness of his room, Moin heard something shuffling & sniffling under his bed. It is a monster, & soon Moin has to learn to live with the monster & its habits, which include a love for bananas, singing, & new hairstyles. However, keeping the monster a secret is a tough task.

The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep by Jack Prelutsky

The Headless horseman rides tonight - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Clever wordsmith Jack Prelutsky bring us another collection of scary poems as a follow-up to his book, Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep. These 12 spine-chilling tales accompanied by black-and-white artwork—including the eerie account of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow—will creep kids out just the right amount.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family… Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthral readers of all ages.

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to tell in the dark - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

Kids who can’t get enough of ghost stories may have met their match with this book. Alvin Schwartz scares the pants off of brave, young readers with grisly tales of murder and the undead, complete with super-scary illustrations and graphic details that are not for the faint of heart. These are best red in the dark, by flashlight!

Ruskin Bond’s Favourite Ghost Stories From Around The World

Ruskin Bond's Favourite Ghost Stories - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

A collection of Ruskin Bond’s favourite ghost stories from around the world, this gripping book gives you a glimpse into the macabre world of ghosts.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline - Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all her dreams coming true. Coraline is about a young girl who is unsatisfied in her own life, so she goes exploring and finds another world; however, nothing is as it seems. Coraline is a dark tale of learning to appreciate what you have and not running from your fears.

Lorkum’s Quest by A R Sara

Scary reads for Kids - Lorkum's Quest

The day started out ordinary enough for Akash, a middle grader going to a school for kids with special abilities. A middle grader who doesn’t consider himself to be endowed with any special skills. But everything changes during the science class. As the children vie with one another to answer creatively, they unwittingly cause a monster to materialize in the classroom. They find themselves pitted against an otherworldly creature who challenges them with four quests. Failing would mean losing a classmate to a bleak and terrible fate in the monster world. Now it is up to the children to overcome the challenges, that test the limits of their courage, friendship, knowledge and more. Join Akash and his classmates as they step into a thrilling spine-tingling adventure…the likes of which they have never experienced before.

Ages 12-15

Whispers from under the Bed by Anjana Vaswani

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

After lots of tossing and turning and turning and tossing one night, Anjana crept out of her bed, caught the monster under it by his feet, dragged him out and sat him down (with a cup of hot chocolate, of course – she’s not a monster!) to say, ‘Hey, you wouldn’t happen to know any bedtime stories, would you?’ Happily, it turned out, he did. So, the obliging troll told her about the bad boys of Icelandic Christmas lore, about how a group of boys handled a large scale problem, about magical dancing shoes that were one girl’s nightmare, about the terrifying task of making friends at a new school, about a little genius who was all too clever for his own good, about three little P.I.s (Paranormal Investigators), and about a little author, confronted by her own ghosts, who finally recognised the importance of happy endings. Now, Anjana shares these stories with you in order to pay for that big dusty furball’s nightly cups of hot chocolate.

They’re Coming For You: Scary Stories that Scream to be Read by O. Penn-Coughin

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

In the tradition of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark” by Alvin Schwartz, “They’re Coming For You: Scary Stories that Scream to be Read” is a chilling collection of 27 scary stories sure to give you chicken skin and leave you screaming for more. Or just screaming. This macabre mix of howls, humour, horror, and haunting illustrations is a must have for anyone who loves to be scared. But take the warning seriously… This book is NOT for wimps!

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs 

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Frightlopedia: An Encyclopedia of Everything Scary, Creepy, and Spine-Chilling, from Arachnids to Zombies, by Julie Winterbottom

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

For older kids who want something a little more spine-tingling, there’s Frightlopedia. This encyclopedia of all things creepy, crawly and scary combines truth and myth in entries like how to escape from quicksand and morbid tales of mummies.

Stories to Scare by Cheryl Rao

Spooky Halloween Reads for Kids

This collection of spooky stories will have you sitting at the edge of your seats and wondering: How did a morning spent painting go so wrong for Divya – and what can she do about it? Were Supriya and Sunanda prepared for the surprise they would get when they went exploring in their grandmother’s house? What was so special about the dogs Duke and Buller – and did their loyalty go beyond the call of canine duty? Prepare to have these and other questions that arise from the stories in this collection answered in a way that will chill you – and thrill you.

Through the woods by Emily Carroll

Through the woods by Emily carroll

Journey through the woods in this sinister, compellingly spooky collection that features four brand-new stories and one phenomenally popular tale in print for the first time. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House”—though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancée may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page.

Did you know that reading spine-chilling tales with your children may teach them some important life lessons? See how reading scary stories can benefit children.

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