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Spooky Halloween Books for Kids

Updated on August 6, 2014

Great Halloween Books

Get your kids in the mood for Halloween with a spooky story.
Get your kids in the mood for Halloween with a spooky story. | Source

Everyone loves hearing spooky stories, especially around Halloween. These books are great to read with kids in October or even the during the rest of the year if you are in the mood for a good scare.

To make things spookier, set the scene before you read. Turn off the lights. Grab a flashlight. Wrap blankets around you or crawl under a table with a long tablecloth.

Read softly and slowly. Use a creaky voice if you can. Make sound effects to go along with the book. When you get to a scary part in the book, like when someone says “boo,” read it loudly and jump forward. If your kids are very little, don’t make it too scary.

These books are available on Amazon or from your local library. Most have great illustrations to go along with the story. Have a spooktacular time reading these stories along with your kids!

I'm Not Afraid of This Haunted House

This book is great for young children preschool age and early elementary.  Kids will squeal out loud at the details in the pictures.  The illustrations alone tell the creepy story of the haunted house.  The monsters in the book are the right combination of scary and endearing.  A grinning goblin is jumping on a bed to catch spiders.  A one-eyed monster pops out of a cake.              

Kids will also love the gory boasts of Simon Lester Henry Strauss as he declares that he is not afraid of the haunted house.  Ghosts, witches, and vampires just make him laugh.  His friends are shaking and quaking at all the frightful sights.  Will anything in the haunted house scare Simon Lester Henry Strauss?  This story is a great discussion starter about fear and how to deal with it.   

What's Under the Bed?

This story is for preschool age children.  Joe Fenton captures the childhood fear of something hiding under the bed and the way that darkness changes ordinary objects into frightening shadows. 

It is time for Fred to go to sleep, but there is something under his bed.  Fred’s imagination begins running wild as he pictures what could be lurking there on the floor.  Fred finally builds up enough courage to look down and he is surprised by what he finds.

What's Under Your Bed?

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

The repeating rhythmic words in this book are great for young children from ages 3-7. Kids will quickly learn the chorus that is repeated in the book with each item the little old lady encounters.  Each thing the lady meets makes a certain sound that the kids will be able to mimic as the book is read.     

The little old lady is brave, but her bravery is put to the test when she is followed by some unusual objects. What will she do when she encounters these things?  Will she be scared or will she still be brave?

Scholastic Recommended Halloween Books

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories

These are some of the most famous scary stories to tell in the dark. Included is "The Green Ribbon" about a girl who wears a green ribbon around her neck all the time and what happens when she takes the ribbon off. "The Night It Rained" is another story in the book about a mysterious boy who hitches a ride in the rain.

Though preschool age children may enjoy hearing the stories, the book is more suitable for early elementary aged children and even adults. The book is great to read silently or to read aloud to a group.  Be sure to read very dramatically and turn out all the lights before you begin reading these chilling tales.

Halloween Poll

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What's in the Haunted House?

In the Haunted House

“ ‘Give me your hand, you’re as brave as can be! I know you’re not frightened, but stay close to me.’ ” The sing-song melodic lines in the book grab children’s attention and keep it as they tour the haunted house along with the characters.

Young children will enjoy the story and the pictures of the creatures in the house.  Elementary aged children will also like the book about a visit to a spooky house.  

Halloween story time
Halloween story time | Source

The Spider and the Fly

The cautionary poem was written in 1829. Tony DiTerlizzi’s illustrations bring the story to life for kids. A cunning spider invites a foolish fly into his parlor. Ghosts of the bugs the spider has eaten try to warn the fly to escape, but the fly is lured in by the spider's pleasing words.  The fly eventually gives in to the spider and meets an unpleasant fate.

 The book is best for early elementary age kids.  Though younger kids might like looking at the pictures, the story is long and can be hard to understand for preschool children. 

The Vanishing Pumpkin

The Vanishing Pumpkin

A 700-year-old woman and an 800-year-old man decide to make pumpkin pie on Halloween. But before they can, they discover that their pumpkin has been snitched. They set out to recover their missing pumpkin. Along the way, the meet some unusual creatures and have some unusual adventures.

This is a great read for both early elementary or preschool children.  The kids will find the couple's adventures amusing.


This story is great for kids of all ages. It is the classic story about a baby bat who becomes separated from her mother and the adventures she has meeting other creatures.

Kids learn about bats from Stellaluna’s adventures. Halloween is a good time to discuss bats and what they eat, how they fly, and when they sleep. You can listen to the story online at this website.

Scary faces show the kids are interested in the story.
Scary faces show the kids are interested in the story. | Source

Where the Wild Things Are

This is another classic story that is good to read for Halloween. Early elementary and preschool kids will love it.

It is a story about a boy who wears a wolf costume and then begins to act like a wild thing. Max travels to the land of wild things and becomes their king. But then he begins to wonder if living a wild life is really so much fun.

Spooky Stories for Kids


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    • KristenGrace profile image

      KristenGrace 7 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      So many great ones here! The Little Old Lady one is a classic, and I LOVE Stellaluna, cute little bat. Great hub!!!

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 7 years ago from Far, far away

      HoopBot - You're right. The best time to start getting kids interested in reading is when they are young. The key to getting kids reading is finding something that catches their attention.

    • HoopBot profile image

      HoopBot 7 years ago from Internet

      These are great, good to get kids reading early, and not just Harry Potter!

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 7 years ago from Far, far away

      Be careful in the woods. There are lots of spooky stories set in the woods!

    • bigpinelodgebooks profile image

      bigpinelodgebooks 7 years ago

      Very good hub. Love it! I live in the woods and am often "spooked".

    • cocopreme profile image

      Candace Bacon 7 years ago from Far, far away

      Thanks surlyoldcat! I still love these books even though I am grown up. Guess I am still a kid at heart. Happy Halloween!

    • profile image

      surlyoldcat 7 years ago

      The first hub on my favorite subject, and very well written. My kids are grown now, but as little shavers they would have loved these books. thank you!