Some of the best scary stories to read before Halloween…
It is that time of year when people love to watch scary movies and listen to tales of horror. To celebrate the season, here are 13 of the best scary stories to read before Halloween.
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
One of the most popular tales to tell around Halloween is this famous short story. The original version is perfect for adults, and there are plenty of adapted versions for children. It is scary and it is classic.
Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
These were some of the most popular books in the library back when I was a kid. As an adult, the stories seem more cheesy than scary. But it is always great to take a trip down nostalgia lane this time of year.
Are You Afraid of the Dark? By John Peel
These books were the counterpart to the Goosebumps series. In my opinion, these stories are a bit scarier, but still fun.
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz
This series of short stories are perfect to read with a group while sitting around the fireplace at nighttime. The stories vary in amount of “scariness,” but many of them are good to tell with children as well.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Stoker made vampires famous with this Gothic horror classic. It has continued to be an influential work over the years, and will still keep you up at night reading.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Another famous classic, Mary Shelley won a scary story contest with several other writers when she wrote Frankenstein. This thrilling tale questions the ethics of science.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
This disturbing story chronicles a woman’s descent into madness as she becomes obsessed with the wallpaper in her room. Scholars also consider it to be an important work of early feminist literature regarding womens’ health.
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
This chilling tale tells the story of the battle of good and evil that can take place within even the most upstanding of characters.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
This novella is a classic ghost story that leaves the reader questioning reality and the sanity of the protagonist.
The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
Poe is the “Master of Macabre.” As one of his best known short stories, The Tell Tale Heart is full of suspense and terror as the unnamed narrator tries to convince the reader of his sanity.
Young Goodman Brown by Nathanial Hawthorne
Set in a Puritan-era New England, this short story will have you questioning how well you really know those closest to you.
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Many fans of Sherlock Holmes consider this novel to be the best. It tells the story of the famous detective and Watson investigating a long-told legend of a supernatural hound that roams the moors of England.
The Color from Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft
Lovecraft made a name for himself with his science fiction horror stories. The Color from Out of Space is a masterfully written story that will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end.
What stories do you like to read before Halloween? What are some of your favorite scary stories? Let us know in the comments below.
Also be sure to check out these Halloween costumes for teachers!
About the Author
Carolina Fransen is the EdTech Apps and Tools Editor at SimpleK12.com. She writes regularly about the use of educational technology in K-12 classrooms, and she loves investigating teaching jobs in some of her favorite locales. If you have an app, tool, website, or service that you think we should know about, please send your information or tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.