Want to get in the Halloween mood? Check out these 13 scary stories that are must-reads before Halloween this year.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – The Harry Potter series started off as a children’s book series and became a cultural icon. The first in the series is definitely a fun must-read for anyone who longs for magical adventure during this time of year.
Once When I Was Scared by Helena Clare Pittman and illustrated by Ted Rand – This short picture book is a beautifully illustrated tale of how a young boy copes with fear during his journey through the woods to get coals for his family.
Jack O’Lantern’s Scary Halloween by Robert Kraus – This picture book is a fun story about Jack O’Lantern and his friends trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathanael Hawthorne – Inspired by a real house located in Salem, Massachusetts, this Gothic novel explores themes of guilt and atonement – and the supernatural.
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe – Perhaps Poe’s most famous poem, The Raven is a beautiful story that explores the finality of death.
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – This Gothic horror novel is considered by many to be one of the best literary ghost stories of all time. Four strangers will spend the night in a house that was born bad – and terror ensues.
The Berenstain Bearsand the Spooky Old Tree by Stan and Jan Berenstain – This is a rhyming story that's a fun read for children. Three little bears explore the inside of a spooky tree, but will they be able to get out?!
The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene – The first volume of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, Nancy helps a family uncover secrets to a will that could be found inside the family clock.
Kim Hopper says: “One of my all time favorites is “Bunnicula” by Deborah and James Howe. It is just a fun, quick read and even my middle school students enjoy me reading this book to them.”
Natalie Ezell mentions: “I read Wait Til Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn, as a fifth grader and didn’t sleep for a week. It’s still a go-to for a good old-fashioned and chilling ghostly tale.”
Kacey Chance says: “The House on Hackman’s Hill by Joan Lowry Nixon is a favorite that my teacher read to us in 4th grade! It’s a great spooky mystery.”
Heidi Sjolund comments: “These aren’t scary books, but they are definitely great for elementary school kids. Some have really good messages as well.
“Huggly’s Halloween” by Tedd Arnold
“Even Monsters Need Haircuts” by Matthew McElligott
“Fankenstein, a Monstrous Parody” by Ludworst Bemonster
“Room on the Broom” by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler
“One Halloween Night” by Mark Teague
“Too Many Pumpkins” by Linda White
“The Runaway Pumpkin” by Kevin Lewis
Leanne Holloway says: “The short story “The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs ranks high in creep factor for me.”
What do you think of our list? What scary stories do you enjoy reading before Halloween? Let us know in the comments below.
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.
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