Spooky stories for Halloween reading

Michael Williams
Michael Williams

As Halloween approaches, now is a great time to celebrate all things spooky and creepy.

And what better way to get the jitters and jumps than with a scary book?

Horror stories or books with darker themes are an excellent way for children to explore their fears in a safe environment and develop literary skills.

EducationDaily has compiled a list of some suitably scary books for Halloween storytime.

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The Goosebumps series

By R. L. Stine

How could a scary book list exist without the classic series Goosebumps?

The original series began in 1992 with Welcome to the Dead House and ended in 1997; however, spin-off titles continue to be published today.

The books feature various fun and scary monsters and often have creative plot-twist endings.

The story typically features young protagonists in recognisably uncomfortable situations — for example, a weekend away from mum and dad, perhaps at an aunt’s place.

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Due to its sheer volume, Goosebumps is a great series for young people to find their start in reading scary books.

They are bound to find something they can relate to.


By Neil Gaiman

Considered one of Neil Gaiman’s masterpieces, Coraline has been adapted into a TV Series, a movie, a graphic novel, a video game, and even an opera.

It’s won Neil Gaiman multiple awards for its symbolic depiction of mental illness among young people.

The plot details a young woman who moves into a new apartment with her parents.

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After discovering a portal into a parallel universe, Coraline loses both her parents and goes on a journey of self-discovery.

The book teaches kids about overcoming challenges and finding bravery in the darkness.

Coraline is an excellent book for teenagers entering their teenage years and exploring their emotions.

The Witches

By Roald Dahl

Considered one of the most recognised children’s authors of all time, Roald Dahl is known chiefly for his light-hearted and fantastical stories, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox and The B.F.G.

And while The Witches may not be the spookiest story on this list, it does have darker themes.

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A boy, after his parents die in a car accident, goes to live with his grandmother.

The boy uncovers a convention of witches who wish to kill all of the children in England.

They plan to do this using a formula that turns children into mice.

Our protagonist and his grandmother aim to stop this by turning those witches into mice instead.

The book has a few scares but is accessible to all ages eight and up.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

By Lemony Snicket

These 13 books, released between 1999 and 2006, took the world by storm, resulting in a movie, a TV series and a board game.

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More appropriate for an older demographic, the books follow three orphaned siblings and their evil uncle, Count Olaf, who, over the first six books, attempts multiple times to steal the children’s inherited fortune.

A Series of Unfortunate Events is a book series that explores dark psychological themes around maturity and is more appropriate for an older demographic.

Pig the Monster

By Aaron Blabey

A book for the younger audience, Pig the Pug is an outrageously successful kid’s book created by Australian author-illustrator Aaron Blabey.

In this adventure, Pig the Pug dresses up as various Halloween monsters in the search for treats.

Pig the Monster contains many fun illustrations perfect for those learning to read.

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Michael R Williams has been writing for regional newspapers for the past 3 years, including delivering the Longreach Leader to its 100th year. He is passionate about the opportunity journalism offers him to interview and tell the stories of Australians with a broad and diverse range of backgrounds. He is an obsessive reader and podcast listener.