Scary Tales

Scary Tales
Scary Tales

These scary tales are sure to scare your socks off! Check out some of our favorite scary stories for school-age children.


Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff

Picture Books and Younger Elementary

The Boy Who Cried Werewolf

J.H. Reynolds
(Juvenile Fiction - J Reynold)

Max Bloodnight can't decide what's more terrifying about his weekend in Wolf County–the fact that he has to stay with grandparents he's never met before or being stuck on a farm without cell service. If only that was all he had to fear. Determined to solve the mystery of his father's death, which occurred years before at the claws of a legendary werewolf, Max must hunt to uncover the truth before the full moon rises...and the werewolf strikes again. Recommended for ages 6–9.


Don’t Open the Door

Veronika Charles
(Juvenile Early Readers - J-ER Cha)
Series: Easy-to-Read Spooky Tales

Three young boys on a sleepover tell each other scary stories from around the world that feature goblins, wicked wooden dolls, and an evil witch. Recommended for ages 6–9.


In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories

Alvin Schwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Sc)

These books present seven scary stories to tell at night based on traditional stories and folktales from various countries. They are perfect for camp outs and sleepovers. Recommended for ages 6–9. This item is also available on Hoopla. See also Ghosts!: Ghostly Tales from Folklore retold by Alvin Schwartz.


Night of the Gargoyles

Eve Bunting
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Bun)

In the middle of the night, the gargoyles that adorn the walls of a museum come to life and frighten the night watchman. Recommended for ages 6–9.


Rise of the Balloon Goons

Troy Cummings
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Cumming)
Series: Notebooks of Doom; 1

Alexander has just moved to Stermont, but the elementary school is being torn down, his new classroom is located in the hospital morgue, a notebook he finds is full of information about monsters–and everywhere he turns, there are spooky balloon men determined to attack him. Recommended for ages 6–9. This item is also available on Libby


Older Elementary

Cuckoo Song

Frances Hardinge
(Juvenile Fiction - J Harding)

In post-World War I England, 11-year-old Triss nearly drowns in a millpond known as "The Grimmer" and emerges with memory gaps, aware that something is terribly wrong. To try to set things right, she must meet a twisted architect who has designs on her family. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Hoopla


Dare to Be Scared

Robert San Souci
(Juvenile Fiction - J Sansouc)

What would you do if you couldn’t wake up from your scariest dreams? These tales take normal kids with normal lives that twist into a disturbing realm of horror. Recommended for ages 9–12.


The Darkdeep

Allyson Condie, Brendan Reichs
(Juvenile Fiction - J Condie)

Middle-schoolers Nico, Tyler, Ella, and Opal discover a hidden island in a forbidden cove that appears uninhabited, but something ancient has awakened knowing their wishes, dreams, and darkest secrets. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby


The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gaiman)

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. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and Hoopla


Guys Read: Terrifying Tales

Jon Scieszka
(Juvenile Fiction - J Guys)
Series: Guys Read

Eleven masters of suspense have come together to bring you a bone-chilling collection of original ghost stories perfect for sharing around the campfire, reading under the covers with a flashlight, and scaring your friends' pants off. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Cloud Library.


Horowitz Horror: Stories You’ll Wish You’d Never Read

Anthony Horowitz
(Juvenile Fiction - J Horowit)

The nine macabre tales in this book will keep you up at night. From a bathtub you would never wand to bathe in to a camera that can destroy anything it photographs, you’ll find plenty to scare you here. Recommended for ages 9–12.


The Night Gardener

Jonathan Auxier
(Juvenile Fiction - J Auxier)

Irish orphans Molly, age 14, and Kip, age 10, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon, the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby and Cloud Library


A Path Begins

J.A. White
(Juvenile Fiction - J White)
Series: Thickety; 1

When 12-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on LibbyCloud Library, and Hoopla


A Properly Unhaunted Place

William Alexander
(Juvenile Fiction - J Alexand)

In a world full of ghosts, Rosa and Jasper live in the only unhaunted town, but they must spring to action when they realize the ghosts are lying in wait to take the town back. You might also enjoy the sequel, A Festival of Ghosts. Recommended for ages 9–12.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Alvin Schwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Sch)

Stories of ghosts and witches, "jump" stories, scary songs, and modern-day scary stories. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby and Cloud Library


The Screaming Staircase

Jonathan Stroud
(Juvenile Fiction - J Stroud)
Series: Lockwood & Co.; 1

Three young operatives of a psychic detection agency must battle an epidemic of ghosts in London. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby and Cloud Library.


Scritch Scratch

Lindsay Currie
(Juvenile Fiction - J Currie)

Haunted after helping her father on his ghost-themed Chicago bus tour, 12-year-old Claire must discover what the spectral boy from the bus wants before it is too late. Recommended for ages 9–12.


Small Spaces

Katherine Arden
(Juvenile Fiction - J Arden)

After 11-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby and Cloud Library


Spirit Hunters

Ellen Oh
(Juvenile Fiction - J Oh)
Series: Spirit Hunters; 1

Feeling uncomfortable from the moment she arrives in her new home, Harper is dismayed by local rumors that her house is haunted and that every family that has ever lived there has suffered terrible tragedies. This situation turns sinister when her cheerful little brother begins acting in alarming ways. Recommended for ages 9–12. This item is also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and Hoopla


Tales of Terror

Edgar Allan Poe
(Juvenile Fiction - J Poe)

Classic short stories from the master of horror, including The Tell-Tale Heart and The Pit and the Pendulum. Recommended for ages 9–12.