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.

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Compiled by:
Children's Services Staff

Younger Elementary

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.


Dracula vs. Grampa at the Monster Truck Spectacular

Kirk Scroggs
(Juvenile First Chapter Books - J Sc)
Series: Wiley & Grampa's Creature Features; 1

When Grampa and Wiley sneak out of the house on a stormy Halloween night to attend Colonel Dracula's Monster Truck Spectacular, they run into trouble from which only Gramma and an F5 tornado can save them. Recommended for ages 6-9.


In a Dark, Dark Room, and Other Scary Stories

Alvin Schwartz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 398.208 Sc)

*This item also available on HooplaSee also, Ghosts! : Ghostly Tales from Folklore, retold by Alvin Schwartz. 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.


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

*This item also available on LibbyAlexander has just moved into 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.


Older Elementary

Cuckoo Song

Frances Hardinge
(Juvenile Fiction - J Harding)

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


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)

*This item also available on LibbyMiddle-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.


The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman
(Juvenile Fiction - J Gaiman)

*This item also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and HooplaAfter 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.


Guys Read: Terrifying Tales

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

*This item also available on Cloud LibraryEleven 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.


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 Jumbies

Tracey Baptiste
(Juvenile Fiction - J Baptist)

*This item also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and HooplaIn a spine-tingling tale that is rooted in Caribbean folklore, 11-year-old Corinne must call on her courage and an ancient magic to stop an evil spirit and save her island home. Recommended for ages 9-12.


The Night Gardener

Jonathan Auxier
(Juvenile Fiction - J Auxier)

*This item also available on Libby and Cloud LibraryIrish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, 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.


A Path Begins

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

*This item also available on LibbyCloud Library, and HooplaWhen twelve-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.


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 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)

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


The Screaming Staircase

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

*This item also available on Libby (audiobook) and Cloud Library (audiobook). Follows three young operatives of a Psychic Detection Agency as they battle an epidemic of ghosts in London. Recommended for ages 9-12.


Small Spaces

Katherine Arden
(Juvenile Fiction - J Arden)

*This item also available on Libby and Cloud Library (audiobook). After eleven-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.


Spirit Hunters

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

*This item also available on Libby, Cloud Library, and HooplaFeeling 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, a situation that turns sinister when her cheerful little brother begins acting in alarming ways. Recommended for ages 9-12.


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.