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Five must-read scary books for kids

17 October 2022

Make bedtime a little spookier with five top picks from fellow hair-raising author, Reece Carter. See below the book list that's ideal for children aged 8-12 years old. 

1. The graveyard book by Neil Gaiman

This story about a boy raised by ghosts is equal parts haunting and humorous. Inspired by The jungle book but set in a graveyard, this novel by my favourite author features a fun role reversal: here, it’s the ghosts who are good, while the living are the real monsters. The villains in The graveyard book are seriously sinister.

Neil Gaiman also wrote Coraline, another wonderfully spooky read.

2. The house with chicken legs by Sophie Anderson

Sophie Anderson weaves European folklore through her stories; in this case, it’s the tale of Baba Yaga.

In The house with chicken legs, Marinka is the granddaughter of a Yaga, a witch who guides the dead into the afterlife, and their house is always on the move. Marinka wants friends, though, and a more ‘normal’ life. It’s a beautiful book about love and family.

3. Shadowghast by Thomas Taylor 

This is the third book in the Eerie-on-sea series and definitely the spookiest so far. It takes place on Halloween (in the book, it’s called ‘Ghastly Night’) when our heroes, Herbie and Violet, have to uncover the truth about the monster called the Shadowghast, who steals people’s shadows so that he can control them like puppets.

This book (and the whole series) is filled with larger-than-life characters. I love it.

4. The witches by Roald Dahl

No list of spooky books for kids is complete without this classic, The witches! I lost count of how many times I read this book growing up, and it’s still as scary now as it ever was. 

5. Goosebumps books by R.L. Stine

If you like fast-paced stories filled with spooks and chills, it’s hard to go past the Goosebumps series. And the best news is that there are over two hundred of them, so there’s plenty to enjoy!