The best spooky books for kids and teens

From bewitching books for kids to terrifying tales for teens - here's what Mumsnetters recommend you read with your family this Halloween

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Spooky stories for children

Ten Little Monsters by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty 

"Ten Little monsters used to have my three-year-old screaming with delight." 

Little Monster and the Spooky Party by Pippa Goodhart and Nick Sharratt 

A sweet new lift the flap book that shouldn't be too scary for really little ones.

The Gruffalo's Child by Julia Donaldson 

"I remember my two-year-old daughter lying in bed after lights out, with the wind howling outside, going 'His eyes, like pooooools of TERRIBLE FIYAAAAH'." 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman 

"A Halloween must for us. This is as spooky as we can get since sometimes my three-year-old finds Bubble Guppies and Octonauts a bit too scary!"

The Witches by Roald Dahl 

"A classic book for children and adults." 

"My son is seven, and found The Witches absolutely terrifying."

Grimm's Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm 

"Grim and all too realistically horror-inducing. Definitely not for the very young - scary indeed!"

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy 

"My son and I both love this series - witty, well written, plus good female role models! There's some mild peril - but my son is fairly easily scared and he hasn't been freaked yet."

Goth Girl and the Wuthering Fright by Chris Riddell 

"Many phrases from Bear Hunt, Chocolate Cake and Goth Girl in particular are part of our 'family vocab'."

Terrifying tales for teens

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist 

"It has a few somewhat gory scenes, but then it is a vampire story - I really enjoyed it." 

"I'm really not one for horror books, but I actually enjoyed this book. I liked the exploration of the relationships between the characters."

The Enemy by Charlie Higson 

"Higson himself said that he wrote the series specifically to scare the pants off his own kids." "It's a very well written zombie story."

Point Horror series (including The Cheerleader) by various 

"I still shudder in horror remembering this series (aimed at teens). I found it in a charity shop a few months ago AS AN ADULT, and thought would be a giggle to read again. Screamed and hid under the duvet again. The shame!"

Dark Matter by Michelle Paver 

"She creates a fantastic air of isolation and unease. I read it last winter - it really creeps you out. Would definitely recommend it: it's not blood and guts but it's very unsettling!"

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories by various 

"A compilation of 14 spooky tales. After reading only halfway through the book, I felt more than a little uncomfortable on my own in the dark. A sure sign that the stories made an impression and are perfect for some Halloween fun!"

IT by Stephen King 

"Truly terrifying. I can't bring myself to read it again!"


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Last updated: 4 months ago