Interest in scary stories waxes and wanes, but it's always there. Over the past years I've gotten more and more requests for scary stories for younger listeners and readers, which is always tricky. "Scary" is very individual too, much like humor. However, here are my favorite recommendations to get started.
Scary Picture Books
Scary Picture Books
- Bone soup by Cambria Evans
- The Monster and the Tailor by Paul Galdone (OP)
- The Book That Eats People by John Perry
- Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
- Cinderella Skeleton by Robert San Souci
Easy Readers and Beginning Chapters
- Eek! Stories to make you shriek by Jane O'Connor
- All the other books in this series are out of print
- Scary Tales by James Preller
- Ghosts! Ghostly stories from folklore; In a dark, dark room by Alvin Schwartz
- Individual Titles
- Fearless traveler's guide to wicked places by Pete Begler
- Doll Bones by Holly Black
- Infestation by Timothy J. Bradley (OP)
- Coraline; Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Graphic adaptations available as well.
- Bone snatcher by Charlotte Salter
- Reef of Death; Rats; Raptor by Paul Zindel
- Properly unhaunted place by William Alexander
- Babysitter's guide to monster hunting by Joe Ballarini
- Darkside by Tom Becker (OP)
- Weenies by David Lubar
- The goofy covers put some kids off, but they really are scary.
- Spirit hunters by Ellen Oh
- Scary stories to tell in the dark by Alvin Schwartz
- Killer species by Michael Spradlin
- Goosebumps by R. L. Stine
- Books of Elsewhere by Jacqueline West
- I didn't think these were actually that scary, but several kids in my book club have declined to finish reading them because they were "too scary" so there you go!
- Graphic Novels
- Alabaster Shadows by Matt Gardner
- Dream Jumper by Greg Grunberg
- Red shoes and other tales by Metaphrog
- Lost Boy by Greg Ruth
- John Bellairs
- I actually weeded all these because I couldn't get kids to read them, but with the new movie coming out maybe they will be popular again?
- Dan Poblocki
- Through the woods by Emily Carroll (GN)
- Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (Series)
- Not so much horror as dark fantasy; these are being republished fall 2018!
- Natasha Preston
- Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan (Series)
- Multiple related and unrelated series and manga adaption, which I don't think is scary at all.
- Escape from Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith (Series)