Category Archives: horror stories

Spooky JFIC Revisited

Hello, jFIC fans,

Here’s a copy of my 2019 post on spooky reads:

October is my favorite month of the year, not just because it’s so cool and colorful, but because it has the funnest holiday: Halloween! To celebrate, here’s a list of creepy reads that’ll leave you feeling delightfully spooked. Read them at night with a steaming cup of your favorite autumn tea.

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

Small Spaces, Dead Voices, and Dark Waters by Katherine Arden

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The House With a Clock in Its Walls and other books by John Bellairs

Doll Bones by Holly Black

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

The Ghost Road by Chris Cotter

The Witches by Roald Dahl

A Curious Tale of the In-Between by Lauren DeStefano

Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro

The Graveyard Book and Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wait Till Helen Comes and other books by Mary Downing Hahn

The Great Ghost Rescue and Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

How to Catch a Bogle Trilogy by Catherine Jinks

How to Catch a Bogle

The Dark Thirty by Patricia McKissack

The Book of Bad Things and other books by Dan Poblocki

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (three books) by Alvin Schwartz

City of Ghosts, Tunnel of Bones, and Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab

Beware! scary stories picked by by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps Series by R.L. Stine

Lockwood & Co Series by Jonathan Stroud  

The Accidental Afterlife of Thomas Marsden by Emma Trevayne

Nightbooks by J.A. White

Happy reading!

Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and teapot bubble. Give me autumn, give me tea; Give me spooky Halloweens!

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Filed under horror stories, JFIC Books, juvenile books, middle grade books

Spooky Halloween!

Hi, Sweeteas,

What a glorious October! I’m looking forward to a delightfully spooky Halloween. I hope you are too! 😀

Here are two well-known authors who write creepy ghost stories for young people:

1- Mary Downing Hahn ( has been writing books for children for more than 30 years. She is best known for her “not-too-creepy” ghost stories and mysteries such as Wait Till Helen Comes (AR 4.6)*, The Old Willis Place (AR 4.2), All the Lovely Bad Ones (AR 4.5), The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall (AR 4.4), Where I Belong (AR 4.2), and her most recent: Took (AR 4.3). My favorite is Wait Till Helen Comes:

Twelve-year-old Molly, her ten-year-old brother, Michael, their annoying seven-year-old stepsister, Heather, and their parents move to a country house that used to be a church and has a cemetery in the backyard. Soon after, Heather starts warning Molly and Michael that an angry ghost named Helen is going to come for them. Is the ghost real? Is it really coming for them? And what will it do to them–and to Heather–when it does? A suspenseful, creepy story!

2-Dan Poblocki ( is a writer of mystery and horror books for young people. His creepy reads include The Stone Child (AR 5.2), The Nighmarys (AR 4.8), The Ghost of Graylock (AR 4.8), The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe (AR 4.8), The Book of Bad Things (AR 5.4), The House on Stone’s Throw Island (AR 5.3), and his most recent: Shadow House: The Gathering (first books in the series) (AR 5.1). I found The Book of Bad Things to be particularly creepy:

Cassidy Bean is spending the summer in upstate New York, in a peaceful town called Whitechapel. But peace disappears when Ursula Chambers, an old hermit and secret hoarder, passes away under strange circumstances. The people of Whitechapel greedily start claiming the items Ursula left behind, which causes Ursula’s ghost to start appearing all over town warning people to return her belongings to her creepy farmhouse. Cassidy decides to solve the mystery behind all the spooky incidents and discovers that there are more bad things in the world than anyone can imagine. This book gave me nightmares!

12 more spooky/creepy books you may enjoy:

The Halloween Tree (AR 4.7) by Ray Bradbury

The Graveyard Book (AR 5.1) by Neil Gaiman

The Night Gardener (AR 4.9) by Jonathan Auxier

The Doll Bones (AR 5.4) by Holly Black

How to Catch a Bogle Trilogy (AR 5.2) by Catherine Jinks

From the Dust Returned: A Family Remembrance (AR 5.3) by Ray Bradbury

Something Wicked This Way Comes (AR 4.8) by Ray Bradbury

Horowitz Horror (short stories) (AR 4.6) by Anthony Horowitz

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural (AR 4.6) by Patricia McKissack

Ghost Fever/Mal de Fantasma (AR 5.1) by Joe Hayes

Skeleton Man (AR 4.8) by Joseph Bruchac

Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Madness (AR 8.8) by Edgar Allan Poe

Look for these spooky books in your school or neighborhood library.

Happy reading!

*AR = Accelerated Reader reading level

“As long as there was coffee in the world, how bad could things be?” -Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes

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Filed under horror stories, middle grade and YA books

Spooky Reads!

Hello, Sweeteas,

Fall colors are peaking, and Halloween is 11 days away. Time to read a spooky story! We have several on display, so come check them out. Here are a few titles:

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Doll Bones by Holly Black

The Book of Bad Things by Dan Poblocki

The Stone Child by Dan Poblocki

The Haunting of Gabriel Ashe by Dan Poblocki

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs

The Spell of the Sorceress Skull by John Bellairs

Skeleton Man and Return of Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac

Ghost Fever / Mal de Fantasmas by Joe Hayes

Old Devil Wind by Bill Martin Jr.

Several Goosebumps books

A few classics:

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

Stories for Young People by Edgar Allen Poe

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

Plus many spooky short story collections including Ask the Bones, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, and Horowitz Horror.

The most recent titles on the list are The Night Gardener *****by Jonathan Auxier:

Molly and Kip are orphans who have taken jobs as servants at the decrepit Windsor estate. The family who live there look more dead than alive, and a mysterious gardener visits the grounds every night to take care of a creepy tree that has been growing into the house. It’s up to Molly and Kip to defeat the Night Gardener and break the curse that has fallen over the house and its inhabitants.

and The Book of Bad Things**** by Dan Poblocki:

The people of Whitechapel, New York, are claiming as their own the hoarded items of Ursula, a recently-deceased old hermit, and her ghost is warning the townspeople to return her belongings to her creepy farmhouse. Cassidy, who’s in town for the summer, decides to uncover the truth behind all the spooky happenings. What she learns is that there are more bad things in the world than she ever imagined.

Happy reading!

“Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn and caldron bubble.”
Add a bag of British tea;
Brew it strong for you and me. 

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Filed under horror stories