It was a dark and stormy night. The wind howled outside, causing barren tree branches to scrap and scratch at the window like skeletons begging to get inside. I curled up on my couch, pulling a blanket closer around my shoulders with my head deep in a book. I was so focused on my reading that I didn’t hear as the front door quietly unlatched and opened. Muddy footsteps came creeping toward me until...
Don’t you just love scary stories? I sure do. Even though they often send my imagination into overdrive, which results in repeat requests for my husband to check the closets and under the bed. (My husband does not like it when I read or watch scary things.) October is my favorite month to dig into creepy new reads and revisit old book haunts. The nights grow longer, the weather brings a crisp chill and decorations for my very favorite holiday, Halloween, line the houses and shops. It’s the perfect setting for scary stories.
I tend to stay away from classic horror like Stephen King, but I’ll dabble in H.P. Lovecraft and practically have Edgar Allan Poe memorized. My favorite scary stories are the ones written with kid audiences in mind. They contain the right amount of suspense, shocks and scary scenes, but nothing graphic or too intense. (I’m not a Stephen King fan, remember?) From the ones I read in my youth, such as Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and the Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine to newer books like Coraline or The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, there are loads of scary tales to chill the spine of even the bravest young readers. Prolific author, Mary Downing Hahn, still has a knack for making me wish I could sleep with the lights on especially with her recent novel, the award-nominated, Took. Sometimes the greatest scares come from classic ghost stories by John Bellairs or the masterful Edgar Allan Poe himself. For a bit of ghost story humor, try The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde. Introduce beginning readers to freaky folklore with In A Dark, Dark House as retold by Alvin Schwartz and they’ll soon learn not to laugh when a hearse goes by.
I could go on and on, so instead I’ve compiled this list that includes books for a variety of young readers looking for a scary treat. Happy reading. Muah ha ha ha ha!