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Halloween holds a unique space amongst book nerds. If you are a kid and prefer staying home under the covers, drinking your hot chocolate, decorating your room with tiny pumpkins, and reading a Spooky Pookie book, then this article is just for you. 

Even if gore and ghosts and demons terrify you and your bladder starts feeling weak, these book recommendations will not leave you disappointed. Most of these books will include teen and child protagonists with coming-of-age narrations that are not too explicitly disturbing or gory but will keep you looking over your shoulder throughout the story.

Horror Books for Kids and Teens

1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Age Range - 12 to 14-year-olds

A Monster Calls

This is a heartbreaking story of a boy and a monster. The boy named Conor keeps dreaming about a beast that pays him a visit every night, soon after his mother got down with cancer. He dismisses his dreams as just dreams like people usually do, but that is until someone really comes knocking on his door. It’s the monster. It’s a middle-grade children’s book perfect for fans of Roald Dahl, and it deals indiscriminately with grief, death, loneliness, and having the courage to deal with the same. If you like fantasy, this can be an excellent start to your Halloween reading list. You can find the book here.

2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Age Range - For 12-year-olds and above

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s is a paranormal horror series about an orphanage home to peculiar children with unusual abilities. The story revolves around a sixteen-year-old Jacob who once used to believe in the monster stories of his grandfather but has stopped doing so, as one does when they grow up. But when a tragedy strikes him, he starts questioning all his grandfather said about the peculiar orphanage and the unusual children of his time and whether they are still alive. 

So setting off on a journey to find the fantastical orphanage and the monsters, he finds out many truths about himself too. The book is filled with creepy photographs of the orphanage to set the eerie, ghost-much mood to the book and is told from a light-hearted teenage perspective. This whole series can prove the best scary Halloween binge read for your entire spooky October month! You can find the book here.

3. Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Age Range - For 12-year-olds and above

Pet book

Once, a town was overrun by monsters up and down, right and left, everywhere. But something happened, and they are all gone now. They don’t exist anymore, or at least no one believes anymore that they do. Jam lives in the same town, and she doesn’t believe in monsters either until one day when her beliefs were shattered when a creature with horns climbed out of her mother’s painting. It wants to hunt another monster in her best friend’s building, but how can someone protect anyone if they don’t believe in something? 

The main protagonist of the story is also transgender, and this book in its entirety also includes black representation. With added fantasy and supernatural elements, this would be a great book that handles many deep introspective concepts like being in denial. You can find the book here.

4. The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas
Age Range- For 14 to 17-year-olds

The Cheerleaders

This story takes place in a school called Sunnybrook High, known for its lost cheerleaders. There were five cheerleaders, precisely five years from now, and they all died - two of them died because of a car accident, two others got murdered, and another took her own life. Monica’s sister was one of them, and she just wanted to forget it all. But she can’t because it seems that whatever happened five years ago is going to happen again. It’s a perfect jump-starting scary thriller for a Halloween reading that will keep you on your toes the whole time. You can find the book here.

5. The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Age Range - For 8 to 12-year-olds

The Halloween Tree

This is a classic spooky story of eight kids exploring a haunted Halloween house and learning the history of this bizarre festival and how it is celebrated across cultures. It’s beautifully illustrated and is a light-hearted, feel-good story that will truly educate the children about the history and concept of Halloween and its various myths. So, if you’re looking for something more narrative and a little creepy, you’ll surely love this story. You can find the book here.

6. Thirteens
by Kate Alice Marshall
Age Range - For 9 to 12-year-olds


This is a tale about Eleanor, who sees unusual, creepy things when moving to a new town. Her friends tell her not to say anything to anyone about this. However, there’s a history of bizarre events in this town. Every Halloween, a trio of kids disappear and never come back, and Eleanor and her friends think they will be targeted this year. Scary, creepy, and best to read this book with your friends on Halloween. You can find the book here.

7. The Babysitters Coven by Kate Williams
Age Range - For 12 to 17-year-olds

The Babysitters Coven

Babysitting doesn’t need any qualifications except that you have to protect the said baby and the whole world before the parents come home. Esme Pearl is a babysitter, and it’s not like she necessarily likes the job; she just wants the money. On the other hand, Cassandra is desperate to find the babysitters once she finds a note from her mother telling her to do the exact. When Esme and Cassandra see each other, they realize that it is their supernatural witchy calling so that they can save the day. If you like a cute, light-hearted book with witches and magic, you’ll probably like this book too. You can find the book here.

8. What was I Scared of? by Dr. Seuss
Age Range - For 6 to 8-year-olds

What was I Scared of

It is an adorable picture book about a child narrator followed by pale green trousers with no person in them. It follows them everywhere, but when the kid finally confronts the green trousers, it baffles and staggers behind in fright just as much as did the kid. It comes with a moral message of fears and tolerance and is best for Halloween night. Spooky but not scary for young kids who love reading. You can find the book here

9. The Hiddenseek by Nate Cernosek
Age Range - For 8 to 12-year-olds

The Hiddenseek

When two siblings get perpetually lost into the land of Hiddenseek while playing the otherwise harmless Hide and Seek and are haunted by a shape-shifting scary witch, Hector and Holly Thorn must save the other children. But, first, they will have to break the curse of this mysterious place, keeping them in this land and away from playing the game. If you have reading Goosebumps, this will be a close second you’ll love to have on your shelf in the month of spooky October. You can find the book here.

10. The Circus of Stolen Dreams by Lorelei Savaryn
Age Range - For 10 to 13-year-olds

The Circus of Stolen Dreams

This is a gripping tale of Andrea, who doesn’t want to remember her troubling present where his brother lost and is all in to lose herself into dreams. Still, she soon realizes that the same place that allows her beautiful visions offer it in exchange for kids, and that’s where her brother got lost. So she must save her brother and herself from this spell-binding nightmarish place. It’s a riveting spooky story that will keep the kids turning pages on a whim and is perfect for a scary night of Halloween. You can find the book here.

Conclusion -

Most of the horror books available in the market are not appropriate for young kids and may seem grotesque, grim, and may even frighten them. But the books listed above are primarily excellent, friendly spooky stories, enjoyable and mildly scary with supernatural elements and creatures like witches or ghosts. This collection is made perfectly, keeping in mind the Halloween month's eerie books to read in October. This list includes books of almost all young adult kids, including toddlers, pre-teens, and teens.

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