October means that it’s time for spooky stories, dark and stormy nights, and the occasional ghost-sighting. That means that it’s time to hunker down, grab a flashlight, and read any of these scary books for children just in time for Halloween!
Here, you’ll find buses breaking down in the middle of nowhere, haunted lakes, werewolves, and evil hotels. Not to mention legends, nightmares, and monsters — beware!
1. Alfred's Book of Monsters by Sam Streed
Alfred sure does love his monsters, but he hates teatime. Not only that, but his aunt thinks that monsters are improper, and that Alfred should focus his attention elsewhere. So, Alfred decides to invite his favorite monsters to tea and see what she has to say about that!
2. Poesy the Monster Slayer by Cory Doctorow
Poesy can’t wait for her parents to finally go to bed so that she can fend off the monsters that creep into her room. She’s gained plenty of knowledge from her books and toys, and finds that she can defeat a werewolf, vampire, and more!
3. Battle of the Bad-breath Bats by David Bowles
Cousins Malia, Ivan, and Dante get lost on their way to Gulf City’s water park, finding themselves on 13th street. This road is filled with dangerous creatures — how will they ever find their way back to Aunt Lucy’s?
4. Skeleton Man by Joseph Bruchac
After Molly’s parents disappear, she is adopted by a great-uncle she’s never heard of. He never eats, and he locks her in her room every night. But often, she has increasingly terrifying dreams telling her that her great-uncle is not who he claims to be. How can she outwit him all on her own?
5. The Girl in the Lake by India Hill Brown
Celeste is tired of trying and failing to learn how to swim. And she knows she should be excited to stay at her grandparents’ lake house with her family, but she insists upon staying on dry land. Soon, strange things begin happening around the house — flickering lights, the sound of footsteps, a girl in the mirror…just who is this girl, and what does she want?
6. Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
After her class’s field trip bus breaks down, Ollie and her friends discover that the scarecrows in the field opposite their bus are watching them. To survive, Ollie and her friends must travel into the woods, unravel a century-old mystery, and beat the villainous smiling man.
7. The Clackity by Lora Senf
Evie Von Rathe lives in the seventh-most haunted town in America, Blight Harbor, with her Aunt Desdemona, the local paranormal expert. There is only one rule in Aunt Des’s house: stay away from the abandoned slaughterhouse at the edge of town. But when Des goes missing, Evie goes searching for her and finds The Clackity, a creature who lives in the shadows, and makes a deal with it.
8. Artie and the Wolf Moon by Olivia Stephens
After sneaking out, Artie comes across a huge wolf in the nearby woods. But when she realizes that this huge wolf is her own mother, Artie is thrust into the world of werewolves and must learn all about her parents’ past all the while understanding that it’s not werewolves who are a threat: it’s vampires.
9. Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio
Warren is the sole bellhop, valet, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s strange and shadowy hotel. He hopes to find the secret treasure, the All-Seeing Eye, before his aunt and uncle. But to do so, he must solve mysteries like, what’s the strange creature in the boiler room, who is the ghostly girl creeping around, and why is the hotel’s only guest covered in bandages?
10. The Supernatural Society by Rex Ogle
Will’s parents just got divorced, he’s been forced to move to a nowhere town, and his dog goes missing. At least he has his new best friends, twins Ivy and Linus, right? But when they uncover ancient secrets, they must team up against monsters, magic, myths, and mad science to right all the wrongs in East Emerson.
11. It Found Us by Lindsay Currie
When Hazel overhears her brother’s plan for an epic game of hide-and-seek in the abandoned and probably haunted cemetery, she secretly tags along to investigate all the rumors. But when the game ends, she realizes that something is wrong: her brother’s friend has simply…vanished. But there are eerie whispers, smoke, and growing cold, and Hazel isn’t sure what they’re dealing with.
12. Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
Rumor has it that Harper Raine’s new house is haunted. She isn’t sure she believes these rumors until her younger brother starts acting strangely. Maybe if she can remember her blocked memories and uncover the strange sensations she’s feeling, she’ll be able to put a stop to the haunting.
13. Nightmare King by Daka Hermon
One day, Shane was a normal kid playing tag with his friends, the next, he’s the boy who came back from the dead. Now every time Shane falls asleep, he wakes up in a world where the Nightmare King reigns, and the King is collecting children and keeping them as treasure. But Shane can’t stay awake forever…