Spooky Stories and Halloween Books for Kids

Whatever their age, kids love to be scared and there are many frights to be had with one of our spooky stories for kids - perfect for Halloween. From monsters to ghosts to witches, and from the frighteningly funny to the truly bone-chilling, we have it all in our picks of the best spooky stories and Halloween books for kids, so check out the list below if you dare...

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For 3 years +

1. Four Silly Skeletons

Mark Sperring and Sue Hendra

This fun, rhyming, spooky story is ideal to read with your toddlers at bedtime. As the Four Silly Skeletons rise at night to dance, their Auntie June comes to save them when they end up in a muddle. Mark Sperring's story and Sue Hendra's illustrations together make for a scary, funny story for you and your kids to enjoy.

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2. Room on the Broom

Julia Donaldson

This ever-popular picture book, with enthralling illustrations by Axel Scheffler, sees a witch happily fly across the land with her cat until a strong wind blows her hat, bow and wand away. As each item is found by a dog, a bird, and a frog they all ask her for a ride on her broom until the broom snaps! And, with a dragon on the loose, what will happen to the witch and her friends?

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For 5 years +

3. The Worst Witch

Jill Murphy

See Mildred Hubble, the clumsiest student at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, learn spells and broomstick-riding with hilarious results. As Mildred tries to make her way through her first year at the Academy, things don't go to plan as she makes an enemy out of Ethel, the teacher's pet, after turning her into a pig!

Check out all of Mildred's magical adventures in our The Worst Witch collection.

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For 7 years +

4. Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

Chris Riddell

Ada Goth lives in Ghastly-Gorm Hall with her father, Lord Goth, who forces Ada to wear clumpy shoes so that she may be heard but not seen. When William and Emily Cabbage and Ishmael, a ghostly mouse, arrive at the Hall, Ada realises she has the chance to make some friends. But, things aren't going to go smoothly as Ada uncovers the gamekeeper has an evil plan...

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For 8 years +

5. The Demon Headmaster

Gillian Cross

Dinah's facing some big changes in her life with a new foster family, complete with two new foster brothers, Lloyd and Harvey, and starting a new school. But her school is strange, everyone acts like well-behaved robots, and soon enough Dinah finds herself losing control of her own behaviour. She is starting to fall under the power of the Demon Headmaster who plots to take over the world. Can Dinah, Lloyd and Harvey stop him? Find out in this classic children's story that has been spooking children for over thirty years!

Check out the whole The Demon Headmaster Collection for more spooky adventures.

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6. Goosebumps: The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight

R.L. Stine

R.L. Stine's brilliantly bone-chilling children's series, Goosebumps, has many great spooky books to choose from and The Scarecrow Walks at Midnight is a great place to start. Jodie spends her summer at her grandparents' farm, where the only exciting things are found in her Grandpa's spooky stories, until one night the scarecrows in the field start moving...

For more from this scary series, check out our Goosebumps Collection.

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For 9 years +

7. Fright Forest

Marcus Sedgwick

The first in the hilariously creepy Raven Boy And Elf Girl series sees Raven Boy, who has the power of talking to animals, and Elf Girl, who is elfish and odd, meet for the first time after he drops from the trees and crushes her flat. Before long they are on a mission to save the world together, fighting all manner of monsters, including witches, trolls and ogres.

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8. The Wizards of Once

Cressida Cowell

This brand new magical story by How to Train Your Dragon author, Cressida Cowell, is the perfect book to dive into this Halloween. In a time gone by, Wizards and Warriors are sworn enemies. Xar, a young wizard with no magical power, and Wish, a warrior girl with a secret magical object team up together, despite their differences, to travel to the dungeons at Warrior Fort. But, serious danger lies ahead and Xar and Wish must be willing to put their trust in one another to survive.

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For 11 years +

9. The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman

This Carnegie Medal winner novel by Neil Gaiman tells the story of Nobody Owens, known by his friends as Bod, who, after his entire family are killed, is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. Bod finds safety with the dead as the man who killed his family is searching for him in the land of the living, but how long can he stay alive?

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10. Skulduggery Pleasant

Derek Landy

This is the first in Derek Landy's incredibly popular children's series. When Stephanie Valkyrie's uncle, a horror fiction writer, dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie makes the shocking realisation that her uncle's dark and evil characters have come to life! Teaming up with the hilarious skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant, Stephanie and Skulduggery's spooky adventure is a fantastic page-turning read.

To read the whole series, check out our Skulduggery Pleasant Collection.

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11. Cirque du Freak

Darren Shan

This is the first in the Saga of Darren Shan books and is the perfect spooky read for older children. After Darren and his friend, Steve, decide to visit a freakshow, he can't stop thinking about Madam Octa, a giant tarantula he saw in the show. As Darren plans to steal Madam Octa and Steve starts acting strangely, the boys become absorbed into the creepy world of the Cirque du Freak...

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These are just some of the spooky reads your kids might enjoy, whatever their age or interests, we have loads more scary books in our Thrillers, Mysteries & Ghost Stories category or dive into our ghoulish range of Halloween books.

  • CQD2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £4.49
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    Cirque Du Freak is the first of the Saga of Darren Shan books and introduces ordinary schoolboy Darren, who visits a freakshow with his friend Steve and becomes obsessed with a giant tarantula. Darren's fascination is complicated by his friend Steve's behaviour and the pair are subsequently drawn into a ghoulish adventure from which there seems to be no escape. Cirque Du Freak is a dark and thrilling tale that will appeal to both boy and girl readers of nine and above.

    This children's book has been hand-picked for you by Red House.
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    From the creators of the Blue Peter award-winning Funniest Book with Pictures "Raven Mysteries" team, this is the first in a humorous and magical adventure series, "Raven Boy And Elf Girl", perfect for readers of 8+ about Raven Boy and Elf Girl's magical, humorous and creepy adventures as they battle to save the world. Eep...the adventure begins! Raven Boy has short black spiky hair, amazing night vision and can talk to animals. Elf Girl is light of foot, sharp of mind and...elfish all over. She hadn't expected to meet Raven Boy; it's not that often someone falls out of the trees and squashes your home flat like Raven Boy did. Before they know it they are plunged into some very strange, creepy, altogether spooky and hilarious adventures as they save their world from trolls, ogres, witches and things that slither and slide in the fiendish forest.
  • KGY2 11 years +
    11 years +
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    Skulduggery Pleasant is the first volume in Derek Landy's series about a skeleton detective and his assistant, 12-year-old Stephanie Valkyrie.

    Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard. Will evil win the day? Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing's for sure: evil won't know what's hit it.

    Winner of the Red House Children's Book Award, Landy mixes up magic, fantasy and adventure and tops them off with sparky dialogue and lots of jokes. A perfect choice for readers aged 11+ who are waiting to get sucked into a book they can't put down!
  • AAAWZ 11 years +
    11 years +
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    When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

  • AMPYC 8 years +
    8 years +
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    They're baa-ack! Make way for the bestselling children's series of all time! With a fresh new look, GOOSEBUMPS is set to scare a whole new generation of kids. So reader beware--you're in for a scare! Jodie loves visiting her grandparents' farm. Okay, so it's not the most exciting place in the world. Still, Grandpa tells great scary stories. And Grandma's chocolate chip cookies are the best. But this summer the farm has really changed. The cornfields are sparse. Grandma and Grandpa seem worn out. And the single scarecrow has been replaced by twelve evil-looking ones. Then one night Jodie sees something really odd. The scarecrows seem to be moving. Twitching on their stakes. Coming alive ...
  • WZW2 5 years +
    5 years +
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    The Worst Witch managed to keep entire generations of young readers spellbound and now your child can read where it all began with this book, the first in the series.

    Written and illustrated by Jill Murphy, the book tells the story of how Mildred Hubble became a trainee at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches, despite being one of the most clumsy children around - constantly getting her spells wrong and crashing her broomstick...

    Things get even worse when she turns Ethel, the teacher's pet, into her worst enemy. Funny, chaotic and easily readable, this is a great first chapter book for young readers!
  • RBAS 3 years +
    3 years +
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    Written by the picture book dream team of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, Room on the Broom is one of the most popular children's books of recent years - even inspiring a popular TV adaptation.

    The witch and her cat fly happily over forests, rivers and mountains but then a stormy wind blows away the witch's hat, bow and wand. They are retrieved by a dog, a bird and a frog and each animal asks for a ride on the broom. Eventually it snaps in two, but what will they all do when they fall into a bog and come face-to-face with a hungry dragon?

    With its bright pictures, rhyming and funny text and much more, this is a must for every child's bookshelf.
  • AUOXY Toddlers
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    "It's midnight!" shouted Skelly Sid. "But what do we all care? How can we think of sleeping when there's music in the air ...?" Four silly skeletons dance off with a skip and a hop, and not one of them sees the GREAT BIG DROP! Luckily, Auntie June is there to patch them up. Even if they end up in a bit of a muddle. A rollicking, rhythmical story perfect to read aloud, made even more zany and hilarious by Sue Hendra's bright, bold illustrations. Just right for making kids jump - and then making them laugh.
  • TWOO 9 years +
    9 years +
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    Cressida Cowell, the bestselling author of How to Train Your Dragon, kicks off a magical new adventure with The Wizards of Once.

    This hardback book is set in an ancient, magical time when Wizards and Warriors hated each other like poison. Magic used to live in the dark forests, but then the Warriors came... Xar is a young wizard boy who has no magic and Wish is a Warrior girl who owns a banned magical object that she will do anything to conceal...

    As the duo head towards the dungeons at Warrior Fort, they quickly notice something that has been sleeping for hundreds of years is stirring... They're going to have to put their differences aside in order to survive.

    This is an exciting and timely page-turning fantasy that tackles serious subjects such as the divisiveness nature of society with a deft lightness of touch. It even features some of Cressida's own incredible illustrations.
  • GGG2 7 years +
    7 years +
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    Deliciously dark but also ghoulishly good, Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse is a Costa Children's Book Award-winning and CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-shortlisted novel from the Children's Laureate, Chris Riddell.

    Ada Goth lives unhappily with her father, Lord Goth, in the gigantic Ghastly-Gorm Hall. The Lord believes that children should be heard but not seen, so Ada is forced to wear clumpy boots so he can hear her coming... this makes it hard for her to make friends.

    When William and Emily Cabbage come to stay at the Hall - along with a ghostly mouse called Ishmael - Ada is relieved to have some company and find her loneliness drifting away. But that's just the start, soon, the new friends find themselves unravelling a dastardly plot that the gamekeeper has planned...