14 Best Horror Books For Kids Update 05/2022

Horror Books For Kids

As kids, we learn how to deal with scary things as we grow up. Some of them may start out by not having a nightlight in their own bed at night. Soon, they may even be brave enough to clean under the bed. (There’s always some scary stuff under there.) Helping kids deal with their fears is part of being a parent.

Let them read scary books for kids, but you might think twice. Yes, they are. In the end, you don’t want them to read a scary story and be scarred for life. They won’t be able to sleep in their own beds until they’re 16.

Some mild scares are good for kids because they help them grow up and develop their minds and bodies. As an elementary school teacher, Katie Carella, M.Ed., let her students choose books from all kinds of genres, even scary books, to read.

It’s important that adults let and encourage kids to read books that make them feel scared, says Carella, who is now an Executive Editor at Scholastic Inc. In a safe place, kids can get the tools they need to better deal with being scared.

They might find some of the things they’re afraid of, real and made up, in scary books for kids. Reading about them can make them seem less scary.

If your 8-year-old wants to read Stephen King, don’t let him borrow your whole collection. You can fill your child’s bookshelf with scary stories that are appropriate for their age. It might be fun to start with some scary stories around Halloween, then move on to more scary books at any time of the year. They may fall in love with reading more after reading horror stories as a child.

The scary books for kids on this list range from funny to creepy to scary. Even though you don’t want to scare him so much that he wets his pants, you don’t want him to be scared enough to wet his pants when he’s sleeping in your bed.

Best Scary Books for Kids

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

We still don’t know why this short story novel was classified as a children’s book. But, still, it’s always a best-seller in the kids’ horror section. These stories are so scary, Mama, that they might even give you the creeps. So, if your child isn’t a big fan of the genre, we’d suggest starting out with a different book first before getting this one. There are a lot of short stories in this book, though. People can jump around until they find a game they both like (and avoid ones that may be a little too much).

Night of the Living Dummy, Goosebumps #1 by R.L. Stine

Goosebumps is the most popular series of scary books for kids of all time. It would not be complete without it on a list of scary stories for kids. This is the first book in the series, and this is the title of this one. There are people who are good at talking to dummies, and this book talks about them and their dummies. You don’t want to be in the same room as a creepy ventriloquist. Way scarier than the doll.

The Last Kids on Earth and the Midnight Blade by Max Brallier

In the last few years, The Last Kids on Earth has been one of the most popular TV shows. This is the last book in the series. It mostly draws in black and white to make it look even starker, but it also has a lot of laughs. Your child might even think he could step right into the book and fight off the monsters. Because all of the best monster hunters put their toys away at night, you won’t be alone.

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

If your kids see ghosts around every corner when it’s time for bed, this might not be the book for them. The main character sees ghosts. But for kids who like their horror books for kids to be very scary, this book is good.

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz

The author of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark is good at making scary stories for kids. It’s a book about ghosts, skeletons, and witches. Schwartz tells these stories in this book.

Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel

Hanukkah and scary movies don’t usually go together (although our adult friends who have attended Hebrew School may say otherwise). But this classic is the best scary book for kids because the hero has to fight goblins in order to save Hanukkah from them. It’s not a very scary story, so it might be a good way for a child who isn’t sure if she likes scary stories to get used to them.

The Stonekeeper: Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi

These are great drawings that make the book come to life for kids who like to read comic books and graphic novels instead of traditional books that are written on paper. (And if you don’t think a graphic novel is a real book, you’ve been told that you’re on the safe side.) A child who has lost a parent might find this title interesting.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

If you’re afraid of what you’ll find in your laundry, this book is for you. That’s not all. The story isn’t just about stinky, haunted laundry. In this story, the heroine has to deal with running her family’s laundry service while a ghost tries to stop her. Like that lone sock that always shows up after a load of laundry. Now that’s weird.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

This book, written by the same person who wrote the Winternight trilogy for adults, does a good job of making you feel bad for the main character. It might be better for older pre-teens or young teens who can put themselves in the heroine’s shoes. In addition to being a good scary book for kids, it was also voted one of the best kids books of all genres for 2018. This means it appeals to a lot of different types of people. People who have been on school field trips know that adult horror stories should have a lot of scary parts.

Where the Woods End by Charlotte Salter

People who enjoy reading scary stories might like this book because it has a “Little Red Riding Hood” vibe. So, have you thought about what fairy tales we tell our kids? Dark as hell. With this book, you’ll get a scary theme as well as a little mystery about the heroine’s true job. This makes it a good choice for kids who like both genres.

Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

They are scary for both kids and adults to have nightmares. The things that make us afraid include how we’re going to pay for college and how these crow’s feet came by the time we were 30. In this book, the hero’s dreams spill over into real life. So, in fact, it is very much like adulthood.

Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice

Kids often think they’re cursed when they can’t get more screen time or have to clean their rooms. Because their parents are so mean, only a curse could explain why they are so mean. To make it work, there has to be some kind of supernatural help. When kids read this book, they’ll learn what a curse is. Because the main character is cursed with being half ghost, half boy. Because this isn’t as cool as it sounds.

Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories by Max Brallier

For kids who are younger, mild scares are best. Children who are younger will feel brave when they read this book, which is the first in a series. It has great art and simple text that they can understand. During the holidays, it would be a huge hit if there was an adult version that would help you be more confident when you ask your boss for extra time off.

Eerie Elementary: Classes Are Canceled by Jack Chabert

This title is for kids who like to read books that aren’t too scary. To us, this is a great subject because elementary school can be one of the scariest places for young kids. For now, there’s no need to tell them high school is the scariest place on the planet. They’ll find out for themselves in a few years, when they’re old enough.

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