10 spooky (not scary!) reads for Halloween

Spooky books for kids for Halloween
Posted on October 3, 2023

Looking for spooky books for kids for Halloween? You’ve come to the right place.

Not because I’m an expert in screechy, scary, scratchy reads – I’m notoriously wimpy when it comes to this stuff – but because I can call on author Allison Rushby, the third member of Team Your Kid’s Next Read, who absolutely LOVES a spooky story.

So much so that she’s written several – check out The Turnkey series, The Mulberry Tree, The Ghost Locket and the Miss Penny Dreadful series for starters!

Who better then to put together an updated list of Halloween reads – with an emphasis on the spooky, not the scary.


10 spooky books for Halloween 

A list by Allison Rushby

There’s just something so delicious about being a little bit scared.

Tucked up under the sheets in the dark of night, the wind is rattling the window, a tree branch scritch-scratching against the glass. Perhaps there’s even a little screech from some wild animal as you devour a book that has a ghost or two in it.

Your main character is a little bit worried (hey, you’re a little bit worried!).

But not so much so that when your eyes begin to close and you put your book down, you can’t fall straight to sleep and have pleasant dreams.


Yes, there’s nothing better than a spooky (not scary!) read for some safe bedtime thrills. So, with Halloween on the horizon, I thought it might be a great time to list ten spooky-not-scary favourites…


Spooky books for kidsGhost Book by Remy Lai

Remy Lai’s newest graphic novel centres on July, who can see ghosts – a problem during hungry ghost month. When she begrudgingly befriends a little boy ghost, the pair must join forces in order to sort their intertwined destinies.



The World of the Unknown: Ghosts by Christopher Maynard

This cult 1977 non-fiction classic has been reissued and will surely spark a new generation of ghost-hunters. With lots of info on our ghostly friends, as well as factual information on the techniques and equipment of ghost hunting and how lots of sightings have been exposed as natural occurrences or fakes, there’s something here for everyone.


Spooky books for kidsMiss Penny Dreadful and the Midnight Kittens by Allison Rushby

It’s 1872 and Penny has an enquiring mind and several mysteries to solve. Not only does she need to find out the truth behind authoress Aunt Harriet’s story idea involving some bewitched kittens, she also needs to work out where her parents have disappeared to…



A Ghost in my Suitcase by Gabrielle Wang

Celeste takes a trip to China to visit her grandmother, Por Por, and finds out she comes from a family of ghosthunters. Lots of exciting action distracts from the scary (but not too scary!) ghosts.


Spooky books for kidsThe Bookseller’s Apprentice by Amelia Mellor

With another wonderful serve of sinister magic, this prequel to The Grandest Bookshop in the World has just enough terrifying action-packed danger to provide nightmare-free thrills.



The Goodbye Year by Emily Gale

Things are not going well for Harper in what should be amazing final year of primary school. Now, to add to all the confusion, she thinks she’s seen a ghost…


spooky books for kidsThe Eerie Excavation by Ash Harrier

Alice England has yet another mystery to solve! Alice and her friends are off to archaeology camp and it’s not long before something unexpected turns up in the dirt, sparking many a question, such as: do curses really exist? Is a monster about? And who – or what – is creeping around after midnight?



Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her friend Syd cast a spell that accidentally awakens some malicious sprits. They must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette and her tabby sidekick, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse.


Spooky books for kidsTashi and the Ghosts by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble

Brave Tashi is off on another fabulous adventure, this time involving ghost monsters in the forest!




There’s a Ghost in this House by Oliver Jeffers

For young and old, this story of a young girl and a haunted house is an absolute delight.


Allison Rushby from Your Kid's Next ReadAllison Rushby is the author of 20+ books, from junior fiction to novels for adults. She is a member of the Your Kid’s Next Read team and an admin of the Your Kid’s Next Read community. Find out more here.



Need more? Try these spooky book lists

10 spooky (or scary) middle-grade books for Halloween

More spooky stories for kids 8+


A. L. Tait The First Summer of Callie McGeeAre you new here? Welcome to my blog! I’m Allison Tait, aka A.L. Tait, and I’m the author of middle-grade series, The Mapmaker Chronicles, The Ateban Cipher, and the Maven & Reeve Mysteries. My latest novel THE FIRST SUMMER OF CALLIE McGEE is out now. You can find out more about me here, and more about my books here.

If you’re looking for book recommendations for young readers, join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook community, and tune in to the Your Kid’s Next Read podcast!


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