Perhaps your child finds the prospect of being scared exhilarating, or perhaps they want to prove that they’re brave and can stand a little terror! If you think your child is ready for a scary read without having to climb into your bed afterwards, then these spooky stories make for a chilling night in.
However not all children appreciate a good scaring and neither do the parents that have to comfort a terrified child! Head to The Bedtime Story Finder if you think spooky stories are a little bit risky for your little one . . .
Editor’s Note: See more on our dedicated bedtime story topic page.
Horrid Henry and the Mummy’s Curse by Francesca Simon
Our favourite young anti-hero, Horrid Henry, is back in a collection of four stories as we join him getting banned from the supermarket for life, visiting a shark-infested’ swimming pool for a lesson, attempting some homework…and playing a terrifically spooky prank on his sanctimonious little brother, Perfect Peter. It’s Halloween and Henry hears the spine-chilling story of the ancient Egyptian mummy’s curse but is Peter safe from it? Could it be that the mummy or Mum is closer to home than Peter realises? Francesca Simon brings her signature wit to tales of sibling rivalry and small-scale rebellion, in the perfect series to give even the most angelic child an opportunity to relish a little naughtiness!
Unreal! by Paul Jennings
Lucky lipsticks that have you kissing animals; ice cream that can help rid you of spots; even cow dung custard – all of the above are present in Paul Jenning’s wonderful cornucopia of quirky short tales. Be warned, some stories have a ghostly edge…I distinctly recall at least one skeleton on a toilet! Jennings’ stories are just plain hilarious for young readers, and his whimsical tales offer more twists than a ride on a rollercoaster.
Clockwork by Philip Pullman
Clockwork guarantees to keep you on the edge of your seats. The great clock of Glockenheim proudly displays its clockwork figures at different times of the day or year, and the prospect of a new one made by the clock-maker’s apprentice has people travelling from far and wide for its unveiling. On the eve of this great event, a number of townspeople gather in the local inn to hear the latest story of Frtiz the novelist, famed for his hair-raising tales. From this point on we’re taken on into an adventure where life – and the story slowly start to merge… a tale to be truly enjoyed by children and adults alike, and which will have you gripped in its magical spell throughout.
Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond
A deep and multi layered book, Kit’s Wilderness touches on a host of powerful emotions. Kit has recently moved to Stoneygate, an old mining town with a tragic past. His grandfather, ill with Alzheimer’s, tells him stories of bygone days in the mine and the children he once played with. As his grandfather’s health starts to deteriorate, Kit gets drawn into dark games themed around Death with the town’s local children. Set in a stark and captivating environment, you’ll find this a gripping read from beginning to end.
The Dark by Lemony Snickett
Laszlo is afraid of the dark. The dark lives in the basement, and doesn’t visit Laszlo in his room. Until one night… it does. Follow Laszlo as he journeys into the dark … to face and conquer his fear. The tension of Snicket’s words are perfectly paired with Klassen’s deceptively simple yet beautiful pictures, in this truly unique picture book. Perfect for children who might want something a little spookier to dig into, or for encouraging those who struggle with that familiar fear of the dark to overcome it.
The Daydreamer by Ian McEwan
A bizarre and often forgotten book, McEwan’s novel is split into seven short stories about ten-year-old Peter Fortune. Peter is a daydreamer, and slips into a fantasy world regularly. But the line between reality and his imagination becomes more and more blurred, as he fantasises about wiping out his entire family with invisibility cream, and then swapping bodies with the cat! For young fans of creepier stories, this will be well worth a read.
What spooky stories have had your little one shrieking in delight? Scare us silly with your recommendations in the comments below!