Scary books are often very fun and exciting to read. They stimulate your imagination, get your blood pumping, and can leave you more terrified than excited; however, they certainly have their own appeal. If you’re a fan of scary books, then you’ll know that not all of them are suitable for children. With that being said, here are 10 of the scariest children’s books dealing with a range of topics from children’s ghost stories, zombies, and of course the scariest of them all, reality.
- Roald Dahl’s The Witches – Roald Dahl is a widely acclaimed children’s writer; however, some of his books are quite terrifying. The Witches tells the story of a coven of witches who turn children into rats and eat them. The only children free from the grasp of these child-hating witches are dirty children who according to the witches do not smell as bad as clean children do. It is a very entertaining story with little to no gore; however, it is still quite scary, especially when you find out the witches are everywhere. They just might be your next-door neighbor.
- R.L Stine’s The Goosebumps Series – It’s not a list of scary stories if there isn’t a goosebumps tale included. Rather than selecting just one for you, we’ll leave the choice to you. Every single book in this series will leave you with goosebumps. From tales of a sorcerer turned rabbit to a comic book turned to life and of course, the iconic Goosebumps movie where all the characters were brought to life, R. L. Stine knows how to write tales that will leave you pondering for days.
- Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – While Snicket’s writing explores rather terrifying realities where adults are actively trying to murder children, the stories themselves are not actually scary. Instead, Snicket draws your attention and unravels the plot in ways that leave you angry and unsatisfied before finally leaving you to confront the scariest tale of them all—reality.
- Neil Gaiman’s Coraline – Neil Gaiman’s Coraline starts off as a classic scary tale with a dark house, foreboding, and doors that appear out of nowhere. Then it speeds off into something much more intense. Coraline is given the chance to stay in another universe where her dad spends more time with her, and her mother knows how to cook, but it all comes at a cost–her eyes. However, is the cost simply her eyes or are they metaphors for something else?
- Alving Schwartz’s In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories – It’s not a list of scary stories without some children’s ghost stories. Alving Schwartz has thrilled kids from different generations with his children’s ghost stories. They’re fun, easy to read, and let’s not forget, positively scary.
- Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book – Meet Bod, a kid raised by ghosts and werewolves. Bod grew up in a graveyard, and it’s all he has ever known, but suddenly he’s faced with a decision. Will he stay in the graveyard or face the real world and the man who may have murdered his parents?
- Roald Dahl’s The Twits – The Twits are horrible, disgusting people who make monkeys dance upside down for hours. Let’s not forget they also eat worms. The Twits is a hilarious read with a happy ending (for everyone except the Twits).