No Tricks, Just Treats! Celebrate the Season with 15 Spine-Tingling Stories for Tween Readers

Zakiya Jamal  //  Oct 18, 2021

No Tricks, Just Treats! Celebrate the Season with 15 Spine-Tingling Stories for Tween Readers

Parents and teachers of preteen readers beware: Your kids are in for a scare!

Do you know a kid who loves scary stories? One who loves all things ghoulishly delightful and frightfully fun? If so, check out this list of 17 chilling and thrilling stories that are sure to bewitch the young readers in your life:

Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega

Be prepared. Respect the dead. Always have a cat. Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy. Also, make sure to pre-orde Witchlings, Claribel Ortega's next middle grad novel!

The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown

A spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery. Now in paperback!

The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange

It’s 1899. The Earl of Gosswater has died, and twelve-year-old Agatha has been cast out of her ancestral home — the only home she has ever known — by her cruel cousin, Clarence. In a tiny tumbledown cottage, she struggles to adjust to her new life and the stranger who claims to be her real father. While adjusting to her new fate, she learns that the shores of Gosswater lake are haunted, and soon comes face to face with the spirit of another young girl who’s soul will not rest. Could the ghost of Gosswater hold the key to Aggie’s true identity?

Vacancy by K. R. Alexander

The latest chilling frightfest from horror master K. R. Alexander . . . this time centering around a spooky hotel where guests do NOT check out the way they check in.

Darkness by Christopher Krovatin

If you're not afraid of the dark . . . you should be. In a town which is plunged into darkness without warning, strange things rise when no one else can see . . . and the source of the darkness may be the scariest thing of all.

A Touch of Ruckus by Ash Van Otterloo

Tennessee Lancaster has a secret gift: when she touches objects, she sees and hears the memories connected to them. And with her mama pregnant again, her daddy’s job in jeopardy, and a new home in the mountains of North Carolina, Tennie uses her gift to keep the peace. When the Lancasters new temporary apartment is too small, Tennie volunteers to stay with her widowed grandma, Mimsy. But inside Mimsy’s antique shop, Tennie’s gift does something new — instead of just memories, her touch releases a ghost with a message: trouble is coming.

The House on Hoarder Hill by Mikki Lish & Kelly Ngai

When siblings Hedy and Spencer are forced to spend time with their reclusive and eccentric grandfather, they find themselves on a quest to solve the mysterious disappearance of their grandmother decades earlier.

The Graveyard Riddle: A Goldfish Boy Novel by Lisa Thompson

Melody Bird has discovered an old, abandoned building on the edge of town…It's a dark, creepy place, but she can't resist its pull. When she goes to explore, she finds a boy hiding out there. Hal tells Melody that he is a spy-in-training, using the house as a base for his undercover surveillance of a nearby suspected criminal. He's very secretive about the details, but Melody trusts him and starts bringing him blankets and sneaking him food. She confides in her friends Matthew and Jake about Hal — they immediately question the likelihood of a twelve-year-old spy and decide to turn the tables and spy on him, to work out what he's really up to…

Ghost in the Headlights by Lindsey Duga

When Brianna Jenson agreed to move in with her cruel uncle Shane in rural Pennsylvania, she didn't expect to find herself in the middle of a terrifying town legend.

Every afternoon on her walk home from school, as the sun begins to set behind the overhanging branches of Shadowrun Road, Brianna hears footsteps following her — footsteps that belong to no one. Then there's the car that races along the narrow country road with blinding lights and almost runs her over! That's when Brianna realizes… there’s no one driving. It's almost as if someone — or something — is trying to get her attention.

As Brianna investigates what happened on Shadowrun Road, she discovers a town tragedy that has never been resolved. Can Brianna get to the bottom of this ghostly mystery before it's too late?

The Ash House by Angharad Walker

An unsettling, gripping middle grade debut about searching for a sense of belonging in the wrong places, and the bravery it takes to defy those who seek to control us. This is Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children meets Lord of the Flies for fans of Neil Gaiman and Holly Black.

When Eleven-year-old Sol arrives at the Ash House, desperate for a cure for his complex pain syndrome, he finds a community of strange children long abandoned by their mysterious Headmaster.

The children at the Ash House want the new boy to love their home as much as they do. They give him a name like theirs. They show him the dorms and tell him about the wonderful oasis that the Headmaster has created for them. But the new boy already has a name. Doesn't he? At least he did before he walked through those gates...

This was supposed to be a healing refuge for children like him. Something between a school and a summer camp. With kids like him. With pain like his. But no one is allowed to get sick at the Ash House. NO ONE.

And then The Doctor arrives...

Strange things are about to happen at the mysterious Ash House. And the longer Sol spends on the mysterious grounds, the more he begins to forget who he is, the more the other children begin to distrust him, and the worse his pain becomes. But can he hold onto reality long enough to find an escape? And better yet, can he convince the others?

Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon 

Ready or not, here it comes…! One of our most iconic childhood games receives a creepy twist as it becomes the gateway to a nightmare world. 

City of Ghosts / Tunnel of Bones / Bridge of Souls by Victoria Schwab 

Everyone has a ghost story. Get ready for a thrillingly spooky and action-packed tale of hauntings, history, mystery, and the bond between friends (even if one of those friends happens to be a ghost...).

Slappy in Dreamland (Goosebumps SlappyWorld #16) by R. L. Stine

This is Slappy's world -- You only scream in it! Don’t miss the newest release in the Goosebumps SlappyWorld series!

The Witch Boy trilogy by Molly Knox Ostertag 

In Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. But Aster hasn't shifted, and he's fascinated by witchery. Will he find the courage to truly be himself? 

The Witches by Roald Dahl, Pénélope Bagieu

Roald Dahl's darkly funny masterpiece, The Witches, now available as a graphic novel from Eisner Award-winning artist Pénélope Bagieu!