Your Halloween Guide to Spooky Entertainment

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The Turn of the Screw by Henry James: A young governess arrives in the country to take charge of a little girl and her brother.  Then the ghosts of two dead servants begin to appear, threatening to corrupt the children with their knowledge of evil.  Can one governess stop them?

The Monk by Gregory Lewis: A Spanish abbot struggles with temptation.

“The Vampyre” by John Polidori: Aubrey discovers his friend Lord Ruthven may be a vampire.  Part of the ghost-story contest during which Mary Shelley composed Frankenstein.

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe: In her uncle’s Italian castle, Emily St. Aubert faces off against ghosts and unwelcome suitors.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: Victor Frankenstein’s monster vows revenge on the man who made him.

Dracula by Bram Stoker: Can Prof. Van Helsing convince his friends of the supernatural to save England?


May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson: Drawn into the world of Ever After where the living are unwelcome, May Bird must find a way to escape the evil Bo Cleevil.

The Swallow by Charis CotterPolly and Rose live next door, but they lead completely different lives.  Polly hopes to see a ghost.  Rose sees ghosts all the time and thinks she’s cursed.  When Polly meets Rose, she thinks her adventure has finally begun.  After all, Rose just doesn’t see ghosts–she may actually be one.

Liesl & Po by Lauren Oliver: Liesl lives in the attic, locked away from the world by her cruel stepmother.  Then one day a ghost named Po appears in her room.  Liesl hopes that Po can get a message to her father on the Other Side, but placing his soul at rest will require more than a few comforting words.

A Drowned Maiden’s Hair by Laura Amy SclitzMaud Mary Flynn never expects to leave the orphanage where she is generally considered disagreeable and impertinent.  But then Miss Hyacinth Hawthorne arrives and wants Maud to live with her and her sisters.  Maud wants desperately to be loved, so she agrees to be the sisters’ “secret child,” staying indoors and hiding from visitors, all so she can help with the family business of conducting faking séances.   But as time passes, the practice of playing on others’ grief for their money starts to become an intolerable burden.  How much is Maud really willing to sacrifice to feel accepted?

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan StroudFifty years ago, the dead stopped staying dead.  An entire industry has sprung up with the purpose of eradicating the ghosts that can not only drive people mad but also kill them.  Only children, however, have the ability to see and hear the specters.


The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald: The goblins hope to reclaim the land above by kidnapping the king’s daughter and forcing her into marriage.

“Goblin Fruit” by Laini Taylor: A retelling of Christina Rossetti’s “Goblin Market” (1862).  Part of the anthology Lips Touch: Three Times.

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien: Also featuring trolls, giant spiders, and more!


The Salem Witch Trials: An Interactive History by Matt Doeden: Become an accuser, a suspect, or the child of an alleged witch in this choose-your-own-adventure book.


Supernatural Creatures

Beowulf by Anonymous: A monster staltoo, bks outside Hrothgar’s hall, feasting on his men.

How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks: Ten-year-old Birdie serves as apprentice to a man who catches monsters.

The Boys of Blur by N. D. Wilson: Charlie wants finally to belong somewhere and hopes that may be his new home in Taper, Florida.  But an ancient evil lurks in the swamps and the only way for him to save the lives of those he loves may be for him to sacrifice his own.


Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George: Society girls Dacia and Lou discover a terrible family secret when they journey to Romania.

Jackaby by William Ritter: R. F. Jackaby claims he can see magical creatures no one else can.  When the police cannot solve a crime, Jackaby follows the supernatural evidence to find the real culprit (even if the police don’t believe him).  His new assistant Abigail is skeptical at first, too, but her first day on the job finds her on the scene of a serial murderer, the villain whom Jackaby says isn’t human.

Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith: Augie Hobble thinks he has it bad–and then discovers he might be turning into a werewolf!

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater: One day a wolf from the woods transforms into a boy in front of Grace.  Can the two solve the disappearance of a schoolboy before the villagers destroy all the wolves?


Chime by Franny Billingsley: In Briony’s village, being a witch is a crime and Briony can’t help but agree her powers mean she deserves death.  But a new boy in town is making her rethink life.

The Witches by Roald Dahl: A boy discovers a group of witches plotting to destroy all children.

Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper: Avery Roe longs to take her place as the witch of Prince Island, but first must escape from her mother.

The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner: When Rupert answers an ad to become a witch’s apprentice, he doesn’t expect his witch to still be in training.

Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Sclitz: When Clara Wintermute goes missing after her twelfth birthday party, the police suspect master puppeteer Grissini and his two orphaned assistants.  Though the police find nothing, Grissini’s increasingly suspicious behavior draws the attention of the children, who determine to find Clara and return her to her family.  Their journey will entangle them with Grissini’s ancient enemy, a witch who desires to save her own life at any cost—even if that means taking the life of a child.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood: After her mother’s death, Cate found herself charged with protecting herself and her two sisters–all of them witches.  But if they are the subject of a prophecy, remaining hidden may prove impossible.

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon: The minions of Castle Hangnail need a new Master in residence or the Board will decommission them and the minions will have to find a new home.  But when Molly shows up on the doorstep, the minions are not so sure things will work out.  Molly, after all, is only twelve-years-old and hardly seems like a Wicked Witch.

The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White: When Kara discovers a book of spells in the surrounding forest, she revels in her new-found power.  But the book corrupts all who use it.


The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanMary’s village lies in the middle of a forest encircled by a fence through which no one ever leaves.  Outside, the Unconsecrated prowl, hungering for human flesh.  But Mary longs to see the ocean.  Will she ever escape?


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier: Molly and Kip arrive at an English estate purported to be haunted.  They laugh at the rumors at first, but evil walks the house at night and the family are rapidly losing healthy.  Can two children break an ancient curse?

Pure by Julianna Baggott: Set in a world where people are fused to objects.

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz: After running away from home, Hansel and Gretel learn they must defeat a dragon in order to return.  With all the gore of the original tales.

The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant: After learning her parents died in a freak vaccum cleaner accident, Anastasia McCrumpet is spirited away by her newly-discovered great-aunts Prim and Prudence to their home, a Victorian insane asylum.  Then she discovers that her aunts collect the portraits of missing children.

Dangerous Boy by Mandy Hubbard: A retelling of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Among the Shadows: Tales from the Darker Side by L. M. Montgomery: This short story collection features criminals and the supernatural.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: Jacob grew up hearing his grandfather’s stories about being raised in an orphanage where the children possessed unusual abilities from super strength to levitation, an orphanage that was the only place they were safe from the monsters.  Jacob never believed him–until the day he learns the orphans might still be alive.


Halloween is a great time to rewatch the Harry Potter films–or you could go on our Wizarding School Adventure!

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6 thoughts on “Your Halloween Guide to Spooky Entertainment

  1. jubilare says:

    Awesome list! And I squeed when I saw you included this one: “The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald”
    One of my favorite books of all time.


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