Spooks and Scares for Tweens

A list of chilling and thrilling tales for upper elementary and middle school readers. From atmospheric dread, to pulse-pounding terror, to creepy comedy, these books are sure to delight fans of R. L. Stine, Mary Downing Hahn, and Alvin Schwartz.

Updated August 4, 2023
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Out to get you : 13 tales of weirdness and woe
Allen, Josh
Thirteen ordinary kids. Thirteen ordinary towns. Danger lurks around every corner! "Wonderful and weird, compelling and unsettling." - Gary Schmidt, two-time Newbery Honor author Get ready for a collection of thirteen short stories that will chill your bones,...
Small spaces
Arden, Katherine
New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and the Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic. After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she...
The Vanquishers
Bayron, Kalynn
In the world of the Vanquishers, vampires were history . . . until now. "A sharp vampire tale full of bite, heart, and humor." --Rena Barron, author of the Maya and the Rising Dark series "Boog and her friends will capture your heart in an instant." -...
Camp Murderface
Berk, Josh
Summer camp turns sinister in Camp Murderface, a spooky middle grade read perfect for fans of scare masters like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. The year: 1983. The place: Ohio. The camp: Scary as heck. Camp Sweetwater is finally reopening, three decades after it...
Nightmare island
Bourne, Shakirah
From rising star Shakirah Bourne, author of Josephine Against the Sea, comes a mysterious adventure that explores one of the most chilling tales in Caribbean mythology: the faceless douen children. Twelve year-old Serenity Noah has never told anyone about her recurring...
Daybreak on Raven Island
Bradley, Fleur
From the critically acclaimed author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel comes a thrilling new middle grade mystery novel inspired by Alcatraz Prison. Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori...
The forgotten girl
Brown, India Hill
"This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you." -- R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps "Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?" On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the...
The ghoul of Windydown Vale
Burt, Jake
A thrilling middle-grade mystery, The Ghoul of Windydown Vale is from the author of Cleo Porter and the Body Electric. "Don't miss this book! It takes you to another world--and then terrifies you with surprise after surprise. Great ghoulish fun!" --R. L...
What lives in the woods
Currie, Lindsay
For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling ghost story about a girl living in the decrepit and creepy mansion, who discovers something in the woods is after her. All Ginny Anderson wants from her summer is to sleep in, attend a mystery writing workshop...
Camp Scare
Dawson, Delilah S.
An eerie, twisty ghost story about twelve-year-old Parker, who only wants a summer of fun and new friendship at sleepaway camp but ends up finding a nightmare instead! Don't forget your flashlight. . . . Parker Nelson can't wait for summer camp. She'll have fun and...
Curses are the worst
Eulberg, Elizabeth
Goosebumps meets The Baily School Kids in this young middle-grade series about four unlikely friends who must band together to save their town from an evil curse! WARNING: This book contains a very scary and silly story about a long-dormant witch's curse that's been unleashed on the unsuspecting...
The midnight children
Gemeinhart, Dan
The #1 New York Times and Indie bestseller! From Dan Gemeinhart, the acclaimed author of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, comes an extraordinary story about a family of runaways who take up residence in a small town, and the outcast boy who finds his voice...
1-2-3 scream!
Ginns, R. U.
Get ready to scream with this collection of hillarifying-hilariously terrifying-tales, fully-illustrated and perfect for scary story lovers who are looking for a side of humor to go with their helpings of horror. Stop! Unless you want to be scared, do NOT read...
Lily and the night creatures
Lake, Nick
A young girl sets out to defeat the evil spirits inhabiting her home in this "thrilling...Coraline-like" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) illustrated middle grade adventure perfect for fans of The Beast and the Bethany and Margaret Peterson Haddix's The Strangers.<...
Whispering Pines
Lang, Heidi
Stranger Things meets The X-Files in this eerie, heart-pounding middle grade adventure about a young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it. Rae's father vanished without a trace--and Rae knows what happened...
Don't turn out the lights : a tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary stories to tell in the dark
Maberry, Jonathan
Featuring stories from R.L. Stine and Madeleine Roux, this middle grade horror anthology, curated by New York Times bestselling author and master of macabre Jonathan Maberry, is a chilling tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Flesh-hungry ogres...
This appearing house
Malinenko, Ally
From the author of Ghost Girl comes another standalone spooky middle grade for fans of Nightbooks and Ghost Squad, about a terrifying house and the girl haunted by her experience with cancer, grief, and healing. Are you brave enough to step inside? For as long as anyone could remember...
Thirteens
Marshall, Kate Alice
Neil Gaiman's Coraline meets Stranger Things in a dark and twisted story about a sleepy town with a dark secret--and the three kids brave enough to uncover it. Every thirteen years in the town of Eden Eld, three thirteen-year-olds disappear. ...
The Keeper
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia
Inspired by a terrifying true story, acclaimed author Guadalupe Garcia McCall creates a twisty tale about a boy desperately trying to survive in a new town with a secret past. James always knew moving from Texas to Oregon was going to be horrible.. But no sooner have he...
The stars did wander darkling
Meloy, Colin
A suspenseful and atmospheric horror set in 1980s Oregon, perfect for fans of Stranger Things, Neil Gaiman, and Margaret Peterson Haddix, from New York Times bestselling author and the Decemberists' lead singer/songwriter, Colin Meloy. Maybe Archie Coomes has been watching too many horror...
Camp Sylvania
Murphy, Julie
From Julie Murphy, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dumplin', comes a hilarious and creepy middle grade summer camp story that takes a bite out of fat camp and diet culture. Perfect for fans of Spooky Stories and Starfish. Magnolia "Maggie" Hagen is determined to...
Spirit hunters
Oh, Ellen
"Oh has crafted a truly chilling middle grade horror novel that will grab readers' imaginations." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Even more impressive than the shiver factor is the way the author skillfully uses the compelling premise to present a strong, consistent message of not...
Hide and don't seek : and other very scary stories
Rissi, Anica Mrose
A contemporary collection of original short stories by Anica Mrose Rissi that is sure to elicit chills, laughs, and screams, even from the most devoted fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark! A game of hide-and-seek goes on far too long... A look-alike doll makes...
Krazyland
Romasco Moore, Mar
In this scary story for fans of Neil Gaiman,The Last Kids on Earth,andGoosebumps, the only way out is krazier than you could ever imagine... Nathan used to be terrified of Krazyland when he was a young kid. Now that he's 12, the spooky-themed arcade games aren...
Where the woods end
Salter, Charlotte
Kestrel, a young huntress, lives in a seemingly endless forest crawling with dangerous beasts. But the most dangerous beasts of all are the Grabbers-beings that are born when you are and stalk you throughout your life, waiting for the perfect moment to snatch and eat you. No one has ever defeated...
City of ghosts
Schwab, Victoria
From #1 NYT bestselling author Victoria Schwab comes a sweeping, spooky, evocative adventure, perfect for fans of "Stranger Things" and Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.A New York Times bestseller!Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn't...
The Clackity
Senf, Lora
Reminiscent of Doll Bones and Small Spaces, this "delightfully eerie" (Erin A. Craig, New York Times bestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrows) middle grade novel tells the story of a girl who must rescue her aunt by entering a world of ghosts, witches, and...
Thornhill
Smy, Pam
Parallel stories set in different times, one told in prose and one in pictures, converge as a girl unravels the mystery of the abandoned Thornhill Institute next door. 1982: Mary is a lonely orphan at the Thornhill Institute For Children at the very moment that it's shutting...
Scream and scream again! : spooky stories from Mystery Writers of America
Stine, R. L.
A harrowing array of scary stories that all have one thing in common: each either begins or ends with a scream! R.L. Stine--the godfather of Goosebumps--and some of the most popular authors today bring an unrivaled mastery of all things fearsome, frightening, and...
Charlie and the grandmothers
Towell, Katy.
A visit to Grandmother's house has never been so frightening. . . . Charlie and Georgie Oughtt have been sent to visit their Grandmother Pearl, and this troubles Charlie for three reasons. The first is that he's an exceptionally nervous twelve-year-old boy, and he worries about...

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