7 spooky Halloween books for 8-year-olds and up

Two kids in white sheets, dressed as ghosts


It can be fun to feel a little scared, when snug and safe in the comfort of your own home. You can let your imagination run wild and get lost in a terrifically terrifying story.

Whether you're spending Halloween at home or out and about with friends this year, it’s a perfect opportunity for slightly older primary school-aged readers to give themselves a few frights with a creepy Halloween book or two.

We’re huge advocates of reading aloud to kids whatever their age, so perhaps you’ll want to enjoy one or two of these together in the run up to Halloween celebrations?

This is our top pick of spooky and creepy, yet age-appropriate, reads for 8-year-olds and up:


The Ghost of Gosswater by Lucy Strange


The Ghost of Gosswater

This spooky, gothic chiller from Lucy Strange tells the story of Lady Agatha who is thrown out of the stately home she grew up in to live with a man claiming to be her father. Family secrets, ghosts and fantastic characters make this story gripping, atmospheric and un-put-downable!


The House on Hoarder Hill by Mikki Lish and Kelly Ngai


The House on Hoarder Hill

Whilst staying in their grandfather’s spooky old house, Hedy and Spencer start receiving messages on dusty picture frames. Coming up against disembodied spirits, ravens and gargoyles they must race to discover the secrets that the old house is holding and solve the mystery of their grandmother’ disappearance.


Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick


Crater Lake

This seriously creepy story from Jennifer Killick is also hilarious, gripping and a great introduction to horror. On their first night of a residential trip 4 friends discover that anyone that falls asleep becomes a victim of an alien lurking in the lake. They must work together to save their classmates but most importantly: never. fall. asleep!


Demelza and the Spectre Detectors by Holly Rivers


Demelza and the Spectre Detectors

Demelza is a keen scientist but discovers she’s also inherited a distinctly un-scientific gift from her grandmother – she can summon the ghosts of the dead. When her grandmother is kidnapped, she must use her skills to get the bottom of the mystery. Holly Rivers’ story is charming and eccentric, covering themes of death and the afterlife sensitively.


The Ghost Garden by Emma Carroll


The Ghost Garden

This short novel from award-winning Emma Carroll is published by Barrington Stoke who specialise in creating super-readable, dyslexia-friendly books. Set in 1914 under the looming shadow of approaching war, two children encounter bones and ghosts in this spooky, unnerving and highly accessible tale.


The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes


The Haunting of Aveline Jones

Aveline loves ghost stories and when she discovers an old book of spooky stories that once belonged to Primrose Penberthy, who vanished mysteriously, she sets out to investigate the disappearance. But Aveline soon discovers that someone, or something, is looking for her. This debut novel from Phil Hickes is both charming and spooky. There is also a sequel to enjoy: The Bewitching of Aveline Jones and the third in the series, The Vanishing of Aveline Jones, is released on 27th October 2022.


The Vanishing Trick by Jenni Spangler

This gothic mystery by Jenni Spangler was a super spooky hit with our subscribers. Madame Pinchbeck conjures the ghosts people's loved ones at seances across the country. Whilst her performance are just smoke and mirrors, that doesn't mean that there isn't sinister magic at play too.

You may also be interested to read our interview with Jenni.


If you’re looking for recommendations for younger or particularly sensitive readers, why not check out these 7 fang-tastic Halloween books for 5 to 8-year-olds.

We’ve also created a guide to having Halloween fun at home which you can check out here.

This post includes affiliate links to our bookshop.org page, meaning we receive a small percentage of the sale should you purchase through them. Additionally, a percentage from all sales on the platform goes directly to local UK bookshops which is an initiative we're delighted to support!


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