Halloween Stories for Children
By: FUN Monster
Not every kid loves to read. But something almost every kid loves? A good scary story! Luckily, there are so many cool, scary, spooky stories that are quick to read and provide all the thrills that keep the reader interested. The following stories come in a variety of lengths and reading levels. Some are really, really short while some are a little longer. Many of these have been scaring preteens for generations! Also, many of them have been made into movies or television shows. Reading the story and then watching an adaptation provides extra thrills and chills for a young reader. Audio versions also exist for several of these classic tales. Scary stories are often fun to read out loud, so set the scene by dimming the lights and practicing ghostly voices and give a reading for those stories that don't come with an audio version. Kids may also find their own imaginations running wild after reading a good ghost story. So jot down any ideas and start crafting a spooky tale to share with friends!
The Boarded Window (PDF)
The American frontier is the setting for this story where the narrator (and readers) are uncertain about what exactly is going on with his wife.
There are few things scarier than knowing an animal is in danger. Unless? It's not being able to tell the difference between what's real and what's not, which is one of the scary things the narrator of this story experiences!
Contents of the Dead Man's Pockets (PDF)
A young man wants a promotion more than he wants anything else. Or so he thinks until he finds his life literally hanging in the balance.
Mark Twain is best known for creating Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, but he also wrote this twisty ghost story.
What if ghosts had hobbies? In this story, the ghosts haunting one house in Arkansas really love to bake!
Unlike most other ghost stories, this one was written to be performed on the radio. Listening to the original broadcast provides additional thrills and chills!
What if a child could read minds and punish people for their thoughts? After being published as a short story, this became the basis for an episode of the Twilight Zone.
Author Silvia Moreno-Garcia, who is Mexican-Canadian, blends elements from both her homelands in this story that seventh and eighth graders will love reading.
A young man is happy to find a very nice landlady to rent from. But is she as nice as she seems?
First published in 1820, this classic horror story is the perfect Halloween ghost story!
Shirley Jackson's classic tale about a small town with a very unusual tradition has been read by generations of middle schoolers for a reason. It's quick, but readers will think about this tale long after they finish reading it.
It starts with a pandemic, and then horror master Edgar Allan Poe takes readers to unexpected places.
The Monkey's Paw (PDF)
Being able to have three wishes granted seems like a dream come true, but those wishes come at a great price in this classic tale.
The author of Frankenstein wrote this chilling tale about someone with an unusual relationship with life.
A condemned man is the narrator in this Edgar Allan Poe story.
First published after author Shirley Jackson's death, middle schoolers will read this story and wonder just how good anyone is at being able to judge the heart and intentions of other people.
The narrator is not an imaginative person. And yet he hears a scream, and he knows who screamed like that. That person is dead!
A Sound of Thunder (PDF)
Science fiction and horror collide in this space story set in 2055.
Doomed bridegrooms haunt the words of this collection of tales.
Strange Tales: Three Uncanny Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson
These three short stories are read out loud by Scottish actors.
The Tell-Tale Heart (PDF)
Edgar Allan Poe crafted this tale of a sick person who hears something, and once they hear it there's no escaping it.
Horror master H.P. Lovecraft wrote this story of a young man who becomes obsessed with a tomb near his home.
Goosebumps author R.L. Stine wrote this short story on Twitter
10 Best Scary Stories for Kids
These very short stories pack in a lot of thrills into very few words!
15 Short Horror Stories For Teenagers
Middle schoolers will enjoy reading these stories out loud.