Let’s face it, Halloween can be a great holiday for kids. Dressing up in costumes, telling terrifying stories, carving jack-o’-lanterns, street parties and trick-or-treating. Or perhaps this is the perfect time to pick a scary book and stay in to read it! Here we’ve come up with a list of some of our favourite spooky books for kids of all ages, including activities and fictional tales. There’s even some evil-looking cupcakes to try if you dare…
The Halloween Activity Book is a spooktacular activity book packed with Halloween-themed activities, including puzzles, things to spot, drawing, doodling and colouring. Little children can use the stickers to create creepy Halloween monsters, learn how to draw a witch and wizard, match vampires with their shadows and much more.
If you’re looking for a game instead of a book, Spooky Snap could be the answer. This is a spooky version of the ever-popular family card game. Large, mysteriously illustrated cards help young children develop word and picture matching skills. A great game for all the family.
Funnybones by Janet & Allan Ahlberg was first published in 1980, and is a modern classic. Perfect for children just starting to read, these skeletons are more funny than scary.
This is how the story begins.
On a dark dark hill
there was a dark dark town.
In the dark dark town
there was a dark dark street..
Sure to become a family favourite.
Even the Mr Men and Little Miss characters get involved in Halloween… Ever since Little Miss Scary moved to town, Halloween had become really scary. Scare your pants off scary! But Mr. Tickle has a plan to make this year different – a ticklishly, tricky plan! Watch out little Miss Scary, there’s someone behind you! This edition of Mr Tickle and the Scary Halloween comes with a glow in the dark cover.
There’s a Monster in Your Book by Tom Fletcher is sure to delight young children at bedtime. A mischievous monster has invaded the pages of the book! You have to tilt, spin and shake the book to see what happens to the monster on each page, showing that not all monsters are scary.
Fulton has gone to the Dial a Ghost agency with an evil plan. He wants to hire some truly terrifying ghosts to scare his nephew Oliver to death. The Shriekers are the most violent and sickening spectres the agency has, but a mix-up means the kind Wilkinson ghosts are sent in their place. Now Oliver has some spooky allies to help him outwit the wicked Snodde-Brittles… Eva Ibbotson is a delightful author and Dial A Ghost is a treat of a book.
The Goosebumps have been around for a while, celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, and RL Stine is an expert at scaring kids! The Goosebumps Monster Collection is a boxset that includes thirty titles, with monsters, vampires, phantoms, curses and more, this series will keep the kids entertained for hours.
Hollywood actor turned author Jason Segel explores a night time world in Nightmares! Eleven year old Charlie is having some issues. His dad has married a woman he’s pretty sure moonlights as a witch, and he’s had to move into the creepiest place in town. Not only that, a terrifying witch is haunting his sleep and now his bad dreams are making their way to the real world, and it’s up to Charlie and his friends to face their fears and save the town.
The perfect dark comedy for children, the Series of Unfortunate Events is great reading at any time, but particularly Halloween. Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In the first book alone, they must face a greedy and repulsive villain and a plot to steal their fortune, and things don’t improve from there. Absolutely brilliant.
Recently made into a major motion picture, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography. When Jacob is sent to a remote island off the coast of Wales after a horrific family tragedy, he finds a group of children who were possibly more than peculiar – they may have been dangerous.
Jonathan Stroud is a legendary writer, and his series Lockwood & Co is no exception. The Screaming Staircase is the first in the series, and describes a country that has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts for over 50 years. Agencies have sprung up to destroy them, and when a case goes horrifyingly wrong, Lockwood & Co must face a night in the most haunted house in England. And try to escape alive…
If you want to impress the kids with your cooking, why not try A Zombie Ate My Cupcake. Basic cupcakes are given sculptures and turned into Eerie Eyeballs and Ghastly Ghouls. Or try Dracula’s Bite red velvety cupcakes, or some Bleeding Hearts, which are moulded with deep red fondant into human hearts and covered with a cherry ‘blood’ sauce. With over 25 recipes, these are deliciously weird.