31 Scary Books for Tweens

Is your child obsessed with the creepy and macabre? Can they not get enough of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and plan on moving on to Stephen King? You’ll find that these books are terrifying while being a little more age appropriate.

Note: These books are recommended for 4th-8th Grade. This doesn’t mean your 3rd-grader shouldn’t read some of them but as always, you know your child best so please use your judgement. The library is not responsible for any nightmares your child may have!

My Top 3 Creepiest Picks

Lockwood and Co.

A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business. In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day? 

Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle

Keep calm and carry on. That's what Katherine Bateson's father told her, and that's what she's trying to do: when her father goes off to the war, when her mother sends Kat and her brother and sister away from London to escape the incessant bombing, even when the children arrive at Rookskill Castle, an ancient, crumbling manor on the misty Scottish highlands. But it's hard to keep calm in the strange castle that seems haunted by ghosts or worse. What's making those terrifying screeches and groans at night? Why do the castle's walls seem to have a mind of their own? And why do people seem to mysteriously appear and disappear? Kat believes she knows the answer: Lady Eleanor, who rules Rookskill Castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must uncover the truth about what the castle actually harbors—and who Lady Eleanor really is—before it's too late.

The Nest

Steve just wants to save his baby brother--but what will he lose in the bargain? For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it's just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp's nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to "fix" the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered. All he has to do is say "Yes." But "yes" is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

Full Disclosure: I haven’t actually read The Nest but a coworker did and after she described it to me I decided it was too creepy for me. Side Note: I am an adult who doesn’t watch horror movies after I saw The Ring and I occasionally feel the need to check my closets if I read too much scary adult fiction. Do with that information what you will.

Check out all 31 Recommended Reads

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