The temperature is dropping, but that might not be the only reason you’re shivering! This is the perfect time of year to indulge in some spine-tingling tales of terror with your students. Turn on all the lights and enjoy one of our favorite scary stories.


  1. The Dollhouse Murders (Grades 4-7, Level S, Lexile 670): This suspenseful mystery not only features super creepy dolls moving on their own but also explores family relationships.
  1. Coraline (Grades 5-9, Level W, Lexile 740): The themes of bravery and family that wind throughout Neil Gaiman’s dark and twisted fairy tale about a remarkable young girl named Coraline (not Caroline!) will resonate with readers of all ages.
  1. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Grades 4-9, Level V, Lexile: 640): This classic collection of creepy tales and urban legends will delight and fright students at a variety of reading levels.
  1. Cinderella Skeleton (Grades K-5): This fractured fairytale is a great upper-elementary read-aloud because of its advanced vocabulary and rhyming text!
  1. Doll Bones (Grades 5-9, Level W, Lexile 840): Best friends Zach, Poppy and Alice go on a quest to bury a doll made from ashes in this creepy tale from the author of The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Dollhouse Murders - Betty Ren Wright Coraline - Neil Gaiman Scary Stories - Alvin Schwartz Cinderella Skeleton - Robert D. San Couci Doll Bones - Holly Black


Wait Till Helen Comes - Mary Downing Hahn The Hallo-weiner by Dav Pilkey Party Games - R.L. Stine The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Last Laughs Animal Epitaphs
  1. Wait Till Helen Comes (Grades 4-7, Level U, Lexile 750): Step-siblings Molly, Michael and Heather must learn to work together when their blended family moves to a new, and very haunted, house.
  1. The Hallo-wiener (Grades K-3, Level L, Lexile 580): Join brave Oscar the dachshund on Halloween as he rescues his friends in this funny story about doing the right thing.
  1. Party Games (Grades 7-12): R. L. Stine’s first Fear Street book in almost 20 years is sure to win over new fans with this chilling tale of a group of friends stranded on a mysterious island.
  1. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything (Grade P-2, Lexile: AD710): This gently spooky picture book with a happy (and not too scary!) ending will thrill younger readers with repetitious text that encourages them to join in!
  1. Last Laughs: Animal Epitaphs (Grades: 2-5, Lexile: 650): Some are creepy, some are crawly, all are darkly funny! This collection of short poems detailing the often sudden demises of some of your favorite animals is not for the faint of heart.

***BONUS TITLE: A Tale Dark and Grimm (Grades: 5-8, Lexile 690): So terrifyingly delicious that we hesitated to share (wink, wink)! The clever, dark narrator in this one should not be missed!

A Tale Dark & Grimm - Adam Gidwitz