Get into the Season with a Spine-Tingling Chapter Book

Oh, how I loved a spooky chapter book as a kid. I can remember reading this one in fifth grade and afterward lying in bed late at night with the covers clamped around my neck, scared out of my wits. And what time of year is better for a scary read than the season of ghouls and specters?

We've taken a look at picture books specific to Halloween, and picture books about topics like bats and pumpkins that you can use to extend the season. Now, it's time to focus on books for bigger kids, ages 8 or 9ish to 12. Following are some excellent chapter books that comprise mysteries, scary novels, and other spine-tingling fun to get your tweenster into the Halloween spirit! Don't worry, if your object is to not scare your kid, many of these are simply fun mysteries and others are much heavier on satire than horror. Again, I've put an asterisk by my very favorites, but all are worth sharing! 

A few of these novels and short story collections are more appropriate for kids over 10, so take a look here for the entire list of titles, in which I've made a note of those that are better for older kids, along with posted all the enticing book covers. 

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The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill*

School of Fear (series) by Gitty Daneshvari

Dial-a-Ghost by Eva Ibbotson*

A Tale Dark and Grimm (trilogy) by Adam Gidwitz*

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett*

The Name of this Book is Secret (series) by Pseudonymous Bosch

The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) by Trenton Lee Stewart*

A Series of Unfortunate Events (series) by Lemony Snicket

The Crossroads by Chris Grabenstein

Something Upstairs by Avi

The Doll in the Garden by Mary Downing Hahn

Wait 'Til Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman*

Dare to be Scared by Robert San Souci

Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor

The Notebook of Doom by Troy Cummings

The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural by Patricia McKissack*

Stary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Coraline by Neil Gaiman*

Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye (series) by Wendelin Van Draanen

Bunnicula by James Howe*

All the Wrong Questions (series) by Lemony Snicket

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry

Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk by Megan McDonald

The Witches by Roald Dahl*

Constable and Toop by Gareth Jones

Doll Bones by Holly Black*

The Screaming Staircase (series) by Jonathan Stroud

The Thickety by J. A. White

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (series) by Sheila Turnage*

Dying to Meet You (series) by Kate Kline