Books that Go Bump in the Night

The air is getting crisp, leaves crunch underfoot, and a sense of spookiness can be felt all around. It’s the time of year again when witches cackle and werewolves howl, and we crawl under the covers with a flashlight and a book, hoping that the scratching at the window is just a tree branch. If you’re ready for a frighteningly good read, sink your claws into one of these great titles.

If you’re interested in finding more books that will give you the shivers, search the catalog using subject terms such as “juvenile fiction” for fiction books, “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books, and an additional term such as “Halloween,” “ghost stories,” or your favorite scary monster.

Becker, Bonny
The Frightful Ride of Michael McMichael. 2018 (Picture Book).
Little Michael McMichael is on a trip to deliver something to his beloved grandmother. But as soon as he steps on the Thirteen bus, something feels very off. The creepy driver only gets creepier, and the bus only gets more abnormal as the other passengers disembark! With eerily silly illustrations by Mark Fearing, the twist ending will leave you gasping!
[S-Collection Q. SE. B388fr]

Becker, Helaine
Monster Science: Could Monsters Survive (and Thrive!) in the Real World? 2016 (Nonfiction).
Think you know all there is to know about monsters? Think again! This fun, engaging book delves into the real-life science behind the creatures we all know and love. Discover the history of sea monsters. Learn if electricity really could make human organs function after death. Complete with jokes, trivia, and a whole lot of science, this is one you won’t want to miss.
[S-Collection S.001.944 B38845m]

Brendler, Carol
Not Very Scary. 2014 (Picture Book).
Melly the monster does not scare easily. In fact, she doesn’t get scared at all! So when she sets out to her cousin’s house for a big surprise, it doesn’t frighten her one bit when more and more creepy creatures start to follow her on her way. Or does it…?
[S-Collection Q. SE. B7504n]

Caswell, Deanna
Boo! Haiku. 2016 (Juvenile Poetry).
Colorful pictures and creative poetic riddles will keep little ones guessing about which spooky character will appear on the next page. Each hint is told in the form of a haiku, a traditional Japanese style of poetry that includes 5 syllables on the first line, 7 on the second, and 5 on the third. This is a real page turner because you never know who you’ll find next!
[S-Collection SE. C2799bo]

Cuyler, Margery
Skeleton Hiccups. 2002 (Picture Book).
Is there anything scarier than hiccups you can’t get rid of? Poor Skeleton is afflicted, and despite his best efforts, they won’t go away! Will they ever leave his rattling bones in peace? Clever illustrations by S. D. Schindler make this a classic you’ll return to year after year.
[S-Collection SE. C99sk]

Fleming, Candace
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave. 2012 (Young Adult Fiction).
Set in an actual (and allegedly haunted) cemetery outside of Chicago, this distinctly Illinoisan set of ghost stories follows the tales of several teen spirits recounting how they died, all involving the supernatural. Each ghost belongs to a different era in history from 1860 to the present, and together they paint a marvelous picture of some of the most exciting events in Illinois history.
[S-Collection S. F629o]

Howard, Martin
How to Slay a Werewolf. 2014 (Nonfiction).
Plagued by a lycanthrope? No problem! In this hilarious guide to werewolves, Professor Van Helsing teaches you all the tips and tricks you’ll need to rid yourself of that bothersome beast once and for all. Complete with a history of werewolves, this is your one stop shop for all things lupine.
[S-Collection S.398.2454 H835h]

Monahan, Hillary
Mary: The Summoning. 2014 (Young Adult Fiction).
Four teen girls link hands to summon the spirit of Bloody Mary. But when one of the girls takes it too far, Mary is released from her mirror and seeks revenge. Friendships are challenged and lives are changed as the girls struggle to escape Mary’s grasp. Easily the scariest book on this list, it is not for the faint of heart.
[S-Collection S. M7412m]

Sloat, Teri
Zip! Zoom! On a Broom! 2017 (Picture Book).
One by one, ten witches jump on a broom, and one by one, they drop off again! Illustrated by Rosalinde Bonnet, this rhyming story all about counting up and down makes for a great read-aloud with a witchy theme.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Sl52z]

Tan, Shaun
The Singing Bones: Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales. 2016 (Young Adult Fiction).
Explore Grimms’ fairy tales as you’ve never seen them before. Eerie sculptures by visionary artist Shaun Tan accompany snippets of 75 tales, leaving you with a strong sense of foreboding. Complete with an introduction by Neil Gaiman, fans of fairy tales and folklore won’t want to miss this one.
[S-Collection S.398.210943 T1535si]