Spooky Middle Grade Reads

With Halloween only a few weeks away, now is the perfect time to curl up with a scary story on a dark, stormy night. I’ve put together a list of my favorite spooky middle-grade novels, perfect for older children and teens!

From ghosts and witches to haunted houses and alternate dimensions, these books have it all. Get ready to be scared!

For younger readers, be sure to check out my Halloween picture books list and Halloween board books list.

The ShadowsThe Shadows (©2010) by Jacqueline West

Olive Dunwoody and her parents move into a decrepit Victorian mansion that still contains all of the previous owner’s possessions. The home is full of creepy paintings that seem to Olive like they’re keeping secrets. When a talking cat gives her a cryptic warning Olive knows there is more to the house than meets the eye, but she has only scratched the surface of what lurks in her new home. This spine-tingling story is packed with frights from start to finish. Ages 9+

Splendors and GloomsSplendors and Glooms (©2012) by Laura Amy Schlitz

Clara Wintermute, the only daughter of a wealthy doctor, goes missing on the night of her twelfth birthday. The prime suspect of Clara’s kidnapping is a mysterious puppeteer known as Grisini. When Grisini’s assistants, an orphan boy and girl, search for clues about Clara’s disappearance, they uncover Grisini’s evil intentions. This moody Dickensian tale has plenty of gore, intrigue, and suspense. Ages 10+.

CoralineCoraline (©2002) by Neil Gaiman

Coraline Jones is exploring her family’s new home when she discovers a mysterious door. Coraline steps through the door and ends up in a parallel version of home where she is greeted by her “Other Mother.” The Other Mother looks just like Coraline’s real mother, but with paper-white skin and black buttons for eyes. Her time spent in the other world is fun at first, but soon Coraline discovers the sinister intentions of this “other” family. This story is creepy, funny, and delightfully macabre. Ages 9+.

The Shrunken HeadCuriosity House: The Shrunken Head (©2015) by Lauren Oliver

A group of orphans with extraordinary abilities live among the other “freaks” at Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. When Mr. Dumfrey buys a shrunken head, strange and terrible things begin to happen. This beguiling mystery is not for the faint of heart! Ages 9+.

The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book (©2008) by Neil Gaiman

After his parents are murdered, a baby boy is taken in and raised by the ghostly inhabitants of a graveyard. The boy, named Nobody “Bod” Owens by his adoptive parents, grows up isolated from the living world, under the looming threat of the man who murdered his family. This haunting, well-crafted story follows Bod’s adventurous childhood years. Ages 10+.


  1. Great list! I recently read ‘Serafina and the Black Cloak’ by Robert Beatty and thought it was pretty spooky!

  2. I haven’t heard of 3 of these but if they are on the same list with Coraline and The Graveyard Book I’ll have to check them out!

  3. Pingback: #HorrorOctober 2015: Week 2 Round-up! | Lipsyy Lost & Found

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