Spooky stories to read at Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to indulge in stories that are creepy, crawly, slimy, spiderwebby and wonderfully scary.

This year, we’re holding some seriously spooktacular events at our Readings shops to celebrate. Drop by Readings St Kilda or Readings Malvern to enjoy a Halloween themed story time, or join Readings Kids for a jampacked afternoon of ghoulish festivities – including a scavenger hunt! Our Readings Doncaster Middle Fiction Book Club is also hosting a spooky session the week before Halloween – find out more here.

Or read on for some bookish Halloween inspiration to try at home…


Is it Halloween Yet? by Susannah Chambers & Tamsin Ainslie

Emily loves Halloween with its spooky dress-ups, fun games and yummy things to eat. Her busy family is not so sure. Luckily, Emily has a few tricks (and treats) to get everyone in the mood. This is one of those rare picture books that show an Australian neighbourhood and Australian kids enjoying Halloween creativity and craftiness!

For ages 3 and up.


Funnybones by Allan Ahlberg & Janet Ahlberg

This classic and timeless picture book takes the reader through a dark dark town into a dark dark house and a dark dark cellar to meet a wonderful family of skeletons: a big skeleton, a little skeleton and a dog skeleton. More cute than scary, these skeletons head out on the town to find someone to scare … but in the end have to be happy with just scaring themselves. With wonderful phrase repetitions and exuberant drawings, this is such fun to read out loud.

For ages 3 and up.


The Witch in the Cherry Tree by Margaret Mahy & Jenny Williams

David and his mother are baking cupcakes on a gloomy day when the delicious smells bring a greedy witch to their garden. The witch uses every magic trick she knows to steal their fresh-baked goods, but David is a tough kid to outsmart. There'a a happy ending when David burns his cakes and tosses them outside to the witch, because – what do you know? – witches actually love burnt cake! Written by legendary Kiwi children’s author Margaret Mahy, this is a cosy and nostalgic read from the 70s.

For ages 3 and up.


A World Full of Spooky Stories by Angela McAllister & Andronic Madalina

Revel in supernatural stories from all around the world in this illustrated anthology of tales that are the perfect length for bedtime. The stories are sorted into categories like Enchanted Places, Down by the Water, Into the Woods and Strangers at the Door, and are illustrated in a cheerful folk art style. Meet Baba Yaga, Tam Lin, a talking skull, Father Death, an ogre, a forest spirit and more. More gently thrilling than genuinely scary, this far-ranging collection features stories from Czechoslovakia, Russia, Africa, Brazil, Japan, Australia, Korea, Iceland, Tibet, Iran and plenty more.

For ages 5 and up.


Atlas of Monsters and Ghosts

If you prefer the ‘facts’ about monsters and ghosts, then this comprehensive, very official and truthful atlas is for you. Get in an adventurous frame of mind and join the most famous monster hunter of them all, Van Helsing, on a trip around the globe to find ghosts, spirits, dragons, witches, apparitions, beasts, supernatural beings and more. Some, like Dracula and the Loch Ness Monster are very well-known, others will be new to readers. Organised by continent, this vividly illustrated atlas shows locations, key characteristics and, most importantly, everything you need to know about how to defeat these foes.

For ages 9 and up.

For more bone-rattling and spine-chilling recommendations, take a look at our collection below.

A World Full of Spooky Stories

A World Full of Spooky Stories

Angela McAllister, Madalina Andronic

$24.99Buy now

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