Did you just feel something move beneath your bed? What’s that sound coming from the attic? If you like a good scary story or two, you are in the right place. Here, I will tell you my top five spooky story collections from the Orem Public Library’s children’s section. They’re sure to give you the shivers.

Let’s start with little shivers for younger children and work our way up to the scarier stories for middle grade readers.

in a dark, dark room

In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories (for ages 6–7)

By Alvin Schwartz
Folktale Book | J 398.205 Sch951

This spine-tingling collection features seven stories that are only mildly spooky, with easy-to-read text and pictures on every page. It would be perfect to read on Halloween to a group of children! Just make sure to use your spooky voice as you tell these stories.

beneath the bed

Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories (for ages 6–8)

By Max Brallier

This is a great collection that includes five eerie stories. They aren’t terribly scary, so they won’t give your kids nightmares. All the stories are written in simple text with easy vocabulary. The illustrations by Letizia Rubegni perfectly complement the stories—eerie but cartoony enough to appeal to young readers. If you like Beneath the Bed and Other Scary Stories, be sure to check out the other two books in the Mister Shivers series!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (for ages 9–11)

By Alvin Schwartz
Folktale Book | J 398.205 Sch951

This collection was a popular one when I was in elementary school. It includes 29 creepy tales that kids will enjoy telling each other. The copies at the Orem Public Library are the newer editions of the book, illustrated by Brett Helquist. In the first edition, the illustrations by Stephen Gammell are much creepier, so if you are looking for the tamer version, this is it. And don’t miss out on the other books in this series: More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Scary Stories 3!

Half-Minute Horrors (for ages 9–11)

Edited By Susan Rich
Folktale Book | J 808.838 R377

If you’re in the mood for some creepy flash fiction, these half-minute horrors should do the trick. This collection includes over 50 bite-sized scary stories from award-winning authors like Neil Gaiman and James Patterson. Some stories are not more than a page. Some may frighten you while others may make you laugh. I love the diversity of creepy stories told in this collection.

Don’t Turn Out the Lights (for ages 11 and up)

By Jonathan Maberry
Folktale Book | J 808.838 R377

These 35 terrifying tales are not for the faint of heart. While this collection is modeled after Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the stories in this book are creepier and lengthier with ghastly illustrations that hearken back to Stephen Gammell’s drawings from the first edition of the Scary Stories series. It’s a spine-tingling collection that older children will devour.

These spooky story collections are some of my favorites. Give them a try, and check them out at the library! I’m sure you’ll gobble them up . . . as long as something sinister doesn’t gobble you up first.

By Liz Sargent, Assistant Children’s Librarian