Start Your Horror Genre Journey With These Spooky Age-Appropriate Recs

Wanting to read a horror book for the first time? Check out this list of reads that won’t scare you too much when the sun sets.

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A ghost is standing alone in an area of rubble

When you think of Halloween and horror, do you think of gory and terrifying creatures or cute little ghosts? This time of year paired with this genre can be intimidating for readers as they might not know if something could be too frightening for them. Do you want to try and get over your fears or want to join the horror fanbase this year? Why not start with some neutral scary books? Don’t fret — the horror novels below are suitable for all ages. This way, you especially won’t be afraid to read at night!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline's book cover; a drawn Coraline is holding a candlestick looking into the distance

A favorite for animation and suspense fans, Coraline garnered even more of an occult following since the movie came out in 2009. Some might not be aware of the original novel, so it’s nice to check it out if you enjoyed the film. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I recommend reading the book first. That way, you’ll be excited to see how the story comes to life and be entranced by the beautiful colors used. Great for all ages, Coraline is definitely a title to be remembered.

Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories' book cover; trees without leaves are in front of a full moon with ravens on their branches

Roald Dahl has been an icon in the young reading level world, but did you know that he was a fan of ghost stories? It was noted that he was interested in the good old classic ghost stories. This book is a collection of fourteen stories from the British Museum Library that stuck out to him the most. It’s filled with spooky tales that may give you the goosebumps! If you find yourself being a little too creeped out, you can then pick up his lighter-toned titles to soothe your mind.

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Salem's Lot book cover; A darkened house with fire coming out of the windows in the middle of mist

When you’re just starting to get into horror, Stephen King is probably one of the most intimidating authors to get into. He is known for his thrilling books that have been turned into some of the most classic horror movies. However; this title of his seems to have the consensus that it’s one of his least scary books. It follows a boy named Mears who realizes that his town is being taken over by dark forces, and he gets a team of allies to try and stop them from killing more people. It’s a great read to start off King’s books and may have you slowly picking up his scarier titles.

Horrid by Katrina Leno

Horrid's book cover; a drawn girl is in the middle with black roses growing around her with one on top of each her eyes

In a coming-of-age horror, the main character Jane has to deal with the grief of her father’s death. She and her mom move across the country to Maine, where the house feels more than eerie. Her mom grew up there, but Jane finds that she has kept a room locked in the house that was assumed to be a storage closet. One day, Jane gets through that door and finds out that it’s a girl’s bedroom. As the bedroom seems not so empty and possibly lived in, is Jane’s mother hiding a wicked secret?

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None book cover; a house on a lonely island at nighttime

And Then There Were None is a popular read for schools to add to summer reading lists. It’s quite a suspenseful read as the book starts with ten people… but then there are none left? One by one, guests of the mansion on Indian Island die as they reveal life secrets to each other. Is there a killer amongst the ten of them; or is there something more sinister hunting them down?

With people interested in different intensities of horror, it’s important to have a neutral level for all ages to enjoy. Hopefully, you find these as a good start to your genre journey. Prepare yourself to get a little spooky!

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