10 Books That Scared Us As Children

It’s October, which means there’s a chill in the air – and down your spine, too. Halloween was never spookier than when we were kids, so take this October to revisit some of the books that kept you wide awake all night. They’re scary good reads.   Beware the Shopping Mall by Betsy Haynes Sure, we all knew that Betsy Haynes’ Bonechillers series owed a pretty serious debt to R.L. Stine’s more popular Goosebumps series, but that didn’t make novels like this one any less fun. Beware the Shopping Mall was the first of 23 Bonechillers books. The series, like Goosebumps, even got the TV show treatment.   Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe …

It’s October, which means there’s a chill in the air – and down your spine, too. Halloween was never spookier than when we were kids, so take this October to revisit some of the books that kept you wide awake all night. They’re scary good reads.

 

Beware the Shopping Mall by Betsy Haynes

Sure, we all knew that Betsy Haynes’ Bonechillers series owed a pretty serious debt to R.L. Stine’s more popular Goosebumps series, but that didn’t make novels like this one any less fun. Beware the Shopping Mall was the first of 23 Bonechillers books. The series, like Goosebumps, even got the TV show treatment.

 

Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe

Now let’s read one that isn’t quite so terrifying. Horror has never been so cuddly! Bunnicula mixes horror elements with humor, and it’s a young adult classic. This one might not have cost us too much sleep, but we loved its horror charm.

 

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman’s 2002 foray into young adult fiction was fantastic and creepy. Gaiman’s title character discovers a portal to a parallel world – but that world has a dark secret. Coraline was made into a very cool feature-length stop-motion film in 2009.

 

Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan

Duncan’s creepy and controversial 80s horror classic follows the story of a group of teens who set out to turn the tables on a strict teacher. Duncan is the author of several other horror classics besides this one: she’s the writer behind I Know What You Did Last Summer, which was creepy in both book and movie form.

 

The Last Vampire by Christopher Pike

Christopher Pike is a prolific writer of young adult horror, and everyone has their own favorite. We thought The Last Vampire was a cool one to revisit. Vampires have certainly appeared in their fair share of young adult novels in the past decade or so, but Pike was writing about the monsters for the same young audience way back in 1994.

 

My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville

Coville’s stories are the best kind of scary: fun, creepy, and full of adventure. If you loved this one, you’ll be happy to know that there are more: Coville wrote three of these “My Teacher…” books. Try My Teacher Fried My Brains next.

  

Night of the Living Dummy by R.L. Stine

Consider this pick a stand-in for any number of Goosebumps books. All of R.L. Stine’s children’s classics are fun and frightening, and it’s high time you revisited them. With a new Goosebumps movie coming out, there’s never been a better time to re-read your childhood Goosebumps collection.

 

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Even if you don’t remember reading this one, you probably remember sneaking a peek at the cover and shuddering. Stephen Gammell’s creepy and iconic illustrations work incredibly well with Alvin Schwartz’s storytelling. This book and its two companion volumes will scare you even as an adult.

 

Thirteen: 13 Tales of Horror by 13 Masters of Horror by various authors

This compilation of scary short stories included works from tons of great young adult horror writers. R.L. Stine and Caroline B. Cooney both contributed to the collection, and plenty of other talented writers are also included – for a total of 13, of course.

 

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 

We would never forget this one. Twilight was so revolutionary when it came out that it spawned a whole sub-genre that mixed romance with horror elements. It’s hard to believe that it belongs on this list, but it really has been ten years since this book came out, and plenty of its original readers are all grown up now.