For young readers

You read to me, I’ll read to you: very short scary tales to read together by Mary Ann Hoberman ; illustrated by Michael Emberley

Each short poem invites two readers to read their own parts, and then read the passage in the central column together, in a spooky collection filled with zombies, ghosts, and ghouls.

Hamster Monster by Susanne Löhlein and Henning Löhlein

Three little hamsters are tired of being called cute, sweet, and little—so they decide to be scary. They make scary faces and wear scary costumes, but the only thing they get in response is laughter. “We need to be bigger!” they cry. But when they build a great, big scary costume they get a response they don’t expect and they soon realize that being cute and sweet isn’t so bad and that you don’t need to be big to be scary.

I am (not) scared by Anna Kang ; illustrated by Christopher Weyant

Two fuzzy creatures go to an amusement park and discover that being frightened may not be as scary as one thinks.

For Middle Grade

Don’t read this book before bed!: thrills, chills, and hauntingly true stories by Anna Claybourne

Love to tell scary stories around the camp fire? Like to solve mysteries? Brave enough to hear the truth about some pretty freaky phenomena? Then cuddle up with this spooky spine-tingler, filled with delightfully frightful true stories of real-life monsters, doomed domains, menacing mysteries, strange disappearances, and so much more. Meet ghosts, ghouls, and zombies. Go inside haunted houses, hidden graveyards, and deadly secret passages. The Fright-o-meter rates each story for its level of scariness. Full of thrills and chills, this book will have you sleeping with a nightlight for sure. Read if you dare, but don’t say we didn’t warn you!

Frightlopedia: an encyclopedia of everything scary, creepy, and spine-chilling, from arachnids to zombies by Julie Winterbottom, with contributions by Rachel Bozek ; illustrated by Stefano Tambellini

Discover Borneo’s Gomantong Cave, where literally millions of bats, cockroaches, spiders, and rats coexist–in pitch darkness. Learn about mythical creatures like the Mongolian Death Worm–and scarily real ones like killer bees, which were accidentally created by scientists in the 1950s. Visit New Orleans’s Beauregard-Keyes house, where Civil War soldiers are said to still clash in the front hall. Plus ghost stories from around the world, a cross-cultural study of vampires, and how to transform into a zombie with makeup. Each entry includes a zFright Metery measurement from 1 to 3, because while being scared is fun, everyone has their limit.

Dare to be scared: thirteen stories to chill and thrill by Robert San Souci ; illustrations by David Ouimet

Thirteen short stories about ghosts, monsters, spirits, and other scary creatures will give the reader thrills and chills.

For Teens

Ten by Gretchen McNeil

Ten teens head to a house party at a remote island mansion off the Washington coast–only for them to picked off by a killer one by one.

Campfire by Shawn Sarles

Sixteen-year-old Maddie’s camping trip with family and friends in a remote mountain location turns deadly as stories told around the campfire begin coming true.

One was lost by Natalie D. Richards

On a senior class camping trip, four girls find themselves lost in the woods, their supplies destroyed, and hunted by a killer.

For Adults

The campfire collection: ghosts, beasts, and things that go bump in the night edited by Kit Duane

A collection of read-aloud dark fiction and non-fiction tales, ideal for campers and lovers of the great outdoors.

Classic ghost stories: eighteen spine-chilling tales of terror and the supernatural edited by Bill Bowers

Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! edited and with an introduction by Otto Penzler