Spooky Tales for Halloween

Jill Murphy's Worst Witch

Jill Murphy's Worst Witch

I don’t remember celebrating Halloween when I was little. I remember Mischief Night on November 4th where you went round daring each other to knock on a door and then you’d run like the clappers in case someone actually answered but Halloween?  Not so much. I blame the Americans, especially that Bart Simpson.

But Halloween is now big business in the UK although it has little to do with the original pagan ritual of seeing in the winter and giving thanks to the harvest.  My local branch of Sainsbury’s has a whole aisle dedicated to the orange and black world of spiders’ webs, skeleton masks and chocolate eyeballs.

For those of you who are true fans of all that spooky stuff you might want to read the following (I’ve omitted Darren Shan – it’s a given you all know his output already).  You could try:

  • The Scream Street series by Tommy Donbavant (age 7+)

  • Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy (not too scary and loads of dry humour – age 9+)

  • The Robe of Skulls by Vivian French (as above)

  • Poison by Chris Wooding (getting darker now… 10+)

The following were recommended by other writers. I haven’t read them but they are creepy. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

  • Diana Wynne Jones’s Black Maria

  • King Death’s Garden by Ann Halam

  • The Bone Dog by Susan Price (about a little girl whose witch uncle makes her a pet out of an old meat bone and fox fur)

  • The New Mother by Lucy Lane Clifford

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