Spooky Reads for Autumn
We love Halloween – trick-or-treating, parties, costumes, spooky snacks and decorations!
If, like us, you’re not ready to say goodbye to Halloween for another year yet, then this is the reading list for you.
We asked some of our lovely spooky story creators at Scholastic to tell us what their favourite Halloween stories are!
Lou Kuenzler, author of Bella Broomstick:
“My favourite scary story is the wonderful pop-up picture book, Spooky Spooky House by Andrew Weale with gorgeously creepy pictures by Lee Wildish. The reason I love this book so much is because I, and many children I have ever read it with, cannot help but giggle and shiver each time we lift a flap to reveal the horrible spooks, ghouls and hairy creatures who haunt the ancient falling-down house. This is proper halloween laugh and scream fun, never knowing what is around the next corner (or under the loo seat). Andrew Weale’s bone-chillingly brilliant text is hilariously bossy – meaning that whenever he warns you NOT to look behind a door or under a bed, you just can’t resist a peek. YIKES! And there is a spooky spooky twist at the end too.”
Lou Kuenzlerwas brought up on Dartmoor and moved to Northern Ireland to study theatre. She worked as a theatre director and drama lecturer before coming the writer of the Princess Disgrace, Shrinking Violet and Bella Broomstick series with Scholastic. Lou now lives in London with her husband and their two children.
You can buy the Bella Broomstick series here
Abie Longstaff, author of How to Catch a Witch:
My favourite ghost story is a fairy tale – Vasilisa the Brave. It’s a genuinely frightening story – a girl’s mother dies, leaving her a freaky talking doll to help her whenever she’s in trouble. Her father then remarries an evil stepmother, who forces her to do all the chores.
One day the girl, Vasilisa, is sent to steal firewood from Baba Yaga, the witch. The witch is a terrifying old lady who flies around on a giant pestle and mortar (as you do). Baba Yaga traps Vasilisa in her hovel and assigns her a series of impossible tasks, threatening to eat her if she fails them. Each time, the spooky doll (the spirit of her mother) tells her what to do to pass the task.
Baba Yaga is so impressed that she sets Vasilisa free, rewarding her with a magic skull with fiery eyes. Vasilisa takes the skull home. The moment the skull sees her stepmother its blazing eyes grow larger and larger, shooting out flames on the stepmother until she is burned to ash.
Abie Longstaff is the author of the bestselling Fairytale Hairdresser series (Random House) and How to Catch a Witch. She lives in Hove.
You can buy How to Catch a Witch here
Inbali Iserles, author of Foxcraft:
When I was twelve I lived in Tucson, Arizona in the blazing heat of the American west. It was there, at Gridley Middle School, that I encountered my first book fair. What a thrilling experience it was to leaf through those shiny new books. One caught my eye immediately: “Blind Date” by R. L. Stine. Years later, Stine would come to be known as the “Stephen King of children’s literature,” but back then the name didn’t chime with me. What did was the super-creepy cover and the strap-line “It’s going to be a real scream…”
I still remember the tale of a boy called Kerry with a Swiss-cheese memory who met an intriguing blind date. At the same time, he started to receive chilling crank calls that hinted at a disturbing past.
R. L. Stine has written countless spine-tinglers, most notably the popular “Goosebumps” series. Looking back at “Blind Date” – his first horror novel – his flair for suspense has deep roots. Twisted, creepy, tangled roots… Happy Halloween, everyone!
Inbali Iserles is the award-winning author of The Tygrine Cat novels and one of the authors behind the bestselling Survivors series under the pseudonym Erin Hunter. She lives in London.
Find out all you need to know about the Foxcraft series here