There seems no better time of year to indulge in a good ghost story than October. With fall in full swing, pumpkins on every stoop, and a chill in the air, we’re finding ourselves craving not only hot cider, but a nice scare. Emma Carbone, a YA librarian for The Brooklyn Public Library, has selected 13 creepy reads that are perfect for reading out loud after dark with a flashlight. “With the witching hour fast approaching,” she says, “these books about ghosts, witches, magic, and the way the past can haunt a person are perfect to read as the air gets sharper and the nights grow longer.”
Try your hand at The Brooklyn Public Library’s Book Match service. They’ll team you up with your own personal librarian and a custom list of books to match your tastes!
by Lemony Snicket
Laszlo is afraid of the dark that crops up in dark corners and the creepy basement of his big house. When the dark decides to visit Laszlo gets a new perspective.
Leo: A Ghost Story
by Mac Barnett
Leo is a ghost who really wants a friend. When he frightens the new occupants of his house, Leo begins wandering the city in search of a friend he won’t scare away.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
by Duncan Tonatiuh
This book tells the story of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada and how he created his calaveras (prints of skeletons performing various and sometimes unexpected activities). Posada’s calaveras have since become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival which takes place every year on November 1.
by Raina Telgemeier
Catrina and her family move to a new town hoping the change in climate will help little sister Maya, who has Cystic Fibrosis. Catrina is frustrated by the move and losing all of her friends. Worse, Catrina’s family is now in a town inhabited by ghosts. And Maya is determined to meet one.
by Zoraida Córdova
Alex is the most powerful bruja her family has seen in generations. But she also knows that magic always has a cost and she’s unwilling to risk her family. When Alex’s spell to get rid of her magic backfires and her family disappears from their Brooklyn home, she’ll have to travel to the world of Los Lagos to get them back.
The Screaming Staircase
by Jonathan Stroud
When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, the three young members of Lockwood & Co. have one last chance at redemption. Unfortunately it involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.
by R. William Ritter
When she arrives in New England in 1892, Abigail Rook soon becomes the assistant to R. F. Jackaby, a supernatural detective on the trail of a serial killer who may not be human.
by Courtney Alameda
Micheline Helsing is a tetrachromat who can see ghosts in color and photograph them—assets for a ghost hunter. When Micheline is infected with a curse she only has seven days to exorcise the demon before it destroys her.
by Libba Bray
A series of occult murders in 1926 New York draws flapper and object reader Evie O’Neil, her uncle, and other supernaturally gifted young people deep into the murder investigation.
Vassa in the Night
by Sarah Porter
When her stepsister sends Vassa out in the middle of the night for light bulbs the only store that’s still open is the local BY’s. Everyone knows about BY’s, and its owner Babs Yagg, but people do tend to remember a store that dances around on chicken legs and has a habit of decapitating shoplifters. Vassa is sure getting out of the store quickly will be easy. When things don’t go as planned in BY’s it will take all of Vassa’s wits and her wooden doll Erg’s cunning to escape the store alive and maybe even break whatever curse has been placed on Brooklyn’s nights.
by Mary Robinette Kowal
Working as a medium in the Spirit Corps in World War I, Ginger Stuyvesant will have to deal with a traitor on her own when the authorities doubt her claims.
In Some Other World, Maybe
by Shari Goldhagen
December 1992. Three groups of teens in different cities all go to the same movie. Over the next twenty years their lives will cross and intertwine as each of them tries to deal with the ghosts of their pasts.
Results May Vary
by Bethany Chase
Haunted by her husband’s affair, Caroline Hammond will have to determine what her future will look like—with or without him.
Emma Carbone is a YA Librarian at Brooklyn Public Library in the Central Youth Wing. She likes art museums, baking, and PBS shows like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. She has been blogging about books since 2007 and is especially fond of historical fantasies.