Shelf Life: Scary stories to read in the dark

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Looking for something spooky to read this month? Here’s a list of haunting tales for all ages!


Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

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This new series from the author of the best-selling Serafina books focuses on Willa, a young night-spirit. The book is set in the same magical world as Serafina but revolves around a Faeran society in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Creepy Pair of Underwear! by Aaron Reynolds

This hilarious picture book is great for the younger crowd. Read the story of brave Jasper Rabbit and a very weird pair of glow-in-the-dark underwear that just won’t disappear. Also check out Creepy Carrots! by the same author for another cute story.

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier

Eleven-year-old Nan Sparrow is a “climber” in Victorian London – an orphan owned by chimney sweeps who is used to clean the flues. After Nan gets stuck in a deadly chimney fire, she wakes to find herself in an abandoned attic with the  mysterious creature that saved her life.


There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

Makani thought she’d left her dark past behind her in Hawaii, settling in with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska. That is, until students at her new high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders.

#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil

Set in the near future, executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons can now be streamed live on a smartphone app from the Alcatraz 2.0 prison. 18-year-old Dee has been accused of a heinous crime she didn’t commit and is about to be the next victim of the app if she can’t prove her innocence.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

17-year-old Anouk is a “Beastie,” forbidden to venture beyond her Parisian prison and forced to spend her life serving the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds the witch murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.


Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

When they were teenagers, Claire and Lydia’s sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken in twenty years when they are brought back together after Claire’s husband is brutally murdered.

You by Caroline Kepnes

When a beautiful woman walks into the bookstore where Joe works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card, Guinevere Beck. But he takes it quite a bit further, invisibly and obsessively taking control of her life and transforming himself into Beck’s perfect man, while removing the obstacles that stand in the way of their love.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Hanna is a sweet 7-year-old in the adoring eyes of her father, although much to the disappointment of her parents she has yet to speak a word. Her mother sees another side of Hanna, however. She loves her daughter, but after years of homeschooling a child with severe behavioral issues, she’s starting to lose her sanity.

Jen Pace Dickenson is the youth services librarian for Polk County Public Libraries. For information about the library’s resources, programs, and other services, visit or call 828-894-8721.