15 Books to Get You in the Halloween Spirit

While you’re out and about getting candy, costumes, and planning your trick-or-treating route for October 31st, don’t forget to pick up some spooky tales to read aloud or while cowering under the covers. We’ve got 15 fun and frightening reads for your little—and big—ghouls and goblins, some will leave them wanting to sleep with the lights on—for many days after. Happy Scary Reading!


Sweets and Treats - Toni Trent Parker

Sweets and Treats - Toni Trent Parker
What do you think of when you think of Halloween? Costumes, pumpkin faces, candy corn, tricks, and treats. All of those things -- and more -- are captured in this precious holiday book . . . full-color photographs of popular Halloween items and adorable African-American children in costume.

The Adventures of Old School Brown Hip Hop Halloween - Paul Edward Davis

The Adventures of Old School Brown Hip Hop Halloween - Paul Edward Davis
In this tale told for Halloween [Old School Brown] takes the kids back to the 80's were he was confronted by none other than Dracula. Can a young Old School Brown defeat the vampire in a battle of rap and rhyme? You will find out in this fun and beautifully illustrated story.

Anancy and the Haunted House - Ricardo Keens-Douglas

Anancy and the Haunted House  - Ricardo Keens-Douglas
Anancy (Anansi) stories originate in the oral tradition of the Ashanti people of Ghana. The character became a symbol of survival when introduced to Caribbean folklore by African slaves. In this original tale Anancy is at times generous and greedy, foolish but wise, and both timid and brave. He teaches us that there is strength in numbers.

Wee Winnie Witch's Skinny - Virginia Hamilton

Wee Winnie Witch's Skinny - Virginia Hamilton
[Y]oung James Lee discovers his Uncle Big Anthony has been cursed by a Wee Winnie Witch, who rides him like a broom across the night sky! When the witch captures James Lee and takes him along, Mamma Granny knows just what to do . . . this is a perfect thrill for any spooky night.

The Three Witches - Joyce Carol Thomas

The Three Witches  - Joyce Carol Thomas
[F]irst published in very Tongue Got to Confess, the third volume of folklore collected by Zora Neale Hurston while traveling in the Gulf States in the 1930s. It has been adapted for young people . . . vibrant paintings have been masterfully executed by internationally celebrated artist Faith Ringgold.

Celie and the Harvest Fiddler - Valerie & Vanessa Flournoy

Celie and the Harvest Fiddler - Valerie & Vanessa Flournoy
Celie loves a spooky story. She's heard some pretty wild ones about a mysterious fiddler who always seems to appear out of nowhere; but no tall tale could match the wild All Hallows' Eve when the Fiddler invites her to try on a magical African mask.

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern - Irene Smalls

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern - Irene Smalls
Jenny Reen stays with Sister Louisa in the slave quarters while her parents work the fields. As Halloween approaches, Sister Louisa warns Jenny Reen about the Jack Muh Lantern, a monster who lives in the swamp and pulls unsuspecting people into the mire. Soon she's lost in the woods, face to face with the Jack Muh Lantern! How Jenny finally remembers Sister Louisa's advice to escape the monster's clutches makes for a spooky and satisfying Halloween story based on African-American folk legend.

The Jumbies - Tracey Baptiste

The Jumbies  - Tracey Baptiste
Corinne La Mer isn’t afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. She knows that jumbies aren’t real; they’re just creatures parents make up to frighten their children. But on All Hallows’ Eve, Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden woods. Those shining yellow eyes that follow her to the edge of the trees, they couldn’t belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

The House of Dies Drear - Virginia Hamilton

The House of Dies Drear  - Virginia Hamilton
The house held secrets, Thomas knew, even before he first saw it looming gray and massive on its ledge of rock. It had a century-old legend -- two fugitive slaves had been killed by bounty hunters after leaving its passageways, and Dies Drear himself, the abolitionist who had made the house into a station on the Underground Railroad, had been murdered there. The ghosts of the three were said to walk its rooms....

The Headless Haunt: And Other African-American Ghost Stories - James Haskins

The Headless Haunt: And Other African-American Ghost Stories  - James Haskins
A collection of twenty-one traditional African-American ghost stories combines European and African folklore for a bewitching brew of restless spirits, supernatural seers, and helpful hints for dealing with the less-than-dead.

The Skull Talks Back: And Other Haunting Tales - Joyce Carol Thomas

The Skull Talks Back: And Other Haunting Tales  - Joyce Carol Thomas
Spooky, chilling, and fantastical, this collection of six scary tales will send shivers up your spine! . . . Selected from Every Tongue Got to Confess, Zora Neale Hurston's third volume of folklore

Hoodoo - Ronald L. Smith

Hoodoo - Ronald L. Smith
Twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher was born into a family with a rich tradition of practicing folk magic: hoodoo, as most people call it. But even though his name is Hoodoo, he can't seem to cast a simple spell. When a mysterious man called the Stranger comes to town, Hoodoo starts dreaming of the dead rising from their graves. Even worse, he soon learns the Stranger is looking for a boy. Not just any boy. A boy named Hoodoo.

Tituba of Salem Village - Ann Petry

Tituba of Salem Village - Ann Petry
It is . . . 1692, and there is strange talk in Salem Village. Talk of witches. Several girls have been taken with fits, and there is only one explanation: Someone in the village has been doing the devil's work. All eyes are on Tituba, the one person who can tell fortunes with cards, and who can spin a thread so fine it must be magic. Did Tituba see the future that day at the watering trough? If so, Could she actually be hanged for practicing witchcraft?

Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story - Marilyn Nelson & Tonya Hegamin

Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story - Marilyn Nelson & Tonya Hegamin
Pemba knows she's not crazy. But who is that looking out at her through her mirror's eye? And why does the apparition call her "friend?" Her real friends are back home in Brooklyn, not in the old colonial house in Colchester, Connecticut, where none of this would have happened if Daddy were still alive. But now all Pemba has is Mom and that strange old man, Abraham. Maybe he's the crazy one.

Slice of Cherry - Dia Reeves

Slice of Cherry  - Dia Reeves
Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that’s just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around. It’s no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire—the desire to kill

Bleeding Violet - Dia Reeves

Bleeding Violet  - Dia Reeves
Hanna simply wants to be loved. With a head plagued by hallucinations, a medicine cabinet full of pills, and a closet stuffed with frilly, violet dresses, Hanna’s tired of being the outcast, the weird girl, the freak. So she runs away to Portero, Texas, in search of a new home.

But Portero is a stranger town than Hanna expects. As she tries to make a place for herself, she discovers dark secrets that would terrify any normal soul. Good thing for Hanna, she’s far from normal. And when a crazy girl meets an even crazier town, only two things are certain: Anything can happen and no one is safe.

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