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Lynnfield Public Library

Horror and Ghost Story Book Suggestions for Middle Schoolers

These books are available at the Lynnfield Public Library and are great for middle schoolers looking for horror or ghost stories. Click the book cover or title to go directly to our catalog, where you can put the book on hold for pick up. Many of the books are also available as ebooks and audiobooks from Libby or hoopla. The books are ordered from newest to oldest, so new additions to this list will always be at the top! Email Lauren at lfox@noblenet.org for more recommendations or information about any of these books.

The Sisters of Straygarden Place

The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins:

Seven years ago, the Ballastian sisters’ parents left them in the magical Straygarden Place, a house surrounded by tall silver grass and floating trees. They left behind a warning saying never to leave the house or go into the grass. “Wait for us,” the note read. “Sleep darkly.” Ever since then, the house itself has taken care of Winnow, Mayhap, and Pavonine–feeding them, clothing them, even keeping them company–while the girls have waited and grown up and played a guessing game: Think of an animal, think of a place. Think of a person, think of a face. Until one day, when the eldest, fourteen-year-old Winnow, does the unthinkable and goes outside into the grass, and everything twelve-year-old Mayhap thought she knew about her home, her family, and even herself starts to unravel. 10/13/2020


Hide and Seeker

Hide and Seeker by Daka Hermon:

Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend. Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was… different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee’s welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong. One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker. 9/15/2020



Don’t Turn Out the Lights: A Tribute to Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

Don’t Turn Out the Lights by Jonathan Maberry:

Flesh-hungry ogres? Brains full of spiders? Haunted houses you can’t escape? This collection of 35 terrifying stories from the Horror Writers Association has it all, including ghastly illustrations from Iris Compiet that will absolutely chill readers to the bone. So turn off your lamps, click on your flashlights, and prepare—if you dare—to be utterly spooked! 9/1/2020




The Stitchers (Fright Watch, #1)The Stitchers by Lorien Lawrence:

Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?
If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads—even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be. 8/18/2020


TwistTwist by Sarah Cannon:

Eli has a dream. He’s going to be the next Stephen King, and he’s just created his best monster yet! Neha has a secret. Her notebook is filled with drawings of a fantasy world called Forest Creeks, and it’s become inhabited by wonderful imaginary creatures, but her new friends are in danger. Court has a gift, both for finding trouble and for stopping it. And when she accidentally ends up with one of Neha’s drawings, she quickly realizes that the monsters raiding Forest Creeks are coming from Eli’s stories. When these three creative kids come together, they accidentally create a doorway from Forest Creeks into the real world, and now every monster that Eli ever imagined has been unleashed upon their town! 2/11/2020



Scary Stories for Young FoxesScary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker:

The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. 7/30/2019



Small SpacesSmall Spaces by Katherine Arden:

On the way home from a creepy school field trip, the bus breaks down, and Ollie’s teacher goes for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As they head into the woods, the bus driver has just one final piece of advice: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 9/25/2018



Took: A Ghost StoryTook: A Ghost Story by Mary Downing Hahn:

Thirteen-year-old Daniel Anderson doesn’t believe Brody Mason’s crazy stories about the ghost witch who lives up on Brewster’s Hill with Bloody Bones, her man-eating razorback hog. He figures Brody’s probably just trying to scare him since he’s the new kid . . . a “stuck-up snot” from Connecticut. But Daniel’s seven-year-old sister Erica has become more and more withdrawn, talking to her lookalike doll. When she disappears into the woods one day, he knows something is terribly wrong. Did the witch strike? Has Erica been “took”? 9/15/2015



The NestThe Nest by Kenneth Oppel:

For some kids, summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? 8/6/2015



Serafina and the Black CloakSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty:

Serafina must never be seen: she and her pa live in the basement, and none of the rich folk upstairs know they exist. But when children start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A Man in a Black Cloak stalks the halls, and Serafina and Braeden, the nephew of the estate’s owners, must discover the man’s true identity. Serafina’s hunt leads her into the forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. To save the children, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity. 7/14/2015



The Night GardenerThe Night Gardeneby Jonathan Auxier:

Two abandoned Irish siblings, Molly and Kip, travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem.  Although warned that this place contains something ominous that changes people, Molly and Kip are unprepared for the evil they encounter. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. 5/20/2014




The Thickety: A Path BeginsThe Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White:

When Kara Westfall was five years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft. Years later, Kara and her little brother, Taff, are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic – except the mysterious forest called The Thickety that covers nearly the entire island. The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there. But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers. A book that might have belonged to her mother. 5/6/


[(Doll Bones )] [Author: Holly Black] [Feb-2014]Doll Bones by Holly Black:

Zach, Poppy, and Alice love playing with toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach decides that the only way to cope is to stop playing – and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is being haunted by a china doll made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, or the children will be cursed for eternity… 5/7/2013



By Laura Amy Schlitz Splendors and Glooms (Reprint) [Paperback]Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz:

Lizzie Rose and Parsefall are orphaned assistants to master puppeteer Gaspare Grisini. They join him to entertain at rich Clara Wintermute’s birthday party. Clara seems to have everything Lizzie and Parse lack — adoring parents, warmth, and plenty to eat. In fact, Clara’s life is shadowed by grief, guilt, and secrets. When Clara vanishes, suspicion of kidnapping falls upon Grisini, Lizzie Rose, and Parsefall. As they search for Clara, Lizzie and Parse uncover Grisini’s criminal past and wake up to his evil intentions – but when they flee London, they find themselves caught in a trap. 8/28/2012



The Cavendish Home for Boys and GirlsThe Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand:

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster, lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. But then Lawrence goes missing. And he is not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out different. Or they don’t come out at all. If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria, even if it means getting a little messy. 8/28/2012