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We're Not Alone: 13 Hair-Raising Haunted House Stories for Kids, Teens, and Adults

By Ashly Moore Sheldon • October 21, 2020

Ready to Get Spooked?

Haunted houses are a staple of the season when it comes to scary Halloween stories. Ghosts and spirits may be lingering and they're up to no good. Or maybe it's the house itself that is alive with malevolence. The young family settling into their dream home. A group of friends renting a cabin in the woods. The young woman who takes a job in the grand isolated house on the hill. The premises about these premises will likely share some similarities: An eerie quiet. A troubled past. A deadly calm. And—yes—there's something lurking in the shadows.

Middle Grade Macabre

Just because it's written for children doesn't mean it can't scare the pants off of you! These three middle grade readers left us needing a night light.

The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton
Rule number one of hauntings: where the history is darkest, the ghosts are strongest. And the history in Thomas's new house is very dark. Legend says that it was once a stop on the Underground Railroad, and that three people were murdered there. Published in 1968, this creepy tale offers some historical context.

The Year of Shadows by Claire LeGrand
Olivia Stellatella is having a tough year. After her mother leaves, her father moves her and her grandmother into a creepy old concert hall, where Olivia's only friend is a stray cat named Igor. To make matters worse, the place is haunted and the ghosts need Olivia's help.

Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
Harper is yet another unfortunate kid whose oblivious parents have moved their family into a haunted house. From the start, the place just doesn't feel right. When her little brother Michael starts acting strangely, she must try to make sense of what is happening. This volume is the beginning of a series.

Teen Terror

One thing that you can often expect from YA novels of any genre is romance! So get ready for some hauntingly good interdimensional love stories with these fun books. All three of these titles are the first in a series.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
Like his ghost hunter father before him, Cas Lowood travels the country with his witchy mother and spirit-tracking cat, seeking out and destroying malicious spirits. When it comes to rooting out a local they call Anna Dressed in Blood, it should be business as usual, but this vengeful spirit is unlike any he's ever encountered.

The Haunted by Danielle Vega
Hendricks isn't thrilled by the tiny, dull town her parents just moved her to. She expects little by way of excitement. And she's not about to believe the rumors that the fixer-upper they've moved into is haunted, either. At least not until things start to go from boring to bad, and from bad to worse.

Asylum by Madeleine Roux
Arriving for a summer-long program, sixteen-year-old Dan learns that his dorm used to be an asylum for the criminally insane. As he and his new friends explore their spooky summer home, they begin to uncover the secrets of a terrifying past. This creepy novel features found photos of historic asylums.

Grown-Up Ghosts

When it comes to haunted house masterpieces, there are some obvious classics like The Turn of the Screw, The Haunting of Hill House, and The Shining, but here we hope to suggest a few titles that you may not have come across before. Here are seven that we found to be frightfully good!

The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
When A. finds out he has inherited a massive house deep in the Virginian woods, it's unexpected, not to mention suspicious. Sure enough, he and his companion Niamh realize all too soon that there is more to Axton House than meets the eye. Its past is dark and full of secrets. And the ghosts are the least of their concerns.

The Good House by Tananarive Due
Angela Toussaint has not been back to her grandmother's house—the house the townspeople call the Good House—in two years. Not since her son Corey died there. But she's finally ready to return and discover the truth—about Corey's death, about her grandmother, and about the Good House.

Kill Creek by Scott Thomas
When best-selling horror author Sam McGarver is invited to spend Halloween night in the infamous Finch House, he reluctantly agrees, along with three other renowned horror authors. But what begins as a simple publicity stunt turns deadly, threatening to bolster the bloody legacy of Kill Creek.

Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones
Walking through his house at night, a Native American fifteen-year-old boy sees a man slip through a doorway who reminds him of his long-dead father. Following the figure, he discovers a house bigger and deeper than he knew—the kind of wrong place where you may lose yourself and find things you'd rather not have.

Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn
Lucas is a struggling crime writer, who narrowly misses an opportunity to interview a death-row cult leader who lured runaway girls to their death. With nothing left to lose, Lucas decides to investigate the story by visiting the isolated farmhouse where the grisly acts took place. But once there, he finds he's not alone.

Slade House by David Mitchell
Keep your eyes peeled. Along the brick wall of a narrow alley, if the conditions are exactly right, you'll find a small black iron door. A stranger will greet you by name and invite you inside. At first, you won't want to leave. But what really goes on inside Slade House? For those who find out, it's already too late.

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon
Looking for a simpler life, Helen and Nate have abandoned the comforts of suburbia to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will build the house of their dreams. But as they uncover the dark and violent history of the land they now inhabit, they become drawn toward unimaginable danger.

Keep the lights on! Stay with the group! Don't go into the basement, attic, or closet. Whatever you do, stay awake! This Halloween, get yourself good and scared with some of these chilling tales. And, as always, let us know if we've missed any good ones.

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Read more by Ashly Moore Sheldon

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