Scary Picture Books

Gently scary books, some more silly than spooky, for preschool and primary grade children. For more scary picture books, check our Halloween section. Click here for a print-friendly version of this list.

Picture Books (JE)

Author Title Call Number
Three skeletons take a walk at night through a dark town.
JE Ahlberg
BeeBeware of the Frog
Mrs. Collywobbles lives on the edge of a dark, scary wood but has a pet frog to protect her from goblins, trolls, and ogres.
JE Bee
BillingsleyBig Bad Bunny
When Baby Boo-Boo, a mouse dressed in a bunny suit, becomes lost in the forest, his mother follows the sound of his cries to locate him.
JE Billingsley
BrownA Dark, Dark Tale
Journeying through a dark, empty house, a black cat surprises the only inhabitant.
JE Brown
CompestineBoy Dumplings
When a hungry ghost threatens to gobble up a plump little boy, the boy tricks the ghost by convincing him to prepare an elaborate recipe first.
JE Compestine
CrimiWhere's My Mummy?
As all of the monsters are preparing for bed, Little Baby Mummy bravely searches for his mother until he sees something truly blood-curdling.
JE Crimi
DonaldsonThe Gruffalo
A clever mouse uses the threat of a terrifying creature to keep from being eaten by a fox, an owl, and a snake—only to have to outwit that creature as well.
JE Donaldson
EmberleyGo Away, Big Green Monster!
Die-cut pages reveal a monster, bit by bit—then conceal it once again.
JE Emberley
GaldoneThe Teeny-Tiny Woman: A Ghost Story
A teeny-tiny woman finds a teeny-tiny bone in a churchyard and puts it away in her cupboard before she goes to sleep.
JE Galdone
GibbonsNight in the Barn
Four boys prove they are not afraid to spend the night in the cold, dark barn.
JE Gibbons
When a young rabbit checks out a library book about wolves, he learns much more about their behavior than he wanted to know.
JE Gravett
HarperThe Gunniwolf
A little girl wanders deeper and deeper into the jungle, where she is suddenly confronted by the gunniwolf.
JE Harper
MayerThere's a Nightmare in My Closet
At bedtime a boy confronts the nightmare in his closet and finds him not so terrifying after all.
JE Mayer
McKissackPrecious and the Boo Hag
Home alone while her family works in the fields, a young girl faces up to the horrifying Boo Hag that her brother warned her about.
JE McKissack
PearsonWe're Going on a Ghost Hunt
Children go out at night seeking a ghost in this adaptation of "We're Going on a Bear Hunt."
JE Pearson
PerryThe Book That Eats People
Beware of this book! It has already eaten several people and is always hungry.
JE Perry
ReynoldsCreepy Carrots
Jasper Rabbit pulls carrots to eat from Crackenhopper Field each time he passes, until he begins hearing and seeing creepy carrots wherever he goes.
JE Reynolds
TerasakiGhosts for Breakfast
One night, a young boy and his father investigate their frightened neighbors' report of ghosts on a nearby farm.
JE Terasaki
TurkleDo Not Open
Following a storm, Miss Moody and her cat find an intriguing bottle washed up on the beach. Should they ignore its "do not open" warning?
JE Turkle
WilliamsThe Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything
A fearless old lady must deal with a pumpkin head, a tall black hat, and other spooky objects that follow her through the dark woods.
JE Williams
WoodHeckedy Peg
A mother saves her seven children from Heckedy Peg, a witch who has changed them into different kinds of food.
JE Wood

Nonfiction, Folktales & Poetry

Author Title Call Number
Baba Yaga
When a terrible witch vows to eat her for supper, a little girl escapes with the help of the witch's cat.
J398.2 EU Baba Yaga
GaldoneThe Tailypo: A Ghost Story
A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off its tail.
J398.2 NO Galdone
GrimmHansel and Gretel
A poor woodcutter's children, lost in the forest, come upon a house made of bread, cakes, and candy, occupied by a wicked witch.
J398.2 EU Grimm Hansel
MilordThe Ghost on the Hearth
Jenny is hired to help a family with cooking and cleaning, but a mysterious presence prevents her from completing her chores.
J398.2 NO Milord

Last Updated: 4/15


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