• Awards Season
  • Big Stories
  • Pop Culture
  • Video Games
  • Celebrities

12 Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Movies for the Whole Family

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Halloween is always a night of creative costumes, delicious candy and fun frights. Of course, kids love the opportunity to challenge their courage by entering haunted houses, swapping spine-chilling stories and watching scary movies . That’s a lot of spookiness for one day, though, and with the wrong film, they may be too frightened to fall asleep at bedtime. (And of course, getting them to bed in time for you to enjoy a proper horror film , like a Stephen King adaptation or classic vampire flick might be an important part of your grown-up Halloween experience!)

Fortunately, there are lots of wonderfully fun — and only slightly creepy — movies out there that kids will enjoy this year. From oldies like Hocus Pocus  to newer films like a stellar remake of The Witches , this list has plenty of options that’ll delight much more than they’ll scare. Check out 12 of the best kid-friendly Halloween flicks that make not-too-spooky treats for the entire family!

Goosebumps (2015)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

The Goosebumps  book series by R.L. Stine has thrilled kids across the world since the 1990s. The series has been adapted for both TV and film, including a newer franchise for younger generations who aren’t familiar with these classics.

The 2015 flick, aptly titled Goosebumps , stars Jack Black as a fictionalized version of Stine alongside Dylan Minnette, who plays his teenage neighbor. The two team up to take down monsters from the Goosebumps  series that have managed to escape from the books and cause chaos in the real world. The film is frightening fun for kids, and there’s enough action to keep parents entertained — especially if they’re former fans of the series.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

A trio of 300-year-old witches (Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker) conjures up a little bit of hocus pocus in this Halloween classic. The 1993 film centers on what happens when the Sanderson sisters are accidentally brought back from the dead on All Hallow’s Eve.

Attempting to recapture their youth, the witches plan to steal the souls of the children of Salem, Massachusetts, so they can live for eternity. Three kids, a talking black cat and, eventually, a friendly zombie have to work together to stop the sinister sisters before it’s too late. Hocus Pocus  is certain to put a spell on you  this Halloween.  

Spirited Away (2001)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

If you’re new to the world of Miyazaki , Spirited Away is a great place to start. This classic film from Studio Ghibli follows our protagonist Chihiro, just as she and her parents move to a new town. As they explore, they find what appears to be an abandoned theme park, but Chihiro quickly realizes that she has somehow crossed into the realm of spirits. Oh, and her parents have been turned into pigs. As she learns to navigate the spirit world, and ultimately free herself and her parents, she meets many memorable characters along the way.

The film won an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film and became the top-grossing film in Japanese history. Don’t let the strange plot deter you. This film has won the hearts of many, and is a perfect addition to a Halloween lineup for the whole family.

Ghostbusters (1984)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

These guys ain’t afraid of no ghosts, probably because the ghosts in this film aren’t too scary. This family-friendly comedy-horror was a smash at the box office in the 80s and has retained its appeal in the decades to follow. Sequels and remakes have attempted to capitalize on the success of the original, but have repeatedly fallen short.

Pop some popcorn and prepare to be entertained as a trio of paranormal exterminators face off against a gluttonous ghost, a pack of demonic dogs, and the iconic Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

Monsters, Inc. (2001)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Monsters, Inc . is a fun comedy about — what else? — two monsters, Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sulley (John Goodman), who are the number-one scare team at the scream-processing factory in the town of Monstropolis. The film, released in 2001, follows their misadventures after a human girl named Boo makes her way into their world.

Together, the two have to figure out a way to get Boo home before anyone discovers this unimaginable mistake. Despite their best efforts, which include dressing Boo up as a baby monster, they run into plenty of roadblocks along the way. Kids will probably fall in love with the cuddly Sulley before they feel an ounce of fear during this film!

The Witches (2020)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

The Witches  (2020) is a fantasy-comedy film based on Roald Dahl’s novel of the same name. This reimagining of the original 1990 film follows an orphaned boy who goes to live with his grandmother in Alabama. After coming across a witch, the boy and his grandmother flee to a hotel to escape her evil clutches. However, the world’s Grand High Witch happens to be staying there — along with disguised, diabolical witches from all over the world who are helping her turn children into mice.

This remake of The Witches  is an HBO Max  original starring Anne Hathaway, Octavia Spencer and Stanley Tucci — and it’s certainly a top choice for your family’s Halloween movie marathon.

Coraline (2009)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

The 2009 animated film Coraline  is based on a dark fantasy novella of the same name. With Dakota Fanning voicing the titular character, the movie follows a young girl who discovers an alternate world that closely mirrors her own — but seemingly much happier. It’s complete with a parallel family that appears, at first sight, to be much better than the one she has.

However, when Coraline’s Other Mother (Teri Hatcher) and the rest of this parallel family try to keep her in their new world forever, she has to fight to make it back home. Kids are sure to find the stop-motion animation and colorful sets of Coraline  enchanting.

Beetlejuice (1988)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

In the 1988 film, Beetlejuice , a couple dies in a car accident and finds themselves stuck in their former country home instead of a pleasant afterlife. When a new family moves in to the farmhouse, the dead couple tries to scare them away, but to no avail. They enlist the help of the troublemaking poltergeist Beetlejuice, who turns out to be a hazard to everyone involved.

The classic film has an all-star cast that includes Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin and Winona Ryder. Directed by Tim Burton, the movie offers a comedic twist on a supernatural tale that families will enjoy. Just don’t be surprised if the film’s soundtrack sparks an impromptu dance party.

Halloweentown (1998)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Starring Kimberly J. Brown and the late, great Debbie Reynolds, Halloweentown  is a Disney Channel original movie that premiered in 1998. Today, it’s revered as a classic Halloween film among the now-adults who grew up watching it every year decades ago.

On her 13th birthday, Marnie Cromwell discovers that she’s a witch, as is everyone else in her family. She and her younger siblings sneak off to Halloweentown, where her grandmother lives, to learn more about their family’s history and so Marnie can begin her witch training before it’s too late. The visit goes awry when they discover that an evil force is attempting to take over the town — but with a little magic, Marnie and her siblings can save the day.

The Addams Family (2019)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

There have been several reimaginings of the original Addams Family  over the years — did you know the first cartoons were created in 1938? — but this animated film from 2019 is an especially fun version for kids. In the movie, Gomez, Morticia and the rest of the Addams clan prepare to welcome relatives for a visit. But when a TV personality attempts to get rid of them, the family has to prove that their creepy and kooky ways are no threat to their idyllic neighborhood.

The Addams Family  features the voiceover talents of Oscar Isaac, Charlize Theron, Alison Janney, Chloë Grace Moretz and others. If your family can’t get enough of this endearingly macabre group, you’ll be happy to know a sequel was just released — and it’s available to rent on streaming .

Labyrinth (1986)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

It’s time to pass this cornerstone of Halloween weirdness to a new generation! The 1986 film Labyrinth  is a cult classic for so many reasons, from its fantastical setting to its magical plot to the fact that it stars the one and only David Bowie — and includes danceworthy original songs from the Starman himself.

The story follows teenager Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) as she travels through an otherworldly maze, solving riddles to rescue her baby brother from Bowie’s Jareth the Goblin King. Most of the film’s main characters are played by puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, which is sure to delight kids (and deliver you an enjoyable dose of nostalgia).

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

You can’t have a kid-approved Halloween movie fest without watching 1993’s The Nightmare Before Christmas . The story follows Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town, who’s grown bored with the same old scare routine of Halloween each year. When he stumbles upon a door to Christmas Town, he decides to put his own twist on the holiday, causing complete havoc in the process.

The spooky-but-fun Tim Burton film stars Chris Sarandon, Catherine O’Hara and Ken Page. What’s even better about this classic is that it doubles as a Halloween and  Christmas movie — and there’s no better time of year to get into the holiday spirit!


spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  • Download the App
  • Tinybeans News & Stories
  • Pregnancy Tips
  • Baby Shower
  • Tweens & Teens
  • Activities for Kids
  • Arts & Crafts
  • Food & Drink
  • Home Organization
  • Party Ideas
  • Personal Stories
  • Family Vacation Ideas
  • Attractions
  • Los Angeles
  • San Francisco
  • Baby Essentials
  • For Parents
  • For the Home
  • Seasonal & Sales
  • Jokes for Kids
  • Fun & Games
  • Digital Entertainment
  • Celebrities
  • Viral & Trending
  • Work with Us
  • Partners & Affiliates
  • For Investors
  • For Advertisers
  • Photo books
  • About Tinybeans
  • The Tinybeans Promise
  • Our Editorial Staff

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  • © Tinybeans 2023
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use

30 Scary Stories for Kids That Are Just Spooky Enough

sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories for kids

These funny and spooky ghost stories for kids keep that eerie vibe going through the night

There’s nothing like telling ghost stories over a campfire or at a sleepover. Of course, we don’t want your little ones to be scared during this special bonding time, so we’ve rounded up 30 scary stories for kids that will leave your little ones laughing instead. Curious about other ways to keep the mood creepy but cute? Try out some DIY magic potions , or watch a few scary movies for kids 

Ghost Stories for Younger Kids

parents reading ghost stories for kids

Sneakers — Ready for a scary story about a pair of stinky shoes? This not-so-scary story is a great one to tell around the campfire.

The Ball Pit — While those pits full of plastic balls are some parents' worst enemies, this story isn't quite scary, but it has a spooky twist for kids to enjoy.

Dem Bones — A colorful skeleton band and the illustrated book teaches kids about anatomy, rhyme, and language through this traditional African-American spiritual song.

The Ghost of the Bloody Finger — With blood, fingers, and ghosts, you'd think this story is too much for the young camper. But rest assured—it's a great way to introduce scary stories to kiddos.

Tommy Knockers — The ghosts of California miners are featured in this story that has a twisted and silly ending.

Underpants — This ghost keeps haunting his former wife because he has an important message for her. But what happens when she's too afraid to talk with him?

Yellow Ribbon — Jane and Johnny fall in love, but Jane can't forget the feeling of a yellow ribbon around her neck. One day, she tells Johnny to untie the ribbon, and the kids won't believe what happens next.

Rap, Rap, Rap -  A little old lady doesn't believe the rumors about her house being haunted. But then, one night, she hears a mysterious sound coming from downstairs. She follows the sound and what she finds is more silly than scary! Be sure to draw this one out with somewhat spooky sound effects. 

The Hairy Toe — What happens when an old woman finds a hairy toe in the woods and decides to eat it? You'll be surprised to find out, and we promise a laugh too.

The Lady with the Emerald Ring — This scary story has a happy ending when a woman returns from the dead because her husband has summoned her back.

The Open Window — A little girl tells a neighbor a spooky story, but the prank is on her.

The Pink Jellybean — How is a story about a pink candy haunted? You'd be surprised to find out about the spooky aspects of where this jelly bean lives.

Magic Castle — A curious woman decides to check out a magic castle at midnight, despite being warned to stay away. Yet she keeps going further and what she finds is a big surprise.

Related: Want to Hear a Ghost Story? Ask Alexa 

Scary Stories for Older Kids

bonfire is good for telling ghost stories for kids

Cow's Head — This ghost story is a twist on the classic "Cinderella." Young Oksana is tasked by her evil stepmother to go into the woods and find food. She encounters a spirit in a cow's head, and the rest is up to you to read.

The Coffin — This tale is about a haunted coffin that chases a camper. But rest assured, it's defeated in the funniest of ways.

Thing at the End of the Bed — One day, an old man sees something spooky at the end of his bed. But he's surprised to discover what lies at his feet.

The Thirteenth Floor — This ghost story is a little bit scarier than the others on the list! Find out why most buildings don't have a 13th floor according to this tale of a Halloween party gone wrong. 

The Knife in the Grave — When two friends decide to make a bet about who is most scared, they learn a lesson about how fear is often just in your head.

The Shrunken Head — This story is more than a little eerie, so save it for the older kiddos!

Fifty-Cent Piece — A couple is traveling home in a carriage when they have to stop at a house for the night. Before leaving the next day, they're given a fifty-cent piece, and what happens afterward is a spooky tale that won't leave kids scared.

Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate — A group of pirates learn a valuable lesson after they dehydrate their captain to death. After their ship sinks, it becomes haunted and the sailors end up needing water.

Golden Hand — When a man tries to marry a woman with a golden hand, he then decides to poison her to get the gold for himself. It works, but he learns a valuable lesson and pays a price in the process.

The Flying Dutchman — You might recognize the name from "The Pirates of the Caribbean," but there's a real story to be told. Word has it that this ghost ship has been unable to make port, doomed to sail the seas for eternity. 

The Purple Gorilla — Nothing sounds scarier than a huge purple gorilla that's hunting people. But in reality, this beast isn't that scary after all.

kids listening to ghost stories

The Wendigo  - Originating from Native American legend, this scary story tells the tale of how a monstrous creature came to be in existence. 

The Guitar Player - This story is about a man who plays guitar and encounters a man who asks to play his guitar, but is it a man?

The White Cap - This one is a spooky story about a fearless girl who has an encounter with a ghost, but it does not end expectedly.

Blue Hands - Your kiddo will find this story freaky at the very least! Find out what happens to Jose when he meets a figure with glowing blue hands.

The Hitchhiker - A classic ghost story for kids about a mysterious girl who gets picked up late a night. This one is fun to embellish or make your own. 

Something Was Wrong - This ghost story about a man who doesn't know he's a ghost is suitable for older kids because a little bit of gore is included! 

Share This Article

  • Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)
  • Click to email a link to a friend (Opens in new window)
  • Click to share on Copy (Opens in new window)

Parenting news, advice, and inspo... right in your inbox

By signing up to Tinybeans newsletters you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy

Trending Now

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

The ‘You Are Such a Good Dad’ Song Is Annoyingly Accurate

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Restaurant Adds $50 ‘Bad Parenting’ Surcharge to Its Menu

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

The 1-Word Response That Stops Bullies in Their Tracks

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Aldi Reveals Its 2023 Cheese & Wine Advent Calendars

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

3 Perfect Replies to a Kid Who’s Forgotten Who Pays the Bills

Parenting news, advice, and inspo… right in your inbox., this website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience possible. accepting the use of cookies enables important site functionality including personalization and analytics..

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

Storyberries Halloween Stories Logo 2020a

Scary stories for kids that are perfect for Halloween… ghost stories, monsters, witches, trick or treat, black cats, and things that go BUMP in the night!

The Friendly Ghost halloween stories header

The Friendly Ghost

Wee Ghost has no friends, but he's frightened! How will he find friends this Halloween?

Bedtime stories The Dark is Friendly short stories for kids header

The Dark is Friendly

The dark might feel scary... but it is actually very friendly! A story to soothe Halloween fears.

Bedtime stories The Witch's Notebook Halloween stories for kids header

The Witch’s Scrapbook

Winifred the Witch has lost her memory! Is being a witch all it's cracked up to be?!

Bedtime stories A Skinny Pumpkin Halloween stories for kids header

A Skinny Pumpkin

When Izzy sees a sad, skinny pumpkin one Halloween, she quickly finds a new friend.

Bedtime stories Midnight and the Spider Halloween stories for kids header

Midnight and the Spider

Midnight is a curious cat who meets a spider one Halloween... it becomes a very strange encounter!

Bedtime stories The Twelve Days of Halloween free Halloween books for kids header

The Twelve Days of Halloween

A fun storybook and memory game for Halloween nights with kids, sitting around a campfire. How many of the zombie gifts can you remember?

Bedtime stories The Three Halloween Cats spooky halloween stories for kids header

The Three Halloween Cats

Leah, Emmie and Tim are going trick-or-treating... but they don't count on encountering some spooky Halloween cats!

Bedtime stories You're My Boo Halloween books for babies and kids header

You’re My BOO!

A sweet and non-frightening bedtime story to celebrate Halloween with little ones!

Halloween stories for kids The Candle in the Window spooky bedtime stories

A Candle In The Window

Four trick-or-treating kids visit an old house at the end of their street, and return with a basket of apples...

web analytics

  • How To Get Pregnant
  • Infertility
  • Pregnancy Week by Week
  • Second Pregnancy
  • Giving Birth
  • Post Pregnancy
  • Breastfeeding
  • Development
  • Browse Names
  • Play & Activities
  • Coloring Pages
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Health & Fitness
  • Style & Beauty Care
  • Collaborations
  • New Parents
  • Single Parenting
  • Relationships
  • Baby Eye Color Calculator
  • Online Pregnancy Test
  • Chinese Gender Predictor
  • Implantation Calculator
  • hCG Calculator
  • Period Calculator
  • ovulation calculator
  • pregnancy due date calculator
  • Child Height Predictor
  • Pregnancy Weight Gain Calculator
  • Breast Milk Calculator
  • Child Growth Percentile Calculator
  • Baby Cost Calculator
  • BMI Calculator For Kids & Teens
  • Contraction Calculator
  • Immunization Scheduler and Chart
  • C-Section Checklist
  • Online Twin Pregnancy Quiz
  • Numerology calculator
  • Child Blood Type Calculator
  • Nakshatra Calculator
  • Diaper Bag Checklist
  • Baby Name Combiner

Home • Kid • Education

20 Short And Scary Ghost Stories For Children

You don't always need school and homework to spook your kids.

Elisa Yi Early childhood educator

Specialty: Early childhood education

Experience: 17 years

Elisa has 17 years of experience in early childhood education as a teacher and a director. With a passion to work with young kids, she did her post graduation in Education and received her online teaching certificate from California State U... more

harshita makvana B.Com, PG Dip

Specialty: Child Education, Storytelling, Activities and Learning

Experience: 7 years

Harshita is a graduate in commerce and holds a PG Diploma in Patent and Copyrights Law from NALSAR University. She has also pursued CA and has more than three years of internship experience in auditin... more

deepa thomas MA (English)

Specialty: Child Education, Development, Activities And Fun

Experience: 3 years

Deepa Rachel Thomas holds a master’s degree in English from the English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad. She has done a certification course in Child Development and worked as a mentor for... more

Image: Shutterstock

When you are away from the city, camping in the woods with your family and friends, it is fun to have a good collection of short and scary ghost stories for kids. You can sing songs together, binge on food, stargaze and do various other exciting activities under the sky. But a bonfire at night without ghost stories feels sort of incomplete. These eerie stories must have the right amount of spookiness and suspense to set the mood right and give goosebumps. Or else, your children might not become fully vested in it.

20 Ghost Stories For Kids

1. the ghost of the bloody finger.

There was an old abandoned house in a small town that was considered haunted. And so, everyone stayed away from it. One man came forward, saying he is brave enough to spend the night alone in the house . As he prepares to go to bed in the haunted house, he hears a ghostly voice, “ I am the ghost of the bloody finger! I am in the front hall. ”

The man thinks it could be his imagination, and the sound could be of a howling wind. But the voice gets progressively louder as the ghost inches closer to him. “ I am in the front hall, ” is followed by, “ I’m at the bottom of the stairs, ”and then,“ I’m at the top of the stairs .” Next, he hears the door creak. He covers his head with the blanket in fear. After a few minutes, the voice gently and sociably says, “ I am the ghost of the bloody finger! Do you have a band-aid, young man? ”

2. The Big Toe

Once upon a time, an old woman found a big toe in the woods. She goes home and puts the toe in a stew and has the best meal in weeks. Unfortunately, around midnight, the toe’s rather large and hairy owner comes to claim his toe. She hears the stomping sounds of heavy footsteps in her garden and the voice of a moaning creature saying, “ Hairy toe! Hairy toe! I want my hair-r-r-ry toe! ”

The voice gets louder and louder. Finally, she sees a massive phantasmal creature in her doorway. Terrified, she shouts out, “ I ate your hairy toe !” The giant comes into the room and says softly, “ I know you did. ”

No one saw the old woman ever again, and apart from footprints with a missing big toe in her garden, there were no clues of her disappearance.

3. The Ball Pit

A mother takes her three-year-old son out to lunch. Then he goes off to play in “the ball pit.” After about ten minutes, he emerges, wailing, and complaining of pain. She rushes him to the ER to discover he has been bitten by a snake (of all things!). The next day, she returns to the restaurant to complain about the snake bite to the manager. The manager tells her she should consider herself lucky as a child got eaten by a shark in the ball pit last week!

One night, a man crosses the local cemetery while walking back home. As he passes the gates, he hears a sound, but he doesn’t dare to turn around. The bumping noise follows him, and then he stops to look back. He finds a coffin coming down the road, bumping from side to side!

The coffin clunks along, going “BUMP BUMP BUMP” and follows him to his house. He hides in the bathroom. When the coffin bursts into the bathroom, he grabs the first thing he can find—a bottle of cough syrup. He throws it at the coffin, and the “coffin” stops!

5. Yellow Ribbon

Jane, a young lady, always wears a yellow ribbon around her neck. She never tells anyone, not even her husband, why she wears it. One day, when she is on her deathbed, her husband asks her one last time about it. She agrees to let him see for himself. He nervously unties the yellow ribbon with his trembling hands and is horrified to find his wife losing her head.

6. Dem Bones

Set in New Jersey, the lore tells about the notorious pirate Captain Kidd and his crew, who buried their stolen loot in a secluded stretch of land on the Jersey coast while escaping from the law. The valuables disappeared overnight, never to be found despite the effort of many treasure hunters. And then appeared Dem Bones!

Dem Bones are the glowing skeletons of Captain Kidd and his mates, who return on a certain night. They carry heavy trunks full of their treasure and scatter them all around the place. A phantom fire is lit, and they celebrate by dancing, singing, and exchanging stories about their high sea sailing days.

7. The Lady with the Emerald Ring

A woman became deathly sick the night before Halloween. Before the doctor could reach her, she dies. Her husband fails to attend the funeral due to grief. The vicar buries her.

This greedy vicar decides to cut off her finger and steal the emerald ring in the dead of night. And there comes a twist. The woman was in a coma and not dead. She jumps out of the coffin due to the pain caused by the severing of the finger.

It scares the vicar out of his wits. He runs for his life and falls into a ditch. The woman goes back to her husband, who thinks she is the ghost of his wife. The woman tells her husband the whole story, and they live happily.

8. The Hook

A young girl gets to know that a killer from the state asylum is on the loose. The man is known to have a hook in the place of his right hand. The girl pays no heed and is worried about her outfit for her date. But when she hears the announcement again on the car radio, warning everyone about the Hookman, she gets scared.

She and her date are parked on a secluded path when she finds the car shaking. She requests her date to take her back home. The moment she gets out of the car, she screams, seeing a bloody hook hanging from the car door handle!

9. The Thing at the Foot of the Bed

An old man stayed up late one night watching a horror movie. He finds something sneaking from the foot of his bed. It looked like two big eyes staring at him. He takes a rash step of shooting at it without investigating, only to discover his big toe is gone!

10. Fifty-Cent Piece

A couple traveling home from a faraway place looks for shelter to spend the night. They find an old house where an old couple welcomes them, feeds them, and gives them a bed to sleep in. The travelers leave a fifty-pence coin in return for the hospitality.

The next morning, a restaurant owner in the next town tells them that the house they are talking about was destroyed in a fire, and Mr. and Mrs. Brown died in it. They return to see for themselves and are shocked to find the dilapidated shell of a house. Suddenly, the wife screams and faints. When the husband turns around, he finds the fifty-pence coin lying on a burnt table!

11. Magic Castle

Once upon a time, there lived a curious woman who strayed off her path while taking her dog for a walk. While she was strolling around, she found a castle in the woods. She saw a message in green slime on the wall “ Do not go to the magic castle at midnight. ” The curious woman decided to go that very night. Every step of the way, she saw messages in slime “ Do not enter ” and “ Do not go one step further .” But that did not stop her until she reached a dark room with a coffin. Paying no heed to the final message, “ Do not open this coffin ,” she slowly opened the lid. Filled with terror, she looked inside. Guess what she found? Many colorful Smarties!

12. Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate

The treacherous sailors aboard a Spanish treasure ship decide to revolt against their captain, Don Sandovate. They torture the captain by not giving him water. He dehydrates to death. But soon, the evil sailors meet a sorry fate in a terrible storm that sinks the ship with the body of the captain tied to the mast.

Legend has it that a haunted ghost ship can be seen along the Atlantic coast with skeletons crying out for water to this day!

13. The Open Window

Little Vera spins an ominous yarn to her uncle about why she leaves the window in her home. She tells him that her aunt (who died long ago) sits by the window in the evenings and waits for her uncle and cousins to come home. With her imaginative storytelling skills, she succeeds in giving him the fright of his life, and he runs off. When her cousins ask her why their dad exited in such haste, she tells them another made-up tale about her uncle and his fear of dogs.

14. The Knife in the Grave

Two young girls are exchanging ghost stories on a Halloween night. A story about stabbing a knife in a grave on an October night leads them to make a bet. One of the girls ventures out to the cemetery with a knife to prove how brave she is. But she dies of fright when the knife she stabs in the grave catches the hem of her nightgown. She thought the skeleton from the grave had reached out to grab her.

15. Golden Hand

A greedy man marries a woman with a golden hand to get possession of the solid gold for himself. He decides to poison her and succeeds in burying her minus the golden hand. The green apparition of his wife comes back to claim her hand. In the morning , he is found dead with the golden hand around his neck.

16. The Pink Jellybean

Once upon a time, there was a dark town.

In that dark town, there was a dark neighborhood.

In the dark neighborhood, there was a long dark road.

At the end of the dark road, there was a lonely dark house.

In the dark house, there was a dark room.

In the dark room, there was a narrow, dark closet.

In the dark closet, there was a small dark box.

And in that dark box, there was a Pink Jellybean!

17. Tommy Knockers

Tommy Knockers are the spirits of deceased miners who look out for miners by showing them the ore and protecting them from cave-ins. One unfortunate miner, Eddie, becomes the target of the Tommy Knockers. They pelt him with stones, steal his tools, and blow out his lantern. He can’t figure out why he is getting tormented until he hears the voice calling him from a shaft, “ Give me back my five dollars, Eddie .”

It is his friend, Joe’s ghost, who has been haunting to get his five dollars back. Eddie refuses to give Joe his five dollars. But all day long, he is plagued by the Tommy Knocker; his ladder is shaken until he almost falls off and hears a loud drilling sound. Eventually, troubled by Joe’s shenanigans, Eddie ends up returning the money to Joe, the Tommy Knocker.

18. The Underpants

There was once a man who always wore two pairs of underpants. When he died, his wife buried him with only one pair of underpants. After the funeral, the man’s ghost kept coming back at the stroke of every midnight. The woman moved houses many times in the hope of getting away from the ghost. But, he followed her wherever she went. Eventually, she couldn’t take it anymore, so she asked him, “ What do you want from me? Why do you keep coming back? ” He looked at her for a long time and said, “ Honey, please give me another pair of underpants. ” She gave him another pair of underpants, and since that day, he never returned.

19. Room For One More

There was once a young woman who had just started a new job. One day, on her way to work, a hearse crosses her, and a gory looking driver pops out to ask her, “ Do you need a ride? ” He points to the coffin at the back and says, “ Room for one more. ” She refuses the lift but is disturbed all day by the thought of the strange man in the hearse. On her way out of the building, at the end of the day, she waits for the elevator.

When it comes, the elevator is almost full, so she hesitates before stepping in. Suddenly, she hears a familiar spooky voice saying, “ room for one more, ” and she sees the hearse driver from the morning eyeing her with his horrible gaze. She backs away and takes the stairs. Just a few steps down, and she hears a terrible crash. On reaching downstairs, she discovers the cable on the elevator snapped, and all the passengers plunged to a gruesome death!

20. Cow’s Head

A girl named Oksana is ill-treated by her stepmother and step-sister. They make her do all the housework. When they run out of money, they banish her to a cottage deep in the woods. One night, in the woods, she hears a loud knocking on the door. Terrified of monsters in the woods, she opens the door with a branch in her hand. She is horrified to find a demon with no body but only a cow’s head at her doorstep. The cow’s head tells her to place him near the fire and do all kinds of service.

Kind Oksana shares her food and her blanket with him. In the morning, she finds the cow’s head is gone. Instead, she finds a trunk filled with beautiful gowns, gold, and jewels. That day, her father comes to take her home. When her stepmother sees all the riches, she also goes into the woods in the hope of getting rich. But since she is too lazy to be kind to the cow’s head, all her gowns and possessions turn to dust. Oksana lived a long healthy life with happiness and prosperity.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are horror stories appropriate for middle schoolers?

Yes, middle schoolers (ages 11-13) may watch or read age-appropriate horror stories consisting of minimal to no gore, preferably with friendship and supernatural themes ( 1 ) ( 2 ). However, some middle schoolers may be ready for horror stories, while others may be more sensitive to such material and it may lead to an unnerving experience. So it is essential to assess their maturity level and preview the story before taking a call.

2. Why do children like scary stories?

There are several reasons why children might enjoy scary stories. First, they can provide a sense of thrill and excitement. Scary stories can also help children to feel brave as they face their fears. Additionally, they may enjoy the suspense and mystery of scary stories and the opportunity to try to solve puzzles and riddles.

3. What are the benefits of telling children scary ghost stories?

Scary stories provide children with entertainment and teach them that it is normal to be afraid. They can help them to recognize danger and find ways and courage to face it. These stories also educate them about different cultures of the world.

4. How have scary ghost stories evolved over time?

Ghost stories have been in existence since ancient times. They can be found in different cultures and countries all over the world. Each culture has its own lore and traditions of ghost stories, which is why the stories find relevance to this day.

5. How do different cultures approach telling ghost stories to children?

Different cultures have different ways of telling ghost stories to children. Usually, these stories are intertwined with folklore, spirituality, supernatural experiences, and magic. Some cultures also see ghost stories as a means of fun and entertainment.

6. What elements should be considered when telling ghost stories to children?

Some basic elements to include while telling ghost stories to children are a scary setting or haunting atmosphere, creepy characters, supernatural creatures, and plot twists. However, ensure you don’t go overboard with your narration to the extent that the children are petrified and disturbed.

7. Is it okay for parents to allow their children to watch horror movies?

Your children may have fun watching scary movies, but it is generally recommended they avoid watching horror movies as they may lead to nightmares and sleeping troubles. It is essential to check movie ratings before allowing children to watch them. Even if you allow them, make sure at least one adult is present with your child when they watch a horror movie.

Short and scary ghost stories for kids are fun, especially when you are on a camping trip. Some popular ghost stories are the ghost of the bloody finger, the ball pit, the big toe, the yellow ribbon, the coffin, and the dem bones. These fiction stories can make your child’s camping night exciting and memorable. However, don’t scare them too much. Assemble all the children in the camp and enact these stories to make them more engaging. You may share the spooky stories that could evoke a little scare but avoid telling terrifying ones.

Key Pointers

  • Make your kids’ vacation and weekend nights memorable by sharing spooky ghost stories with them.
  • The Big Toe, The Hook, and Magic Castle are some popular stories.
  • Keep the stories light, and do not frighten the children.

Watch this video for 8 spine-chilling ghost stories that will make your hair stand on end. Don’t turn off the lights!


  • School-Age Resources; https://cardinalatwork.stanford.edu/benefits-rewards/worklife/children-family/school-age-resources
  • Horror Movies You Can Watch With Your 11-Year-Old; https://www.mghclaycenter.org/parenting-concerns/grade-school/horror-movies-can-watch-11-year-old/

Harshita Makvana B.Com, PG Dip

Deepa thomas ma (english), latest articles, list of top 25 icse schools in bangalore.

Cutting-edge education, good infrastructure, and overall growth — are things these ICSE schools have to offer.

25 Best Schools In Trivandrum For Your Kids

Schools with a holistic environment shape children into well-educated and poised adults.

Top 10 Preschools In New York City For Your Little One

The finest pre-schools to get your little one ready for an inspiring future.

List Of Top 15 CBSE Schools In Bangalore

Be it academics or extracurricular; these schools help children excel in every field.

List Of 25 Best Schools In India

The nation's premier schools ensure children receive the best education.

Top 19 International Schools In Bangalore

Students love these schools for their unique curriculum and interactive teaching methods.

10 Best Residential And Boarding Schools In Hyderabad

These boarding schools with good infrastructure and education are homes away from home.

30 Top And Best International Schools In India

The curriculum and infrastructure in these schools are designed to help your child excel.

List Of 20 Best Schools In Chennai

Schools that mold your child's personality by implementing innovative teaching methods.

17 Best Boarding/Residential Schools In India

Boarding schools guarantee advanced education, overall development, and value for money.

List Of Top 11 ICSE Schools In Pune City

Accredited ICSE schools in Pune can help your child stay one step ahead of their peers.

Top 10 Schools In Whitefield, Bangalore

The best schools integrate education with extracurricular activities to boost a child's morale.

10 Ghost Stories for Kids and Teens that Won't Keep Them Up All Night

These funny, creepy tales are perfect for telling around a campfire.

Headshot of Jill Gleeson

These kid-friendly scary tales are best told around the campfire or with the lights out for full effect, and you can tell our short versions below or click on the links for longer ones.

Each of these 10 ghost stories for kids are sure to bring on some goosebumps but hopefully not keep anyone from sleeping. So read on for some some spooktacular stories to tell all season long, and perhaps get passed on in future years.

parents telling scary stories to kids at outdoor halloween party they are sitting cross legged on rugs on the grass, one parent is in a witch's hat

The Ghost of the Bloody Finger

A little gory, slightly spooky, this is a story about a bloody finger inching ever closer to a man spending the night alone in a haunted house. It ends with a joke, however, so all that tension is released with a good giggle. For extra fun, be sure to use a sinister voice for the ghost, making it louder and scarier the closer he gets—right up until the last line, when asks for a Band-Aid. Then, he can sound as congenial as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The Big Toe

Also known as The Hairy Toe, this is a classic story about an old woman who finds a toe in the woods and, depending on the version, eats it (ewwww) or puts it in glass jar. The tale gets creepier as the toe's very large owner comes looking for it, but the fantasy/folklore feel of it helps keeps things light, as does the ending. Children of all ages should be able to enjoy this fable without getting too frightened.

mom sitting until a fort made of blankets with her two daughters, reading a story from a book

The Ball Pit

More of a play on parental worries about ball pits than a story addressing any kids' concerns (come on, do you think they fret about those things being a bacteria factory the way we do?), "The Ball Pit" is really an urban legend instead of a proper ghost story. But while it may have kids pondering the potential hidden dangers in their favorite play space for a moment or two, the silly ending will get everyone laughing.

Most kids love a good play on words, and this uncanny story about a coffin chasing a man all the way from the cemetery to his bathroom ends with the king daddy of all puns. As you tell the tale, be sure to emphasize the scary BUMP BUMP BUMP sound the coffin makes as it clomps down the street following the poor fellow. You might even want to have a bottle of cough syrup ready to hold up, too, showing what the man throws to stop the coffin. ( They'll love it. Trust us.)

Yellow Ribbon

Spooky to be sure, this long-told-tale revolves around a married couple and the yellow ribbon the woman wears around her neck, which she refuses to remove. Various versions have him untying it while she's sleeping, or the wife allowing her husband to take it off, but it all ends the same way: with her losing her head—and we don't mean metaphorically.

a woman and two girls growling and holding their hands up like claws while lying down in a backyard

This rollicking ghost story has everything kids love: pirates, hidden treasure, and rowdy, glowing skeletons. The legend goes that on one dark night, the infamous buccaneer Captain Kidd and his crew showed up on the coast, burying their ill-gotten gains on a quiet stretch of sandy land. The treasure was never seen again—except on certain evenings, when the phantom pirates sail in to unearth it once more, celebrating by singing, dancing jigs and telling tales about their days sailing the high seas.

The Lady with the Emerald Ring

A parable about greed, this story set in the late 18th-century actually has a happy ending, well...for some of the characters. The story involves a woman, believed dead, a vicar who steals her emerald ring, and the bad end that comes to him. The only ghost in this story is the one the woman's husband believes her to be, but that's doesn't mean this story isn't spooky.

dad telling scary story for little girl covering her face with her hands and sitting under plaid blanket

If you're hosting a gathering of older kids, this is the urban legend for you. Like "The Lady with the Emerald Ring" and "Yellow Ribbon," you can have fun stretching the story out, building the suspense the longer it goes. The story of a couple who park in Lover's Lane, ignoring reports of an escaped killer from a local asylum, it ends with the kind of scare that will have kids jumping out of the their sleeping bags.

The Thing at the Foot of the Bed

Short and (not quite so) sweet, this is a cautionary tale for little ones about an old man who awakens in terror at the thing he sees lurking at the foot of his bed. He takes drastic action instead of investigating, much to his regret. Both spooky and amusing, this story could help kids understand that the scary things at night they think they see in their closet and under the bed are just figments of their imagination.

Fifty-Cent Piece

Not all ghosts are scary. Some just want to be helpful, like the spirits in this story, who host a husband and wife too tired to continue their travels. The pair leave a coin as thanks the next morning, but soon hear the truth about the old couple from neighboring villagers. Eerie rather than disturbing, this story can be told to all ages.

Headshot of Jill Gleeson

Jill Gleeson is a travel journalist and memoirist based in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania who has written for websites and publications including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Washingtonian, Gothamist, Canadian Traveller, and EDGE Media Network. Jill is the travel editor for Enchanted Living. Learn more about her journey at gleesonreboots.com.

.css-1shyvki:before{background-repeat:no-repeat;-webkit-background-size:contain;background-size:contain;content:'';height:0.819rem;margin-bottom:0;margin-right:-0.9375rem;width:3.125rem;}.loaded .css-1shyvki:before{background-image:url('/_assets/design-tokens/countryliving/static/images/arrow.svg');}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-1shyvki:before{display:none;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-1shyvki:before{display:inline-block;}} Kids .css-unxkmx:before{background-repeat:no-repeat;-webkit-background-size:contain;background-size:contain;content:'';height:0.819rem;margin:0.7rem auto 0.9375rem;width:3.125rem;}.loaded .css-unxkmx:before{background-image:url('/_assets/design-tokens/countryliving/static/images/arrow.svg');}@media(max-width: 48rem){.css-unxkmx:before{display:block;}}@media(min-width: 40.625rem){.css-unxkmx:before{display:none;}}

best friend quotes

Here's How to Get Slime Out of Carpet

topdown view of two children doing arts and crafts at a wooden table

38 Christmas Crafts Your Kids Will Love Making

two educational games for kids

The 25 Best Educational Games for Kids

young happy african american girl dancing at home in her living room, wearing headphones, listening to music, having fun and learning the moves

The 50 Best Kids Songs

thanksgiving crafts owl mask

58 Easy Thanksgiving Craft for Kids

goosebumps poster

Best Goosebumps Books in Order

christmas picture books with gingham border

30 Best Christmas Books for Kids 2023

board games

Best Amazon Prime Big Deal Days Board Game Sales

birthday party ideas for girls

25 Best Birthday Party Ideas for Girls

girl friends hanging out together

50 Jokes for Teens Bound to Make Them Chuckle

shot of a little boy using a digital tablet while sitting at home with his parents

50 Kids Trivia Questions to Quiz Your Little Ones

FirstCry Parenting

  • Vishal's account
  • Preschooler

Top 27 Scary Stories for Kids (6 Years & Above)

Top 27 Scary Stories for Kids (6 Years & Above)

Horror Stories for Kids

Funny ghost stories for kids, true ghost stories, best halloween stories for children, scary/spooky campfire stories for kids, important tips for narrating short scary stories for children, things to remember while telling scary stories to kids.

Bedtime stories are a beautiful part of childhood. As kids, we have lived all those amazing tales of courage, adventure, thrills and fun, but the ones which remain etched in our memories are the scary tales for children our parents and grandparents told us.

Now as parents, you would love to narrate tales to your own kids, but a little bit of caution is required. Here is a handy guide to help you weave some fascinating night stories for kids and make them memorable. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started with scary bedtime stories!

Caution: These short horror stories are not meant for very young children who could be frightened more than they should be.

1. The Hook

Age Recommendation: 8 years and above

It was dark when a teenager and his girlfriend stopped at a lonely and secluded Lover’s lane to spend some time alone. The car radio was broadcasting warnings about an escaped criminal called “The Hook”, nicknamed so because of the hook that replaced his right hand. Scared, both the boy and the girl leave the place in a rush when the car begins shaking. When both reach a nearby coffee shop, the girl notices a blood-covered hook hanging from the back seat window.

How to Tell: – Create enough drama around the fact that the couple was saved because they rushed out quickly and the fact that the hook was left hanging, suggesting that “The Hook” was nearby.

2. The Candy Man

Daniel was a poor man who worked at the local candy factory. Since he was a talented artist too, the factory owner hired him to paint his daughter Rose’s portrait. Daniel and Rose fell in love with each other which invited the wrath of Rose’s father and the town dwellers, and they tortured and beat him till he died. Daniel is long dead, but his tortured soul did not leave the world. Legend says that even today if you call out the name “Candyman” five times, Daniel’s ghost will come to haunt you.

How to Tell: Build interest around why the kids should not call out the word “Candyman” five times and its repercussions. Keep it simple yet interesting for the kids to connect.

3. The 13 th Floor

As the legend goes, there is a haunted home in the city of Pennsylvania. Many years ago, invitations were sent out to people asking them to attend a Halloween party here, and Jack and Mary were amongst the invitees. The home consisted of a maze of identical passages and staircases, all leading to the 13 th floor. Most people never made it to the 13 th floor, scared by people dressed up as ghosts and ghouls. But Jack and Mary made it to the 13 th floor despite all this. But we do not know what they found out on this floor as they were never seen after that fateful party.

How to Tell: Make use of voice modulations to convey the fears and scariness of the guests and dramatise the ending with a low voice.

4. The Clown

This story is about a family that moved into a huge house with a large number of rooms. A few days later, the two little boys of the couple began complaining about a clown coming into their room at night, but the father did not take it seriously. When a young girl came to babysit the kids while the parents were out, she went to the basement to watch TV after the kids went to sleep. She became uncomfortable because of the clown statue near the door and called the parents to ask if she could watch TV in the hall. The father told her to leave the house immediately and wait with the neighbours. The girl later came to know that the family never had a clown statue in their home.

How to Tell: Use a low voice to build up the eeriness when the babysitter watches the clown statue standing near the door and how the girl leaves the house with the two kids and play on the urgency.

5. The Flying Dutchman

Age Recommendation: 10 years and above

Way back in 1961, a ship from Holland, called the Flying Dutchman was on its voyage and was near the Cape of Good Hope when the captain saw that they were in the path of a massive storm. With the help of the crew, the ship managed to steer clear of the storm but not for long, and it began to sink. The captain screamed at the storm that he would keep going around the cape in circles until time immortal if that’s what it took. If you are caught in a storm near the Cape of Good Hope, you can still see the Flying Dutchman and his crew sailing into the storm.

How to Tell: Dramatize the storm, powerful winds and rains to give the story a real feel. Talk like the captain did and you will have your kids hooked on the story.

6. The Stare

A young girl was travelling by train one late night. There were two old men sitting across her, and an old woman sitting between them, kept staring at her in a weird way. The train stopped at a station and a man, wearing a trench coat, stepped in and sat next to her. The young girl still felt the old woman staring at her continuously while the two old men were least bothered. When the train halted at the next stop, the man in the trench coat grabbed the girl and pushed her on to the station. When the girl began to scream, the man said, ”I am sorry, but I just saved your life, as the old woman was dead and the old men were propping her up”.

How to Tell: Paint a villainous image of the man in the trench coat and build up suspense until the end when he pulls the girl to safety.

7. Hide and Seek

This story is about two brothers who were playing hide and seek in their home while their parents were visiting their friends nearby. As the older boy turned towards the wall and began counting, he heard his brother scampering around searching for a place to hide. He searched everywhere but couldn’t locate his brother, when he heard a scraping sound from the cupboard. He called out to his younger brother but there was no response; only an eerie silence. He opened the cupboard slowly and bent down to peer closer, when a white, icy cold hand pulled him back. He then heard his younger brother calling out to him from behind, and frightened, the boy tried to break free from the grip of the icy cold hand. Both the brothers then rushed out of the room and out of the house, screaming. What if the hand had pulled the boy inside the cupboard?

How to Tell: Dramatise the scraping sound and the silence that follows. Ask the question “What if…..” in a monotone and see the reaction.

8. The Vanishing Hitchhiker

Age Recommendation: 6 years and above

As my Uncle Sam was driving down the highway one late rainy night, he saw a young girl wearing a pretty dress, asking to be dropped off to a nearby place. Uncle Sam was kind and dropped her off to her home, chatting and talking throughout the ride. The next day, he realised that the girl had forgotten her sweater in the car and went to her home to return it. An old lady greeted him at the door and when Uncle Sam narrated how he had met the young girl, the old woman said” I don’t think that’s possible since my daughter died many years ago while she was returning home after a party”.

How to Tell: Emphasize on the old woman’s revelation about her daughter being dead and bring the story to a dramatic end.

9. The Big Toe

A woman lived in a large house all alone. One day while she was working in her garden, she found a large hairy toe under a flower bed, brought it inside and kept it in a glass jar. That night, when she was getting ready to sleep, she heard the wind howling through the windows and a hoarse voice asking “Where is my toe?” The entire house was shaking when she heard the voice asking the same question. To finish, ask the question once again in a low, eerie voice and suddenly jump up and point at your audience and say “You’ve got it!”

How to Tell: Keep your voice low throughout the story and give it a dramatic finish as you say “You’ve got it!” in a loud voice.

10. The Old Television

A couple lived with their only son in a house on the outskirts of the city of Spain. The boy’s room had an old television which he would ask to be covered with a cloth every night as he went to sleep. One day, the father asked the boy why he wanted the TV covered at night. The boy said ”Because that’s where they come from”. The parents ignored the comment, thinking it was his imagination. One night, the parents had to go out, so they hired a baby sitter to stay with their son. When they returned late night, they found the babysitter sitting outside the home, mumbling, “They took him away.” Confused the parents rushed into the boy’s room and found that the television cover was off and the boy was gone.

How to Tell: Pause briefly when you are near the end and use a hushed tone to say “The boy was gone”.

11. The Furnished Room by O. Henry

A man searches for a decent apartment in New York City to live in. When the housekeeper tells him that several theatre people have rented this apartment out, he asks her if any young woman named Eloise Vashner has ever lived there. She denies.

The man loved Eloise, who was a theatre artist. He came to the city and searched for her everywhere. When he settles in the furnished room, he goes over past tenants’ old belongings. Suddenly, a fragrance hits him and reminds him of his love Eloise. He goes mad over his love for Eloise and starts believing that Eloise is with him in the same room. But he finds nothing. Disappointed, he turns on the gas and awaits his death.

Meanwhile, the housekeeping lady tells her friend about the young man. She tells her that she did not tell the young man that a tenant killed herself in the same room by turning on the gas a week ago.

How to Tell: You can show any vintage photo of two young people by referring to them as the story’s characters to bring a vibe to the story.

Caution: Use words like ‘torture’ and ‘killing’ with care, while sparing grisly details of death if you find the audience getting spooked.

Here are a few funny ghost stories which will have your audience in splits even as a chill runs down their spine!

1. Hitchhiker

A man was standing on a lonely highway on a dark rainy night, waiting to hitch a ride back home. After a long time, he saw a car approaching him very slowly and silently, suddenly stopping before him. Desperate to get home, the man jumped into the car, only to realise that there was no one in the car, not even the driver. As the car approached a bend, a hand appeared out of nowhere and steered the car over the bend safely. Scared the man jumped off the car and ran all the way to the nearest coffee shop. As he entered the shop, a couple of guys shouted at him, ”Hey! Here’s the idiot who jumped into our car while we were pushing it over the hill”.

How to Tell: Create a lot of drama and suspense in the initial part only to give it a funny twist at the end of the story.

2. The Cursed Doll

A young girl was extremely fond of dolls and had a huge collection of a variety of dolls at home. Once while she was browsing at a toy store, she found the most beautiful doll ever and was keen to add it to her collection. When she asked the store owner, she was told that the doll was cursed. But the girl insisted, and the owner reluctantly sold it to her. When she reached her home, she got into the elevator, and the doors closed behind her. The lift did not move, and the girl began wondering if this was because of the cursed doll. Suddenly the doll moved, turned her jet black eyes towards her and opened her mouth to say, “Push the floor button, you silly fool.”

How to Tell: Bring the story to a crescendo, especially as the girl gets into the elevator and it doesn’t move. Use your funniest voice to speak like a doll would and watch the kids erupt with laughter.

3. The Cemetery Gates

One dark night, a policeman was given the duty to guard a section that consisted of an old cemetery. As he went on his rounds and approached the cemetery, he noticed that the gates were open and he also heard rustling noises in the dark. He suddenly saw something white rushing towards him. Panicking, he drew his gun and fired a few shots at it. The next day, the policeman was found dead outside the cemetery with his gun in one hand, and his hand clutched to his heart. The poor fellow had suffered a massive heart attack and an old newspaper with bullet holes in it lay fluttering nearby.

How to Tell: Emphasize on how panic and assumptions can lead to such fatal incidents. Create an eerie feeling while describing the cemetery and the rustling noises.

4. Fear of the Dead

It was especially dark that night when a young woman was walking back home from work, her route having a cemetery on the way. As she came near the cemetery gates, she began to shake and tremble with fear. Suddenly, she saw a man walking just ahead of her, and she was relieved. The young woman caught up with him and asked him to walk with her to her home. As they came near the cemetery, the girl told him that she was terribly afraid of the dead. The man looked at her, smiled and said: ”Why should you be afraid of us?”

How to Tell: Make sure you create enough eerie feelings about the cemetery and the night. The last question should be asked with a maniacal smile.

5. Who’s the Boss?

A young girl went to a summer camp during her school vacation. This girl was extremely bossy and hence was an unpopular figure amongst the other students. Tired of her selfish nature, the students complained to the organisers and asked them to move the girl to another cabin. No one knew that the cabin that girl was moved into, was a haunted one. Just before going to sleep, the girl scribbled on the wall “I am the Boss”. As the lights were switched off, the girl felt a pair of hands creep up to her neck and slowly strangled her.

The next day when the organisers came looking for her, they found her dead. Just above the earlier scribbling were written the ominous words “No, I am the Boss”.

How to Tell: Keep your audience interested in what happens next by narrating the girl’s night in the cabin in a slow and deliberate manner.

6. Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty is a sinister doll made by a distressed mother who has an only daughter. The daughter had a rare type of mouth cancer which had no cure. When her daughter was about to die, the devil visited the mother. He told her that he would cure her daughter only on one condition if she promised to make a cartoon that would end up being every little girl’s friend. The devil’s motive was to possess every little child who interacted with the character.

Because of infinite love for her daughter, the mother agreed to make the cartoon and eventually, her daughter recovered. The mother made a doll named Hello Kitty. The cartoon had no mouth because her daughter’s mouth was eaten away by the disease and sewn up. The cartoon has long ears, just like devil’s horns and the name kitty means ‘demon’. So, when any child says Hello Kitty, they actually say Hello Demon and welcome the devil into their house.

How to Tell: You can keep any merchandise of Hello Kitty and use it for the reference of no mouth.

Caution: You don’t want to put the excessive fear in your child’s heart so tread carefully around those parts of the story that contain graphic violence or depicts the same.

1. The Army of the Dead

A laundress and her husband had recently shifted to a new city and were just settling down. The laundress would hear heavy footsteps outside the window every night and decided to ask her neighbour about it. She told the laundress that a large number of soldiers had died in the nearby hospital during the war and they marched off every night to fight the enemies.

That night when the laundress heard the marching sound, she opened the window and saw a dreadful sight. It was the army of the dead soldiers walking like zombies with horses, cannons and ambulances following them.

How to Tell: Give a detailed description of the zombie army, their looks and the way they would walk. Give a small demo if possible too.

2. The Maid

A widowed man and his little son moved into their new home in a faraway town. Their large spacious house was known to be haunted, but the man did not believe it when the locals told him that. While the kid was exploring the house, he reached the kitchen and saw the maid working there. She told him that there could be ghosts in the house and he had to be careful.

The young child then went to his father’s study and asked him if the house had ghosts in it. The father asked, “Who has been telling you all this?” The child replied “Our maid.” The father immediately asked him to pack their bags. When the son asked why, the father replied, “We do not have a maid, son!”

How to Tell: Slow your pace when you near the end and pause in dramatic fashion just before the father tells the boy that they do not have a maid.

3. Mr Sullivan

One day, a man named John Sullivan was walking down the road. He did not remember what place this was and how he got there. He saw a woman and he walked up to her to ask about the place. One look at him and the woman screamed and ran away. Even the taxi driver whom he wanted to hire, did not wait for him. Tired of this, the man went to a public phone and called up his wife. A man picked up his wife’s phone and said, “Mrs Sullivan is at her husband’s funeral who passed away last night in a car accident”. Shocked, John looked at his reflection in the glass before him, saw a blood-stained face and he screamed.

How to Tell: Keep the narration engaging with expressions, right up to the time when you scream out loudly.

4. Who Is in the Bedroom?

One night when Susan returned home and went to the bedroom she shared with her sister. Without switching on the light, Susan asked her sister if she was awake. Her sister replied, “Stop the noise and go to bed.” Susan wanted to take a bath so waited outside the bathroom which was occupied. Susan thought it was her father who was inside but her mom said he was asleep. Suddenly, her sister walked out of the bathroom. Shocked, Susan rushed back to her room, switched on the light and found her sister’s bed empty. Who had answered her then?

How to Tell: Add a bit of drama to the proceedings when u ask your kids, “Who had answered her then?”

Caution: Kids may associate their own toys with the characters in these stories and fear could build up, so be careful and try to neutralise it where necessary.

1. Halloween Night

One Halloween night, four girls were walking towards their home, when they saw a man dressed as a clown, standing near an old church. He waved out to them and asked them if they would help him in looking for his lost dog. As the girls entered the church, the clown shut the door and locked them in. He tortured them till they died one by one and severed their heads off. When the priest opened the door the next day, he saw the dead girls lying in a pool of blood. The church is still said to be haunted by the spirits of those girls and one can hear those screams till date.

How to Tell: Make the killing grisly and give a sinister look while describing the clown. Scream like the girls would have to add to the effect.

2. Lost Phone

One late evening, a woman reached home and after settling down, began rummaging through her bag. She realised that she did not have her mobile phone with her and did not remember when she had last used it. Thinking that she had misplaced it, she picked up her home phone and dialled her own number. Someone picked up the phone but she couldn’t hear anyone on the other side, except for heavy breathing. The woman asked, “Can you hear me?” A voice at the other end said, “I hear you.” She kept trying but to no avail. The woman then decided to go to sleep. When she entered her bedroom, she saw her mobile phone on the nightstand. When she checked it, it was on “silent” mode.

How to Tell: Build up the drama of the phone not being picked up and create shock and fear when the voice says “I hear you”.

3. The Dead Lady With the Emerald Ring

A woman gets deathly sick before Halloween night and dies in the hospital. The husband, so heartstricken because of her wife’s death, fails to attend his wife’s funeral, so the vicar buries her.

Before burying the woman, the greedy vicar cuts off the finger with an emerald ring on it. The woman wakes up in the dead of night. How? The woman actually did not die; she was in a coma. Because of the pain of the cut finger, she wakes up and jumps out of the coffin. The vicar gets scared to death, runs and falls into a ditch. The woman returns to her husband, who mistakes her for his wife’s ghost. The wife calmly tells him about the whole situation, and they live happily ever after.

How to Tell: You can keep any emerald or green old ring with you and refer to it as the story’s ring.

Caution: Make sure the kids are carefully tucked in after a story-telling session at a campfire as they may need assurance, especially if your stories have found their mark.

1. Closet Friend

There was a little girl who lived in a town with her parents. She always told her parents about her imaginary friend named Kelly and that she lived in her closet. She also said that Kelly sat in her chair and watched her while she was asleep. One night, while the family was watching a horror movie on television, the girl remarked, “That looks like Kelly.” When her parents asked her about Kelly, she replied, “You know Kelly, the dead girl who lives inside my closet.”

How to Tell: Keep a straight face throughout the story and make an impact when you repeat the last line when the girl describes Kelly.

2. Cemetery Garlands

A young boy was challenged by his brother and his friends to visit the town cemetery on Halloween night and place garlands on each of the gravestones there. Not wanting to be picked on by his friends for being a coward, the boy walked into the graveyard at the stroke of midnight and began placing the garlands, shaking with fear. He finished all and said to himself, ”There, I’m done.” Suddenly a cold, bony hand tapped him and said, ”How about one for me?”

How to Tell: Build the drama around the boy walking into the graveyard and describe the night and whisper slowly in the end “How about one for me?”

3. Clap Clap

One day, a family was camping and decided to hike. Midway through their hike, they stopped because of rain and got lost in the woods while coming back to their campsite. Being experienced hikers, the parents decided not to wander in the woods and wait for rescue. In the middle of the night, they heard noise from the trees. When one of the parents asked who was there, nobody answered. So the daughter thought maybe it was someone who could not speak. So the mother asked them questions in claps: one clap for yes and two claps for no. When mom asked if somebody was there to rescue them, two claps came. Then, she asked, “Are you lost like us?” Clap clap. The son asked, “Are you a boy?” Clap clap. “Are you a girl?” Clap clap. It started seeming very suspicious. Finally, the son asked, “Are you human?” Clap Clap. The family was frightened by now. They finally asked, “How many of you are here?”

The answer came: Clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap……

How to Tell: Keep a straight face throughout the story. Instead of answering with clap words, do the action of the clap and louder, especially in the end.

It may be one thing to source haunted house stories for children and choose one to narrate, but narrating them to children is a different ball game altogether. The storytelling should be conversational and should not be a one-way monologue that will bore the kids. Here are a few tips you could implement when you have sacksful of scary stories to tell in the dark.

  • It is important to read and rehearse the story before you present it to the kids, especially if this is your first time.
  • You should use a conversational tone instead of simply reciting it. Emphasise high points where necessary and create drama with your voice.
  • Always sit in front of your audience, never sit beside them as the impact is reduced.
  • If you are around a campfire, make sure it is low and flickering, as a blazing fire will be a distraction.
  • Gauge the average age of your listeners and select an appropriate story accordingly.
  • Keep a low volume to keep the audience focused and attentive to your narration.
  • You may also dress up and enact a story with your spouse. Funny scary stories are the best to enact for kids who are not accustomed to scary stories.
  • Each kid responds differently to scary stories. Understand the audience and increase or decrease the eeriness in your story.
  • Make sure the kids visit the loo before the story begins. Also, remember to ask them if they’d want you to accompany them to the restroom after the story.
  • At times, choose stories that the kids can differentiate from reality.
  • Understand what really spooks your kids out, and either avoid the story or modify it to ease the stress.
  • Always try to keep their innocence intact and don’t scare them completely.

Kids love to hear scary stories at bedtime and while they are out camping in the wild. If you select the right stories for the right audience and keep them engaged (and scared), you are assured of an audience that will be clamouring for more. We hope you found these ghost story for kids useful and scary!

Also Read:  Exciting Bedtime Stories for kids

spooky bedtime stories for toddlers


Benefits of Activity Boxes for Kids

Benefits of Activity Boxes for Kids

Super Fun and Creative DIY Robot Costumes for Kids

Super Fun and Creative DIY Robot Costumes for Kids

US Independence Day Facts and Activities for Kids

US Independence Day Facts and Activities for Kids

Enhancing Your Preschooler's Ball-Playing Skills

Enhancing Your Preschooler's Ball-Playing Skills

13 Best 80s Movies to Show Your Kids

13 Best 80s Movies to Show Your Kids

Should You Send Your Child to an Overnight Camp?

Should You Send Your Child to an Overnight Camp?

Stay connected.

  • --> 2,119,157 Fans Like
  • --> 8,666 Followers FOLLOW
  • --> 87,300 Subscribers Subscribe


245 Rare Boy & Girl Names with Meanings

245 Rare Boy & Girl Names with Meanings

Top 22 Short Moral Stories For Kids

Top 22 Short Moral Stories For Kids

170 Boy & Girl Names That Mean 'Gift from God'

170 Boy & Girl Names That Mean 'Gift from God'

600+ Unique & Cute Nicknames for Boys & Girls

600+ Unique & Cute Nicknames for Boys & Girls

Latest posts.

List of Animals That Start With B

List of Animals That Start With B

Baby Gasping For Air - Causes, Symptoms, And Ways To Reduce It

Baby Gasping For Air - Causes, Symptoms, And Ways To Reduce It

List of Birds That Start With E

List of Birds That Start With E

List of Birds That Start With A

List of Birds That Start With A


  1. Maria's Space: The Perfect First "Scary" Bedtime Story For Kids by

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  2. Pin on Products

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  3. Best Spooky Bedtime Books For Kids Who Love Scary Stories

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  4. Halloween Version

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  5. Halloween Bedtime Story No Terror English Version: Bedtime Story

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers

  6. A Tale for Halloween // A classic bedtime spooky story read aloud for

    spooky bedtime stories for toddlers


  1. The Short Horror Story For Little Kids

  2. Scary Stories

  3. BEDTIME #horrorstories #halloween #scary #stopmotion

  4. The haunted house|kids story|horror story|bedtime story for kids|story teller

  5. Bedtime Spooky Story

  6. Bedtime Stories For Preschoolers


  1. 12 Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Movies for the Whole Family

    Halloween is always a night of creative costumes, delicious candy and fun frights. Of course, kids love the opportunity to challenge their courage by entering haunted houses, swapping spine-chilling stories and watching scary movies.

  2. 30 Times People Straight Up Disappeared That No One Has Figured Out Yet

    Everyone enjoys a good spooky story. Tales of supernatural experiences, alien abductions and unexplained disappearances are designed to provoke fear and make great campfire stories.

  3. What Is a Baby Dragon Called?

    The offspring of dragons are referred to as hatchlings, wyrmlings or whelps in most fantasy settings and stories. While they vary in size, most dragons seem to share a few common traits, such as the ability to fly and breathe fire.

  4. 10 Scary Stories for Kids (That They'll Never Forget)

    This story is suitable for children of about 8 years and over and is a great “all-rounder” scary story for kids. It's a good campfire scary

  5. 30 Scary Stories for Kids That Are Just Spooky Enough

    Scary stories for kids they'll love. You might find yourself getting a chill reading some of these spooky ghost stories for kids.

  6. Halloween

    Scary stories for kids that are perfect for Halloween... ghost stories, monsters, witches, trick or treat, black cats, and things that go BUMP in the night!

  7. 17 Kid-Friendly Spooky Campfire Stories

    'Tis the season for stories that go bump in the night! Try these not-so-scary campfire stories to spook your kids this Halloween.

  8. 21 Kid-Friendly Ghost Stories and Spooky Stories for Kids

    The marshmallows have been roasted and the crickets are chirping. It's time for some not-so-scary ghost stories and spooky stories for kids

  9. TOP 10 Scary Stories for Kids to Tell

    For some reason, everyone loves a good scary story, and this includes kids. Children of every age, from toddlers to teens, love to shiver in response to

  10. The Babysitter From the Beyond

    11 Bedtime Stories For Kids | Fairy Tales For Children In English | Story Collection. T-Series Kids Hut•4.8M views · 4:03 · Go to channel · I

  11. 20 Short And Scary Ghost Stories For Kids

    Keep your children enthralled with these spooky yet friendly ghost stories for kids the next time you organize a campfire or go camping.

  12. 10 Spooky Ghost Stories for Kids and Teens

    These funny, creepy tales are perfect for telling around a campfire. Make some s'mores and get the kids laughing with these ghost stories.


    Halloween Kids Books Online that include some great Scary Stories for Kids!! These are wonderful Halloween Books Read Aloud.

  14. Top 27 Scary Stories for Kids (6 Years & Above)

    Wouldn't you love a consolidated guide of horror and ghost stories that you could narrate to your kids at their bedtime. Here we list up comprehensive