The cool, crisp autumn air usually means one thing to us book lovers: it’s time to curl up with a spooky read. Here are some great, spine-tingling upper elementary reads to get you through the month.
The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co., Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud
Fifty years ago, ghosts, poltergeists, and spirits of all manner started popping up all over England. This was only the start of the Problem. As it turns out, talented young people with psychic sensitivities were the only ones capable of detecting these spirits and keeping them in check.
Lucy, Anthony and George are a group of talented psychic misfits who run their own small, independent Psychic Detection Agency, Lockwood& Co. After a routine assignment goes horrifically wrong, the trio is forced to face consequences that could mean the end of their little agency. Unless, of course, they are able to survive one of the most notoriously haunted houses in England, solve a decades old mystery, and catch a killer. Readers with an appetite for bone-chilling ghostly mysteries won’t be able to put this book down.
Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
It is 1899 and 12-year old Serafina lives with her mechanic father in the basement of an opulent 250-room estate. Although this basement has been her home for as long as she can remember, she must be very careful not to be seen by any of the upstairs inhabitants and her very existence must be kept a secret.
Serafina becomes skilled at stalking the darkened corridors and secret passages of the house alone and unseen. One night she witnesses the mysterious and terrifying Man in the Black Cloak dragging a child into the deep parts of the mansion. More children begin to vanish from the estate and Serafina must follow the clues before her new best friend, Braeden, is gone too. Readers who love to be kept in suspense will love this creepy historical mystery.
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
When Irish orphans Molly and Kip arrive at the door of Windsor Manor looking for work, they ignore the warning in their hearts. The crumbling, bleak manor, with an enormous old tree growing right into the house, is a terrifying thing to behold.
Soon Molly and Kip begin to notice strange things on the estate: the Windsor family seem to be shadows of their former selves, mysterious muddy footprints are tracked through the house while the family sleeps, and their dreams turn to horrific nightmares. Mystery readers with a craving for hauntingly good storytelling will get sucked into Auxier's The Night Gardener.