8 Of The Spookiest YA Books Guaranteed To Give You Chills
Get ready to sleep with the lights on.
It’s Halloween and that means a hoard of zombie kids will soon be hammering on your doorstep. Time to close the curtains, turn the lights down low, and curl up with a scary book and a bowl of Haribo...(Hey, you’re doing them a favour, it’s bad for their teeth!)
While author Rachel Burge's creepy and amazing YA ghost story The Twisted Tree is the perfect place to start, here's Rachel's pick of dark and chilling reads to continue the theme...
cold bath street by a. j. hartley
One day Preston Oldcorn wakes up to find he’s dead. Trapped in a strange reality between life and death, he comes across an assortment of ghosts – some of them friendly and some downright terrifying! Preston learns that he’s only ‘merely’ dead and not yet ‘sincerely’ dead. In order to save his soul, he must brave what lurks in Cold Bath Street.
With a fast-paced plot and plenty of scary moments, this book will keep you reading late into the night.
the sacrifice box by martin stewart
When Sep and his friends come across a spooky stone box in the woods, they decide to each make a sacrifice: something special to them, committed to the box forever. They make a vow: never to return to the box at night, never to visit it alone, and never to take back their offerings.
Of course, someone breaks the pact – with horrific consequences. As the sacrifices haunt them with increasing violence (expect zombies, crows and evil dolls), the friends soon realise the awful truth. The box wants the greatest sacrifice of all – it wants one of them.
Set in the 1980s, this creepy thriller is one for fans of Stephen King and Stranger Things.
city of ghosts by victoria schwab
Cassidy Blake has a secret. While her parents write books about ghosts, she can actually see them. Ever since she almost drowned, she’s been able to access the spirit realm – even her best friend Jacob is a ghost.
When Cass's parents land a job hosting a paranormal TV show, they move the family to Edinburgh – a city whose secret passageways, castles and graveyards are teeming with the restless dead. There, Cass meets a girl who shares her gift, and shows her just how dangerous the city of ghosts can be.
An easy MG/YA read that’s full of warmth and charm - as well as spooky chills.
charlotte says by alex bell
If you loved Alex Bell’s fantastically creepy Frozen Charlotte, now’s your chance to find out how it all started. Set in 1910, Charlotte Says tells the story behind the frozen charlottes (miniature porcelain dolls, shudder) and the Dunvegan School.
Following the death of her mother in a tragic fire, Jemima flees to the Isle of Skye, where she takes a job at a school for girls. When she receives a box of Frozen Charlotte dolls from a mystery sender, she remembers what really happened that night. A series of terrible accidents at the school persuades Jemima that she must stop the demonic spirits from possessing the dolls at any cost.
If you like your horror dark and unsettling (think ghost children, needles in eyeballs and creepy dolls) this is for you.
sawkill girls by claire legrand
To the outside world Sawkill Island is idyllic – a stunning landscape populated with rich, good-looking people and beautiful horses. But it has a darker side. For generations, girls have gone missing on the island, their bodies never found.
Children frighten each other with stories of the Collector – a paranormal beast who hunts and feasts on young girls, while simultaneously growing stronger himself. Determined to learn the truth, three girls – Marion, Zoey and Val - band together to fight the monster.
Part horror and part coming-of-age lesbian romance, this is a chilling read that packs a powerful feminist message.
unrest by michelle harrison
Seventeen-year-old Elliott hasn't had a decent night’s sleep in months. Not since the accident that nearly killed him. Now he’s afraid to go to bed at night. Sometimes he wakes to find himself paralysed, unable to speak, while a woman dripping water creeps over him.
Determined to find out whether his bathroom is actually haunted and he really can see ghosts, Elliott lands a job at one of England's top haunted locations... and then things start to get really spooky!
Interesting and complex characters, a gripping plot, and some seriously creepy moments make this a must-read for Halloween.
ghost by helen grant
Augusta lives with her grandmother in a crumbling mansion in a remote part of Scotland. Visitors are few and far between - everyone knows that Langlands House is haunted, and besides, Augusta must stay hidden for her own safety. One day her grandma goes out and never comes back, leaving Augusta alone. Then Tom arrives, the first outsider she’s ever met, and what he tells her changes everything.
A slow-burner with a creeping sense of menace, this is a story that reveals its secrets slowly, leading you in one direction, only to twist and turn in another. The ending is truly macabre.
three strikes by lucy christopher, kat ellis & rhian ivory
If you still can’t decide what to read, try Three Strikes. The collection of dark and dangerous novellas includes three very different stories, each of them chilling in their own way.
In The Darkness by Lucy Christopher, Kasha has answered an advert for The Tribe. Now she sits writing alone in the darkness of the jungle. But is she really the only one left?
In The Twins of Blackfin by Kat Ellis, Bo visits her best friend Sky’s grave every night. When she hears the voice of a girl, she follows it and finds a mysterious journal and a crypt.
Matchgirl by Rhian Ivory is modern retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Runaway busker Nia is mugged and left badly injured in a tunnel. All she has is three matches... and then she starts seeing pictures in the light.
Want more? Then you need to have a read of The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge already.