All of the stuff outside of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
In a Dark, Dark Room and Other Scary Stories by Alvin Schwartz.
“The Green Ribbon” did so much permanent damage.
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline B. Cooney.
Reading about a kid who didn't know she was kidnapped made you wonder if you were a kid who didn't know you were kidnapped.
Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers
Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard.
Miss Viola Swamp was like a light version of Miss Trunchbull from Matilda.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak.
It's a classic, but some of the illustrations were unnerving.
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The Haunted Hotel (A to Z Mysteries) by Ron Roy.
When you're a kid with a vivid imagination, reading about other kids in a ghost-filled hotel is a little too real.
Random House Books
My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville.
My Teacher Flunked The Planet, My Teacher Glows in the Dark, My Teacher Fried My Brains — the entire series was fun, with a hint of freaky.
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Bony-Legs by Joanna Cole.
A witch trying to eat a little girl — super chill.
The Tailypo, A Ghost Story by Joanna Galdone.
A dude chops off a creature's tail and eats it, then the creature returns to get his tail back. Spooky stuff.
The Teacher from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler.
The entire Black Lagoon series was capable of delivering some scares.
Miss Spider’s Tea Party by David Kirk.
Perhaps it was the artwork, maybe it was Miss Spider's desperation to find others to drink tea with, but something gave this fun rhyming book an unsettling vibe.
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Goosebumps by R.L. Stine.
Of course the most iconic children's horror series ever was responsible for so many sleepless nights.
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Fear Street by R.L. Stine.
And you can't forget Stine's teen horror series, Fear Street.
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The Witches by Roald Dahl.
Roald Dahl's stories were always gripping and entertaining, but sometimes (like with The Witches) they were capable of legitimately frightening you.
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Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe.
The cover was the scariest part, which was honestly a relief because you got to enjoy an entertaining, not-traumatic story.
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A Bad Case of the Stripes by David Shannon.
This book has beautiful illustrations and a great message, but it scared the crap out of some of us.