Invisible Ink: A Bibliography of Ghost Stories For Children

You’ll find more ghost books in the Invisible Ink Collection at Bowling Green State University’s Popular Culture library. And, of course, I’ll be adding to this bibliography from time to time. If you have suggestions, please e-mail me at Thanks!

This is primarily a bibliography of nonfiction books of ghost stories. There is a great deal of fiction published in this catalog. Some of it is terrific; most is simply dreck.) I prefer to concentrate on books of “true” ghost stories and folklore rather than fiction, horror, vampires, werewolves, or any other supernatural beings. If you are interested in ghost stories from around the world and out-of-print ghost books, please click to our Amazon store at

Grades K-4

Use special care in selecting ghostly tales for this age group. I did not make school visits for these grades because the “scare quotient” varies so much from child to child. Children in these grades may also experience more nightmares and fears—as is normal for their age. I would stick with folktales rather than “true” stories. One grandmother told me that her 5-year-old grandson just ate up spooky stories—couldn’t get enough! Then she read him some “true” stories about the town where they live and he wouldn’t sleep in his own bed. If children think, “It’s only a made-up story,” it may not scare them as much as a “true” story from their neighborhood.

Bright, Robert, The Georgie series (Georgie and the Noisy Ghost, Georgie and the Robber, etc.)

A cute, nonthreatening ghost series, excellent for beginners.

Ghastly Giggles & Ghoulish Guffaws, 1992

Arthur Liebman, The Ghosts, Witches & Vampires Quiz Book, 1992

Ski Michaels,102 Haunted House Jokes

Kevin O’Malley, Velcome, NY: Walker and Company, 1997

A really silly book of bad jokes and shaggy ghost stories. Excellent, easily-memorized stories for kids to practice telling.

Schwartz, Alvin, Ghosts: Ghostly Tales from Folklore, An I Can Read Book, New York: Harper Trophy, 1991

Simple, but effective stories for newer readers. And I love the non-threatening puffy-ghost illustrations. Hard to believe this is the same Alvin Schwartz who did the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Series, which I find gross and disgusting.

Smolinski, Jill, Scary Origami, 1995

Fold a phantom with this clever book that teaches you how to turn basic origami folds into slithering snakes, zombie claws, caskets and tombstones. Each project gives a suggestion on how to use the finished product. You can recycle any thin paper for these projects.

Wahl, Jan, Tailypo, 1991

Williams, Linda, The Little Old Lady who was Not Afraid of Anything, 1986


Santha, Dolores Tapia, Indian Legends: Campfire Ghost Stories, 1994

BEWARE! All of the stories on this tape are acceptable for grades K-7, BUT “The Vampire Skeleton” is VERY frightening and should only be used with grades 7-up.

Grades 5-7

This is where I get the most requests for “really scary stories!” from my audiences. They pretend to be fearless, and eat up all kinds of scary stories and movies—the grosser the better. In my own writing, I tend to avoid the squishier kinds of grossness; suggestion is so much more effective…. But you’ll find all kinds of scares in this list.

Allan, Tony, Tales of Real Haunting, 1997

Anderson, Jean, The Haunting of America: Ghost Stories from Our Past

Barry, Sheila Anne,World’s Most Spine-Tingling “True” Ghost Stories, 1992

Batten, Mary, The 25 Scariest Hauntings in the World, 1996

Beckett, John, World’s Weirdest “True” Ghost Stories, 1992

Brown, Roberta Simpson, Queen of the Cold-Blooded Tales, 1994

— The Walking Trees, 1991

Cohen, Daniel, Dangerous Ghosts, 1996

— The Ghosts of Elvis and Other Celebrity Spirits, 1994

— Ghostly Tales of Love & Revenge, 1992

— Ghostly Terrors, 1981

— Ghostly Warnings, 1996

–Ghosts of the Deep, 1993

— The Ghosts of War, 1990

— Great Ghosts, 1990

— The Phantom Hitchhiker and Other Ghost Mysteries, 1995

— Phone Call from a Ghost: Strange Tales from Modern America, 1990

— Railway Ghosts and Highway Horrors, 1991

— Real Ghosts, 1977

— The Restless Dead, Ghostly Tales from Around the World, 1984

— Screaming Skulls, 101 of the World’s Greatest Ghost Stories, 1996

— The World’s Most Famous Ghosts, 1978

— Young Ghosts, 1994

Colby, C.B., World’s Best “True” Ghost Stories, 1992

Conrad, Pam, Stonewords, A Ghost Story, 1990

Crites, Susan, Ghosts of Christmas Past, 1995

Deary, Terry, True Ghost Stories, 1996

Deem, James, How to Find a Ghost, 1988

DeLaRose, Sheila, Ghost Files, Creepy…but true?, 1997

Edwards, Ron, World’s Most Mysterious “True” Ghost Stories, 1996

— The World’s Most Mystifying “True” Ghost Stories, 1997

Emert, Phyllis, The 25 Scariest Places in the World, 1995

— Ghosts, Hauntings and Mysterious Happenings, 1992

— Mysteries of Strange Appearances from Beyond, 1995

Fowler, Zinita, Ghost Stories of Old Texas, 1983

— Ghost Stories of Old Texas II, 1992

— Ghost Stories of Old Texas 3, 1995

Grinnell, George Bird, The Whistling Skeleton, American Indian Tales of the Supernatural, 1982

Gibbons, Faye, Hook Moon Night: Spooky Tales from the Georgia Mountains, 1997

Harter, W., Osceola’s Head and Other American Ghost Stories, 1974

Haskins, James, The Headless Haunt and Other African-American Ghost Stories, 1994

Hayes, Joe, La Llorona, The Weeping Woman, 1987

Hitchcock, Alfred, Alfred Hitchcock’s Ghostly Gallery,

— Alfred Hitchcock’s Haunted Houseful

Hodges, Margaret, Hauntings: Ghosts and Ghouls from Around the World, 1991

Hunt, Roderick, Ghosts, Witches and Things Like That

Kendall, Carol F., Haunting Tales from Japan, 1985

Knight, David C., Best True Ghost Stories of the 20th Century, 1984

— The Moving Coffins: Ghosts and Hauntings Around the World, 1983

Jones, Louis C., Things That Go Bump in the Night, 1983 [1959]

— Spooks in the Valley, 1948

Leach, Maria, Whistle in the Graveyard, Folktales to Chill Your Bones

— The Thing at the Foot of the Bed and Other Scary Tales

Lyons, Mary E., Raw Head, Bloody Bones: African-American Tales of the Supernatural, 1991

Macklin, John, World’s Strangest “True” Ghost Stories”, 1991

McKissack, Patricia, The Dark-Thirty: Southern Tales of the Supernatural, 1992

Montell, William Lynnwood, Kentucky Ghosts, 1994

Written for new adult or reluctant readers.

Pepper, Dennis, The Young Oxford Book of Ghost Stories, 1994

Reneaux, J.J., Haunted Bayou and Other Cajun Ghost Stories, 1994

Roberts, Nancy, America’s Most Haunted Places, 1974

— Animal Ghost Stories, 1995

— Appalachian Ghosts, 1978

— Haunted Houses, Chilling Tales from American Homes, 1995

— Ghosts & Specters of the Old South, 1984

— Ghosts of the Southern Mountains and Appalachia, 1978

— The Haunted South Where Ghosts Still Roam, 1970

— Southern Ghosts, 1979

San Souci, Robert, Even More Short and Shivery, 1997

— More Short and Shivery, 1994

— Short & Shivery, Thirty Chilling Tales, 1987

— Sutton, John, Psychic Pets: Supernatural True Stories of Paranormal Animals, 1997

Taylor, C.J., The Monster from the Swamp: Native Legends of Monsters, Demons and Other Creatures, 1995

Usborne Hotshots, Ghosts, 1995

Usborne World of the Unknown: Ghosts, 1995

Viviano, Christy, Haunted Louisiana, 1992

Warren, William, The Headless Ghost: True Tales of the Unexplained, 1986

Windham, Kathryn Tucker, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, 1969

— 13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey, 1973

— 13 Mississippi Ghosts and Jeffrey, 1974

— 13 Tennessee Ghosts and Jeffrey, 1977

— Jeffrey Introduces 13 More Southern Ghosts, 1971

— Jeffrey’s Latest 13, More Alabama Ghosts, 1982

This series is something of a judgement call. On one hand, Windham uses the cute frame of “Jeffrey,” a “something” that lives in her house. On the other, some of these stories, particularly of the Civil War, are quite gruesome. This might be best for grades 8 and up

Woodyard, Chris, Spooky Ohio: 13 Traditional Tales, 1995

Traditional scary Ohio ghostlore for grades 4-7. This is a bit borderline. I’ve had first-graders ask for stories about “Jason” from Nightmare on Elm Street. On the other hand, I’ve had girls who were having a bad-hormone day burst into terrified tears at very mild tales. Spooky Ohio tells a couple of rather gruesome stories, so know your audience. Some of the black-and-white scratchboard illustrations are also rather grim. Extensive notes on historical practices, story sources, and a glossary of old-fashioned words.

Yashinsky, Dan, ed, Ghostwise, A Book of Midnight Stories, 1997

Young, Caroline, The Usborne Book of the Haunted World, 1995

Young, Richard and Judy Dockery, Ozark Ghost Stories, 1995

Zullo, Allan, Haunted Animals, True Ghost Stories, 1995

— Haunted Athletes, True Ghost Stories, 1998

— Haunted Baby-Sitters, True Ghost Stories, 1997

— Haunted Campers, True Ghost Stories, 1996

— The Haunted Graveyard and Other True Ghost Stories, 1996

— Haunted Teachers, True Ghost Stories, 1996

— The Ten Creepiest Places in America,1997


Roberta Simpson Brown, The Scariest Stories Ever

Cooper, Susan, The Boggert

The Folktellers, Chillers,

David Holt, Mostly Ghostly Stories,

David Holt, Tailybone

Marc Joel Levitt, Tales of an October Moon, Haunting Stories from New England,

Rafe Martin, Ghostly Tales of Japan

J. J. Renaux, Cajun Ghost Stories

Various, Graveyard Tales: Stories told at the National Storytelling Festival

Richard Alan Young and Judy Dockery Young, Ozark Ghost Stories

Richard Alan Young and Judy Dockery Young, There’s No Such Thing as Ghosts, Ghost Stories from the Southeast

Grades 8 and up

This is the hardest audience I know. The kids are too cool to show they’re interested. Leave these books lying around for them to pick up on their own because they don’t like being told what to read. I have very deliberately avoided books which dwell on ouija boards, witchcraft, demons, satanic worship, etc. because this age group has enough temptations in that direction already.

Avila, Alfred, Mexican Ghost Tales of the Southwest, 1994

Bardens, Dennis, Animal Ghosts, 1970

Benson, E.F., The Collected Ghost Stories of E.F. Benson, 1992

Caterpillars, slugs, and worms, oh my!

Bowen, DuWayne Leslie, One More Story, Contemporary Seneca Tales of the Supernatural, 1991

James V. Burchill, et al., The Cold, Cold Hand, Stories of Ghosts and Haunts from the Appalachian Foothills, 1997

— Ghosts and Haunts from the Appalachian Foothills, 1993

Caidin, Martin, Ghosts of the Air, 1995 This is perfect for kids who are aviation/military fanatics.

Citro, Joseph A., Passing Strange, True Tales of New England Hauntings and Horrors, 1996

Crites, Susan, Confederate Ghosts, 1992

This pamphlet-sized book was written for new or reluctant readers. Very well-written, very high-interest, chilling stories.

— Lively Ghosts Along the Potomac, 1996 (West Virginia stories)

— Union Ghosts, 1993

Deitz, Dennis, The Greenbrier Ghost and Other Strange Stories, 1990 (West Virginia stories)

FATE Magazine Editors, Psychic Pets and Spirit Animals, 1996

Fisher, Joe, Hungry Ghosts, 1990

This should be required reading for anyone who has ever used a ouija board or held a slumber-party séance.

Franklin, Dixie, Haunts of the Upper Great Lakes, 1997

Garcez, Antonio R., Adobe Angels: The Ghosts of Albuquerque, 1994

— Adobe Angels: The Ghosts of Las Cruces & Southern New Mexico, 1996

— Adobe Angels: The Ghosts of Santa Fe and Taos, 1992

Grant, Glen, Obake Files: Ghostly Encounters in Supernatural Hawaii, 1996

Henson, Michael Paul, Tragedy at Devil’s Hollow and Other Kentucky Ghost Stories, 1984

— More Kentucky Ghost Stories, 1996

Hough, Maj. Charles D., USAF (Ret.), Scareforce, 1995 Perfect for aviation/military buffs

I Never Believed in Ghosts Until…100 Real-Life Encounters, 1992

Jeffrey, Adi-Kent Thomas, Across the Land from Ghost to Ghost, 1975

Longo, Jim, Ghosts Along the Mississippi, Haunted Odyssey II, 1993

— Haunted Odyssey, Ghostly Tales of the Mississippi Valley, 1986

Musick, Ruth Ann, Coffin Hollow and Other Ghost Tales, 1977

— The Telltale Lilac Bush and Other West Virginia Ghost Tales, 1965

Myers, Arthur, The Ghosthunter’s Guide: To Haunted Parks, Churches, Historical Landmarks & Other Public Places, 1992

–The Ghostly Gazetteer, America’s Most Fascinating Haunted Landmarks, 1990

— The Ghostly Register, Haunted Dwellings, Active Spirits: A Journey to America’s Strangest Landmarks, 1986

–Ghosts of the Rich and Famous, 1988

Nesbitt, Mark, The Ghosts of Gettysburg, Spirits, Apparitions and Haunted Places of the Battlefield, 1991

— More Ghosts of Gettysburg, 1992

–Ghosts of Gettysburg III, 1995

— Ghosts of Gettysburg IV, 1998

Norman, Michael and Beth Scott, Haunted America, 1994

— Haunted Heartland, 1988

— Historic Haunted America, 1995

Okonowicz, Ed, The Spirits Between the Bays series

— Possessed Possessions: Haunted Antiques, Furniture and Collectibles, 1996

O’Donnell, Elliott, Scottish Ghost Stories, 1975

Peach, Emily, Things that Go Bump in the Night, How to Investigate and Challenge Ghostly Experiences, 1991

Rhyne, Nancy, Coastal Ghosts: Haunted Places from Wilmington, North Carolina to Savannah, Georgia, 1989

Riccio, Dolores and Joan Bingham, More Haunted Houses, 1991

Roberts, Nancy, Civil War Ghost Stories & Legends, 1992

Robinson, Charles Turek, The New England Ghost Files, An authentic compendium of frightening phantoms, 1994

Roop, Peter and Connie, Poltergeists: Opposing Viewpoints, 1988

Seymour, St. John D. and Harry L. Neligan, True Irish Ghost Stories, 1993

Spaeth, Frank, Phantom Army of the Civil War and other Southern Ghost Stories, 1997

Steiger, Brad, True Ghost Stories, 1982

Taylor, Jr., L. B, The Ghosts of Virginia, 1993

— The Ghosts of Virginia II, 1994

–The Ghosts of Virginia III, 1997

and so on–he’s up to The Ghosts of Virginia XII!

Taylor, Troy, The Ghost Hunter’s Handbook: The Essential How-To Guide for Conducting Paranormal Investigations, 1997

Underwood, Peter, Ghosts and How to See Them¸ 1993

Word, Christine, Ghosts Along the Bayou: Tales of Haunted Places in Southwestern Louisiana, 1988

Wylder, Joseph, Psychic Pets, the Secret Life of Animals, 1978


Ben Izzy, Joel, The Green Hand and other Ghostly tales from around the world, 1995

Cooper, Susan, The Boggert

An exceptionally well-produced full-length audiobook about a Scottish household spirit.

Gere, Jeff, Oahu Spookies, 1993

Gere, Jeff, Oahu Spookies II: True Supernatural Tales from Hawaii & Samoa, 1995

Grant, Glen, Ghostly Tales for Over the Pali: An Audio Tour through Hawaii’s Supernatural with Glen Grant, 1996

Laura Simms, Nightwalkers: Tales of the Visible and Invisible Worlds


Cooper, Molly, ed., Classic Ghost Stories, 1995

Dalby, Richard, ed., Ghosts for Christmas, 1988

— Victorian Ghost Stories by Eminent Women Writers, 1988

Grafton, John, ed., Great Ghost Stories, 1992

James, M.R., Casting the Runes and Other Ghost Stories, 1987

— Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, 1985

Jackson, Shirley, The Haunting of Hill House, 1959

Westall, Robert, The Stones of Muncaster Cathedral, 1991

— Demons and Shadows, 1993

— Shades of Darkness, More of the Ghostly Best Stories of Robert Westall, 1994

— The Scarecrows, NY: Greenwillow, 1981


Teachers, Educators, Librarians, Storytellers

See the next section on “Wild Ghost Chase: Tracking the Elusive Ghost Story”

Other resources are:

Finucane, R.C., Appearances of the Dead: A Cultural History of Ghosts, 1984

Friedhoffer, “The Madman of Magic” and Harriet Brown, How to Haunt a House for Halloween, 1988

Guiley, Rosemary E., The Encyclopedia of Ghosts & Spirits, 1992

Justice, Jennifer, The Ghost & I: Scary Stories for Participatory Telling, 1992

Stonehouse, Frederick, Haunted Lakes, Great Lakes Ghost Stories, Superstitions and Sea Serpents, 1997