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Ghosts and ghouls and ghosts, oh my god! Blame it on my early obsessions with Halloween town and the Addams family, but I just can’t get enough of the spooky, wacky, and spooky every year when fall arrives. I want some frights, but I want them in a sweet and tame way, you know? That’s what these 10 Spooky Intermediate Books are perfect for. You have chills and thrills, sure, but nothing to keep you up at night. (Well, probably. I guess I’ll let you judge.) And whether you’re a young reader or an adult looking for some spooky nostalgia of the season — like me! – These spooky middle school books are just the thing for a good fall read.
From ghost girls trying to prove they can be just as terrifying as any other ghost, to amateur detectives putting clues together to solve a haunted place, these mid-range mystery and horror novels offer all the spooky pleasures you could hope for autumn can wish for. You might even find a few witches and exorcisms in their midst! And if you’d rather read about witches or zombies or vampires, that’s fine too I guess. But you and I both know there’s nothing quite like a ghost story on an autumn night.
Enjoy the spook, readers! And maybe leave the night light on, just to be safe.
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
Having a ghost as a best friend might sound like a dream come true for a shy girl like Suraya, but the Pelesits she inherited from her grandmother – who she calls Pink – have a dark side. And when she finds a human friend for the first time, Pink jealously overpowers him, eventually forcing Suraya to face the possibility that the spirit she loves is doing more harm than good.
Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega
Ghosts are part of the family business of Lucely Luna, whose father runs a ghost tour and has breakfast with her family’s ghosts who live in a backyard tree. But when she and her best friend Syd accidentally cast a spell that awakens evil spirits just before Halloween, they must reverse the curse and save the town they love along with Syd’s grandmother, the witch Babette, and a cat named Chunk. It’s a wonderfully funny story with the best parts of a Halloween story, from ghosts to witches to curses.
The 2nd Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer Street by Cory Putman Oakes and Jane Pica
The Ivan has been the best – and only – haunted hotel on Mercer Street for hundreds of years. But when a new location for the popular Hauntery chain opens just down the street, Willow and her family must convince the public that the authentic ghosts at Ivan are better than the spooky shows put on at The Hauntery. And with a new spirit to join their ranks, a girl with ambitions to be a terrible phantasm, maybe they can pull it off.
Ghost Girl by Ally Malinenko
A girl who can see ghosts suspects her new principal is up to something sinister after a terrible storm brings with it a spate of spooky events, including missing teachers, terrifying dogs that talk and the appearance of ghosts. Zee inherited her mother’s ability to see ghosts, but the only people who believe her are her sister, her best friend Elijah, and the mean girl Nellie, the same who gave her the nickname “Ghost Girl”. They must work together if they are to save their city from the dark forces at work, which means finally embracing their gift and maybe even befriending their longtime nemesis.
Ghostbusters by Ellen Oh
In this spooky middle-class crime thriller, the new girl in town must confront the ghosts that haunt her brother after they move into a supposedly haunted house. Harper doesn’t believe the rumors at first, but when her brother starts acting strange, she knows she will do whatever it takes to protect him. And if she could only remember why this house and her brother’s strange behavior keep giving her déjà vu, maybe it would all fall into place. But until then, she must try to solve the mystery of her brother’s possessions using only the clues around her.
The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
The author of The Bone Witch trilogy and The Never Tilting World duology writes a horror novel about a murdered girl who pursues child killers like the one who threw her down a well some three hundred years ago. But when a new boy with strange tattoos moves into town, they’re both drawn into a world of Shinto exorcisms and horrific puppet rituals. This is a young adult novel with crossover appeal, so is probably more appropriate for older, middle-class readers in the mood for some serious spookiness, rather than younger readers looking for something cozy spooky.
Trace of Pat Cummings
After losing his parents in a horrific accident, Trace Carter doesn’t know how to move on. His aunt’s brownstone in New York is cozy, but it doesn’t feel like it hometown. And he can’t stop watching flashbacks to the accident that killed his parents. But when Trace meets a crying boy in the library who may just be a ghost – a ghost with ties to Trace’s own past – he discovers that he himself may be the key to putting the past to rest.
Ophie’s Ghosts by Justina Ireland
What better setting for a ghost story than an atmospheric historical narrative? Set in 1920s Pittsburgh, Ophie works as a maid at Daffodil Manor, where memories of a haunted past and literal ghosts lurk in the hallways. With a gift for seeing spirits, Ophie hopes to help some of the spirits who have been wronged in life. But the Manor holds many mysteries beyond its ghosts, and they may prove to be more than Ophie expected.
The Haunting of Henry Davis by Kathryn Siebel
When pale, shy Henry Davis moves to town, Barbara Anne is more than a little intrigued—especially when she learns that Henry is haunted by the ghost of a boy who died during the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. But why is this ghost named Edgar haunting Henry? And what can you do to finally calm him down?
The Ghost in Apartment 2R by Denis Markell
Danny thought his brother going to college was the worst thing that could happen to him this year, but when a ghost starts haunting his brother’s old room, he realizes how wrong he was. Along with the help of his friends, Danny begins questioning all of his neighbors to find out if this ghost is a Polish ghost or a Korean Gwishin or maybe even the kind of Jewish mythological ghost his Bubbe told him about. Whatever turns out, Danny is ready to help this phantom find rest.