Ghost Stories

Read-aloud ghost stories are a great way to introduce kids to spooky fun. See more Halloween pictures.

Everyone knows that ghosts can be scary. But have you heard the story about the ghost who was tricked by children, or the ghost who haunted a man’s house just because he was looking for a place where he could sit down?

This collection of children’s ghost stories is the perfect way to introduce young readers to the fun of being scared silly. Kids can enter the mysterious world of spirits and summonings through the eyes of young characters, and meet ghosts that are more often friendly than frightening. And, at one story per page, these tales are short enough to read before bed.


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In this article, you’ll find classic ghost stories from famous authors -- Washington Irving’s headless horseman, Mark Twain's Cardiff Giant -- as well as more contemporary tales, all especially adapted for reading aloud to children. Here's a preview:

The Canterville Ghost: Check out this adaptation of the classic Oscar Wilde story. A new family moves into a haunted house and gives the resident ghost a run for his money.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow: Read this children's version of the Washington Irving tale, where Ichabod Crane, a timid schoolteacher, comes face to face with the legendary ghost of the town.

White Dog: Find out what happens to Joey's pet, a white dog named Ghost.

A Day at Versailles: Read about two friends who relive the days of Marie Antoinette.

Sweet Mary: Read about the sweetest -- and most mysterious -- girl in Homesville.

A Ghost Story: Check out this adaptation of Mark Twain's story of the Cardiff Giant.

Haunted Cemeteries: Learn about ghost sightings in graveyards across the country.

The Open Window: Read about Vera, a talkative little girl welcoming a visitor to her aunt's house.

Flying Dutchman: Learn about the mysteries of ships that have been lost at sea.

How He Left the Hotel: Check out this post-Civil War ghost story, set in an elegant New York hotel.

The Lighthouse: Read about Jack, a writer whose favorite painting of a lighthouse comes to life.

Houdini's Great Escape: Learn about the great escape magician's final message to his wife.

Ghost Cave: Read about Tate, a strange boy who possesses the strength of three men.

The Wreckers' Daughter: Check out this story of a shipwreck's sole survivor.

The Inn at the End of the Lane: Find out what happens when Erica and her mother go on a vacation to the seashore and run into a storm.

The Little Room: Read about two grown sisters who set off to their aunts' house, determined to solve a mystery from their childhood.

Ghost Hunters: Learn about the experts who detect spirits, using special equipment and their knowledge of life beyond the grave.

Go to the next page for the first story, Oscar Wilde's "Canterville Ghost," a clever take on the familiar tale of the haunted house.

Want more Halloween stories? Try these:

  • Halloween Stories: Rediscover your favorite spooky stories and share them with friends.
  • Scary Stories: Browse this collection of scary stories for children, featuring such favorite characters as Dracula, Dr. Jeckyll, and Frankenstein's monster.