Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to ghosts. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about ghosts.
Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.
When it comes to children’s stories about ghosts, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Georgie to popular sellers like Hidden Staircase #2 to some of our favorite hidden gems like The Right One for Roderic.
We hope this list of kids books about ghosts can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.
What happens when one little ghost wants to stand out? All ghosts wear white sheets. That’s just what ghosts do. White sheets are good for haunting people, and they make the ghosts feel like part of one big family. But one little ghost named Roderic wants to wear something different. He tries all sorts of things: a bag, a rug, a boot. Can he find the right one for him? Find out in this colorful picture book from debut author-illustrator Violeta Noy.
Just when Josh starts to think his break from school is going to be all chores and no cheer, his best friend, Mark, invites him to spend their break helping restore a historic home and mill in Oregon. With the help of their friends Angela and Mary Jane, and under the watchful eye of Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug, the kids spend weeks fixing up the grounds, basking in the freedom of country life and learning about the surrounding area —and getting spooked by the resident ghost. Not to mention eating bugs, domesticating feral cats and starring in a movie! But it’s not all fun and filming. The mill is in financial trouble, and the kids have to figure out a way to help Aunt Sue and Uncle Doug keep it running, in spite of it being haunted.
The Ghost of Mill House follows Bus to the Badlands, where we first met Josh and his classmates.
Desmond Cole goes camping and tells some scary campfire stories in the eighth book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series! Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps. So, settle in while Desmond, Andres, and their ghost-friend, Zax, take turns trying to tell the scariest story of all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
In the fourteenth fantastical book from The Kingdom of Wrenly series, Prince Lucas and Clara discover there is a ghost haunting the Wrenly Castle. There are things that go bump in the night, even in the well-protected royal palace of Wrenly. Mysterious happenings have set Prince Lucas and his dragon, Ruskin, on edge. Curtains sway next to closed windows, temperatures drop for no reason, and strange lights glow in empty rooms. Lucas and Clara are sure there is a ghost haunting the castle halls. But will they find the ghost before the ghost finds them? With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.
It’s been a year since Theresa and her English friend, Kerry, won the Ghosters contest. Now her little brother, Joey, has stumbled on a mystery in the school library. Blasts of cold air, lights that flicker, and books flying off the shelves start Joey and his friend, Elbie, searching for the reason. Elbie lives above his family’s mortuary and is very comfortable around the ghosts that troop through its halls. He’s a prankster and doesn’t mind Joey’s Asperger’s behaviors. When the boys discover a ghost holding Joey’s bug book hostage, they team up with Theresa and Kerry to decode the ghostly messages found in the titles of the books thrown by the library ghost.
Midnight Reynolds and the Phantom Circus - Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds is a middle-school student who works undercover for the Agency of Spectral Protection, helping ghosts cross over into the afterlife and saving her town from mishaps involving spectral energy. Now school’s out for the summer, and Midnight and her best friend Tabitha just want to have fun. But their plans are interrupted when a mysterious traveling circus and a ghostly ringmaster come to town. As people start getting hurt, Midnight finds herself in the middle of her most deadly mission yet. Someone’s stealing spectral energy from the living! Can they be stopped before it’s too late?
Batneezer - For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open—but he’s not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor’s unusual antics are only one of Rob’s problems. While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present, and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!) Obert Skye doesn’t let his fans down in the hilarious final installment in the Creature from My Closet series. A Christy Ottaviano Book
Ghost Cat - A boy who used to have a cat believes that its ghost is darting through his house by day and purring in his bed at night.
Ghost in the House - Boo! Watch out for this rollicking, cumulative counting book for a Halloween treat that’s more playful than scary. There’s a ghost in the house, In the creepy haunted house, On this dark spooky night all alone. When a little ghost goes slip-sliding down the hallway, he suddenly hears…a groan! Turns out it’s only a friendly mummy, who shuffles along with the ghost, until they encounter…a monster! As the cautious explorers continue, they find a surprise at every turn — and add another adorably ghoulish friend to the count. But you’ll never guess who is the scariest creature in the house!
A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series.
Siblings Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are off on an adventure! They can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt and her giant, tongue-drooling Newfoundland dog in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble.
Add in some very peculiar lights, strange new friends, a police chase and some stampeding sheep, and the Griffin kids are in over their heads—literally. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them.
Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases involving a crooked carnival barker, a mysterious ghost, an alien plant species invading wildlife habitats and a wobbly bridge. Original.
Desmond and Andres are in for a bike-riding adventure in the second book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series!
Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond.
I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner.
So when Desmond and I are called to track down a ghost on wheels, Desmond is sure that ghosts don’t ride bikes. Here’s why: they float everywhere. Makes sense, right? But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my Ghost Patrol days, it’s this: Never tell a ghost what they can or can’t do.
With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
The classic story about Georgie, the gentle little ghost is back in hardcover! Beloved by generations, Georgie is the amiable little ghost who haunts the Whittaker house. Every night he creaks the stairs and squeaks the parlor door to remind Mr. and Mrs. Whittaker that its time to go to bed. But one day, Mr. Whittaker fixes the stairs and oils the door. What’s a ghost to do? First published in 1944.
Desmond and Andres battle beach bullies who also happen to be creepy monsters in the third book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series! Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond. I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and I’m afraid of everything. When you go to the beach with Desmond Cole, it isn’t all sand, surf, and sun. It’s more like, ghosts, ghouls, and gloom. And yes, being haunted while there’s sand in your swimsuit is annoying, but at least you can always count on one thing—beach life is never boring with Mersurfers around. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Ghosts - Don’t call him scaredy cat! After an unfortunate incident in the Space Museum, Sam goes on a mission to prove that he’s not afraid of ANYTHING—just like the heroes on his favorite show, Space Blasters. And when it looks like his house is haunted, Sam may just get to prove how brave he is. A funny tale of ghost hunting, escaped pet snakes, and cats with attitude!
Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) - Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!
The Case of the Graveyard Ghost - Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, who are now in fifth grade, continue to combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases, involving a noisy laundry chute, a ruined flower show, and a ghost.
Revenge of Superstition Mountain - In the third and final book in this action-packed trilogy, the Barker brothers and their good friend Delilah secretly climb up to Superstition Mountain one last time. There are still mysteries to solve—is the creepy librarian really the ghost of Julia Thomas from a century before? What was their uncle Hank’s role in discovering the gold mine? Can they still get into the gold mine after the avalanche that nearly crushed them? Does their cat, Josie, have mysterious powers? And, most of all, who is trying to kill them?
Based on the bestselling graphic novels, this series of middle-grade novels contains all-new adventures Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counselor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. Book four, the last book of the novel series, will shine the spotlight on inseparable couple Mal and Molly, who find an extra cabin at camp, one that’s full of ghosts!
This gently spooky twist on “The Itsy Bitsy Spider” makes a favorite nursery rhyme just perfect for Halloween! The itsy bitsy pumpkin rolled down the spooky street. He passed a ghoulish ghost and some stinky goblin’s feet. A little pumpkin is trying to find his way back home! And with a little help from a friendly witch, he is soon safe and sound, back on his porch—where there are no spiders to be seen! Little ones will love this fresh fall spin on a classic nursery rhyme!
Abandoned by her mother and neglected by her scientist father, timid Elizabeth Murmur has only her fearless friend Zenobia for company. And Zenobia’s company can be very trying! When Elizabeth’s father takes them to live in his family home, Witheringe House, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost in the creepy old mansion and forces Elizabeth to hold séances and wander the rooms at night. With Zenobia’s constant pushing, Elizabeth investigates the history of the house and learns that it does hold a terrible secret: Her father’s younger sister disappeared from the grounds without a trace years ago. Elizabeth and Zenobia is a wonderfully compelling middle-grade story about friendship, courage, and the power of the imagination.
Shivers, the pirate who’s afraid of everything, is back in his third laugh-filled, illustrated adventure from Story Pirates stars Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White. Can Shivers and his friends cure the curse cast by the most pungent ghost of all time, Quincy Thomas the Pirate? Now that Shivers has a brand-new, just built, scare-proof ship, the Groundhog, things have FINALLY taken a turn for the cozy. There’s just one problem—not a SINGLE drop of water can fall on the ship’s deck for its whole first day a-sail or the pirate who owns it will be CURSED. There’s just one more problem—on Shivers’s first night on the ship, there’s the biggest thunderstorm since ol’ Davey Jones opened his locker for the first time. Now guess who’s about to get cursed? With his best friend, Margo, and loyal fishmate, Albee, to pull him up by his bunny slippers, Shivers and his fellow buccaneers belly flop into another adventure filled with soggy socks and posh poodles to sniff out the pungent ghost of Quincy Thomas the Pirate to cast off the curse before he stinks up the Groundhog’s poop deck for all of eternity! It’s another hilarious highly illustrated adventure from the Story Pirates themselves and stars of KidLitTVs’ “The Truth About Libraries,” Annabeth Bondor-Stone and Connor White.
A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! We’re releasing a stunning new edition of an old favorite: The Hidden Staircase, the second book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years—Nancy Drew has to find the mysterious ghost that seems to be haunting Twin Elms, and make sure no more prized possessions disappear under her nose. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!
The Mystery of Ireland's Eye - Dylan is twelve years old and embarking on his first ocean kayaking trip with his parents. He has spent the last year convincing them that he is ready for the challenging—and very dangerous—adventure. In fact, he has been determined to go ever since he heard about the destination: Ireland’s Eye. The small island off the coast of Newfoundland is the easternmost settlement in Canada. Or it was. It is now hauntingly empty, a ghost town clinging to the edge of the unforgiving Atlantic. What is it about Ireland’s Eye that so captivates Dylan he is willing to take such risks to get there? Does the ghost town have anything to do with the dreams Dylan keeps having of his favourite grandfather who has just passed away? And why does the old man on St. John’s docks grimly whisper, “Don’t go to Ireland’s Eye” when he hears of Dylan’s plans?
The Garden of Eve - Evie reluctantly moves with her widowed father to Beaumont, New York, where he has bought an apple orchard, dismissing rumors that the town is cursed and the trees haven’t borne fruit in decades. Evie doesn’t believe in things like curses and fairy tales anymore—if fairy tales were real, her mom would still be alive. But odd things happen in Beaumont. Evie meets a boy who claims to be dead and receives a mysterious seed as an eleventh-birthday gift. Once planted, the seed grows into a tree overnight, but only Evie and the dead boy can see it—or go where it leads.
The Haunted Bridge - Mr. Drew is on the trail of an international ring of jewel thieves and asks Nancy to assist him. The trail leads to a summer resort area. Before Nancy has a chance to start work on her father’s case, a golf caddy tells her a frightening tale–in the dense woods nearby is an old wooden footbridge guarded by a ghost! Intrigued by the caddy’s story, Nancy decides to investigate. Several riddles confront the young detective as she attempts to solve the mystery of the haunted bridge and track down a woman suspected of being a key member of the gang of jewel thieves.
Nancy Drew 14: the Whispering Statue - Once again, Nancy faces two puzzling mysteries at once! The first concerns a valuable collection of rare books that Mrs. Horace Merriam commissioned anart dealer to sell–has he swindled her instead? The second mystery revolves around the baffling theft of a beautiful marble statue. To solve both mysteries, the famous young detective disguises herself and assumes a false identity. Despite these precautions, danger stalks Nancy’s every move. An attempted kidnapping, a nearly disastrous sailboat collision, and an encounter with a dishonest sculptor are just a few of the exciting challenges that Nancy is faced with as she gathers evidence against a clever ring of art thieves.
“An excellent addition to middle grade shelves, with a differently-abled main character that readers will root for.” —School Library Journal “Vaught makes Max the brash, bold star of the book, exchanging stereotypes and sympathy cards for a well-drawn character whose disability is part of who she is but not her complete identity; hopefully Max will roll ahead as the advance guard of a literary cadre.” —BCCB A Parents’ Choice Recommended Book It’s going to take more than a knack for electronics and a supercharged wheelchair for twelve-year-old Max to investigate a haunted mansion in Edgar Award–winning author Susan Vaught’s latest middle grade mystery. Max has always been a whiz with electronics (just take a look at her turbo-charged wheelchair). But when a hacker starts a slanderous Facebook page for her grandpa, Max isn’t sure she has the skills to take him down. The messages grow increasingly sinister, and Max fears that this is more than just a bad joke. Here’s the thing: Max has grown up in the shadow of Thornwood Manor, an abandoned mansion that is rumored to be haunted by its original owner, Hargrove Thornwood. It is said that his ghost may be biding his time until he can exact revenge on the town of Blue Creek. Why? Well, it’s complicated. To call him a jerk would be an understatement. When the hacking escalates, suddenly it looks to Max like this could really be Thornwood’s Revenge. If it is, these messages are just the beginning—and the town could be in danger.
Meet Desmond Cole! A fearless eight-year-old who runs his own ghost patrol, looking for ghosts, monsters, and mischief makers everywhere. Oh, and he just so happens to be my new best friend…and thank goodness! Because I’m afraid of everything.
Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. Desmond is the hall monitor of ghosts and monsters. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond.
I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend. We do everything together…including catch ghosts. Seems cool, right? There’s only one problem: I’m afraid of everything.
With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
“In a world full of ghosts, Rosa and Jasper live in the only unhaunted town—but must spring to action when they realize the ghosts are lying in wait to take the town back”—
BabyLit® is a fashionable way to introduce your toddler to the world of classic literature, and little ones will love The Odyssey: A BabyLit® Monsters Primer.
Monsters don’t have to be scary; meet ten monsters from Odysseus’ epic journey home, illustrated in funny, friendly ways. Featuring moaning, groaning ghosts; a silly Cyclops; goofy lotus eaters; and two colorful sea monsters. With clever, simple text by Jennifer Adams, paired with stylish design and illustrations by Sugar’s Alison Oliver, these books are a must for every savvy parent’s nursery library. Collect all twenty-four classic literature-inspired BabyLit® primers!
The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane - Nancy’s classmate, Willa, is convinced something is terribly wrong with her friend Izzy. Nancy and her friends must try to figure out why Izzy is acting strangely after visiting a haunted house. Is Izzy possessed by the ghost of Heliotrope Lane?
Trace - In a debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time. Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes. And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.
Boo Who? - A shy little ghost who’s new to the group has trouble fitting in — until his special talent comes to the fore. Boo is new. And even if the other kids are welcoming, it can be scary being new, especially for a shy ghost who can’t play any of their games. (“You tagged me? Oh, sorry. I couldn’t feel it.”) Can Boo find a way to fit in and make friends with the rest of the group? From the creator of Rex Wrecks It! comes a funny story about feeling invisible — and finding a way to be seen and appreciated for who you are.
Five Silly Ghosts - “Five silly ghosts floating by a gate. The first one said, ‘Oh my, it’s getting late.’” This board book features a classic rhyming read-aloud text with the five silly glittery ghosts in Halloween costumes as they peer through a die-cut cover. Each page turn provides a playfully ghoulish reveal. Join five silly ghosts in this fun counting caper!
On the corner of Hemlock and Blight, the magic shop of Miss Pustula Night is open for business.
Creepy curiosities and endless enchantments fill the shelves, but it’s the rumor of a shop ghost that really has kids excited. Brave Georgie McQuist has been double-dared to find the phantom, and he’s up to the task— but he never expected that he’d give the ghost a fright!
Together, boy and ghost take on the task of cataloging every last treasure in Miss Pustula’s crowded and cavernous cellar, down to the last spell and skeleton— but what will the witch do when she catches them there?
The deliciously spooky, tongue-twistingly clever rhymes in this story are illustrated in lavish detail— each creep and kraken crawls across the pages, and Miss Night’s shelves are crowded with pickled elves and dusty potions.
From the first friendly fright to the last lurking ghoul, this adventure is perfect for Halloween. . . and beyond.
“One goes zip.Two go zoom.Three witches glide from room to room.” So begins this witchy counting story. Count up from one to ten and back down again, when you join ten very feisty witches — and one little kitten — on their journey through a haunted graveyard, a scary forest, a spooky castle, and more in this adorably eerie tale. This book hits the mash-up sweet spot between an important concept and Halloween fun!
The Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates sail to a secret treasure island where they come face to face with pirate ghosts! Will they escape or will they walk the haunted plank?
Follow Me Halloween is a fantastically busy Halloween finger trail book for young children. They will love to follow Boo the ghost through each of the seven Halloween scenes, using their fingertips to trace along the grooved mazes. Each scene is full of funny little Halloween characters to spot in the Ghost Town, the Count’s Castle, the Witches’ Wood, and more. And at the end of every trail is a hole going through to the start of the next exciting maze adventure. This little board book is packed full of fun, making it an ideal Halloween gift for under fives.