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, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.
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 Northanger Abbey to some of our favorite hidden gems like Leo: A Ghost Story.
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.
Midnight Reynolds and the Spectral Transformer - When twelve year-old misfit Midnight Reynolds takes a job helping out eccentric Miss Appleby in the mansion down the street, she never imagined her work would involve battling ghosts. But as it turns out, Midnight and her new employer have quite a bit in common—they were both born on Halloween and have the power to see spirits of the dead. But when Midnight learns more about the history of her town, she starts to wonder if she’s fighting on the right side.
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?
Want to see books about haunted houses?
My Weird School Special: Bummer in the Summer! - With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading! School’s almost out for the summer, and A.J. is dreaming about all the fun things he’s going to do on vacation. But A.J.’s dream quickly turns into a nightmare when three familiar spirits appear to show him summers past, present, and yet to come. Will they be able to convince him to leave his bad ways behind? Or will this summer end up being a total bummer? Bestselling author Dan Gutman brings his kid-friendly sense of humor to this special series of after-school chapter books featuring hilarious stories plus thirty-two pages of games, puzzles, and more. This is one weird summer vacation special you won’t want to miss!
Goldfish Ghost - Goldfish Ghost was born on the surface of the water in the bowl on a dresser in a boy’s room. The boy’s room was pleasant and familiar, but Goldfish Ghost wanted company, so he set out to find a friend. He floats over the neighborhood, past the pier, and let the breeze carry him into town where he discovers that not many people pay attention to goldfish ghosts. Off he floats, searching for the perfect home and the perfect friend and then he hears a voice. . .Bestselling author Lemony Snicket and illustrator Lisa Brown brings us a fresh and funny take on what happens after your favorite goldfish crosses over to the other side.
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.
The Misfits Club - A group of small-town kids revive their childhood adventure club when they think they’ve snapped a picture of a ghost in this novel.
A Festival of Ghosts - National Book Award winner William Alexander conjures up a spooky adventure full of excitement in this entertaining sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.
Want to see books about multicultural?
A Properly Unhaunted Place - “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”—
Ghost Queen - Luey, Miri, and Phil don’t need a babysitter, but they might need an exorcist. With dad out of town and mom hosting an emergency yoga retreat everything was junk food and scary movies until the ghosts popped up. Now it’s up to the kids to banish the banshees. Britt Wilson presents another rollicking romp in this fun-filled, phantasmagorical fantasy. Ghost Queen marks the second installment of Wilson’s Elsewhere series that takes the trappings of the fantasy genre and modernizes them. Moreover, these are stories devoid of any overt moralizing or lessons, rather they are wondrous, child-sized slices of escapism.
Escape from Haunted Treasure Island - 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?
Grandpa's Witched Up Christmas - James Flora’s final children’s book picks up where Grandpa’s Ghost Stories left off; Grandpa is telling a hair-raising tale of how Santa Claus saved Christmas from three horrible, no-good witches.
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.
Madeline and the Old House in Paris - Madeline and her favorite companion in mischief, Pepito, embark on their wildest adventure yet. When ghostly moans lead them to the attic of the old house in Paris, they discover Felix de La Morte, who has lingered there for hundreds of years, waiting for the return of a certain comet. With the comet due to return the very next day, the poor fellow’s telescope has been stolen by mean Lord Cucuface, and it is up to Madeline and Pepito to get it back. A nighttime trip across Paris, a midnight apparition, and all is happily resolved in time for the three new friends to view the comet on a starry night.
Want to see books about family?
Treasure of the Golden Skull - Mildew and Sponge don’t think much of Maudlin Towers, the blackened, gloom-laden, gargoyle-infested monstrosity that is their school. But when they are told the school might close, our heroes realize being apart and somewhere else could be even worse! What starts out as a secret hunt for buried treasure quickly becomes weirder than Mildew and Sponge could ever have imagined. Who is that new boy who can get people to do whatever he wants just by looking them intently in the eye? (A hypnotist!) Why does that strange teacher have tattoos and a beard? (He’s really a pirate also looking for the treasure!) Could their heartbroken English teacher hold the key to this riddle of riddles? (Just maybe…) Most importantly, can Mildew and Sponge save the day – and the school – once more?
The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin - 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!
Night of the Zombie Zookeeper - It’s Desmond and Andres versus the Zombie Zookeeper in the fourth 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. For this case, we’re off to the zoo! Zoo field trips are the best. You get to ride in a bus, you get to spend the day outside, and all the animals are safely far away in their enclosures. Nothing scary here, right? Wrong! Leave it to Desmond Cole to find the one zookeeper who’s also a zombie. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.
The Haunted House Next Door - 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.
Want to see books about monsters?
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.
The Hidden Window Mystery - A magazine article offering a large reward to anyone who can find a missing medieval stained-glass window intrigues Nancy. She asks Bess and George to join her on a search in Charlottesville, Virginia. Before the three friends leave River Heights, their adversary tries to get them to postpone the trip. But no luck. Nancy is determined to carry through her plans. During the girls’ investigation of old southern mansions, they encounter a ghost who turns the tables and makes them disappear. Eerie sounds come from a beautiful estate that is surrounded by a high brick wall. Why will the owner allow no one to enter?
Hidden Staircase #2 - 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 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.
Want to see books about sleuthing?
Northanger Abbey - Catherine Morland has little experience of the world. When a neighbor takes her to visit the fashionable city of Bath, her naiveté leaves her vulnerable. Who should Catherine trust? Whose friendship is genuine and whose will be harmful? Catherine’s adventure becomes sinister when she visits Northanger Abbey. What is hidden in the locked cabinet? Why are the General’s children afraid of him? What terrible secrets does he keep in his dead wife’s bedroom? Guided only by the gothic horror stories she so loves reading, Catherine stumbles through her adventures. Will hers be a happy ending? Will she find a hero to share her “happily ever after?”
Boy Dumplings: A Tasty Chinese Tale - Enjoy this hilarious and fun-filled tale, now with extra illustrations! In long ago China, a ghost can’t wait to sink his teeth into his next meal. Luckily he finds a plump boy! But can the child think fast enough to avoid becoming a midnight snack? Maybe so, if the ghost tries cooking the tricky recipe for “boy dumplings”…
Want to see books about culture?
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!
Zip! Zoom! On a Broom - “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!
Maze Book: Follow Me Halloween - 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.