The Scariest Kids Books This Side Of Elm Street

by |October 31, 2013

Halloween in Australia is kind of, sort of, in a way, taking off.


Whether you love it or hate it, being scared as a kid is something we all share, and there’s nothing like a scary book to teach you the power of imagery.

Here’s some of Team Booktopia’s scariest books growing up. Let us know yours by leaving a comment below.


I am David – It was an illustrated edition that had charcoal drawings of the Nazis standing outside his house. It made me think that there were evil people outside waiting to take me from my bed in the middle of the night.

Specifically Nazis.

I had a very active imagination.


Choose Your Own Adventure Series – Sure, sometimes you would turn the page and get to keep a suitcase of money you found in your best friend’s garden. But turn the wrong page and you could get in trouble with the mob.

The suspense used to kill me and my Mum banned me from reading them because I was a wreck from being chased by pirates, martians, Bigfoot or the FBI on a nightly basis.


The Steadfast Tin Soldier  – Because I imagined I was the Tin Soldier. Lost. Never to see my family again.

That I was unloved.

That the world would crush me.

Even the happy ending couldn’t stop my anxiety.


Max and Moritz – A collection of 7 stories about two boys doing tricks on people like putting bugs into someone’s bed while they sleep in it, putting shooting powder into a teacher’s pipe, whhich explodes when lighting it and stealing roast chicken from the fire place by using a fishing rot through the chimney.

They end up falling into a mill and are grounded to bits and devoured by the miller’s ducks.

Enough said.


Fear Street – There was a character that was unstoppably evil. Simple as that.

When you’re a kid you always think someone will stop them they could stop them.

Even now, the idea of someone being evil, almost for the sake of it, shakes something inside you.


The Worst Witch – It was about a girl who was always getting picked on by the head teacher.

The book itself was pretty scary, but I could also relate to it a lot and everytime I saw my head teacher I’d get the chills.


Goosebumps – Everyone at school collected them, and I still have my whole collection.

I love scary movies and I think Goosebumps is the reason!

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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  • October 31, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    Oh I so loved ‘I am David’. Wonderful story!

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