Like a lot of kids, my son loves a good, spooky story. Just nothing too spooky. And I also don’t want him exposed to anything superscary. Because super scary will lead to little hands shaking me awake at 3am because they are certain the man with the golden arm is in the hallway closet.
Fortunately, there are lots ofkid-friendly ghost stories out there; short little tales that deliver just the right jolt of excitement, but which contain zero mentions of murderous clowns lurking in sewers or fathers with axes chasing their children through garden mazes.
Choosing spooky stories to share with little kids can be tricky. Your kid may claim he wants a blood-curdling, terrifying tale, but he probably doesn’t. And personally, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. Better to have your kid walk away thinking your anecdote of a haunted wind chime was lame, rather than tell them something that leaves them bug-eyed and afraid to go to the bathroom alone.
That said, I do think it’s good to remember that just like us, kids enjoy the thrill of being a little frightened. The haunted tales I’ve rounded up here strike a nice balance between creepy and silly. Obviously, they don’t work for all ages. No doubt your 15 year-old would blink at you wordlessly if you tried to regale him with a story of ahaunted pair of smelly sneakers. But your six year-old? He will likely be in your lap, white-knuckling your hand.