Lou Kuenzler's favourite funny-spooky reads
Published on: 01 November 2019 Author: Lou Kenzler
I love the combination of a bit of spooky fear and a good chuckle too, which is why it was so much fun for me to have a go at writing a funny ghostly book of my own.
Some of my favourite books for shivers and giggles are:
There's A Troll On My Toilet by Catherine Jacob, Illustrated by Mike Byrne, Published by Scholastic.
This page-turning, haunted house, picture book surprise is a brilliant example of how even the youngest readers can enjoy a funny fright. As things get stranger and stranger (and a little bit spookier too) the young reader is left giggling, guessing and shrieking with laughter right up to the very end.
Amelia Fang And The Barbaric Ball, written and Illustrated by Laura Ellen Anderson, Published by Egmont
A gorgeous, giggly, gothic celebration of all things cute and creepy. As the first book in the best-selling series, this in excellent place to start and any reader who does not want their own tame pumpkin by the end, must have a heart of cobwebs!
There's A Werewolf In My Tent by Pamela Butchart, illustrated by Thomas Flintham, Published by Nosy Crow.
A lively laugh-out loud delight. With the genius idea of a school camping trip hijacked by weird howling sounds, glow-in-the-dark eyes and utter terror, it has all the ingredients a good marshmallow-toasting hair-raiser could ever want!
The Witches by Roald Dahl, Illustrated by Quentin Blake, Published by Puffin.
No list of spine-chillingly funny fiction would be complete without a mention of The Witches. Genuinely terrifying, this story of witchy exterminators lurking round every bend, has plenty of dark humour too. I know children (and adults) who have been shaken to their very shoes by this story. Yet, frightened as they are, there is a delightful, life-long feeling of spookiness which can be summoned just by remembering those awful and alluring lines: "A REAL WITCH hates children with a red-hot sizzling hatred that is more sizzling and red-hot than any hatred you could possibly imagine."
Secret Of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson, illustrated by Alex T Smith, Published by Macmillan
For me though, the absolute master of spooky silliness is Iva Ibbotson and I am lucky enough to have a particularly lovely 20th Anniversary Edition. Packed with fun, ferocity and heart-warming generosity this ever-twisting magical adventure has a brilliant cast of spooky characters too, as a wizard, an ogre, a fey and a young hag all arrive at King's Cross Station.
Which Witch? by Iva Ibbotson Published by Macmillan
In fact, I am such a fan of her spooky stories that I would have to recommend Which Witch? (and also available in an edition illustrated by Alex T Smith) too. In this hilarious horror, spooky high-jinks are taken to a whole new level as a group of truly wicked witches (and one disastrously good one) compete to see just who can be the very, very very worst of them all.
Morgan Charmley: Teen Witch by Katy Birchall, published by Scholastic
Hot off the press this September, I have just discovered Teen Witch. Teenage witch Morgan's attempts to blend in with ordinary, non-magic teenagers is a hilarious blend of spells and school life. It reminds me - in a very good way - of Sabrina the Teenage Witch ... and who wouldn't want a little magic to deal with dreams and drama of classroom catastrophes.
The Rest Of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness, Published by Walker
And finally, for older/YA readers The Rest Of Us Just Live Here brilliantly and beautifully combines crazy end-of the world supernatural oddness with far more everyday concerns and heartfelt humour. A weird and winning combo!