9 spooky but funny stories to help you giggle through Halloween

Published on: 26 October 2021 Author: Sophie Wills

If you like your spooky stories to have a few giggles too, you've come to the right place! Here, The Orphans of St Halibut's author Sophie Wills picks out some of her favourites for us...

The front cover of The Demon Headmaster

Illustration: Tuesday Mourning

1. The Demon Headmaster by Gillian Cross

'The headmaster is a wonderful man...'

Back in 1982, when The Demon Headmaster was first published, it was my very first scary-but-funny reading experience, and it's stayed with me ever since. Dinah arrives at a new school to find almost all the other children are abnormally well-behaved, and weirdly obedient to the sinister headmaster. Lovely creeping tension, sprinkled with deliciously subversive laughs.

2. Otherland by Louie Stowell

How do you feel about melting babies? If you can handle those (although obviously they'll run through your fingers a bit), you'll love this extremely funny dark fairytale by the queen of clever, witty, bonkers adventure.

Read our review

3. Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad and Henry White, illustrated by Aleksei Bitskoff

Forget ghosts, ghouls, vampires, monsters - pah! You know what's really scary? Aunties. This book is full of them, so don't say I didn't warn you. Luckily, you'll be too busy laughing to stay scared for long.

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4. The Midnight Hour by Benjamin Read and Laura Trinder

The front cover of The Midnight Hour

Victorian London with magic and monsters, a stowaway hedgehog and a rescue mission. This is a high-stakes, fast-moving, spooky and utterly hilarious story, followed by the equally brilliant The Midnight Howl and The Midnight Hunt.

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5. Sticky Pines: The Bigwoof Conspiracy by Dashe Roberts

The first of three in a very funny, very weird series - think The X-Files crossed with Stranger Things. I'm still using many of the exclamations that Roberts coins in these pages – cripe sandwiches, anyone?

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6. Zombierella by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Freya Hartas

This takes a familiar fairytale and gives it a deadly twist, in verse. Gory, scary, and highly amusing, with sumptuously illustrated braaaaiiiiinnnsss.

7. The Ghouls of Howlfair by Nick Tomlinson, illustrated by Kim Geyer

The front cover of The Ghouls of Howlfair

The town of Howlfair is famous for its spooky past, but now the ghouls are back. You can't help rooting for young historian Molly Thompson - a brave, clumsy, determined and inspiring character. Spine-tingling and charming with plenty of giggles.

8. Crater Lake by Jennifer Killick

In my experience, not a lot of sleeping happens on Year Six residentials. In Crater Lake, that's just as well, because bad things happen when you start to snooze... This trip starts with a blood-stained man stepping in front of the school's coach, and gets much, much scarier, but is also downright inspired comedy.

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9. Lockwood & Co by Jonathan Stroud

One of my favourite series. London has ghosts, and they need hunting. These thrillers are properly chilling, beautifully written and hugely witty. Worth reading just for the banter. You won't want to turn the light off.

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