The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud
When a sudden outbreak of supernatural sightings occurred in London, the people of the city immediately began to set up ghost-detecting agencies. The Screaming Staircase is the story of a particular agency called “Lockwood and Co.” When Lucy Carlyle sought a job at that particular agency, she was overjoyed when she passed the required tests and received a job at the agency. Together, the three agents of Lockwood and Co. began to work together to vanquish the ghosts and monsters of London. Upon her first meeting with the two other members of her agency, Lucy was shocked by how two people, such as the disorganized and lazy George Cubbins and the handsome and clever Anthony Lockwood, could become such strong friends. When Lucy and Lockwood went to a particular house to rid it of a vengeful ghost, they were both horrified when, in trying to destroy the ghost, they discovered that the ghost was that of a murder victim from a case that had occurred a long time ago and had been dropped due to its difficulties. After finding the dead body of the murder victim in the chimney of the house, the case was immediately reviewed and taken up by the police. In escaping from the ghost, the two agents accidentally set fire to the house and barely escaped with their lives. Lockwood and Co. were soon nearly bankrupt but when they were offered enough money to cover their expenses in exchange for staying in the most haunted house in London for a night they had no other option. I would recommend this story because it is a thrilling, suspenseful novel that the reader will enjoy from the beginning until the shocking ending.
Claws by R.L. Stine
In Claws, the main characters, Mickey Coe and Amanda Underwood, have to take care of their neighbors’ cat while they are on vacation. All that Mickey and Amanda have to do is feed Bella the cat and make sure that she behaves. Unfortunately, something goes horribly wrong. One day, Bella runs out of her house and she is killed by a truck. Mickey and Amanda feel horrible and they want to reverse their mistake. They soon find a store called “Cat Heaven,” where they discover a cat that looks exactly like Bella. When their request to buy the cat is denied by the store owner, they are desperate to do something to right their wrong. They are so desperate that they decide to steal the cat. They are suddenly shocked by the new cat’s odd behavior. Mickey and Amanda hadn’t realized when they stole the lookalike cat that the cat was more than meets the eye. I would recommend this horrifying and well-written story for people who are not too scared to read scary stories.
The Witches by Roald Dahl
When the parents of the nameless main character in The Witches died, the boy had to live with his grandmother in Norway. His beloved grandmother told him horrifying tales of witches who disguised themselves and hated children with a burning passion. The boy and his grandmother went on vacation in England in order for his grandmother to recover from her sickened condition. While in the hotel, the boy was amazed and terrified when he was locked in a room during a conference in which the speaker was the Grand High Witch herself. The boy soon discovered a plot in which the witches planned to rid the world of children by turning them into mice, and then releasing them into their families’ houses so that mothers would be forced to get rid of their own children. The boy was soon found by the witches, who demonstrated their plan by turning him into a mouse. He ran into his grandmother’s hotel room, where he discovered that the witches hadn’t succeeded for he could still speak English. He told his grandmother about the witches’ plot, and together, they set out to stop the witches. I would recommend this scary story for someone who will read something scary that is still filled with humor.
Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney
Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son, which makes him eligible for an apprenticeship as a spook. That means that he will have to take tutelage under a professional spook so he can learn how to protect people from dangerous supernatural occurrences. Tom is the main character in Revenge of the Witch and his story is filled with horrifying, yet incredible, events. When Tom was offered to be a spook’s apprentice, his master, who was named John Gregory, tested his courage by making him sleep in a haunted house for a night. When Tom passed this test, he immediately began his apprenticeship in which he learned exactly what to do in order to stop monsters and ghosts from attacking people. Tom was warned by his master not to talk to any girl with pointy shoes but when he accidentally struck up conversation with a girl named Alice, he was surprised that she seemed rather kind and caring, unlike what he expected from his master’s warning. Tom, wanting to do a favor that she asked of him, had to give cakes to a local witch in exchange for helping to protect him from a gang. When Tom discovered that the cakes were helping the witch escape from her prison, Tom was terrified and he stopped giving her the cakes. However, she still managed to escape and after being attacked by Tom, who wanted her back in her prison, she immediately set out for revenge. I would recommend this book for someone who enjoys scary stories that will keep you reading late at night.
Josh Stiefel is a camper at Camp Moshava in Honesdale, PA. He’s been known to devour books. He also likes s’mores.