Scary Stories For Kids
High autumn is the season of scary stories. Rusting leaves and greyish-white tendrils of mist impel me to take down half-remembered, wholly feared volumes from the safety of the highest shelves. Evil magic, unquiet spirits, banal objects with unsuspected teeth: all come out in good time for Halloween, and remain in the ascendant until Christmas Eve. Especially children's books. Frightening stories read as a child affect the reader at bone-marrow level, helping to shape the fears and vague uneasinesses you'll carry all your life, long after you've forgotten their sources. Encountering the originals again, in sober adulthood and a well-lit room, may draw the monster's teeth – or confirm that your childhood self was right to be so frightened.