October is a marvelous month for whipping up spooky tales to scare each other with. But nothing too scary, mind you! Kids have big enough imaginations as it is, they don't need to be having nightmares. Still, ghost stories have been shared since ancient times, and are the basis for scary movies everywhere. So, if you have the inclination to share them, these five stories are easy on kids. But beware! The Monkey's Paw
is a spooky classic we've tossed in for parents only
. It's a haunting tale that will seep deep into your bones (learn it, then retell it to the kids in your own gentle way when you think they're old enough to handle it!)
"Once there was an old woman who went out in the woods to dig up some roots to cook for dinner. She spotted something funny sticking out of the leaves and dug around until she uncovered a great big hairy toe. There was some good meat on that toe which would make a real tasty dinner, so the old woman put it in her basket and took it home ..." From Spooky Maryland
by S.E. Schlosser
"My granny was told as a child that Captain Kidd, knowing the law was on his trail, traveled up the Jersey coast looking for the perfect spot to bury his stolen booty ..." From Spooky New Jersey
by S. E. Schlosser
More: The 25 stupidest baby products ever invented (and that's saying something)
"There was once a little girl who was very willful and who never obeyed when her elders spoke to her - so how could she be happy?
One day she said to her parents, "I have heard so much of the old witch that I will go and see her ..." by The Brothers Grimm
"Mr. Hiram Otis was moving his family to Canterville Chase in England. It was a grand old house and everyone said it was haunted ..." by Oscar Wilde
"Shirley Ross had just moved into one of two apartments built in a 500-year-old English farmhouse, when her friend named Stella Herbert came from Australia for an extended visit in July, 1965 ..." by James M. Deem
BONUS! A Parent's Scary Story ...
This one is long, complicated and frightening for real. Read it yourself and then water it down in your own version created for storytelling to kids!