Horror stories are usually the main protagonists of Halloween night, but outside of this date very few parents choose these stories to tell their children. However, like other children ‘s stories, horror stories can also bring numerous benefits to children. It is a very useful tool to help them deal with fear as it invites them to reflect on their deepest fears.
They are also an excellent resource for children to freely express their emotions and learn to manage them, thus becoming more courageous and capable of overcoming their own fears. In fact, many horror stories work as a kind of training, offering children tools to solve difficult situations in everyday life on their own. In addition, they are perfect for letting their imagination fly and developing their abstract thinking.
In Stage Children we have made a compilation of some short horror stories that you can share with the little ones at home.
5 “Scary” Stories to Tell Kids
1. The lake monster
Jacobo and Marcelo were two friends who really enjoyed playing in the park, especially when they had a tennis ball at hand because that was their favorite sport.
One day, as they usually did, they met after class to go play. Along the way, Jacobo could not stand the urge and began to play, despite the fact that Marcelo insisted that he better not do it.
Jacobo continued playing and threw the ball to Marcelo, but since he wasn’t concentrating, he couldn’t catch it and the ball landed in the garden of an abandoned house.
Being the culprit, Jacobo had to go pick up the ball, but the frightening aspect of the house made him very afraid. So Marcelo offered to go for the ball.
Neither short nor lazy, Marcelo went for the ball, but his curiosity was so great that he couldn’t resist and took a look at the house. He managed to see one of the windows, where a hypnotizing glow came out that aroused the little boy’s interest in discovering what was inside.
Marcelo thought he saw a ghost and ran to where Jacobo was, who, despite having been afraid before, did not believe him.
The next day, Jacobo insisted Marcelo return to the site, he wanted the ghost of that house with his own eyes. At first Marcelo flatly refused, but in the end he ended up giving in.
The two children reached the window and saw a figure that shone brightly again, so they quickly ran out. Behind them came the figure.
While they were running, Marcelo tripped and fell, and Jacobo stopped to help him. Thus, the figure that was chasing them managed to reach them. Fearful and fearing for their lives, Marcelo and Jacobo heard the figure tell them that the house was being fumigated and that if they wanted to take a look they would have to go in right now because it was going to be demolished soon. When they looked up, the children saw that the figure they were so afraid of was not a ghost but a man dressed in a special white suit.
2. What the earth swallowed
Don Melquíades was a stingy old man with a very hard heart. Although he had three daughters who went out of their way for him and showered him with attention, his only happiness came from counting the ten gold coins he had saved in his lifetime. So, when he felt that he was nearing the end of his days, he sat in his rocking chair and called his daughters to make them promise to bury him with his precious coins.
A few days later, the old man passed away and the daughters fulfilled his last wish. However, after a few months, the daughters discovered that the father had many debts that they could not pay off with the little they earned working.
– What will we do? – Esmeralda, her eldest daughter, asked her sisters. – Our father lies with gold and we with his debts. Tonight I will go to the cemetery and dig up the coins. We will pay the debts and live in peace.
The young woman went to the cemetery with shovel in hand and returned home with the coins. The sisters had dinner very happily and went to sleep.
But when midnight came, they heard a knock on the door and a voice from beyond that said:
– Esmeralda, Esmeralda, you have turned your back on your promise.
Esmeralda looked out the window and saw her father, Don Melquíades, who was missing an ear and three fingers on his hand. Fearful, the young Ella opened the door a crack and threw the coins out.
A few months passed and the debts continued to pile up, the sisters were desperate.
– I have been washing clothes and cleaning other people’s houses without enjoying a penny of my work, while our father rests with a treasure in his coffin. Tonight I will go to the cemetery and dig up the coins – said Gema, the middle sister.
The young woman went to the cemetery with shovel in hand and returned home with the coins. The sisters had dinner happily and went to sleep.
But when midnight came, they heard a knock on the door and a spectral voice saying:
– Gema, Gema, you keep what is not yours, don’t you see any problem?
Gema looked out the window and saw her father, Don Melquíades, who was missing both ears, four fingers on his right hand, and his left foot. Horrified and stunned, the young Ella cracked open the door and threw out the coins.
For many years, the poor sisters lived mired in debt, working from dawn to dusk to pay them off.
– Sisters, it is time to change our destiny. We cannot live to cover our father’s debts. I have a plan and I need your help – said Rubí, the younger sister.
The young woman went to the cemetery with shovel in hand, returned home with the coins and hid them in a kitchen drawer. Again, the sisters had dinner happily and went to sleep.
But when midnight came, they heard a knock on the door and a ghostly voice saying:
– Rubí, Rubí, give me what is mine or I will never leave here.
Putting her plan into motion, Rubí went to the window and saw her father, Don Melquíades, of whom only the skeleton remained. The young woman opened the door and invited her father to come in, the other two sisters trembled with fear.
– Dad, sit in your rocking chair and let us know the reason for your visit – Rubí said with a casual tone.
– I am here because my gold coins are missing – don Melquíades roared with a terrifying voice.
– But dad, you’re also missing your eyes, nose, mouth and ears. What do you think he happened to them? Ruby said.
– The earth swallowed them! – Don Melquíades answered.
– I notice that you also lack the trunk, the arms and the feet. Do you think you know what happened to them? – Rubí said, trying to remain calm.
– The earth swallowed them! – Don Melquíades answered.
– And the same thing happened with your coins. The earth swallowed them! Ruby exclaimed.
Saying these words, Don Melquíades jumped out of his chair and disappeared forever. And finally, without the burden of debt, the sisters lived very happily.
3. The woman with the emerald ring
The wife of a rich man became seriously ill, the night before Christmas in 1798, so her husband called the doctor. When the doctor arrived, his wife was dead, or so it seemed. Her husband was so distraught that he locked himself in her room and did not attend the funeral the next day. The house servants carried the woman’s body to the priest who, busy with other things, quickly performed the ceremony. He placed a veil over her face, lowered the coffin lid, and closed the church gate.
Later that night, just before the cleric fell asleep, he remembered the beautiful emerald ring on the finger of the woman he had laid to rest. Wanting the jewel and thinking that no one would find out, he went downstairs, opened the lid, uncovered it and tried to take out the ring. He wasn’t moving. He ran to get a knife to press and pull it out. But it does not work. So he cut off her finger and took off her ring. Before he left, he turned around to lift the lid and what he saw made him gasp. He dropped the ring and fled as fast as his feet would allow. The woman had woken up, moaning and holding her severed finger, an evil grin on her face.
Wearing nothing but her fine silk dress, the woman returned to her house, knocked on the door and rang the bell, but to no avail. All the servants had gone to sleep because it was late on Christmas Eve. She picked up a heavy stone, threw it at her husband’s window, and waited. She watched him come to the window with a sad look on her face.
Suddenly, to her surprise, he shouted:
– Go away. Why must you torture me so much? Don’t you know my wife just died? Let me cry and don’t bother me again.
With this he closed the window. He did not realize that it was his wife who had thrown the stone at the window. She picked up another rock and threw it at the window again. Her husband peeked out once more and she yelled at him:
– I’m your so-called dead wife. Now come here and open this door, unless you want her to die a second time in our portal.
– So you’re a ghost?
– No, because ghosts don’t bleed. Come here before I freeze to death again.
The man, with a cheerful expression on his face, went downstairs to meet his wife and took her inside, where he called the doctor a second time and told him the news.
Meanwhile, the clergyman ran home and up the stairs. Invaded by fear, he hanged himself from the ceiling.
If only he had known that the woman just wanted to thank him since she wasn’t dead after all, she had just gone into a deep coma, from which she came back when he cut off her finger.
4. The Creature from the Attic
The first news that was had in the town of the creature in the attic came after a child went up to look for an old book. Everything was dark, but in the shadows he could clearly see two eyes that were staring at him, from above and with a terrible light. They were two large eyes, almost a meter apart, which gave an idea of the size of the head of that horrible being that rushed towards the child. Given the situation, the boy gave a sharp cry, turned around and started to run, but before he locked the door and left the monster growling in the attic.
For two days the people lived in terror. The growls from the attic and the banging on the door continued, and news of the cruelties of that “bug” spread everywhere. The number of tragedies and misfortunes increased, but no one had the courage to go up to the attic and face the beast.
Shortly after, a Norwegian fisherman passed by, whose whaling ship had been shipwrecked days before. He seemed like a true indomitable and tough sea dog, so taking advantage of the fact that he knew the language, the local men asked for his help to face the horrible creature. The Norwegian did not hesitate to do it in exchange for a few coins, but when he approached the attic he heard the growls of the beast, he twisted his face and going down the stairs he asked for much more money, some tools, a large net and a cart, because if he could his purpose wanted to take that being as a trophy.
The people of the town agreed to all these conditions, who saw how the Norwegian opened the door and disappeared between deep and shuddering screams that ceased after a short time. They never saw the Norwegian again or heard the beast. Nor did anyone dare to go up to the attic again.
What happened behind the door?
When the Norwegian opened it, he could see the eye of Olav, his huge and brave helmsman. The eye was also reflected in a mirror, giving the impression of belonging to the same head, because Olav’s other eye had been covered by a patch for years. The two continued to speak loudly in their language, while the whaler told his closeted friend that those fearful people had given him so much money that they could take a boat again and go fishing.
Together they found a way to escape from the attic, get into the car and disappear forever. And so, the fear of the people impoverished the entire town and allowed the fishermen to recover.
5. The Flying Dutchman
Just over 500 years ago, there was a man devoted to the sea named Hendrik Van der Decken. This man was entrusted with the task of commanding a ship known as The Flying Dutchman. When his captain and crew were on their way to the East Indies from Amsterdam to make their fortune, they were caught in a wild storm, which seriously damaged the ship, shattering the rudder and ripping the sails.
Around midnight, near the Cape of Good Hope, when calm seemed to have settled, the whistling of the wind turned into an angry scream that struck the masts and shook the ship with such violence that the crew began shouting at the captain :
– We must return, the ship is badly damaged and our lives are in danger!
But Captain Van der Decken was very greedy and he didn’t mind putting his life or the lives of others in danger, so he answered defiantly:
– The journey continues, even if it has to sail the seas until the end of time!
After the unexpected response, the same sailors rebelled against him, but the captain bordering on madness, threatened to throw overboard anyone who contradicted his words. Alarmed, the men knelt down and began to pray. The boat was about to capsize.
Suddenly, the firmament split in two and a divine light emerged that illuminated the sea. From the light descended a celestial figure that confronted the captain, saying:
– You who superimpose ambition on the suffering of others, from now on you will be condemned to travel the ocean forever between storms and tempests. From today, you can only eat red-hot iron and drink gall. Immediately afterwards, the celestial figure disappeared, taking with it the entire crew.
And that is how Captain Hendrik Van der Decken and the ship known as The Flying Dutchman were turned into ghosts and condemned to wander aimlessly through the seas, until the end of time.