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7 Best Ghost Stories for Kids for Around the Campfire

7 Best Ghost Stories for Kids for Around the Campfire

Kids love a good ghost story. And these seven ghost stories for kids will keep them on the edge of their seats, just enough to put a tingle into their toes. But more importantly, they’ll keep the giggles in their bellies. 

You can easily delight a child with a mild bone-chilling story. So no matter the story, with some brilliant story-telling tips, you’ll be the creepiest, silliest, best storyteller of the night. 

Tips for Telling Good Ghost Stories for Kids

Telling a story takes talent. Telling a ghost story–even more talent. Now, try telling a ghost story to kids. Ghost stories for kids should be a bit spooky but not traumatizing. They need a little humor and a magical storytelling edge. If you need some pointers, we’ve got some ideas: 

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Personalize the Ghost Stories for Your Kids

Kids love it when a story is about them or their friends and family. No matter the names or scenarios used in the ghost story, improvise a bit. 

Use the child’s hometown. Give a character a name they will recognize. Just avoid using a name too close to home. No child wants to envision their mom being eaten by zombies because you used her name.

Use Your Surroundings for Sound Effects

A campfire offers a fantastic backdrop for kids ghost stories –use it. There’s the crackle of the wood, the eerie light of the fire, the shadows dancing in the trees. You can’t get better effects than those. 

Crack a branch to create mystery as to what’s moving in the dark. If you’re truly talented, throw your voice and make them wonder where it came from.

ghost stories for kids
Shadows can make ghost stories for kids feel extra spooky.

Use Silence and Pauses to Create Suspense

Silence and well-placed pauses can easily create that moment of suspense that drives kids wild. Adults, too. Especially at the end when you’ve built up suspense and you’re ready to reveal the ending. 

Then…a pause. One where the only noise is the far-off chirping of a cricket. With the right amount of suspense added to any story, every child and adult gathered around the campfire will beg you for more.

Ghost Stories for Kids Need Memorable Endings

Any good ghost story for kids has a great ending. And with kids, the funnier and cheesier the ending, the better. You’ll want to leave them laughing, not terrified. Unless you don’t like to sleep. If you scare the daylights out of kids around an evening campfire, you’ll be up all night with them. 

Frightened child in the woods
Some kids are more easily scared than others. Make sure your ghost stories are fit for your audience.

Don’t Be Too Scary–They’re Just Kids!

Remember, they’re just kids. And while kids do like ghost stories, they do NOT like to be terrified. So keep the stories suspenseful and just scary enough to make them wonder, but not scary enough to believe something evil lurks in the woods.

Ghost Stories For 5-year-Olds vs 12-year-olds

When it comes to the age of kids you are sharing stories with you are the best judge of if it’s too scary. Kids of course vary greatly in their maturity by age and some may have a harder time than others. Also how your stories are told can really affect how scary it actually is. We believe our stories below are suitable for all age groups and all have happy endings, but they can be embellished or told in ways to make them scarier for an older audience.

7 Best Ghost Stories for Kids for Around the Campfire

Search ghost stories on the internet, and you’ll find a plethora of tales from the truly violent and terrifying to the utterly ridiculous and everything in between. But when it comes to seeking out the best ghost stories for kids around the campfire, search no more. We’ve got you covered with some classics, strange odes, and hilarious tales of terror.

Kids and grandmother sitting around campfire
Ghost stories around the campfire could become a family tradition.

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1. Dem Bones

Dem Bones is a classic pirate’s tale of buried treasure. Starting with meeting Captain Kidd and his mates, kids will be intrigued with the idea of finding hidden treasures. However, the tale takes a turn when the town residents can never seem to find the treasure they watched being buried. 

In the end, Captain Kidd and his crew are replaced by Dem Bones, becoming a skeletal crew that’s obsessed with treasure. 

2. The Pink Jelly Bean

The Pink Jelly Bean is the perfect example of a ghost story for kids that needs appropriate strategic pauses. It helps if you put on a spooky voice too. Without these effects, the story is just about a bland pink jelly bean. 

Family around campfire telling stories
The Pink Jelly Bean story is a good choice for younger children.

This tale starts with “At the end of a long, dark road is a long, dark path” and continues taking you down creepy hallways, up dark stairs, and behind scary doors. You build the suspense with your storytelling talent, and it’s a huge comedic relief when it ends with a simple pink jelly bean in a box. 

3. The Lady with the Emerald Ring

They say money can’t buy happiness, but the lesson at the end of this almost creepy tale begs to differ. On the day of a young couple’s wedding, the unfortunate bride-to-be becomes ill and dies–or does she? The distraught young man has the priest perform a funeral instead of the wedding ceremony. 

But the greedy priest can’t stop thinking about the ring on the deceased finger, a piece worth $135,000. Opening up the coffin after the funeral services, he attempts to get the ring off her finger but to no avail. She’s dead, he thinks, so he cuts off her finger to get the ring. 

Could this creepy wedding-turned-funeral have a happy ending? Let’s just say the kids won’t see it coming.

kids listening to ghost stories around a campfire
The Lady with the Emerald Ring is a good example of a ghost story with a memorable ending kids won’t forget.

4. The Ghost of the Bloody Finger

At the end of this tale, you may very well be running for the door, but probably not in fear. A family is in dire need of a hotel room after a long day of traveling, and the only room left in town is haunted. 

Apparently, there’s something not quite right with the bathroom faucet. Whenever it’s turned on, all you hear is a creepy, loud voice, “BBLLLLOOODDDDYYY FFIIINGGERRR!” So creepy that when heard, people crawl out the window to run away. So one at a time, each family member hears this, and they all run away leaving only the baby. The baby’s response is what will bring you to tears…of laughter, that is. 

5. Sneakers

Todd, AKA, Toad to all of his Scout buddies, had a lifelong dream of winning the annual Smelly Sneakers contest. He’d won second and third place, but that wasn’t good enough.  He desperately wanted first, so when the opportunity came along to trade his beloved backpack for a magical potion that was guaranteed to get him the first place trophy, Toad never hesitated. And that year, finally, you guessed it, Toad won. 

When Todd gets home and takes off his sneakers, he encounters a scary surprise. For the best reaction from your captive audience, use pauses and mysterious voices to make the tale come to life. 

boys roasting marshmallows
Don’t forget the s’mores! A fun campfire treat can help lighten the mood after a scary story.

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6. Looking for Trouble

Trouble seems to find you anywhere you go, and in this ghost story, kids may just learn a lesson from that. 

When two adventurous boys go camping with their parents at Goblin Creek, trouble finds them in the middle of the night. They don’t believe the story their parents tell them, and it lands them in hot water–literally! 

The use of perfectly placed sound effects will give this story just the right amount of creep factor. Having a second storyteller in play to add sound effects or jump out at the right moment can really help. 

two boys watching a campfire
Don’t be surprised if you hear your kids retelling your ghost stories to their siblings and friends.

7. Creak

Creak leaves all the mystery to the sounds that start with a creak. An old man is reading the definition for the word creak. And then, of course, he hears…”creeeak, woosh, crack, THUMP!” A variety of sounds assault him, making him wonder what’s out there. 

The storyline is extremely simple and bare-bones, so it’s all about the delivery. Use all the storytelling techniques to make this simple tale one of the best ghost stories for kids ever! 

Giggling Tales of Terror Make the Best Ghost Stories for Kids

Tales of terror can be just that when sitting around a campfire, but tales of terror laced with just the right amount of ridiculousness make perfect ghost stories for kids and adults alike. With the right delivery, you’ll hear kids retelling these stories over and over. 

kids listening to ghost stories
Kids ghost stories should be equal parts gasps and giggles!

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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