My sister's sons have been asking me for quite sometime now to tell scary stories... But i had the feeling that kind of stories would mentally disturb then at night....

Is it advisable to tell ghost stories for kids around 4-9 yrs?

asked 25 Mar '10, 09:42

Pandiya%20Chendur's gravatar image

Pandiya Chendur
accept rate: 33%

Perhaps if you posted the content of the ghost story, we could have a better idea if the content is suitable for that age range.

(25 Mar '10, 09:50) Scott ♦♦

@scott stories from evildead,exorcist

(25 Mar '10, 09:51) Pandiya Chendur

@Pandiya I think that the film titles you mention are not really suitable for children under 15 (or there about) so unless you are creatively making up your own edited age suitable versions for the boys I would suggest you buy some children s Scary/Horror story books to read them. Also the age difference is probably something you should be wary of, 4/5 year olds appreciation of scary horror probably doesn't match that of his older brother.

(25 Mar '10, 10:29) Emi

@Emi i ll definetely go with your point... Even that kind of book stories would scare them?

(25 Mar '10, 10:42) Pandiya Chendur

@Pandiya Maybe parents with boys who are fans of ghost stories can recommend some good books/stories for you... :)

(25 Mar '10, 10:47) Emi

@Emi waiting for that answer...

(25 Mar '10, 11:53) Pandiya Chendur
showing 5 of 6 show 1 more comments

I think it depends on the story. I remember a book called Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark was popular when I was in elementary school. There's also a series of books by R. L. Stine called Goosebumps that I think are written for this age group.

If you can find it, there used to be a show on Nickelodeon called "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" As a child I rarely found it truly frightening.


answered 26 Mar '10, 15:24

mkcoehoorn's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

That's about the right age range for them to both start exploring their fearful feelings, and to be able to separate fact from fiction. Probably why Goosebumps and similar stories are so popular for that age group.

Some children are fine with all sorts of stuff, and others have difficulty sleeping at night because their imagination gets the better of them. A lot of it will depend on your child's maturity.

I wouldn't start right out with the titles you mentioned, and certainly not showing them the movies (even older children have difficulty separating fact from fiction when realistically portrayed visually), but start with simple scary stories, or even the Brothers Grimm fairy tales. You should be able to discover after a few mild stories whether your children are ready for anything more frightful. I recall stories like the monkey's paw and similar are particularly good for figuring out if they dwell on the scary parts for longer than they should.

You might consider also making sure the first several stories you try are emotionally and physically removed from you and your children - tales of far off lands and magic talismans, for instance, because then the children know they won't be affected by the events of the story if their imagination gets the better of them - they aren't in the right place, and they don't have the required magic object. Swamp tales when you don't live near marshes, alligator or crocodile tales if you live in northern climates, etc.

Be prepared for them to integrate the stories you tell into their playtime. I know some people are surprised to hear their children talking about chainsaw murders after a night of campfire stories. It's normal and should be expected.


answered 26 Mar '10, 15:38

Adam%20Davis's gravatar image

Adam Davis
accept rate: 31%

Within the "scary story" genre for kids, there's a subgenre of funny scary stories. The story has a lot of suspense, which is thrilling, but the punchline is funny, not startling. This could be a good way to get the children used to the format of a scary story, without the "BOO" or disturbing ending. Then you can work your way up to it.

For example: in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, I believe there's one called "The Viper", where the phone rings, and a man's voice says "the viper is coming". In the end, it's the window wiper with an accent, and he says "I'm the vindow viper, and I've come to vipe your vindows!"


answered 16 Sep '10, 14:40

Sunday's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

Just one small thing to add - make sure you don't tell them close to bed time - give them a bit of time to absorb and deal with the scary bits before they have to try to go to sleep. I know my children find it hard to get to sleep if they've had anything remotely scary in the hour before bedtime.


answered 03 Sep '10, 15:47

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Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

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Asked: 25 Mar '10, 09:42

Seen: 4,799 times

Last updated: 16 Sep '10, 14:40