A Round-Up of Spooky Halloween Reads and Activities 
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A Round-Up of Spooky Halloween Reads and Activities 

From The Hound of the Baskervilles to Frankenstein, we’ve compiled a list of spooky reads and activities to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

Spooky Halloween reads

Celebrated on the 31st of October each year, Halloween was originally a Celtic festival where people would dress up and light bonfires to ward off ghosts. It has since evolved into a more family-friendly event packed with trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and festive gatherings. We’ve compiled a list of spooky Penguin Readers at each level, for learners to enjoy, along with some fun activities to get you in the Halloween spirit. 

Starter level 

Level 1

Level 3

Level 4

Level 5

The Scissor Man Caves activity

Zara and Joe go with their class to the Gerlock Caves. “There’s a story about the Gerlock Caves,” Zara tells her teacher. “There’s a man. He walks in those caves at night and throws scissors at people.”

Use the blurb from The Scissor Man Caves above. 

  • Predict what is going to happen.
  • Why is the man throwing scissors?
  • Discuss: Is a cave a spooky setting?
  • Imagine you were dressing up as the Scissor Man for a Halloween party – create a costume with a partner and present it. 
  • Scale the spookiness! On a scale of 1 (not scary at all) to 10 (super scary!) how would you rate the spookiness of the book from reading the blurb and looking at the front cover? 

The Canterville Ghost activities

  • Look at the front cover of the book. How many spooky words can you think of using the picture of the ghost?
  • Make spooky predictions. Each chapter of the book has a title – look at some of these and make spooky predictions about what will happen. 
  • Make a graphic organiser based on ghosts. Compare this with the fact that the Otis family are not frightened of the ghost. What is the irony here?

Frankenstein activities

  • How many spooky words can you think of related to the front cover of Frankenstein? 
  • Look at page 19. Can you make up a spooky Halloween dialogue using the picture? 
  • Describe the monster Frankenstein to a partner, see if they can draw him from your description. 

And finally, let’s vote! Which character from the spooky Penguin Readers would make the best Halloween Costume?


English as a first language | fiction books | Historical fiction | Penguin Readers