Childrens scary short story collection, featuring reanimated skeleton and witch named Lil


New Member
Mar 3, 2022
Read this book in 2005 in New England, USA. It was in the 3rd grade classroom library. Although I personally found it scary I believe it was age appropriate (target audience probably 8-12).
The illustrations were detailed and vibrant but not bright (reminiscent of colored pencil).
Could have been written any time from about 1970-2005 but seemed older/well loved. I do not remember the cover art or author(s). There were at least 2 short stories that I remember. There may have been *a few* more stories - the book was paperback and quite thin.

Story 1: A girl moves to a new home with her family and explores a secret tunnel. At the end of the tunnel are a skull and a small hile of bones. The bones begin to rattle and she runs away.
That night she is awakened by the rattling of chains. A reanimated skeleton is in her room, trying to scare her. He has eyeballs (not just empty sockets) and tattered clothes hanging from his bones. She us unfazed and tells him that she has seen movies that are scarier than him, and will prove it in the morning.
The next day, the skeleton accompanies the girl to the movies, wearing a disguise that covers most of his body and includes a red suit. When the scary part of the movies happens, the skeleton is so scared that he disappears, leaving only a pile of dust on the seat beside her.

Story 2: A boy attends his local fair/carnival and visits a booth run by a self-proclaimed witch. He doesn't believe her and tells her to "prove it." She tells him that he's been cursed, and the only way to break it is to say her name backwards, 3 times. He laughs at this, because her name is Lil, and goes home.
The next morning, his family either doesn't remember who he is, or cannot see/hear him. He races back to the carnival, finds Lil, and says her name backwards 3 times. After giving him a bit if a hard time, she releases the curse.

I've searched for this on many advanced book search engine sites and no luck- i hope someone else has heard of this book! TIA

Similar threads