25.Jul.2010 A Book of Ghosts & Goblins collected by Ruth Manning-Sanders

I’m not quite sure when it is ‘appropriate’ to introduce ghost stories to children but I reckon if there are tooth fairies who exchange money for enamel and calcium, and trolls that might leave treats under the bed, then there must also be less savoury magical creatures too.

In the late 60s and early 70s Ruth Manning-Sanders published a great series of fairy tales from around the world in volumes organised by the creatures present. This one, A Book of Ghosts & Goblins, is one of the best in the series with some quite scary short stories for children.

I was reading the short Spanish story The Ring to my 6 year old and it brought back vivid memories of hearing it the first time as a child myself. A man finds a ring on an unearthed skeleton in a disturbed graveyard and gives it as a present to his wife. Then that night the ring’s owner comes back to claim it . . .

There’s some great Estonian stories of nasty goblins as well as some enjoyable African and Siberian contributions too.

Try to find a copy in your local public library.

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