Reader Reviewed Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

Thirteen Chairs

Written by Dave Shelton

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A spine-tingling collection of fearful stories, cleverly framed by an equally chilling storytelling device. Twelve story tellers sit around the table leaving one chair empty and one story still to be told. Each lit only by a single candle, one by one the storytellers deliver their sometimes bloodthirsty, sometimes mysterious and always creepy stories. When finished they each blow their candle out. As the room gets darker the atmosphere gets more terrifying. Who will tell the last story? A brilliant collection for those who love shivery stories.

A Piece of Passion from Publisher, David Fickling “We timed this book just ahead of Halloween yet, in fact, it has all-year-round appeal for children of nine years and upward. We love the fact that the focus of the book is on story-telling itself - a clever trick that layers on the chilling irony of the plot as it unfolds. Dave Shelton is an extraordinarily versatile and clever author and his second book with DFB is such a tour de force.”

Reader Reviews

Teens love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert review, some of our Lovereading Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

  • Rose Heathcote, age 15 - 'I really enjoyed this book, one of the best books I have read this year.  If you enjoy ghost stories you won’t be disappointed.' Read full review >
  • Jake Fletcher, age 13 - 'Dave Shelton has written this book so well that he can just suggest something and we start to feel fear form in our imaginations.' Read full review >
  • Khadijah Ahmed - 'I really liked this book! It was so easy to get into it - and not get out of it!' Read full review >
  • Sophia Ufton - 'Amazing book! Can read this over and over again.' Read full review >
  • Jessamyn Doore, age 16 - 'A book of short stories, or is it? The title alone should be enough to make you want to read this book.  A collection of mysterious 'urban myth' style stories with a ghostly theme.' Read full review >
  • Phoebe Allan, age 14 - 'a very mysterious book, full of curiosity for curious people...Dave Shelton definitely creates a creepy atmosphere for older children. Thumbs up!' Read full review >
  • Imogen Fisher, age 14 - 'a bloodchilling book, it has lots of great, creepy, and in some cases very weird stories in it. I would definetely recommend it to people who don't scare easily, I found it terrifying!' Read full review >
  • Aimee Sweet, age 13 - 'All thirteen ghost stories captured the true feeling of being scared without using something very clichéd...I love the way Shelton narrates in the certain characters voice, which gives the stories a beautiful tone, drawing me in deeper.' Read full review >
  • Emer O'Brien, age 13 - 'the book was enjoyable, delivering chills when it was supposed to and managing to provide thirteen unique stories.' Read full review >


Thirteen Chairs by Dave Shelton

Jack is a curious boy and finds himself drawn into an empty haunted house by light flickering under the heavy wooden door. Pushing it open, he finds a dark room
dominated by a round wooden table and twinkling candles in front of twelve seated ghoulish strangers. He is offered the thirteenth chair by a luminously pale man, one of the twelve overseeing the proceedings. It seems as if Jack has been expected – but expected for what?
As the night draws on the pale man asks the assembled figures to tell their stories – each one more ghostly and ghastly than the preceding one, each one more bloodcurdlingly gruesome and supernaturally strange, and each one ending in the death of the subject. After every story, the storyteller must extinguish the candle flame in front of them. Until, finally, there is only one candle left burning – in front of Jack.

This chilling set of spooky stories is a kind of ghostly Canterbury Tales, beautifully and blackly crafted. Each story also carries a full-page illustration by the author, who won the 2013 Branford Boase Award for his charmingly-illustrated mini epic, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat.


13 Chairs...eerie 13 ghost stories...13 chills I'll never forget. - R.L. Stine

About the Author

Dave Shelton

Dave Shelton was born and raised in Leicester (more or less) and educated at Loughborough, Cambridge and Brighton. He now lives and works in Cambridge. He has been drawing and colouring in professionally since 1990 and, as yet, has not starved to death as a result. Dave believes that there is no time of the day or night when it is inappropriate to take a bath or to eat breakfast. He likes crosswords, comics and cricket and has never owned a dog. Do not, under any circumstances, allow him to talk to you about pens.

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Book Info


256 pages


Dave Shelton
More books by Dave Shelton

Author's Website


David Fickling Books

Publication date

4th September 2014




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