Get ready for some bone-chilling reads to keep you cool this summer. These 10 supernatural and otherworldly reads are sure to help you beat the heat whether you’re reading by the pool, sunbathing in the backyard, or hiding inside with the AC cranked up.
Are you ready for a frightful monster story inspired by Mary Shelley and her horrifying FRANKENSTEIN? Fans of Shelley, King, or just monsters in general, are in for a real treat with this multi-time period supernatural horror. In 1978 Dr. Hildreth is a renowned psychiatrist. But to Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran. But then Gran brings a feral, not entirely normal child named Iris to live with them. Despite her silence and odd nature, Vi and Eric are thrilled and immediately invite her to join their monster club. So, Iris begins to come out of her shell, spending all her time with Vi and Eric hunting monsters that Vi insists are real. And in 2019, Lizzy Shelley ventures to Vermont after a monster sighting and a girl goes missing, determined to hunt it down. Lizzy knows that monsters are real because her own sister is one.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Drowning Kind comes a genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, that brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.
1978: At her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she’s home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.
Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.
Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.
2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.
A haunting, vividly suspenseful page-turner from the “literary descendant of Shirley Jackson” (Chris Bohjalian, author of The Flight Attendant), The Children on the Hill takes us on a breathless journey to face the primal fears that lurk within us all.
Creepy haunted house horror stories with complicated family drama are some of my favorite supernatural stories. Don’t let that fool you though, this is not just a creepy old house with some ghosts. Whatever is going on is much darker, and very evil. Still reeling and finally trying to rebuild her law practice after her only son commits suicide, Angela Toussaint returns to the family home where it happened. Desperate for answers, she discovers that an unseen, deeply evil entity is causing the locals to commit horrible acts of violence. Due weaves an incredible story of loss, drama, curses, and the supernatural that is sure to keep you up at night.
The Good House is the critically acclaimed story of supernatural suspense, as a woman searches for the inherited power that can save her hometown from evil forces.
The home that belonged to Angela Toussaint's late grandmother is so beloved that the townspeople in Sacajawea, Washington call it the Good House. But that all changes one summer when an unexpected tragedy takes place behind its closed doors, and the Toussaint's family history—and future—is dramatically transformed.
Angela has not returned to the Good House since her son, Corey, died there two years ago. But now, Angela is finally ready to return to her hometown and go beyond the grave to unearth the truth about Corey's death. Could it be related to a terrifying entity Angela's grandmother battled seven decades ago? And what about the other senseless calamities that Sacajawea has seen in recent years? Has Angela's grandmother, an African American woman reputed to have "powers," put a curse on the entire community?
A thrilling exploration of secrets, lies, and divine inspiration, The Good House will haunt readers long after its chilling conclusion.
This is not your typical postwar horror story. After World War I, Jonathan is determined to prove himself and stows away on an Arctic expedition. There Jonathan is free to be his true self, and express his real gender without fear. But with the crew still reeling from the events of the war, mistrust and grief hang heavily on all of them. It only gets worse when disaster strikes, forcing them to shelter on land that isn’t marked on any of their incomplete maps. As the darkness rolls in and the temperature drops, a supernatural force stalks them, feeding on their deepest fears and desires. Jonathan must shake off his demons if any of them are to survive.
Something deadly and mysterious stalks the members of an isolated polar expedition in this haunting and spellbinding historical horror novel, perfect for fans of Dan Simmons’s The Terror and Alma Katsu’s The Hunger.
In the wake of the First World War, Jonathan Morgan stows away on an Antarctic expedition, determined to find his rightful place in the world of men. Aboard the expeditionary ship of his hero, the world-famous explorer James “Australis” Randall, Jonathan may live as his true self—and true gender—and have the adventures he has always been denied. But not all is smooth sailing: the war casts its long shadow over them all, and grief, guilt, and mistrust skulk among the explorers.
When disaster strikes in Antarctica’s frozen Weddell Sea, the men must take to the land and overwinter somewhere which immediately seems both eerie and wrong; a place not marked on any of their part-drawn maps of the vast white continent. Now completely isolated, Randall’s expedition has no ability to contact the outside world. And no one is coming to rescue them.
In the freezing darkness of the Polar night, where the aurora creeps across the sky, something terrible has been waiting to lure them out into its deadly landscape…
As the harsh Antarctic winter descends, this supernatural force will prey on their deepest desires and deepest fears to pick them off one by one. It is up to Jonathan to overcome his own ghosts before he and the expedition are utterly destroyed.
Edinburg already has a fantastical and mystical quality in my mind, and Huchu captures that in this slow-building supernatural fantasy and a fantastic protagonist who can talk to the dead. Fourteen-year-old Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghosttalker, earning money by sending messages from the dead to the living. But then the dead start whispering of children being bewitched. When someone else goes missing, Ropa feels like it is her responsibility to investigate Edinburg’s darkest secrets on the hunt for the truth.
BENEATH THE STAIRS is shocking and wonderfully atmospheric. The town of Sumner’s Mills has tried hard to bury the gruesome truth about the Octagon House hidden in the woods. Most people would never go looking that deep in the woods for it anyway, let alone go inside. Not after a man killed his wife and daughters inside the house. But 14-year-old Clare isn’t just anybody. With her best friend Abby in tow, the two enter the house one summer night. But a part of Abby was never able to leave the house behind. Now, 20 years later, Clare learns that Abby has gone back to Octagon House and attempted to kill herself. With her best friend in a coma, Clare returns to the small town looking for answers.
“An enthralling debut by a gifted storyteller!” —Wendy Walker, author of Don’t Look for Me
In this spine-tingling, atmospheric debut for fans of Jennifer McMahon, Simone St. James, and Chris Bohjalian, a woman returns to her hometown after her childhood friend attempts suicide at a local haunted house—the same place where a traumatic incident shattered their lives twenty years ago.
Few in sleepy Sumner’s Mills have stumbled across the Octagon House hidden deep in the woods. Even fewer are brave enough to trespass. A man had killed his wife and two young daughters there, a shocking, gruesome crime that the sleepy upstate New York town tried to bury. One summer night, an emboldened fourteen-year-old Clare and her best friend, Abby, ventured into the Octagon House. Clare came out, but a piece of Abby never did.
Twenty years later, an adult Clare receives word that Abby has attempted suicide at the Octagon House and now lies in a coma. With little to lose and still grieving after a personal tragedy, Clare returns to her roots to uncover the darkness responsible for Abby’s accident.
An eerie page-turner, Beneath the Stairs is about the trauma that follows us from childhood to adulthood and returning to the beginning to reach the end.
Penelope needs new inspiration for her second novel, and what better than the mystery of the Stone Point Witch. After the gruesome death of the previous owner, and his wife’s disappearance, the cabin on the coastal outcropping sat vacant until someone tried to turn it into an eco-lodge. But the young couple cut off contact with the rest of the world and then vanished. So, Penelope gathers up a team of lovers, friends, and family members to travel to Stone Point with her in search of an incredible story, but they soon find themselves trapped when storms roll in and their phones stop working cutting off their communication to call for help. Tempers flare, and then people begin to disappear. Panic surges when the bodies turn up, now Penelope is determined to find the truth behind the Stone Point Witch before they all end up dead.
A team of researchers exploring the myth of a witch find their numbers mysteriously dwindling in this irresistible psychological thriller for fans of Ruth Ware, Shari Lapena, and Lucy Foley.
Bestselling debut novelist Penelope Berkowitz is desperate for inspiration for a second book. With the help of her new boyfriend, she embarks on a research trip with a Clue-like team of professionals, ex-lovers, and estranged family members to investigate the myth of a witch on Stone Point, a remote coastal outcropping in the Pacific Northwest.
For over a century, the cabin on the point stood vacant after the violent death of the original owner and the disappearance of his wife—until a young couple decided to turn it into an eco-lodge. Shortly after starting renovations, however, they suddenly ceased all contact with others and were never heard from again.
Given the area’s mysterious history, Penelope is certain there’s a story to be found in the isolated region. But soon after arriving on the point’s wind-whipped shores, things begin to go awry for the team. Storms blow in. Tempers flare. The satellite phones stop working and no boats are due for days. Then people begin to disappear. When bodies turn up, it’s up to Penelope and the remaining members of the team to solve the mystery of the Stone Witch before the killer is the only one left alive.
Kingfisher is a master at weird and truly bizarre, and THE HOLLOW PLACES as a wonderful blend of fantasy and horror does not disappoint. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of stumbling upon a magical doorway or a portal into another universe. This, however, has me second-guessing that desire. Kara is recently divorced and living with her uncle while she gets back on her feet. When he goes to the hospital for surgery, she promises to help him run his museum of wonders and oddities. It would have been weird enough to just find a bunker with a very vague and slightly terrifying message, but that’s only the beginning. This bunker is filled with portals to alternate dimensions and realities and creatures that feed on fear.
A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.
Pray they are hungry.
Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.
With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth, The Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t be able to put down.
This teen thriller will throw you for a loop. Emily and her group of friends were inseparable until the unthinkable happened. Last summer the lake house burned down with her inside. It is in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends return to the lake to find the house meticulously rebuilt. But now Chelsea is being haunted by ghostly visions and tensions between the friends run high. And then one of them makes an accusation. Emily’s death was not an accident. Reeling from hurt and betrayal, the friends have one night to solve the mystery, if they can just follow the clues.
I Know What You Did Last Summer meets The Haunting of Hill House in this atmospheric, eerie teen thriller following an estranged group of friends being haunted by their friend who died last summer.
Emily Joiner was once part of an inseparable group—she was a sister, a best friend, a lover, and a rival. Summers without Emily were unthinkable. Until the fire burned the lake house to ashes with her inside.
A year later, it’s in Emily’s honor that Chelsea and her four friends decide to return. The house awaits them, meticulously rebuilt. Only, Chelsea is haunted by ghostly visions. Loner Ryan stirs up old hurts and forces golden boy Chase to play peacemaker. Which has perfect hostess Kennedy on edge as eerie events culminate in a stunning accusation: Emily’s death wasn’t an accident. And all the clues needed to find the person responsible are right here.
As old betrayals rise to the surface, Chelsea and her friends have one night to unravel a mystery spanning three summers before a killer among them exacts their revenge.
Kids with supernatural powers from a horror mastermind? If you haven’t read THE INSTITUTE yet, this summer is the perfect time to pick it up. No one has ever escaped the Institute, but Luke is desperate to get out and find help before it’s too late. After his parents are murdered, Luke is kidnapped and brought to the Institute filled with kids with gifts like telekinesis. Luke learns that they are in the “Front Half” and that some kids get to graduate to the “Back Half,” but no one ever leaves. The rules are simple, go along with the brutal staff hell-bent on extracting the source of their abilities or face vicious punishment.
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Stephen King, the most riveting and unforgettable story of kids confronting evil since It. “This is King at his best” (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”
In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.
As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute “is another winner: creepy and touching and horrifyingly believable, all at once” (The Boston Globe).
This is a magical realism adventure that becomes downright horrifying. There is magic all around New York if one knows where to look. Apollo is determined to be a good father, unlike his own, when he and his wife, Emma, welcome their new baby into their lives. But Emma is acting strange. At first, everyone believes she is suffering from postpartum depression. But things take a darker turn when she does the unthinkable and then vanishes into the night. Apollo is willing to do anything to get her back, including believing in things he never thought possible and visiting places he never knew existed. This is an atmospheric and terrifying fairy tale that will take you on an adventure you’d never expect.
Photo credit: iStock / IgorBukhlin