10 Scariest Summer-Based Horror Novels Ever

Books that'll make you turn OFF the lights.

Viking Press

Summer-based horror stories are the novels you yearn to seek out, the ones that whisk you back to simpler times, where summer days felt endless and the smell of cut grass lingered in your nostrils - but you don’t quite know how to articulate this to Google. Plots follow a well-trodden path - youngsters facing an evil force or a town coming under threat are your usual tropes – but over the years writers have used these templates to explore issues ranging from the pains of adolescence to the decline of modernist values.

The main thing these forthcoming books have in common is that they play out during summer, a time where the only thing that can go wrong is you get grounded for staying out past curfew, or the local multiplex manager boots you out for slinking into an adult-rated movie.

But the seasonal images these stories conjure up are masking a lurking evil; these are worlds where a vapor trail in the sky could just as well be a slice across a jugular and that neighbour who holds your parcels might be hiding leathery skin beneath that starch-collared exterior. Nothing is what it seems.

So, forget Stoker-esque castles or dusty drawing rooms and discover ten tales that make you dread reading in your backyard.


Shaun is a former contributor for a number of Future Publishing titles and more recently worked as a staffer at Imagine Publishing. He can now be found banking in the daytime and writing a variety of articles for What Culture, namely around his favourite topics of film, retro gaming, music, TV and, when he's feeling clever, literature.