13 Bone-Chilling Horror Books to Haunt Your Dreams This Summer

It was a dark and stormy night...

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Summer is in full swing, horror fans. And as the days heat up and the storms start to brew, there’s nothing more we want to do than settle in with a new horror book. 

RELATED: 17 Most Anticipated Horror Books of 2020

That's why we rounded up a killer assortment of terrifying tales we can't wait to read this summer—from blood-curdling new releases to recent horror gems you may have missed and classic tales of terror that deserve your attention. Whether they speak of monsters of the ocean deep or nightmares of the mind, these horror books are sure to keep you reading long into the summer night. 

Buy Velocities at Amazon

Velocities

By Kathe Koja

From award-winning author Kathe Koja comes an electric new collection of short stories, this one more terrifying, strange, and alluring than the last. With thirteen new stories to dive into, including two never before published pieces, Velocities is sure to satisfy your dark desires—that is, until Koja rereleases her cult horror classic The Cipher later this year!

Related: Kathe Koja, the Stoker Award-Winning Horror Author of The Cipher, Shares Her Favorite Genre-Defying Tales of Terror 

Buy Mexican Gothic at Amazon

Mexican Gothic

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Silvia Moreno-Garcia earned rave reviews for her bestselling haunted house chiller, released last month. When Noemí Taboada receives a frantic and mysterious letter from her estranged cousin begging for her help, she sets out to find out what's hiding in the shadows of High Place.

When Noemí arrives, the manor is nothing like she could have anticipated. Her cousin’s new husband simmers with a sinister energy, his father carries a morbid fascination with Noemí, and the house itself begins to intrude upon Noemí’s every waking—and sleeping—moment.

Related: 20 Female Horror Writers That You Need to Read

As Noemí digs deeper into the past and present of High Place, she discovers secrets and terrors buried deep in its foundations. When this house takes hold, it does not want to let go.

Buy Below at Amazon

Below

By Ryan Lockwood

Something hungry lurks below the waves, and it’s on its way to your shores…

Ryan Lockwood delivered a summer horror classic in his "breathtakingly frightening and hugely entertaining" debut from 2013 (NY Daily News). A woman is dragged into the depths of the ocean by bloodthirsty aquatic creatures. The things, whatever they are, are hungry—and they're multiplying. Oceanographer Valerie Martell and scuba diver Will Sturman have their work cut out for them. It’s up to them to stop the creatures from reaching the shores. But first, they have to avoid becoming prey themselves.

Buy Bone White at Amazon

Bone White

By Ronald Malfi

Fans of mind-bending horror masters like Dean Koontz and Stephen King will devour this icy 2018 tale by Ronald Malfi, set against a landscape of frozen darkness. Paul Gallo's twin brother went missing one year ago, and Paul's about to give up hope that he'll ever find answers about what really happened. Then he learns of a serial killer in Alaska who's leading authorities to the shallow graves of his many victims—and that those victims are buried right where Paul’s brother went missing. So Paul heads to Dread’s Hand in the icy north, with a glimmer of grim hope. But the mood darkens upon Paul's arrival, with the townsfolk talking of devils and deadly forces in the woods. Soon, Paul's search for answers turns into a waking nightmare and he finds himself wrapped up in a twisted mystery.

Related: 52 Best Horror Books from the Past 200 Years

Buy Survivor Song at Amazon

Survivor Song

By Paul Tremblay

From Bram Stoker Award-winning author Paul Tremblay comes a terrifying new novel about a deadly rabies-like virus that destroys all its victims within hours. Quarantine has been placed upon the state, but hysteria is spreading and society is breaking down.

RELATED: Paul Tremblay: Where to Begin with the Stoker Award-Winning Horror Author

When pediatrician Dr. Ramola “Rams” Sherman gets a frantic call from her pregnant neighbor saying she’s been bitten, Rams embarks on a desperate quest to get Natalie to a hospital as soon as possible. But as they navigate the overcrowded and diseased hospitals to search for a vaccine, they encounter new and terrifying challenges with every step.

Horrifying and timely, Survivor Song cannot be missed this summer.

Buy Camp Pleasant at Amazon

Camp Pleasant

By Richard Matheson

From Richard Matheson, the acclaimed author of I Am Legend, comes this bloody tale of summer camp horror.

Related: 18 Summer Camp Horror Movies & Cabin-in-the-Woods Frightfests to Give You the Chills This Summer 

Camp Pleasant may be idyllic and beautiful at first glance, but something rots from within. When Matt Harper arrives to work as a camp counselor, he finds a camp more brutal and abusive than he could have ever imagined. But when the camp’s dictatorial leader is murdered, the suspects begin to take shape, and they are lurking around every corner…

Buy House of the Hanging Jade at Amazon

House of the Hanging Jade

By Amy M. Reade

Dreaming of an island getaway? You'll be glad your safe at home after reading USA Today-bestselling author Amy M. Reade's 2016 tale of supernatural suspense set in Hawaii. 

All is calm and quiet at the House of the Hanging Jade on Hawaii’s Big Island. For now. When Kailani Kanaka moves back to her native Hawaii, she’s looking for an escape from harsh Washington, D.C. winters and her possessive ex-boyfriend. She finds a new job as a personal chef to the Jorgensen family, and begins to settle into a new life and routine. Yet it soon becomes clear that all is not well in the House of the Hanging Jade. Malevolent energies course through the air and shocking tragedies strike. Then Kailani’s abusive ex-boyfriend reappears, and the real terror sets in.

Buy The Only Good Indians at Amazon

The Only Good Indians

By Stephen Graham Jones

Award-winning horror author Stephen Graham Jones returns this summer with a new tale of terror. 

Related: An Interview with Stephen Graham Jones, Author of The Only Good Indians

Four Blackfeet Native American men who share a tragic past are being hunted by a dark and mysterious entity looking for revenge. The men must reckon with their past and escape the maw of violence and vengeance that gnashes at their backs. “Fans of Stephen King's It and Peter Straub's Ghost Story should find plenty to love in this tale of friends who are haunted by a supernatural entity they first encountered in their youth” (Silvia Moreno-Garcia).

Buy Chills at Amazon

Chills

By Mary SanGiovanni

Mary SanGiovanni's 2016 chiller begins like this. A May snowstorm sweeps through a rural town, cutting the community off from resources and the world. Then a body is discovered in the snowbanks, the apparent victim of a ritualistic murder.

Related: What Are the Scariest Books You've Ever Read?

As the temperature continues to drop, so do the bodies. And Detective Jack Glazier must figure out a way to solve these bizarre occult murders before the killers call upon their twisted gods for help. And before the snow buries the town forever.

Buy The Montauk Monster at Amazon

The Montauk Monster

By Hunter Shea

For a horror tale to accompany you to the beach, Hunter Shea's The Montauk Monster promises a terrifying summer scare.

All is not well in the Long Island beach town of Montauk. Bodies are turning up in the dunes, shredded beyond recognition; strange and ravenous beasts are invading neighborhoods; the town’s residents are being infected by an unknown virus no one can cure. 

Officer Gray Dalton thinks he may be closing in on the source. A notorious research facility sits off the coast of this Long Island paradise, and something has escaped…

Buy Drought at Amazon

Drought

By Graham Masterton

Graham Masterton delivers an eerily prescient tale of ecological horror in this 2014 release. Ex-Marine Martin Makepeace is doing his best to care for those who can’t care for themselves. As a social worker, he knows the importance of a calm demeanor. But when the water disappears in his town, his mask begins to slip.

Now, his daughter is ill with a fever, riots have begun, and his son has been framed and arrested for a horrific crime. It’s up to Martin to find out what happened and to save his family unit—and to stop the chaos from spreading.

Buy Incubus at Amazon

Incubus

By Ann Arensberg

From National Book Award–winning author Ann Arensberg comes a modern horror story about the cost of faith.

A heatwave descends on the town of Dry Falls, Maine, and the once prospering farming community begins to collapse under the hot spell. Crops wither and die and farm animals give birth to inexplicable monstrosities. Meanwhile, the men of the town lose interest in sex, while the women of Dry Falls speak of erotic nocturnal visitations. Cora Whitman, wife of the town pastor, knows something evil is brewing in Dry Falls. And she's determined to track it to its core.

Buy Night-Gaunts at Amazon

Night-Gaunts

By Joyce Carol Oates

This wickedly brilliant 2018 collection from award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates serves of six tales of the horrifying and the disquieting. Deftly imagined, the stories within this collection are Oates at her best—and her scariest.

Releated: 13 Best Joyce Carol Oates Horror Books

From reimaginings of famous paintings to undying stories of murder and bloodlust, this short story collection will leave your head swimming with nightmare material all summer long.

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Published on 16 Jul 2020