Summer Scares

July 1, 2024 |
by: Charlee Bruce

Photo of a bright orange sunset over choppy ocean waves.

I love horror, because it offers a space to process the scary stuff of life. Sometimes non-fiction or realistic fiction cannot get at the visceral feelings that come from tragic events in the way that horror does. Sometimes zombie stories can tell the story of human apathy in a more genuine way than what could be portrayed in a more literal medium. Grief can feel like being swallowed whole by a monster or whale, and self-sabotage and isolation can feel more like one is haunting oneself – why not read a monster or haunting story and see if it can offer some solace or catharsis? If nothing else, horror is amazing at showing its readers that you aren’t going through the world alone.

However, I also love horror because sometimes it can be nothing more than a fun escape from reality! I love slipping into a world where anything is possible, often experiencing story moments just for the sake of the author and reader’s excitement.

Whichever way you lean on this spectrum, there is horror out there for you! Below, I have complied a list of Summer-Themed Horror, with the help of my colleague, Service Integration Lead Brendan Ford, who also reads a lot of horror.

All the books below fall into a summertime theme, making them perfect picks for your summer reading. By the way, if you are not registered for LAMP’s Summer Reading program, give us a call at 800-242-0586. It’s not too late, as we just got started on June 24, and are working toward a collective reading goal of 1,682 books logged, based on the year that Pennsylvania was first named a colony.

For those ready to sink their teeth into some summer scares, I have categorized a list of books below according to their summertime setting. Whether the setting is a small town, beachside, summer mansion, or camping trip, you can be sure to find a chill during these scorching summer months! Give one or a few of them a try… if you dare!!

Camping or Road Trip

Book Cover of Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle. Illustration of a mountainside forest. Behind the mountains is a person’s face with smoke and moths flying from their mouth. In the foreground in front of the mountains is a cabin internally lit with blue light.
I am Behind You by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Our share of night: a novel by Mariana Enriquez
Camp Damascus by Chuck Tingle


Book Cover of The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas. A woman in a red dress in front of a hacienda with a stormy, foreboding sky in the background.

The Hacienda by Isabel Cañas
DB 107997, DB 115559, CL 20229, LP 37278
Palaces: A Novel by Simon Jacobs
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
BR 23483, DB99404
Brainwyrms by Allison Rumfitt
DB 117919
The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

Island or Beachside

Book Cover of Jaws by Peter Benchley. A large great white shark looms below water with a white woman swimming above in a white and red swimsuit.

Island of the Dolls by Jeremy Bates
Jaws by Peter Benchley
DB62714, BR 02585
The Boatman’s Daughter by Andy Davidson
DB 98593
A Lush and Seething Hell: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by John Hornor Jacobs and Chuck Wendig,
The Vine that Ate the South: A Novel by J. D Wilkes

Small Town

Book Cover of Jackal by Eric E. Adams. A photo of a black woman’s face on a red background. Her face is inlayed with a starry night sky and forest.

Jackal by Erin E. Adams
DB 110609
Whisper Down the Lane by Clay McLeod Chapman
Universal Harvester: A Novel by John Darnielle
Bones & All by Camille DeAngelis
Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
BR 23373, DB 99550
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones
BR 23937, CL 19989 DB104847, LP 36978
Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison
DB 110539
It by Stephen King
The ceremonies by T. E. D. Klein
Hollywood North: A Novel in Six Reels by Michael Libling
Daphne by Josh Malerman
DB 110364
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons