Courtesy Sarah Beth Durst ’96

In Sarah Beth Durst ’96’s latest novel, three girls arrive at a summer camp on a lake in Maine only to find it’s been burned to the ground. They can’t leave, and soon they realize: They’re being hunted. Durst has penned 25 novels since her first in 2007, from children’s books to young adult novels to epic fantasies for adults, often full of otherworldly creatures. This summer, as her supernatural thriller The Lake House hits bookshelves and gets read under blankets with flashlights, PAW asked Durst to recommend three more books for readers in search of a good scare.


By Kiersten White

If you’ve ever looked at photos of abandoned amusements parks with their decayed roller coasters, overgrown-with-vines Ferris wheels, and creepy clown statues and thought, “Yep, someone’s gonna die,” then you’ll love Hide by Kiersten White. White has written a wide variety of books for teens, from paranormals to a Frankenstein reimagining to Star Wars books, but Hide is her first supernatural thriller for adults. It’s about a reality competition that’s darker and deadlier than advertised.

Into the Drowning Deep

By Mira Grant

Seven years prior, a crew set out to film a mockumentary at the Mariana Trench and never returned. Now a new crew is sailing to discover what happened. Mira Grant (pen name for Seanan McGuire, who also writes the urban fantasy October Daye series, the portal fantasy Wayward Children series, and the hilarious Incryptidseries) has written a horror/thriller about mermaids. Very deadly mermaids, whom you do not want to be part of your world. 


By Christopher Golden

The first of three books about “weird science expert” Ben Walker, Ararat takes place on a frozen mountain after an earthquake uncovers an ancient ship with a coffin inside that really, really shouldn’t be opened. Its sequel, The Pandora Room, is set in a desert and also features an item that should stay shut. Golden excels at writing spectacularly scary and exciting books that teach an important lesson: Don’t accidentally release ancient evil.