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No need to wait till Halloween to break out the occult.

Today I Found Out

Summer days are quite long, leaving people with maybe a little too much free time. Sure, one might hang out with friends, go to a beach or even work, but what about the times in between? Or those days where it’s far too hot to do anything but lay out flat on the floor and complain? Those are perfect for reading.

Maybe you don’t read as much as you used to, or maybe you never read much in the first place, but summer is the best time to get into, or back into, the habit. So, now you’ve been convinced to read a book or two (or four, I don’t know. Reading speeds vary), which leads to the question of “Well, what book should I read?” Easy-peasy, just start by thinking about your favorite genre.

I don’t know about you, but Halloween is my favorite holiday. In fact, I’m a big fan of creepy, occult and supernatural things in general—stories especially. Do you see where I’m going here? If you’re a horror fan like me, I can totally help you with your summer reading list by pointing you in the direction of four great 2017 horror novels.

1. “Meddling Kids” by Edgar Canter

Maybe you like a little comedy with your creepy, or you aren’t a huge fan of being too afraid to sleep with the light off. “Deliriously wild, funny and imaginative…” says Charles Yu, author of “How to Live in a Science Fictional Universe.” Cantero’s sophomore English-language novel is a bit of an homage to the Scooby Gang that, hopefully, we all know and love, but it’s not them—Cantero doesn’t own those rights.

In true, “a team suddenly splits up and they haven’t seen one another for years” trope fashion, the (living) team members must come back together to solve the mystery of what really happened in ’77; this time there are real monsters.

2. “Ararat” by Christopher Golden

With “Ararat,” horror takes a bit of a biblical turn, but don’t worry, you don’t have to be religious in any way to enjoy this tale.

While on an adventure, climbing Mount Ararat in Turkey, a newly engaged couple and their climbing group is forced to seek shelter inside of a huge cave when an avalanche starts. Everyone soon figures out that this “cave” is an ancient ship, buried in snow; some believe it is actually Noah’s Ark. A team of scholars, archaeologists and filmmakers make their way inside the Ark soon after and they find a coffin deep inside.

Curiosity takes over and they break open the coffin, only to find a deformed, horned creature. The shock of this is only made worse when a sudden blizzard traps everyone inside of the cave. Not only must these characters with highly contrasting personalities work together for survival, but they soon realize that the ship is not abandoned as they previously assumed.

3. “Wendigo” by Vaughn C. Hardacker

Fans of the 2015 video game “Until Dawn” will get a kick out of this supernatural thriller that has its own take on the famous cryptid known for its insatiable hunger for human flesh. To John Bear, the Wendigo was just a scary story, told often by his grandfather, about a creature that could possess the body of a man, turning him into a cannibalistic monster. But then he is sent to Maine to investigate a murder.

The victim is found deep in the Maine wilderness, slaughtered with his heart cut out and the only tracks that can be found are massive, coming from something completely inhuman.Going back to those stories told by his grandad, John is completely sure that the culprit and the creature stalking inhabitants of the wooded outpost is a Wendigo. Naturally, nobody believes him and it is up to John to stop the monster that he used to simply dismiss as a cautionary tale for children. “Wendigo” is a thrilling take on the famous Algonquian legend that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

4. “Under a Watchful Eye” by Adam Nevill

Last, but certainly not least, is Adam Nevill’s “Under a Watchful Eye.” “You will always belong to him” is the menacing tagline of this book and it’s enough to give rise to a few goosebumps here and there.

In a somewhat meta sense, Seb Logan is an author, well known in the community of the horror genre. Living on the coast of the sea in Devon, he lives a relatively peaceful life. That is until a mysterious figure repeatedly appears before Seb, reminding him of the life he once lived. With every sighting of this dark figure, Seb is plunged into an unsettling atmosphere as horrifying paranoia grips him. This strange figure that keeps disappearing and appearing turns out to be an old college friend named Ewan Alexander.

Once an inspiration to Seb, Ewan is now pretty much insane, having spent decades researching the paranormal—his main focal point being the life after death. With Ewan’s arrival into Seb’s home, along with the man’s insane rambling about a cult come incredibly realistic nightmares that don’t always end when Seb wakes up.

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