Maine is one of my favorite places—the intense natural beauty, the tranquility, the lighthouses, the lobster! But somehow, in literature, Maine often winds up being the setting for creepy situations. Maybe it’s because with all of that nature (and lots of small, far-away islands) comes a sense of isolation, a quiet that tugs at the edge of the imagination. After all, Maine is home to Stephen King himself.
As the summer winds down, if you’re looking for one last get-away, crack open a book set in the state they call “Vacationland”…and prepare to be thoroughly creeped out.
The Rattled Bones by S.M. Parker
When Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae’s father dies suddenly, she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island’s many secrets, Rilla’s visions grow–until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it’s a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla’s past.
Savage by Tom Sniegoski
The future is looking bright for Sidney Moore as she gets ready to leave the small island of Benediction, Maine behind for one of Boston’s top veterinary schools. Only two small bumps in the road to navigate before she can go—her father’s recovery from a debilitating stroke and her own guilt for ending her relationship with her high school sweetheart. Now a storm is bearing down on Benediction, a hurricane that will bring devastating winds and rain, rising tides…and something else. Something deadly; something that will transform all the things that creep, crawl, and flutter into instruments of terror and death.
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Trisha McFarland and her family are hiking the Maine-New Hampshire branch of the Appalachian Trail together, trekking through thick wilderness. When Trisha gets tired of family drama, she wanders off and quickly becomes lost in the woods. As night falls and the isolation and terror set in, she turns to her portable radio for comfort, listening to Red Sox games featuring her favorite player, Tom Gordon. Eventually Trisha starts to imagine that Tom Gordon is there with her, protecting her from something in the woods that she is certain is after her…
Dead River by Cyn Balog
Kiandra has stayed away from bodies of water ever since her mom killed herself in a river. But that doesn’t stop Ki from skipping prom and going on a white water rafting trip to a river in Maine called The Dead River with friends. The quiet weekend in a cabin in the woods takes a creepy turn when Ki starts hearing voices on the Dead River.
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke
Nothing exciting ever rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside Maine town . . . until River comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Or could he be something more? Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.
Need by Carrie Jones
Zara has had a pretty rough life. Her father left when she was a baby, and her stepfather just died. Her mother’s sent her to live with her grandmother in cold and sleepy Maine to “keep Zara safe.” Whatever that means. Zara doesn’t think she’s in danger; she thinks her mother just can’t deal.
Zara’s wrong. The man she sees everywhere–the tall creepy guy who points at her from the side of the road—is not a figment of her imagination. He’s a pixie. And not the cute, sweet kind with little wings. Maine’s got a whole assortment of unbelievable creatures. And they seem to need something from Zara…