From supernatural entities to twisted secrets, here are seven horror novels set in small towns with dark secrets.
The Shining by Stephen King
The Shining is a classic horror novel that takes place in the isolated Overlook Hotel, located in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Jack Torrance takes a job as the hotel’s winter caretaker, bringing his family with him, but the hotel’s dark past and supernatural forces begin to take hold of them.
Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
Summer of Night takes place in Elm Haven, Illinois, a small town that has a dark history dating back to the 1950s. A group of friends discover that the school they attend is haunted by a malevolent entity, and they must band together to stop it from destroying the town.
The Troop by Nick Cutter
In The Troop, a group of boy scouts on a remote island off the coast of Prince Edward Island in Canada find themselves battling a parasitic infection that turns people into monsters. The small town nearby is also infected, and the group must fight to survive.
A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
In A Head Full of Ghosts, the small town of Beverly, Massachusetts, is the setting for the story of a family dealing with their daughter’s possession by a demon. The town’s dark history and the media frenzy that follows add to the horror.
Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
Harvest Home takes place in the small town of Cornwall Coombe, Connecticut, where the residents are part of an ancient pagan cult. The arrival of a new family in town sets off a chain of events that exposes the cult’s dark secrets.
Ghost Story by Peter Straub
Ghost Story is set in the small town of Milburn, New York, where a group of friends gather to tell ghost stories. But when they begin to experience supernatural events themselves, they realize that their town has a dark past that they must confront.