6 Thriller Novels We Think Are Creepier Than Campfire Stories

I love campfires. There’s something about a warm fire during a chilly day (or night) in the woods that stirs up the best fall feelings. And while some people love creepy campfire stories, I prefer sidling up with a good book—and there are some excellent, bone-chilling books way creepier than your average campfire story. So pass the graham crackers and marshmallows, and crack open one of these thrillers set deep in forests and nature.

1. In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

A few friends descend into the English countryside for a bachelorette party, staying in a house made of glass. Cue: murder. (Gasp!) The novel cuts back and forth between the present—the main character wakes up in a hospital and tries to piece together what happened—and the weekend away. It’s a twisty-turny, atmospheric novel that will leave you feeling like someone is watching you from behind the bushes near your campsite. Read More.
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2. The River at Night by Erica Ferencik

Erica Ferencik’s novel is a totally visceral, hear-your-heart-in-your-ears story about friendship and survival. Imagine taking a nice little trip into nature with your friends: time to relax, smell the trees, do some river rafting . . . and then you have a terrible accident, get stranded without everything you need to survive, have to wander at night until you come upon some people who offer hope, only to discover that their intentions are way more horrifying than you could have imagined, and you have to fight for your survival not only against them but against nature and your friends. Yeah, scary—and also terrifyingly good. Read More.
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3. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King

A girl wanders off into the forest away from her family and listens to her radio for company, completely unaware (at least at first) of the threatening entity that is following and watching her. It’s a Stephen King masterpiece: enchanting writing, compelling plot, and a little something to keep you thinking things go bump in the night. Read More.
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