Absolute Horror Wiki
Summer of Night cover

Summer of Night is the first in a series of horror novels by American writer Dan Simmons, published in 1991 by Warner Aspect. It was nominated for a British Fantasy Award in 1992. The subsequent books are Children of the Night (1992), and A Winter Haunting (2002).


Set in Elm Haven, Illinois, in 1960, Summer of Night recounts its five pre-teen protagonists' discovery that eerie, terrifying events are unfolding in the Old Central School. Operatives, including a dead soldier; giant worms with rows of sharp, serrated teeth; the animated corpse of a deceased teacher; schoolyard bullies; the driver of a rendering truck; their school teacher, and the principal of the school, serve a centuries-old evil that seeks to be reborn in their time — and in their town. It is only by banding together that the pre-teens can hope to defeat the monstrosity before it destroys them, their friends, their families — and, possibly, the world.

The sequel to Summer of Night is A Winter Haunting, in which Dale Stewart, now grown, returns to Elm Haven. Another sequel is Children of the Night, which features Mike O'Rourke, now a Roman Catholic priest, who is sent on a mission to investigate bizarre events in a European city. Another Summer of Night character, Dale's younger brother, Lawrence Stewart, appears as a minor character in Simmons' thriller Darwin's Blade, while the adult Cordie Cooke appears in Fires of Eden.