Trick-or-Treat Yourself to These Spooky, Bookish Activities for Summerween

Embrace the spooky side of summer with these 8 ideas to haunt your Summerween agenda!

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Summerween is a fictional (but not if I have a say!) holiday from the Disney animation series Gravity Falls. Though the show only lasted 40 episodes before being canceled, it has remained in the hearts of fans worldwide, young and old. Gravity Falls residents loved Halloween so much that they celebrated it twice a year, with its summer incarnation falling on June 22. Let’s embrace the spookiness of summer with 8 ideas to haunt your Summerween agenda. 

Haunt the Horror Section of Your Bookshop or Library

What better way to celebrate Summerween than to treat yourself to a spooky read? And there’s no need to empty your wallet! Head to your local public library, where you’ll be sure to find many a spooky or terrifying read — for free! But if you’re ready for a splurge, an independent bookstore is the perfect place to find your next frightening read. Pretend you’re a ghost as you hide between shelves, or take your chosen read to a local cemetery (but remember: leave it better than you found it!)

witchy book surrounded by candles and flowers
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Have a Spooky Readathon

Celebrate Summerween with a spooky readathon alongside friends or loved ones – or by yourself. Whether it’s twenty-four hours or one hour, this activity will put you right into the holiday spirit. Set the scene with your favorite spooky tunes in the background, and the more sweet treats, the better. Need some book recommendations to spook yourself with? Check out SUMMER’S EDGE, THEIR VICIOUS GAMES, THE DEVOURING GRAY, MY BEST FRIEND’S EXORCISM, or IT.

witch reading a book outside
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Raise Your Heartrate with a Slasher Marathon

When I think of Summer plus Spooky, I think of slashers! There’s nothing like a gorey film set in summer’s past to get your heart pumping. But if the likes of Fear Street and Friday the 13th aren’t for you, binge old Gravity Falls episodes! However you choose to spook up your screen this Summerween, this activity pairs perfectly with a side of candy salad. If friends are joining the marathon, try having every guest bring 1 type of candy and mix them all together to create a trick-or-treater’s dream salad (no greens included!)

Go to a Local Fair

When the hotter days come around, fairs and circuses come to town! Find a fair near you, where you can spin yourself silly and inhale funnel cake, cotton candy, and candy apples aplenty. If you’re not lucky enough to have a fair or circus in town, head to a local arcade, roller rink, or bowling alley. There, you might just find the greasy treats, neon lights, and cheap summer thrills you’re craving.

a fair at night
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Search for Local Cryptids

Just as Mabel and Dipper hunted down the Summerween Trickster, Summerween is the perfect time to finally track down that pesky cryptid haunting your area. Scour guides like The United States of Cryptids to find fabled monsters or myths near you, then head to the woods, swamp, corn fields, or coast. Grab a friend and pack your bags with flashlights, walkie-talkies, snacks (for you and the monster), and for the Coraline fans, maybe a dowsing rod or two. Real or not, monster-hunting will be an adventure worth remembering, and why not start a new family or friend group tradition now? Just don’t end up in your very own Blair Witch Project.

Photo of the Loch Ness Monster
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Tour a Haunted House

This Summerween, head to a local haunted house, Mystery Files and Mystery Incorporated style! Get ready to have your blood pumping as you explore dark hallways and dusty corners in search of spirits and apparitions — EVP encouraged but not required. Let’s just hope the resident phantoms don’t mind visitors…

A mansion on the coast
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Read a Spooky Classic

Though the residents of Gravity Falls themselves might lean more towards trick-or-treating, you might enjoy a gothic tale or two to celebrate this auspicious day. Cozy up with a cup of spiced cider, hot cocoa, or tea and dive into the spine-chilling pages of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Haunting of Hill House, or Carmilla.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow book page
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Carve a Jack-o’-Melon

Gravity Falls residents celebrate Halloween’s summer sister by replacing Jack-o’-Lanterns with the more seasonally appropriate Jack-o’-Melon. Grab a watermelon from your local farmer’s market and get carving — the more frightening of a face, the better! This will be especially fun (and messy) with friends, family, or children!

Despite Gravity Falls’ cancellation, the series’ magic lives on through this yearly tradition. How will you be celebrating Summerween? Or are you a Halloween purist? Let us know in the comments below!


For six haunted libraries to visit, click here.

To shop spooky reads and more, check out our Bookshop.

FEATURED IMAGE VIA BOOKSTR / FIONA HANSEN