Ocean Horror Books Perfect To Read On The Beach Or A Cruise

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I love ocean horror. Books, movies, whatever, give me ocean horror! This is a genre that I’ve had a hard time finding a lot in for both books and movies (at least movies that I can stream right now).

I don’t know why I love ocean horror books so much but I do. Maybe it’s because I’m not a water person or because the depths of the ocean are so creepy and mysterious. Who knows.

Whatever it is, I’ve got a list of ocean horror books that I need to read all of immediately. I’ve read two of these so far (The Deep and Rolling in the Deep) but want to read all the others as well.

I’ll update this as I find more and as I read them to share thoughts. And I hope it helps you find a creepy ocean book to keep you up all night!

  • If you want to listen to some of these, consider trying Audible! You can get your first month free (one free book) plus tons of others they have for free.  Get that Audible deal here.
  • If you’re on more of a budget, try Scribd!  You can get your first month free there. You can read books and listen to audiobooks. It is unlimited (especially the reading) but if you listen to tons of new audiobooks you may be restricted after a few. I don’t listen to enough to confirm this, but I do use Scribd myself and like it a lot. Sign up for Scribd here!
  • Shop my collection of bookish goodies on Etsy! These aren’t my shop items, but other shops I’ve curated into a book-themed collection. Shop my Etsy bookish goodies here!
  • If you want to read more on your Kindle but don’t want to buy books, Kindle Unlimited is a wonderful option. It’s $9.99 a month but if you read a lot and like to read more than just new releases, it could be worth it. Get Kindle Unlimited here!
  • Get $5 off of $25 from BookOutlet! This is a great place to find new books for pretty cheap. They also have sales quite a bit, so keep an eye out for those. I tend to check here for books I want if they’re more expensive other places. They don’t have everything but they do have a lot. Shop BookOutlet here!
  • Thrift Books has become my go-to when I’m looking for a book and want it cheap. It’s great if you like buying used books. With this you can get a free book after spending $30!
  • Shop my book lists here! You can find every book list I have on Bookshop.org (except my monthly round-ups) and I add everything I can but they occasionally won’t have some. I do occasionally add extras though. If any lists are empty, they’ll be filled in shortly! Shop my bookshop.org book lists here.
  • Shopping internationally? Check out Book Depository!

The Deep

A plague called the ‘Gets is destroying humanity and there is no cure. But, there is a universal healer called ambrosia that was discovered eight miles below the surface of the sea.

A research lab is built there, underwater, but one day it goes dark and a few people brave the depths to unravel the crushing mystery.

I read this one and I won’t lie, I didn’t love it. I liked The Troop by Nick Cutter a lot more but it’s still worth trying because you may love it.


There is literally no description of this online but if you’ve seen the movie, here’s the book!

The town of Amity is plagued by a great white shark who killed a young tourist one night. When officials realize it was a shark attack, the police chief demands the beaches be closed but the mayor overrules him, worrying tourism will be affected.

Attacks continue and tourists swarm hoping to catch a glimpse of the shark. Three men head out to try and kill the shark and return Amity to safety.

The Fisherman

Abe and Dan are friends and widowers who have heard of the promises of Dutchman’s Creek, flowing from the Ashokan Reservoir. They dismiss the story but soon find themselves drawn into a story as old as the reservoir itself and they must now face all that they’ve lost.

This one doesn’t quite seem like direct ocean horror but it seems close enough for now.


The ocean floor off the coast of Mauritius is rapidly collapsing but Carrie, a world-champion free-diver and marine biologist, is determined to find out why and to stop it.

But what they discover is even more horrific than they imagined. Something deep under the surface is awake and hungry. Now Carrie and her colleagues have to face not only a corrupt operation but a monster that may cause human extinction.

The Deep

From the moment they set sail, passengers of the Titanic have disappeared, died, or found themselves in a strange twilight zone. Something is haunting the ship but before Annie, Mark, Madeleine, and Benjamin can find out what, disaster strikes.

Years later Annie is trying to put her life back together and is working as a Nurse on Titanic’s sister ship, Britannic, where she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier in World War I.

At first, she is relieved but soon enough she is facing the demons of her past as they both realize the terror may not really be over.


Seven years ago, seven miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, Dr. Jonas Taylor encountered what he is convinced is a remaining population os megalodons in the Mariana Trench.

He leaps at the chance to return to the site but his quest for knowledge soon becomes a fight for his life.

Mount Misery

Something in the Long Island Sound is terrorizing locals. Katie DiNardo and Nick Tanner have seen the damage but are at a loss to what the species could be. But they need to get to the bottom of it before it’s too late. People are dropping like flies and there’s no saying what other kind of damage will occur if they don’t figure out what’s going on soon.

Rolling in the Deep

This is a short book about mermaids (just 128 pages) and is different than the usual falling in love with a human story. The Imagine Network commissioned a documentary about mermaids to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, but they really didn’t expect to see anything that they didn’t normally, like eyewitness accounts that amounted to nothing.

And they really didn’t expect to see real mermaids and certainly not with teeth. Whether it’s a hoax or a tragedy, this is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands on deck and the truth can only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench.

I read this one and really enjoyed it! It’s the perfect creepy mermaid book.

Into the Drowning Deep

The Atargatis set off to film a mockumentary in the Mariana Trench seven years ago. It was meant to bring ancient creatures of the sea to life but instead, it was lost at sea with everyone aboard. Some say it was a hoax, some say it was a tragedy.

Now, there is a new crew but they’re aim isn’t to entertain. Some want the truth, some want to validate their life’s work, and Victoria wants to uncover the fate of the sister she lost. They can only find the truth underwater and it comes with a price.

The Swarm

Whales start sinking ships; toxic crabs poison Long Island’s water supply; the North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands. The ocean is taking revenge on mankind and the survival of Earth and humanity is at stake.


Will has never encountered anything more ferocious or deadly than great white sharks and piranhas in his years as a professional diver. Now something is happening off the California coast.

It’s rising from the deep, multiplying, migrating, and worst of all, unstoppable. It leaves a gruesome trail of corpses in its wake and, with the help of Valerie, an oceanographer, Will is in a race against time to stop the monster.

From Below

Years ago during a routine voyage, the SS Arcadia vanished without a trace. A strange, garbled message was broadcast but nothing was ever found. Six years later the wreck is discovered more than three hundred miles from its intended course.

Cove and her team have been granted permission to dive in the wreck to film everything and uncover what really happened. But something dark and hungry watches from below and they must fight their way to freedom from the horrors below.

Something’s Alive on the Titanic

In 1975, a classified mission went to the site of the Titanic and encountered something powerful and malevolent, but they could never speak of it. A previous mission ended in tragedy and now a new group wants to retrace the steps of the original 1975 mission. The further into the ship they get though, they realize they’re not alone.


A deadly virus has been unleashed on a passenger ship with no way of escape. Jack, a disgraced police officer, and the mysterious stranger who can see the future and alter the passage of time must try to save the passengers or it could mean the end of the world.

Ocean horror movies

  • Jaws (obviously)
  • The Reef: Stalked
  • 47 Meters Down
  • Sea Fever
  • Open Water
  • The Shallows

Have you read any of these ocean horror books? Which ones? Any others I should check out? How about movies?

Author: Megan Johnson

I'm Megan, a cheesehead at heart currently residing in the Sunshine State. You can probably find me reading, watching Forensic Files, or both.

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