Top Ten Horror Book Writers


The top ten horror authors. Not films but books. Their ability to scare amazes and will pull you into the book.

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The Top Ten

Stephen King
No other horror writer compares when it comes to characterization-- and if you don't care about the characters, then there is no horror, because there is no fear regarding that character's fate.
King is also getting better the older he gets-- maybe not scarier, but he's become a much better writer. "11/22/63" was thrilling and heartbreaking in equal measure.
Stephen King is probably one of the most well-known and prolific writers of our time. Ranging from the frustrated child that develops telekinetic powers to a mythic Universe of gunmen and creatures, and passing through the basic horror of the classic vampire and werewolves, King does one thing for sure: he keeps you reading and devouring the next chapter.

Is he the best horror writer of all times? Probably. Quality and quantity joins the concept of diversity, but above all, King is even better day after day, and he has something new to tell. Something to write about. And we, well, we'll just wait for his next book.


Wrote so many great books, reading IT right now. It's great!
[Newest]I loved Carrie, Misery, Cell, The Shining, Salem's Lot, Cujo and The Stand. He is awesome!
More comments about Stephen King

2Edgar Allen Poe
He creates so much suspense and it's like he's right there telling you an ancient story that has been passed for generations but has nether therless decreased it's scariness.
In his short but frightening stories he doesn't scare you wi
Th the typically ghouls, ghosts and zombies, it's just the ideas behind it all that are terribly fightening.
Like for example the tell tale heart: don't you find the idea of some stranger watching you night after night for seven night? It's scary, especially when you think about the fact that the stranger was biding his time when he could have killed a long time ago. And the stranger thinks he's not crazy which is stupid because the way he goes on about the poor old man really is horrific. I mean imagine killing a man because his bone chilling eye was getting under your skin. And the way he hid the heart under the floorboards, a complete psychopath in my experience,
Edgar Allen Poe finds a way of expressing feeling perfectly as if were second nature to him. Edgar Allan Poe is the best scary writer by far. I haven't read many scary books but I don't need to to know the Edgar is certainly the best.
People say Stephen King, only because they know the name. Yet King is nothing compared to Poe. Poe was able to capture emotion, dread, fear, loneliness and utter desperation that King, just can't get. Whereas King shocks with imagery (Blood, or like in Misery, the dead rat ice cream cone) Poe shocked with internal tension and dread ( the shared feeling you have with the protagonist in Tale-Tell Heart, as it beats, beats, beats through the floor boards). Poe was able to make the story personal, something you connect too and forces you to share the experience with the hapless victim.
If you truly respect the horror genre you wouldn't place someone as talented and dedicated as Edgar Allen Poe as second place. If anything he should be number one. Of course there are the people that believe "so-and-so's books are so much scarier," but Edgar Allen Poe was the man to push his way into man's subconscious and bring its fears to life back in the 19th century. Stephen King would not have a place in this world if it weren't for Poe. He was one of the best known authors of American history and has earned his place at number one. If anyone claims different then they are unable to fully appreciate the true horror genre.
[Newest]Just imagine if Poe were to be alive now a days... The stories he wrote in the late 1800's scare the hell out of us in 2014! I don't think we could handle the stories that he could write today!

3H.P Lovecraft
At the dawn of a new century, many authors relied on short cheap magazines to display their work. Lovecraft relied mainly on "Weird Tales" and never made over 500 dollars from any paycheck. However, even with little payment his work caught the attention of hundreds of readers from the very beginning and now his work and references to his work (especially Cthulhu) are seen and used everywhere. It is impossible to live in todays world without seeing Lovecraft's influences even if you don't realize it. His writing can be boring and the over usage of descriptions can often drive audience members away, however the way he has done it is in a way that is tolerable to most people and portrays his idea in a better way than broad writing. Also some people say they don't enjoy his work due to the underlined points of xenaphobia or minor rascism in his pieces. However this was common in the earlys 1900's and ofetn an accepted trait in Providence Rhode Island, so to find winks at rascism and fear of immigrants in his work is to be expected, no on has to accept or deny it, it simply is in his literature due to his nature. The creatures and characters as well as the main ideas and themes have always brought awe to me and shown in light creatures that are fantastic as well as horrifying. And the overall theme of humanity's insignificance is poetry. He may not be the best of them all, but Lovecraft is a master of horror that appeals to any person anywhere.
Stephen King was the first horror author I had the chance to read. I was introduced to horror movies and literature at an early age and I've been hooked ever since. However when I branched out I realized that King is kind of elementary and doesn't really branch out from his standard formula after the first few classics. I'll always respect the Shining because come on - it's a masterpiece! But Lovecraft opens and imagines entire worlds to us and there's just nothing like him. Disturbing, violent, scary in so many different ways!
I really do think Stephen King should be second and Lovecraft first. Lovecraft laid the foundation for horror/science fiction as we know it today. He completely reshaped the game, as it were. There will never be another writer like him and have the same cosmic vision.
[Newest]Lovecraft wrote creative horror stories, and his style ("cosmic horror") is far better than werewolves, vampires and things that go bump in the night. The Old Gent is the number one!

4Darren Shan
The Saga Of Darren Shan is the best book series I've ever read. Actually its the best 12 books I've ever read. Its not only scary but there are so many amazing adventures in it you just can't stop reading it. You're always like "1 page more and I will stop reading" well that never happens! And its emotional too. I swear I feel every feeling in my body while reading these series. You should be wasting your time if you haventread the books yet. Go and add reading Darren's books to your bucket list!
Darren Shan is an excellent author who makes his readers lean on the edge of there seats. Readers can't wait for the next book in the Darren Shan series as they can't wait to find out what happens next in his dangerous life.
Darren is an amazing author, his ability to mix horror with adventure is amazing and every book makes you just sit on the edge of you seat wanting more and more!
[Newest]I have read close to all of Darren's novels and still I thirst for more.

5R. L. Stine
R.L. stine is the best novelist I have ever seen
Goosebumps is his one of the best books
He's been called the "Stephen King" of children's literature. and I can see why.

6Clive Barker
Clive is way more intelligent than Dean Koontz. His books are more on par with serious literature. Koontz has a mainstream appeal to his books and probably makes more money, but Clive is on another level. Back in 1985, Stephen King said he is the future of horror. This is true. Clive is still the future of horror. His books are literally so good that he's still ahead of his time.
His 'books of blood' are really awesome. His short story 'midnight meat train' also made movie.
I have read every single novel that he has written. By far the greatest horror writer of all time!

7Bram Stoker
One of the greatest writers, of all genres, of the 20th Century. He weaved one of the greatest horror stories of all time, and in doing so created perhaps the most infamous monster of all, Dracula!
Amazing Irish Author. Dracula Is Legendary Because Dracula Encouraged More Peopel To Write About Vampires
Suuper writer and awesome book

8Christopher Pike
This person is reasonably unknown but it's sad he is, because he really knows how to make amazing characters, fantastic plots and exellent character development. Don't let his ignominy fool you, he is one of the best if not the best horror writers.
Read his books as a teenager.still love them today.fantastic characters.he should write more.

9Shaun Hutson
Nobody describes wounds better
My favorite! GORE GALORE!

10Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley, in her one novel, energized the horror genre worldwide at a critical moment so that her effect has been felt for over 200 years. Lovecraft's essay, "Supernatural Horror in Literature", being organized chronological, provides a good viewpoint on Shelley's relative place in horror literature by showing what preceded her and what followed. Just for sheer impact and influence on the genre, Shelley should be listed in the top ten.

The Contenders

11Dean Koontz
Dean Koontz is mostly suspense... but when he dives deep into his horror, man you probably don't sleep (inro to Watchers *said suspiciously*)


Love Koontz! His works keep on the edge of my seat. I am also more apt to re-read his works. His work does lean more toward suspense, and yes... When he dives into his horror, you will NOT sleep!
Stephen King and Dean Koontz are by far the best authors, but seriously consider reading Watchers or Strangers, Odd Thomas, the list just goes on...
[Newest]Far better than Stephen KIng in my opinion. Keeps you intrigued.

12Bentley Little
His novels made me stay awake all night, unable to put it down. I was so eager to know how the end would turn out... Not to mention they made me glance at the darkness within the room every now then, Boy was I sacred! Laugh out loud
I love horror books but I can't find any more authors txz 4 the help

13Richard Matheson
I am Legend... Need I say more. Forget the films they are pants, check out the real thing, it is simply outstanding!
Matheson's world is one of misery and despair and he is able to capture this in his writing again and again. From I am Legend to his wealth of short stories, each will leave you with a sadistic grin on your face.
Great novelist and an equally one of the great Twilight Zone teleplay authors

14Anthony Horowitz

15Agatha Christie

16Ramsey Campbell
He's not the fear of the slasher or the satanic being, but rather that of everyday uncomfortable situations - a traffic stop, a confrontation, an audit, etc. - heightened to the point of the unbearable. And if you need them, there are usually monsters underneath.

17James Herbert
I love Moon by James Herbert. It really makes you wonder who is to be trusted. You're own perception of the characters is greatly influenced by the different character's distorted views of other people. You really begin making assumptions and are shocked by the end.
Just finished reading Ash. A top quality read. Made me want to read more Herbert so currently reading survivor and so far its very weird and disturbing. Will definitely be reading more Herbert!
First Horror Stories I read were by Herbert. Survivor is seriously terrifying. Having said that, Lovecraft is more imaginative and outlandish.

18Peter Straub
Every book he has written has entranced me and spooked the heck out of me. My favorite horror writer HANDS DOWN.

19John Saul
I have been reading his books since I was 14 years old. He is my favorite author. I hope he writes a lot more books.
His books are suspenseful and each tales plot is different from the one before. Horror fans of all ages will appriciate his writing. It's hard to put one of his books down!

20Graham Masterton

21Thomas Tessier

22Richard Laymon
Great horror stories survivor the others and the magic cottage absolutely brilliant
This writer was an absolute awesome storyteller. He made you feel as you were right in the middle of the horror.
His words are sexy, terrifying, and just plain enticing!

23Ted Dekker

24Anne Rice

25Shirley Jackson

26Robert McCammon
Roberts stories are constantly brilliant. Check out haunter from the woods a sequel to the wolfs hour, and his new soon hopefully to be a series I ride by night. His matthew Corbett historic thrillers are allways worth waiting for, boys life and gone south are captivating, mine is superb too.
While his covers and titles might look silly, he's a fantastic writer. No horror fan should go without reading Swan Song or Boy's Life.
The way he writes is incredible. I have a great imagination and the books that I have read by Robert are so intense with the way he describes everything I can actually picture it in my mind as I am reading. Wolf's Hour blew me away! I truly loved Ushers Passing and the little tie ins to E.A. poe another great writer!

27Ambrose Bierce
Bierce's short stories are almost on par with Poe's.
HUGELY under-appreciated author.

28Frank Peretti

29John Connolly

30Koji Suzuki

31Jack Kilborn
His novels as well as his short stories are incredible. Though horrifying, action-packed and filled with gore, he still manages to develop amazing characters and throw in some gut-wrenching twists that will sit with you long after you finish reading.

32Dan Simmons

33Dan Poblocki
He writes scary books

34Whitley Strieber
More than just the communion man

35Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

36Douglas Clegg

37John Everson
About the best modern horror author going.

38Kelley Armstrong
Her supernatural novels are the best. They have everything a good novel needs, romance, suspence, gore, fantasy, sex, and a dark sence of humor.

39Jonathan Rand
He is perfect for childrens horror, he is definitely not R.L. stine or Darren Shan but he truly is amazing!

40Iain Rob Wright
Suspense all the way! Can never put the book down and really get into the character's in his books and to top it off - he's a nice guy!

41Jay Anson
He wrote the scariest book ever called The Amityville Horror, great book, especially the part with the pig.

42Brian Lumley

43Bernard Taylor
Evil intent, charmed life, sweetheart sweetheart need I say more

44Jeffrey Thomas
Blood society, hades series, his best

45Alfred Hitchcock
Though he's not totaly a writer. But his stories are great. His Detective stories are also good.

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This list was created 7 years, 45 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 3 times.

Updated Friday, March 27, 2015

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