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 TenXW

1Stephen KingStephen Edwin King is an American author of contemporary horror, supernatural fiction, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy.

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. - santhros

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.

Wrote so many great books, reading IT right now. It's great!

He doesn't need ghouls and goblins to his stories scary. He takes rabies which is a very dangerous disease, and takes it to a whole new level.

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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 ...more

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.

The house of usher is good classic horror story.

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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 ...more

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.

He is very good horror boo

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4R. L. Stine

R.L. stine is the best novelist I have ever seen

Awesome! Stine is the creator of the popular children's series Goosebumps. Goosebumps is very intense and introduces a new character in pretty much each book. Stine is very creative when it comes to writing horror stories, but horror stories your future kids will adore! Currently Reading Revenge R Us. Great book!

Goosebumps is his one of the best books

R.L. is the best his books are mind blowing

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5Bram 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

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6Darren 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!

I enjoyed the Saga of Darren Shan books and the manga because it also fits together if it wasn't for those storyboards that were put on the manga version.

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7Clive Barker

I like King, Koontz, Poetry and Lovecraft. Barker does elevate horror stories to the level of ART. His themes are deep multilayered messages. His characters are complex and multi faceted. There is something to be learned by reading his work. The darker side of human nature is exposed to us and understood, not justified or agreed with. You can relate to all his characters even the monsters. Isn't that true horror? The true horror is to realize that all of us have the capability of being a monster. The challange is to resist that impulse no matter how much "horror" we may have experienced in our own lives. No one today expresses this with such eloquence.

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.

Creative, imaginative, hair raising, bone chilling, literature by this man. He is also a painter, and his paintings are just as mesmerizing and creepy... It's extraordinary! He should be listed as the number one horror writer in my opinion!

Not as popular as Stephen King, but a much better horror author than King. I love King, he is my favorite author, but when it comes to horror? Clive Barker is better.

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8Mary 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.

I would like to point out one little fact. In Stephen King's Danse Macabre, he states that Frankenstein's Monster (along with Dracula and the Werewolf via Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde) is one of the horror genre's major archetypes. Famous to the point of having it's own breakfast cereal, Frankenstein is pretty influential. I mean, it helped shape number 1 on the list. - zodiac556

9Christopher 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.

So happy he's on this list! Christopher Pike is the perfect transition for pre and teens from most RL Stine books (especially the non-Goosebumps) into something like King. Loved his stories growing up, and he could really get into your head... there's one story of his that STILL haunts me.

You have to read some of his adult novels, especially The Season of Passage, to understand what an awesome horror writer Pike is. Season of Passage stays with you forever, never leaves the back of your mind, never stops beguiling.

He was a great Star Trek captain

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10Anthony Horowitz

Good one reading more bloody horowitz

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The Contenders

11Agatha ChristieDame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, Lady Mallowan, was an English crime novelist, short story writer and playwright.

Best Mystery writer! Her stories are believable yet so mesmerizing that you can't put them down

I have tons of her novels including Poirot & Marple. Mysteries give the amount of edvice that means something to a person in that kind of story.

12Dean 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*) - fireinside96

For me he is second to #1 which is Stephen King. He incorporate elements of horror, mystery, thriller and suspense. Stephen King read his book and inspired him, sometimes he get ideas. One of the best.

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!

Can't believe Dean Koontz is 12 on this list, he deserves to be so much higher. He is consistently good, no little hiccups for him!

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13Ramsey 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.

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14Shaun Hutson

Nobody describes wounds better

Great descriptive writer, with humour too

Make me feel lie I ma readin an 80's horror movie, that is definitely a good thing love his work.

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15Richard 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

16Bentley 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

Excellent writer leaves you on the edge of your seat

I love horror books but I can't find any more authors txz 4 the help

17Peter Straub

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

If it weren't for Stephen King, Straub would have been considered the best of the 70's and 80's.

A branch of Stephen King. One of the best. Try to read his books, all his books.

18John Saul

This author was my introduction to the horror genre with 'The Homing'. I'm STILL afraid of insects! Fantastic writer - I would recommend him any day!

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.

When I thought I knew how things would turn out... Bang! Nope there was a twist in the end. Stories has you on the edge.

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19Vincent V. Cava

This guy can pull a horror story out of a sock, and scare the hell out of you, give you the creeps, or even trouble you for days on end.

My favorite short story writer, in five lines this man can terrify you where you stand.

I've listened to picture this 3 times and it still gives me chills

You're the best

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20Graham Masterton

Some of his ideas may sound silly when the lights are still on. You may laugh at the things he came up with or all the mistakes he made not doing the research or ignoring some details just to make something fit the story, but then you read the stories and they just can't leave your head, some of his ideas will haunt you even years after reading. That man knows how to scare his readers. - saaarsdej

Brilliant, Burial and Sleepless are the best books I have ever read.

Horror commences right from beginning of his books.

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List StatsUpdated 23 Oct 2016

2,000 votes
53 listings
8 years, 256 days old

Top Remixes

1. Stephen King
2. Edgar Allen Poe
3. Darren Shan
1. R. L. Stine
2. Stephen King
3. Edgar Allen Poe
1. Edgar Allen Poe
2. Stephen King
3. Mary Shelley



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