The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers

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List Criteria: Authors who have written any type of fiction in the horror genre.

The best horror novelists include some great authors who manage to weave fantastical tales of horror that leave readers scared out of their wits. The horror fiction authors on this list write novels that can strike fear into the heart of virtually any reader, using elements of horror and dark fantasy. Whether it's a classic ghost novel or a book that features real-life evil (like serial killers), these horror novelists are some of the best in the horror genre. Be sure to vote for your favorite horror writers, and add your own personal favorite horror novelist if you don't see them on this list!

Some of the best horror writers on this list will be instantly recognizable. Horror authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz, for example, are very well-known, popular modern horror fiction writers. I've also included some of the original, classic horror novelists, including the incomparable H.P. Lovecraft and the master, Edgar Allan Poe. Gothic horror writers like Maurice Level are included, as well. You'll notice that some of the top horror writers on the list are also known as science fiction writers and/or fantasy authors, including Ray Bradbury. There is some overlap, and I feel it's important to include these horror and dark fantasy writers as well. In addition, some of the best horror novelists on this list are winners of the prestigious Bram Stoker Award (Richard Matheson, Clive Barker and King, among them) for outstanding achievement in horror writing.

The hope is that with you, the reader, will help to contribute the names of your favorite horror writers and this list of the best horror novelists of all-time will continue to grow - serving as a great, comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to find a new horror fiction author to read! From the famous horror writers who everyone should read at least once, to the lesser known, but still super scary authors that horror buffs should give a try, you'll find it all on this list!
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  • 33 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,901
    - 407

    the people's #1 & most listed
    The Raven, Annabel Lee, The Fall of the House of Usher

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  2. 2
    + 2,005
    - 330


    The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, At the Mountains of Madness, ...

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  3. 3
    + 1,528
    - 427


    Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

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  4. 4
    + 936
    - 377


    Dracula, The Lair of the White Worm, The Lady of the Shroud

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  5. 5
    + 844
    - 315


    The Omega Man, Duel, The Last Man on Earth

    ;
  6. 6
    + 919
    - 294


    Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

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  7. 7
    + 1,042
    - 431


    Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

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  8. 8
    + 767
    - 336


    Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

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  9. 9
    + 624
    - 294


    Asylum, Psycho, The House That Dripped Blood

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  10. 10
    + 536
    - 236


    Best ghost stories of Algernon Blackwood., A Psychical Invasion, Four ...

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  11. 11
    + 469
    - 274


    Night of the Demon, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Collected Ghost Stories ...

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  12. 12
    + 669
    - 333


    The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The ...

    ;
  13. 13
    + 510
    - 274


    Incarnate, The Hungry Moon, Ancient Images

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  14. 14
    + 596
    - 304


    Ghost Story, Ghost Story, The Talisman

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  15. 15
    + 479
    - 238


    The Devil's Dictionary, The dance of death, In the midst of life

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  16. 16
    + 354
    - 105

    added by hasrvwill
    The Hill of Dreams, The Great God Pan, The Three Impostors

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  17. 17
    + 444
    - 335

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of ...

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  18. 18
    + 689
    - 558


    Phantoms, Phantoms, Watchers

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  19. 19
    + 331
    - 80

    ranked low on reranks & added by softserve
    The End of the Story, The Abominations of Yondo, Poems in Prose

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  20. 20
    + 347
    - 129

    ranked low on reranks & added by RonVickers
    The Nightmare Factory, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Teatro Grottesco

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  21. 21
    + 485
    - 331


    The Cellar, One Rainy Night, The Traveling Vampire Show

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  22. 22
    + 416
    - 311


    The Rats, The Fog, Fluke

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  23. 23
    + 396
    - 272


    Conan the Barbarian, Conan, The Coming of Conan

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  24. 24
    + 503
    - 350


    Swan Song, Stinger, The Wolf's Hour

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  25. 25
    + 535
    - 349


    Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods

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  26. 26
    + 412
    - 317


    The Exorcist, A Shot in the Dark, The Exorcist III

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  27. 27
    + 412
    - 284


    Carrion Comfort, Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion

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  28. 28
    + 340
    - 288


    The Store, The association, The House

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  29. 29
    + 485
    - 420


    Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Queen of the ...

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  30. 30
    + 522
    - 360


    Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel, Horns, Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys To The ...

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  31. 31
    + 245
    - 99

    ranked low on reranks & added by stephensonpy
    Night of the Eagle, Swords and Deviltry, Conjure Wife

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  32. 32
    + 336
    - 287


    Ghor, Kin-Slayer, Khai of Khem

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  33. 33
    + 354
    - 236


    The manitou, How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed, Up all night

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  34. 34
    + 618
    - 349


    The Keep, The Keep, Best of the Borderlands

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  35. 35
    + 300
    - 250

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Lost Souls, Exquisite Corpse, Liquor

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  36. 36
    + 419
    - 307


    The Drive-In, Best of the Borderlands, DC Showcase Original Shorts ...

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  37. 37
    + 223
    - 72

    ranked low on reranks
    The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to ...

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  38. 38
    + 476
    - 318


    The Woman, Off Season, The Girl Next Door

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  39. 39
    + 160
    - 54


    In a Glass Darkly, Vampires vs. Zombies, Uncle Silas

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  40. 40
    + 180
    - 93

    added by Spook22uk
    The Turn of the Screw, The Portrait of a Lady, The Golden Bowl

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  41. 41
    + 308
    - 307

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    God Project, The, Suffer the Children

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  42. 42
    + 193
    - 54

    ranked low on reranks & added by softserve
    The House on the Borderland, Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder

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  43. 43
    + 141
    - 69
    No image

    added by MatthewHarper
    The Late Breakfasters, Tales of Love and Death, The Eighth Fontana Book of ...

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  44. 44
    + 126
    - 59


    Trauma, The Ceremonies, Dark Gods

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  45. 45
    + 194
    - 82

    added by Spook22uk
    Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Birds II: Land's End

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  46. 46
    + 204
    - 116

    added by AuthorWilliamPattison
    Dreams with Sharp Teeth, The Beast that Shouted Love at the Heart of the ...

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  47. 47
    + 277
    - 232


    Ravenous, Live Girls, The Loveliest Dead

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  48. 48
    + 226
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks & added by Spook22uk
    Hannibal Rising, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon

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  49. 49
    + 327
    - 277


    The Rising, The Conqueror Worms, Terminal

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  50. 50
    + 206
    - 138
    Richard Bachman is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers

    added by hasrvwill
    Richard Bachman

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