The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers

60k votes 5.9k voters 148k views 227 items tags f p @

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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  • 34 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,998
    - 430

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

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  2. 2
    + 2,104
    - 350


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

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  3. 3
    + 1,658
    - 453


    Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

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  4. 4
    + 998
    - 392


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

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  5. 5
    + 876
    - 332


    The Omega Man, Duel, The Last Man on Earth

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  6. 6
    + 956
    - 314


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

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  7. 7
    + 1,083
    - 443


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

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  8. 8
    + 817
    - 348


    Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

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  9. 9
    + 647
    - 301


    Asylum, Psycho, The House That Dripped Blood

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  10. 10
    + 552
    - 245


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

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  11. 11
    + 712
    - 340


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

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  12. 12
    + 523
    - 284


    Incarnate, The Hungry Moon, Ancient Images

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  13. 13
    + 626
    - 311


    Ghost Story, Ghost Story, The Talisman

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  14. 14
    + 477
    - 284


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

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  15. 15
    + 498
    - 243


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

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  16. 16
    + 473
    - 342

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

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  17. 17
    + 743
    - 568


    Phantoms, Phantoms, Watchers

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  18. 18
    + 362
    - 112

    ranked low on reranks & added by hasrvwill
    The Hill of Dreams, The Great God Pan, The Three Impostors

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  19. 19
    + 357
    - 136

    added by RonVickers
    The Nightmare Factory, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Teatro Grottesco

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  20. 20
    + 436
    - 322


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

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  21. 21
    + 499
    - 340


    The Cellar, One Rainy Night, The Traveling Vampire Show

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  22. 22
    + 407
    - 281


    Conan the Barbarian, Conan, The Coming of Conan

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  23. 23
    + 433
    - 317


    The Rats, The Fog, Fluke

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  24. 24
    + 337
    - 86

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

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  25. 25
    + 517
    - 356


    Swan Song, Stinger, The Wolf's Hour

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  26. 26
    + 569
    - 354


    Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods

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  27. 27
    + 425
    - 289


    Carrion Comfort, Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion

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  28. 28
    + 525
    - 429


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

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  29. 29
    + 347
    - 295


    The Store, The association, The House

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  30. 30
    + 541
    - 368


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

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  31. 31
    + 252
    - 103

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

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  32. 32
    + 341
    - 293

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ghor, Kin-Slayer, Khai of Khem

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  33. 33
    + 309
    - 256


    Lost Souls, Exquisite Corpse, Liquor

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  34. 34
    + 430
    - 311


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

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  35. 35
    + 363
    - 240


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

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  36. 36
    + 626
    - 355

    ranked low on reranks
    The Keep, The Keep, Best of the Borderlands

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  37. 37
    + 487
    - 324


    The Woman, Off Season, The Girl Next Door

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  38. 38
    + 190
    - 99

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

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  39. 39
    + 250
    - 77

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

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  40. 40
    + 170
    - 59


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

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  41. 41
    + 199
    - 60

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

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  42. 42
    + 314
    - 314

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

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  43. 43
    + 145
    - 75
    No image

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

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  44. 44
    + 132
    - 65


    Trauma, The Ceremonies, Dark Gods

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  45. 45
    + 280
    - 240

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ravenous, Live Girls, The Loveliest Dead

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  46. 46
    + 250
    - 91

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

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  47. 47
    + 208
    - 84

    ranked low on reranks & added by Spook22uk
    Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Birds II: Land's End

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  48. 48
    + 333
    - 284


    The Rising, The Conqueror Worms, Terminal

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  49. 49
    + 213
    - 118

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

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  50. 50
    + 224
    - 142
    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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