writers The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers  

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List Rules 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!
list ordered by

1
+ - 2,328 640
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Edgar Allan Poe The Raven, Annabel Lee, The Fall of the House of Usher

The Greatest Horror Films of All Time 35 Awesome Behind the Scenes Pictures of Movie Monsters

2
+ - 2,448 584
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Stephen King Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

3
+ - 2,477 493
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
H. P. Lovecraft The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, At the Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror and Others

4
+ - 1,198 490
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Bram Stoker Dracula, The Lair of the White Worm, The Lady of the Shroud

5
+ - 1,148 385
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Ray Bradbury Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

6
+ - 1,315 511
Clive Barker is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Clive Barker Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

7
+ - 981 425
Richard Matheson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Richard Matheson The Omega Man, Duel, The Last Man on Earth

8
+ - 997 416
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Mary Shelley Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

9
+ - 740 360
Robert Bloch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Robert Bloch Asylum, Psycho, The House That Dripped Blood

10
+ - 627 311
Algernon Blackwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Algernon Blackwood Best ghost stories of Algernon Blackwood., A Psychical Invasion, Four Weird Tales

11
+ - 821 381
Shirley Jackson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Shirley Jackson The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Lottery and Other Stories

12
+ - 749 368
Peter Straub is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Peter Straub Ghost Story, Ghost Story, The Talisman

13
+ - 914 652
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Dean Koontz Phantoms, Phantoms, Watchers

14
+ - 552 383
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae

15
+ - 530 336
M. R. James is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
M. R. James Night of the Demon, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Collected Ghost Stories

The Scariest Novels of All Time The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

16
+ - 566 344
Ramsey Campbell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Ramsey Campbell Incarnate, The Hungry Moon, Ancient Images

17
+ - 557 283
Ambrose Bierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary, The dance of death, In the midst of life

18
+ - 410 155
Arthur Machen is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Arthur Machen The Hill of Dreams, The Great God Pan, The Three Impostors

19
+ - 523 350
William Peter Blatty is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
William Peter Blatty The Exorcist, A Shot in the Dark, The Exorcist III

20
+ - 503 348
James Herbert is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
James Herbert The Rats, The Fog, Fluke

21
+ - 601 385
Robert R. McCammon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Robert R. McCammon Swan Song, Stinger, The Wolf's Hour

22
+ - 661 476
Anne Rice is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Anne Rice Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Queen of the Damned, Interview with the Vampire

23
+ - 551 383
Richard Laymon is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Richard Laymon The Cellar, One Rainy Night, The Traveling Vampire Show

24
+ - 389 174
Thomas Ligotti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Thomas Ligotti The Nightmare Factory, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Teatro Grottesco

25
+ - 671 392
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Neil Gaiman Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods

26
+ - 457 329
Robert E. Howard is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian, Conan, The Coming of Conan

27
+ - 481 318
Dan Simmons is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Dan Simmons Carrion Comfort, Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion

28
+ - 370 125
Clark Ashton Smith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Clark Ashton Smith The End of the Story, The Abominations of Yondo, Poems in Prose

29
+ - 655 396
Joe Hill is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Joe Hill Heart-Shaped Box: A Novel, Horns, Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys To The Kingdom

21 Famous Schizophrenics The Greatest Horror Books of All Time

30
+ - 379 330
Bentley Little is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Bentley Little The Store, The association, The House

31
+ - 373 320
Brian Lumley is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Brian Lumley Ghor, Kin-Slayer, Khai of Khem

32
+ - 334 293
Poppy Z. Brite is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Poppy Z. Brite Lost Souls, Exquisite Corpse, Liquor

33
+ - 280 130
Fritz Leiber is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Fritz Leiber Night of the Eagle, Swords and Deviltry, Conjure Wife

34
+ - 351 93
H. G. Wells is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
H. G. Wells The Time Machine, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Things to Come

35
+ - 398 271
Graham Masterton is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Graham Masterton The manitou, How to Drive Your Man Wild in Bed, Up all night

36
+ - 454 345
Joe R. Lansdale is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Joe R. Lansdale The Drive-In, Best of the Borderlands, DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection

37
+ - 663 380
F. Paul Wilson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
F. Paul Wilson The Keep, The Keep, Best of the Borderlands

38
+ - 234 121
Henry James is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Henry James The Turn of the Screw, The Portrait of a Lady, The Golden Bowl

39
+ - 512 357
Jack Ketchum is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Jack Ketchum The Woman, Off Season, The Girl Next Door

40
+ - 363 340
John Saul is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
John Saul God Project, The, Suffer the Children

41
+ - 207 85
Sheridan Le Fanu is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Sheridan Le Fanu In a Glass Darkly, Vampires vs. Zombies, Uncle Silas

42
+ - 225 84
William Hope Hodgson is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
William Hope Hodgson The House on the Borderland, Carnacki, the Ghost-Finder

43
+ - 331 104
Thomas Harris is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Thomas Harris Hannibal Rising, The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon

The Best Female Characters in Literature The Best Absinthe Brands

44
+ - 259 99
Daphne du Maurier is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Daphne du Maurier Rebecca, Mary Anne, The Birds II: Land's End

45
+ - 152 90
T. E. D. Klein is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
T. E. D. Klein Trauma, The Ceremonies, Dark Gods

46
+ - 161 102
Robert Aickman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Robert Aickman The Late Breakfasters, Tales of Love and Death, The Eighth Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories

47
+ - 291 264
Ray Garton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Ray Garton Ravenous, Live Girls, The Loveliest Dead

48
+ - 302 160
Richard Bachman is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Richard Bachman

49
+ - 171 221
Whitley Strieber is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Whitley Strieber Communion, Best of the Borderlands, Communion

50
+ - 354 311
Brian Keene is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Brian Keene The Rising, The Conqueror Worms, Terminal