Graveyard Shift The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers  

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

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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
3,103 916
Edgar Allan Poe is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Raven, Annabel Lee, The Fall of the House of Usher

2
3,533 925
Stephen King is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Pet Sematary, Creepshow, Salem's Lot

3
3,399 626
H. P. Lovecraft is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, At the Mountains of Madness, The Dunwich Horror and Others

4
1,565 640
Bram Stoker is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Dracula, The Lair of the White Worm, The Lady of the Shroud

5
1,661 637
Clive Barker is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Hellraiser, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth

6
1,428 504
Ray Bradbury is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Fahrenheit 451, King of Kings

7
1,317 542
Mary Shelley is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstein, Political Justice

8
1,198 528
Richard Matheson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Omega Man, Duel, The Last Man on Earth

9
907 428
Robert Bloch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Asylum, Psycho, The House That Dripped Blood

10
781 387
Algernon Blackwood is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Best ghost stories of Algernon Blackwood., A Psychical Invasion, Four Weird Tales

11
1,054 445
Shirley Jackson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Haunting of Hill House, We Have Always Lived in the Castle, The Lottery and Other Stories

12
916 443
Peter Straub is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Ghost Story, Ghost Story, The Talisman

13
1,167 785
Dean Koontz is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Phantoms, Phantoms, Watchers

14
661 393
M. R. James is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Night of the Demon, Ghost Stories of an Antiquary, Collected Ghost Stories

15
680 465
Robert Louis Stevenson is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Treasure Island, The Master of Ballantrae

16
681 414
Ramsey Campbell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Incarnate, The Hungry Moon, Ancient Images

17
674 344
Ambrose Bierce is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Devil's Dictionary, The dance of death, In the midst of life

18
662 411
William Peter Blatty is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Exorcist, A Shot in the Dark, The Exorcist III

19
524 206
Arthur Machen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
hasrvwill added The Hill of Dreams, The Great God Pan, The Three Impostors

20
607 411
James Herbert is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Rats, The Fog, Fluke

21
728 448
Robert R. McCammon is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Swan Song, Stinger, The Wolf's Hour

22
832 595
Anne Rice is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, The Queen of the Damned, Interview with the Vampire

23
825 478
Neil Gaiman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
Beowulf, Marvel 1602, American Gods

24
664 452
Richard Laymon is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
The Cellar, One Rainy Night, The Traveling Vampire Show

25
478 228
Thomas Ligotti is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All-Time Greatest Horror Writers
RonVickers added The Nightmare Factory, Songs of a Dead Dreamer, Teatro Grottesco