You know the classics: Dracula, Frankenstein, Cthulhu etc. But do you know where they come from? Better yet, do you know who created them? If you like horror, you’ve likely heard of some of the people on this list. Nevertheless, it’s important to note the people who have been influential not just in the horror literature genre, but the genre of horror itself. These following authors are considered to be the most inspiring masters of the art of scaring.

10 – H.P. Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft

HP Lovecraft

Works: The Call of Cthulhu, Herbert West- Reanimator, The Lurking Fear

09 – Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allen Poe

Works: The Fall of the House of Usher, The Raven, The Tell-tale Heart

08 – Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley- Richard Rothwell [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Works: Frankenstein, The Last Man, Valperga

07 – Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Anne Rice

Works: Interview with the Vampire, The Queen of the Damned, Prince Lestat

06 – Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson

Richard Matheson


Works: I am Legend, Hell House, The Shrinking Man

05 – Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum

Jack Ketchum – By Georges Seguin (Okki) (English: Own workFrançais : Photo personnelle) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Works: The Girl Next Door, The Woman, Right to Life

04 – Clive Barker

Clive Barker

Clive Barker – By Steven Friederich (CliveIMG_0690) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Works: Books of Blood, The Damnation Game, Imajica

03 – Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson


Works: The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House, The Sundial

02 – Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker

Bram Stoker – By unidentified photographer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Works: Dracula, The Man, The Mystery of the Sea

01 – Stephen King

Stephen King

Stephen King


Works: The Shining, Carrie, Misery