Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Top Nine Horror Books

In order to write, one must first read.  To write in any genre, one should read who they consider to be the masters of their craft.  But why nine, you ask?  Why not ten?  That tenth place is saved for the next book that wow's me.  Everyone has a list like the one that follows, and everyone's is different, but what follows are the top nine works of horror fiction that inspired, and continue to inspire, me to write.

  • Hell House, Richard Matheson - To me, the greatest haunted house book of all time.  This one managed to scare the hell out of me. 
  • Cabal, Clive Barker - the first book I read by Barker, and still one of my favorites.  Twisted and wonderful all at once, it's about a race of monsters. 
  • The Shining, Stephen King - Like I could leave him off the list...Scary as hell, the master of slow-burn horror, this book is, in my opinion, King at his finest.
  • The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty - If you haven't read this book, you're missing out.  The movie is scary, but the book is terrifying. 
  • The Phantom of the Opera, Gaston Leroux - Old-school horror where the phantom wasn't some bare-chested, half-mask wearing nancy-boy.  This Phantom was a psychotic menace. 
  • Psycho, Robert Bloch - Who doesn't love Norman Bates?  
  • Frankenstien, Mary Shelly - The first, the best, the truest form of horror.  Written by a teen-aged girl during a thunderstorm, this book captivated the world.  
  • The Best of H.P. Lovecraft, H.P. Lovecraft - Easily the Godfather of modern horror, the man who was Providence still resonates today because no one does dread better. 
  • Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe, E.A. Poe - No list of horror greats would be complete without Poe.  Without him, none of us would be writing horror.  
So that's it...My top nine.  Tune in next time when I reveal who I believe to be the future of horror literature, and who to watch.  Until then...

Write on!


  1. Turn of the Screw by Henry James. Made me afraid of glancing at windows! Great psychological thriller with ghosts and a sexually repressed governess ... and two little kids.

  2. Well, I've at least read half of that list. Hell House ranks very high with me, as does Frankenstein.

    The Exorcist and Lovecraft's work are on my wish list. I've only had the chance to read a couple of his short works.

    Dean Koontz's Watchers is another fine read I keep in my "top ten."

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