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Your Guide to the Best Horror Authors That Will Actually Terrify You

A scary story can make for a fun, entertaining evening.

It’s the best horror authors, though, who can create a story that sticks with their readers for years to come.

Readers who love the genres of horror and thrillers can never seem to get their fill of these scary stories. Whether it’s a story based on a true event or something completely fantastical that’s been 100% created by the author – they’re fans for life and will devour anything they can get their hands on.

What’s the draw of these books? Why do people purposefully choose to be scared?

Part of it has to do with the talent of the author. Horror writers have a special gift to grasp the reader by the shoulders and plunge them headfirst into their story.

What else is involved? Which horror authors for adults have the gift of writing something deliciously frightening?

Horror, Thrillers, and Other Scary Stories – Why These Genres Are So Popular

What do the classic authors, as well as the best horror authors of our time, have in common? They keep readers coming back to the genre, enthralled with the thrill of the terrifying tale. However, why is it that readers want to be scared in the first place?

The horror genre is one in which the purpose is to disgust, frighten, or startle the reader. Why do people like to be entertained in this manner?

According to some researchers, people enjoy situations in which they can experience negative emotions, as long as it’s in a safe space. So, while someone may have nightmares because of a horror novel they’ve read, there’s still a part of them that knows they’re safe because it was just a book. Plus, all those bad things that happened didn’t happen to them – they happened to a fictional character.

Others say that the horror genre appeals to the animal within, the part of human nature that is naturally savage and violent. They say that the actions of the evil entity within the story are something that some people would engage in according to their natural inclinations, but that they choose to ignore due to the confines of societal norms.

Still, another reason is that a lot of readers like to get into the psychology behind the actions. They like to get into the head of the monster or murderer. Why do they do what they do? What caused them to get to the point of carrying out such horrific actions? There’s a high-level of intrigue there that keeps some readers coming back for more.

Fan of Horror? Check Out the Best Horror Authors and Their Most Famous Works

Today, readers who love horror will be thrilled with this list of the best horror authors. Some of them are the best horror authors on Ranker, some of whom have written the best horror novels you’ve never heard of.

Here’s a short list of some of the best horror authors and some of the best horror books of 2018.

H.P. Lovecraft

H.P. Lovecraft is a classic horror writer. Anyone who loves horror needs to read at least one of Lovecraft’s stories. Some at the top of the list include:

Edgar Allan Poe

Another classic horror writer, Poe is revered to this day as one of the fathers of the genre. Those who haven’t read any of Poe’s work might very well be living under a rock. In many cases, Edgar Allan Poe is a must-read writer in many English programs, from middle school through the collegiate level.

  • The Tell-Tale Heart
  • The Black Cat
  • The Premature Burial
  • The Fall of the House of Usher

Stephen King

Stephen King is the Master of Modern horror. One of the most prolific authors of this generation, King has written over 60 stories, the majority of which are considered horror or thriller.

Here are just a few of the best horror stories listed on Paste Magazine’s Must-Read Stephen King book list.

Lauren Beukes

Lauren Beukes is an author who has kept horror alive for the major publishing houses. Her books,The Shining Girls and Broken Monsters, are ranked among the top 50 horror novels of all time. Broken Monsters is a follow-up to The Shining Girls, and unlike a lot of sequels, actually does justice to the first novel.

A plus for this series by Beukes – there’s plenty of science fiction mixed in, which keeps the story fresh and entertaining without detracting from the horror.

Thomas Harris

The man who brought Hannibal Lecter into the world knows his way around horror. Thomas Harris is a genius for creating a story of horror within horror. Think about it: needing to engage the help of a notoriously insane cannibal to find a serial killer? That’s downright terrifying.

Some other thriller/horror works by Harris besides The Silence of the Lambs include:

Alma Katsu

One of the best horror authors 2018 is Alma Katsu for her novel The Hunger, released in March 2019. The story is both historical and supernatural, combining what history knows of the Donner Party with evil forces.

Zoje Stage

Another writer who has penned one of the best horror books 2018 is Zoje Stage for the book Baby Teeth. The story is about frailty and broken familial bonds, and how both of those factors can lead to cruelty and potentially to murder.

Ready to Be Frightened? Audiobook Store Has Readers Who Love Horror Covered

As the days get shorter and the nights get longer, fall and winter are the ideal time to curl up with a hot cup of cocoa and an entertaining audiobook. Especially if that book happens to be deliciously frightful.

We have a wide variety of audiobooks that will keep readers thoroughly entertained, whether they’re into romance, self-help, or the best horror books of 2019.  

A great way to expand your horizons is to read fiction that can be closely related to horror, like certain thrillers and sci-fi stories. We’re sure after browsing these categories you’ll find something that will leave you entertained and gleefully freaked out!

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