The Top Five Horror Writers of All Time
The Anthropological Writer
Stephen King is unarguably the best horror writer of all time. With his first horror novel in 1976 (Carrie), he has catapulted himself as the King of horror. His surname suits him well. What makes King so compelling of a writer is the psychological and social aspects of humanity that he interweaves into his stories. Many of his books touch upon the big philosophical problems and human weaknesses that everyone of us as human beings experiences on a perpetual basis. For example, Carrie is a novel about a teenage social outcast who consistently gets bullied. The novel “It” is about darkness that preys upon our greatest fears. Lastly, “Needful Things” is about the depravity and intrinsic wickedness that each one of us is capable of if we do not practice self awareness. These are just a few examples, but they do reveal why King is such a phenomenal writer.
The Eclectic Writer
Ray Bradbury places second on my list of the top five horror writers of all time. In my opinion, Mr. Bradbury does not get the credit he deserves. He is a very eclectic writer that weaves the element of horror into a variety of other genres such as mystery, science fiction, and fantasy. When I was a child, I watched the Ray Bradbury Theater and was enthralled and captivated by the stories. Although there were 65 episodes over a span of six seasons, this series was one of the best I have ever seen. These shows revealed the breadth of Ray Bradbury’s brilliant imagination. No other writer, including Stephen King himself, comes close to covering the multidimensionality of horror as does Ray Bradbury.
Edgar Allan Poe
The Romantic Writer
No top five lists would be complete without Edgar Allan Poe. Poe was simply brilliant and was also one of the pioneers of the American horror genre. He was one of the writers in the era of Romanticism and interweaved this theme throughout all of his writings whether they were short stories or poems. The elements of Romanticism involve beauty, love, emotions, the metaphysical and the supernatural. No other writer in history captures both the dual emotions of love and fear the way that Edgar Allan Poe does. One of my favorite stories as a child that was turned into a movie starring Martin Landau was “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The story is both creepy and existential, which is why I think Poe is one of the best horror writers of all time.
Robert Lewis Stine
The Children’s Writer
R. L. Stine has been referred to as the Stephen King of children’s literature. At first these might seem like a paradox, but Stein does an excellent job of combining these two genres and creating spooky themes that will send chills down your spine even as an adult. Although the Goosebumps series were written when I was an older teenager and young adult, my love of the horror genre compelled me to indulge myself in the books, television series, and movies. Also, it doesn’t hurt that R. L. Stine hails from my home state of Ohio. Go Buckeyes!
Howard Phillips Lovecraft
The Cosmic Writer
The final individual on my list of the top five writers of all time is H.P. Lovecraft. Lovecraft is a legend. Unfortunately, although he was not a popular writer during the time that he was alive, afterwards, he gained a considerable following after his untimely death. Lovecraft’s writings are centered upon man’s place in a vast chaotic universe in which he has no divine intervention or comprehension of the supernatural. This leaves him feeling empty, aimless, and frightened. Lovecraft combines teleological, philosophical, and cosmic elements to write what I consider to be some of the best horror literature ever written.
In summary, these are who I believe to be the top five horror writers of all time. I have chosen these individuals based upon originality, uniqueness, and contribution to American horror culture. Of course, this is subjective and only my opinion, but no one who loves the horror genre cannot doubt the impact that these writers have had on our culture.