in Horror General, Writing

10 Horror Novels Every Aspiring Horror Writer Should Read

So you want to be a horror writer? So you want to create the creepiest stories you possibly can with a view to scaring the living daylights out of your readers? Well, as a horror writer myself, I would like to recommend 10 horror novels every aspiring horror writer should read. Every one of these books will give you a real good feel for the craft, and a peoper understanding of how an effective horror story should be written.

  1. The Rats by James Herbert
  2. Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
  3. The Fog by James Herbert
  4. The Shining by Stephen King
  5. Hell House by Richard Matheson
  6. The Woman In Black by Susan Hill
  7. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  8. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  10. Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin

I strongly recommend that you read each of these novels not just once, for sheer entertainment purposes, but a few times more. Re-reading of these books with a critical eye will be hugely beneficial to you in regard to learning more about the structure of a horror novel, how to create atmosphere, interesting characters, plots that grip your reader from start to finish, and so on.

All these horror novels are, for me, veritable masterpieces, and you will certainly strengthen your own horror writing skills considerably if you study and learn from them.

Alan Toner