100 Best Horror Novels (up to 1987)

This cool book, originally published in 1988, asked famous writers to create the ultimate list of the Top 100 Horror Novels over history. I was so impressed by the obscure and classic titles they discussed, I copied the full list with Amazon links for reference. Check it out!

1592: Christopher Marlow – The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus

1606: William Shakespeare – The Tragedy of Macbeth

1612: John Webster – The White Devil

1794: William Godwin – Caleb Williams

1796: Matthew Gregory Lewis – The Monk

1816: E.T.A. Hoffman – The Best Tales of Hoffman

1817: Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey

1818: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley – Frankenstein

1820: Charles Maturin – Melmoth the Wanderer

1824: James Hogg – The Confessions of a Justified Sinner

1838: Edgar Allan Poe – Tales of Mystery and Imagination

1838: Nathaniel Hawthorne – Twice-Told Tales

1842: Jeremias Gotthelf – The Black Spider

1845: Eugene Sue – The Wandering Jew

1857: Herman Melville – The Confidence Man

1864: J. Sheridan Le Fanu – Uncle Silas

1886: Robert Louis Stevenson – Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

1887: H. Rider Haggard – She

1895: Robert W. Chambers – The King in Yellow

1896: H.G. Wells – The Island of Dr. Moreau

1897: Bram Stoker – Dracula

1898: Henry James – The Turn of the Screw

1902: Joseph Conrad – Heart of Darkness

1903: Bram Stoker – The Jewel of Seven Stars

1904: M.R. James – Ghost Stories of an Antiquary

1906: Arthur Machen – The House of Souls

1908: Algernon Blackwood – John Silence

1908: G.K. Chesterton – The Man Who Was Thursday

1908: William Hope Hodgson – The House on the Borderland

1909: Ambrose Bierce – The Collected Works of Ambrose Bierce

1911: Oliver Onions – Widdershins

1912: E.F. Benson – The Horror Horn

1920: David Lindsay – A Voyage to Arcturus

1925: Franz Kafka – The Trial

1929: James Branch Cabell – Something About Eve

1929: E.H. Visiak – Medusa

1933: Guy Endore – The Werewolf of Paris

1933: Marjorie Bowen – The Last Bouquet

1934: Alexander Laing – The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck

1937: Hugh Walpole – A Second Century of Creepy Stories

1938: C.S. Lewis – The Dark Tower

1939: Dalton Trumbo – Johnny Got His Gun

1939: H.P. Lovecraft – The Outsider and Others

1942: Clark Ashton Smith – Out of Space and Time

1943: Fritz Leiber – Conjure Wife

1945: Cornell Woolrich – Night Has a Thousand Eyes

1945: H.P. Lovecraft & August Derleth – The Lurker at the Threshold

1946: Paul Bailey – Deliver Me from Eva

1946: Boris Karloff – And the Darkness Falls

1947: August Derleth – The Sleeping and the Dead

1949: Walter Van Tilburg Clark – Track of the Cat

1952: Sarban – The Sound of His Horn

1954: William Golding – Lord of the Flies

1954: Richard Matheson – I Am Legend

1955: Ray Bradbury – The October Country

1958: Payne Brennan – Nine Horrors and A Dream

1959: Robert Bloch – Psycho

1959: Nigel Kneale – Quatermass and the Pit

1959: H.P. Lovecraft – Cry Horror!

1959: Shirley Jackson – The Haunting of Hill House

1964: Philip K. Dick – The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch

1965: Jerzy Kosinski – The Painted Bird

1966: J.G. Ballard – The Crystal World

1968: Robert Aickman – Sub Rosa

1969: Kingsley Amis – The Green Man

1969: Anthony Boucher – The Compleat Werewolf

1971: John Gardner – Grendel

1971: William Peter Blatty – The Exorcist

1972: John Brunner – The Sheep Look Up

1973: Manly Wade Wellman – Worse Things Waiting

1973: Robert Marasco – Burnt Offerings

1975: Stephen King – ’Salems Lot

1975: Harlan Ellison – Deathbird Stories

1977: Hugh B. Cave – Murgunstrumm and Others

1977: Bernard Taylor – Sweetheart, Sweetheart

1977: John Farris – All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By

1977: Stephen King – The Shining

1978: William Hjortsberg – Falling Angel

1978: Whitley Strieber – The Wolfen

1979: David Morrell – The Totem

1979: Peter Straub – Ghost Story

1980: Jonathan Carroll – The Land of Laughs

1980: Richard Laymon – The Cellar

1981: Thomas Harris – Red Dragon

1981: F. Paul Wilson – The Keep

1982: Dennis Etchison – The Dark Country

1983: Karl Edward Wagner – In a Lonely Place

1983: Tim Powers – The Anubis Gates

1983: Robert Irwin – The Arabian Nightmare

1984: Iain Banks – The Wasp Factory

1984: T.E.D. Klein – The Ceremonies

1984: Robert Holdstock – Mythago Wood

1984: Michael Bishop – Who Made Stevie Crye?

1985: Dan Simmons – Song of Kali

1985: Clive Barker – The Damnation Game

1985: Peter Ackroyd – Hawksmoor

1986: Lisa Tuttle – A Nest of Nightmares

1986: Charles L. Grant – The Pet

1987: Robert McCammon – Swan Song

1987: Ramsey Campbell – Dark Feasts

2 Comments

    • Maybe because he was one of the contributors they didn’t want to seem biased. The book King recommends to the list is Burnt Offerings (1973) by Robert Marasco. I can’t speak from memory, of course, but I don’t think in the ’70s and ’80s King was considered a masterful writer like he’s often considered today. Perhaps he’s always been a god in the horror world, but I’m pretty sure I’ve heard him complain about being hated by literary critics for most of his career.

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