Sunday, November 19, 2017


HORROR FICTION – There are 2 main horror fiction sub genres, with further delineations and specificity. Classic slasher, serial killer and gore--undiluted by any paranormal or fantasy element--features a psychopath/s on a murderous killing spree. These always take place in a conventional world but flexibility happens at times with alternate timelines/ histories. Supernatural horror covers everything else: a creature, supernatural entity, monster, ghost, etc. These stories take place in a conventional world with the monster inserted. Or in an imagined world built from pure fantasy. Either variety (slasher or supernatural) can be told from the point of view of the killer/ monster, the victim or both. Obviously, some stories blend both elements. As part of speculative fiction (supernatural, fantasy, superhero, science fiction, horror, etc.), supernatural horror features worlds with fantasy or futuristic elements. Classic slasher is closely related to crime and thrillers, but the focus is on the act of terror itself, not the crime and investigation elements.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley 1818
A scientist develops a technique to impart life into a non-living humanoid, pieced together from collected parts.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde 1890
A hedonist wishes his image would age instead of himself. He experiments with every vice, influenced by a morally poisonous French novel. 

Dracula by Bram Stoker 1897
When a solicitor visits a Transylvanian castle, he soon realizes he’s the Count’s prisoner.

The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft 1928
A writer working on a manuscript discovers a cult that worships the Great Old Ones and awaits the return of a monstrous being.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson 1959
A paranormal investigator rents Hill House for a summer, inviting guests who have had past paranormal encounters.

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty 1971
Two priests attempt to exorcise a demon from the 12 year old daughter of a famous actress.

Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice 1976
A vampire tells a reporter about an encounter, whereby another vampire turned him into his immortal companion.

Pet Sematary by Stephen King 1983
When a doctor and his family moves into a new house, his elderly neighbor warns him about the highway that runs past them.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis 1991
An investment banker narrates his midnight murders in Manhattan during the late 80s. 

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill 2007
An aging collector of the macabre gets more than he bargained for when he buys a heart-shaped box. 


  1. I'm a big scaredy cat when it comes to horror (I have an incredible imagination when I'm in the dark!) so I really tend to stay away from these kind of stories but it's interesting to see the way that you have classified horror.

  2. I definitely prefer supernatural - who knew there were so many sub genres to horror stories.

  3. Horror normally horrifies me, but I am slowly becoming a convert. Not to the slasher type movies/books, but a good dose of supernatural creepy demon stuff is going down rather well. I kind of look forward to screaming through my Saturday nights now!

  4. Fantastic treasures you dug out there. I love those posters / images. Thanks!

  5. Frankenstein, Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray were on the required reading list for my English classes in high school. All three have become some of my favorite pieces of literature.

  6. Great description of the different subgeneres. I'm not into horror stories myself. Although I loved some good Stephen king stories when I was a child.

  7. Great selection. There are a few from here that i haven't read and now I can't wait to :-) But I love pure suspense too - normal settings and non-dramatic but nevertheless gripping suspense.

  8. Great description and selection!

  9. I’ve read some of these classic books but I can’t read the newer ones. They are too creepy and aren’t as well written