Horror fiction is a genre of literature intended to arouse in the reader a sense of fear. Often, but not always in the horror fiction focuses on the supernatural in the truest sense of the word; there is a limited set thematic characters borrowed, usually from a grass-roots mythology of various peoples: vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts, demons etc.

The early specimens of the literature of horror in England — M. R. James with an ironic "stories antiquary of ghosts", Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen. Later, in 30-50-e, there are stories of Roald Dahl, John Collier, Gerald Kersh, connecting the supernatural with "black humor". In America the impetus to the development of the genre gave the pulp magazine Weird Tales (founded 1923), which first appeared in the works of H. P. Lovecraft , Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Irwin Howard, Seabury Quinn, Robert Bloch. Classics 50's- Shirley Jackson and Richard Matheson. In Germany, it was popular Hanns Heinz Ewers. The world famous "Golem" of Austrian expressionist Gustav Meyrink. Moreover, a kind of horror literature — the prose of Franz Kafka (the metamorphosis).

The "king" of the genre is Stephen King. Not far behind him in popularity, another American, Dean Koontz. Also known Blatty William ("the Exorcist"), Ira Levin ("Rosemary's Baby") that moved from England, Clive Barker ("Hellraiser"), Robert Mccammon ("They Desire"), Anne Rice ("Vampire Chronicles"), Laurel Hamilton with the series about necromancer Anita Blake, Richard Laymon, Peter Straub, Whitley Strieber, Jack Ketchum. This category includes some of the stories of ray Bradbury. In England the famous James Herbert, Ramsey Campbell, Brian Lumley (the"Necroscope").

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