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Encyclopedia > Horror fiction
Horror Portal

Horror fiction is, broadly, fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle, or horrify the audience. Historically, the cause of the "horror" experience has often been the intrusion of an evil—or, occasionally, misunderstood—supernatural element into everyday human experience. Since the 1960s, any work of fiction with a morbid, gruesome, surreal, or exceptionally suspenseful or frightening theme has come to be called "horror". Horror fiction often overlaps science fiction or fantasy, all three of which categories are sometimes placed under the umbrella classification speculative fiction. See also supernatural fiction. Demons World, known in Japan as Horror Story (ホラーストーリー), is a platformer arcade game that was developed by Toaplan and published by Taito in 1989. ... Image File history File links Portal. ... For other uses, see Fiction (disambiguation). ... Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Max Ernst. ... Look up Suspense in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... For other uses, see Fantasy (disambiguation). ... Speculative fiction - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Supernatural fiction is a classification of literature used to describe fiction exploiting or requiring as plot devices or themes some contradictions of the commonplace natural world and materialist assumptions about it. ...

Contents

Early horror writings

Horrific situations are found in some of the earliest recorded tales. Many myths and legends feature scenarios and archetypes used by later horror writers. Tales of demons and vampires in ancient Babylonian, Indian, Chinese and Japanese folklore, and tales collected by the Grimm Brothers, were often quite horrific. The word mythology (from the Greek μυολογία mythología, from mythologein to relate myths, from mythos, meaning a narrative, and logos, meaning speech or argument) literally means the (oral) retelling of myths – stories that a particular culture believes to be true and that use the supernatural to interpret natural events and... For other uses, see Legend (disambiguation). ... Archetype is defined as the first original model of which all other similar persons, objects, or concepts are merely derivative, copied, patterned, or emulated. ... “Fiend” redirects here. ... Philip Burne-Jones, The Vampire, 1897 Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings that subsist on human and/or animal lifeforce. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Mesopotamian mythology. ... Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm The Brothers Grimm (Brüder Grimm) are Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm. ...


Modern horror fiction found its roots in the gothic novels that exploded into popularity in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, typified by Horace Walpole's The Castle of Otranto (1764) as a prototype, and refined by Ann Radcliffe's Gothic novel The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794). A variation on the Gothic formula that remains one of the most enduring and imitated horror works is Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1818, revised version 1831). Frankenstein has also been considered science fiction, a philosophical novel or a 'novel of purpose' by some literary historians. At the same time, John William Polidori devised the kind of vampire story that has since become familiar with his short story The Vampyre. This kind of supernatural character, combining evil with sinister charm, has since been much used and elaborated by horror writers. Strawberry Hill, an English villa in the Gothic revival style, built by seminal Gothic writer Horace Walpole The gothic novel was a literary genre that belonged to Romanticism and began in the United Kingdom with The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole. ... Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, more commonly known as Horace Walpole, (September 24, 1717 – March 2, 1797), was a politician, writer and forerunner of the Gothic revival. ... The Castle of Otranto is a 1764 novel by Horace Walpole. ... This article is about the 19th-century author. ... The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe, was published in the summer of 1794 by G. G. and J. Robinson of London in 4 volumes. ... Mary Shelley Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley née Godwin (August 30, 1797–February 1, 1851) was an English writer who is, perhaps, equally-famously remembered as the wife of Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... This article is about the 1818 novel. ... For other uses, see Philosophy (disambiguation). ... John William Polidori (September 7, 1795 - August 24, 1821) is credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction. ... The Vampyre is a short novel written by John William Polidori and is a progenitor of the romantic vampire genre of fantasy fiction. ...


The first published American horror story was Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is a short story by Washington Irving contained in his collection The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. ...


Later gothic horror descendants included seminal late 19th century works such as Bram Stoker's Dracula and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. Early horror works used mood and subtlety to deliver an eerie and otherworldly flavor, but usually eschewed extensive explicit violence. Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... This article is about the novel. ... For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ... The Turn of the Screw may also refer to the opera by Benjamin Britten or an album by the band 1208. ...


Other early exponents of the horror form number such luminaries as Edgar Allan Poe and H. P. Lovecraft who are widely considered to be masters of the art. Among the writers of classic English ghost stories, M. R. James is often cited as the finest. His stories avoid shock effects and often involve an Oxford antiquarian as their hero. Algernon Blackwood's The Willows and Oliver Onions's The Beckoning Fair One have been called the best horror stories. Lovecraft and Sheridan le Fanu called some of their writing weird fiction or weird stories. Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... This article is about the author. ... For other uses, see Ghost (disambiguation). ... Montague Rhodes James, OM (August 1, 1862 – June 12, 1936), who published under the byline M. R. James, was a noted British mediaeval scholar and provost of Kings College, Cambridge (1905–1918) and of Eton College (1918–1936). ... This article is about the city of Oxford in England. ... An antiquarian or antiquary is one concerned with antiquities or things of the past. ... Algernon Henry Blackwood (March 14, 1869 – December 10, 1951) was an English writer of tales of the supernatural. ... Oliver Onions (pseudonym of George Oliver) (1873 - 1961) was a significant English novelist. ... Sheridan Le Fanu Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (August 28, 1814 – February 7, 1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales and mystery novels. ...


Horror fiction reached a wider audience in the 1920s and 1930s with the rise of the American pulp magazine. The premier horror pulp was Weird Tales, which printed many of Lovecraft's stories as well as fiction by other writers such as Clark Ashton Smith, E. Hoffmann Price, Seabury Quinn and Robert Bloch. At a lower intellectual level were the weird menace or "shudder pulps" such as Dime Mystery and Horror Stories, which offered a more visceral form of horror. This article is about inexpensive fiction magazines. ... This page is about the fantasy and horror fiction pulp magazine and its heirs. ... Clark Ashton Smith (January 13, 1893-August 14, 1961) was a poet, sculptor, painter and author of fantasy, horror and science fiction short stories. ... Edgar Hoffmann Trooper Price, (1898-1988), (July 3, 1898, Fowler, California – June 18, 1988, Redwood City, California) was a writer of popular fiction for the pulp magazine marketplace. ... Seabury Grandin Quinn (aka Jerome Burke) (1889 - 1969) was a pulp magazine author most famous for his stories of the supernatural detective Jules de Grandin, published in Weird Tales to great success. ... Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917, Chicago-September 23, 1994, Los Angeles) was a prolific American writer. ... An intellectual is one who tries to use his or her intellect to work, study, reflect, speculate on, or ask and answer questions with regard to a variety of different ideas. ... Weird menace is the name given to a sub-genre of horror fiction that was popular in the pulp magazines of the 1940s and 1950s. ... Horror Stories was a U.S. pulp magazine that published tales of the supernatural, horror, and macabre. ...


Some stories in highbrow "literary" fiction could arguably be regarded as horror narratives: examples include Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis" (Die Verwandlung) and "In the Penal Colony" (In der Strafkolonie) and William Faulkner's A Rose for Emily. Literary fiction is a somewhat uneasy term that has come into common usage since around 1970, principally to distinguish serious fiction from the many types of genre fiction and popular fiction. ... “Kafka” redirects here. ... The Metamorphosis (in German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915, and arguably the most famous of his works along with the longer works The Trial and The Castle. ... In the Penal Colony (German: In der Strafkolonie) is a short story in German by Franz Kafka. ... William Cuthbert Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962) was an American novelist and poet whose works feature his native state of Mississippi. ... A Rose for Emily is a short story by the American author William Faulkner first published on April 30, 1930. ...


Contemporary horror fiction

Some modern practitioners of the genre use vivid depictions of extreme violence or shock to entertain their audiences, often recalling Grand Guignol theatre (see splatterpunk). This development has given horror fiction a stigma as base entertainment devoid of literary merit. Other writers, such as Ramsey Campbell and Thomas Ligotti, are cited as rejecting the portrayal of violent acts in favor of more psychological writing. The Grand Guignol (Grahn Geen-YOL) was a theatre (Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol) in the Pigalle area of Paris (at 20 bis, rue Chaptal), which, from its opening in 1897 to its closing in 1962, specialized in the most naturalistic grisly horror shows. ... Splatterpunk is a neologism coined to describe a subgenre of horror fiction distinguished by its graphic depiction of violence. ... Literary Merit a written text has Liteary Merit if it is a work of quality, that is if it has some aesthetic value. ... John Ramsey Campbell (born January 4, 1946 in Liverpool) is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. ... Thomas Ligotti (born July 9, 1953, in Detroit, Michigan) is a writer of horror stories. ...


Nevertheless, popular contemporary writers such as Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, and Stephen King will sometimes bring off the horror effect without the extreme violence that characterises much of the current mainstream of this genre. Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania), also known under a number of pseudonyms, including Leigh Nichols, is an American writer. ... For the South African football (soccer) coach, see Clive Barker (soccer). ... Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of over 200 stories including over 50 bestselling horror novels. ...


Horror fiction does not confine itself to literature, however. Countless horror-themed movies have been released in the 20th century, notably Dracula, Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday The 13th, and Night of the Living Dead. Even video games have used horror elements in their plotlines or gameplay, such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill, VtM:Bloodlines and VtM:Redemption, Quake, the Ravenholm chapter of Half Life 2, F.E.A.R and the Doom series, especially Doom 3. Also there are some horror-based role-playing settings such as Ravenloft and World of Darkness. Dracula is a 1931 horror film produced by Universal Pictures Co. ... Halloween (sometimes referred to as John Carpenters Halloween) is a 1978 American independent horror film set in the fictional midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois on Halloween. ... A Nightmare on Elm Street is an American horror film directed by Wes Craven about several teenagers being terrorized in their nightmares by a mysterious man named Freddy Krueger in the fictional Midwest town of Springwood, Ohio. ... This article is about the Friday the 13th series of movies. ... This article is about the 1968 film directed by George A. Romero. ... “Computer and video games” redirects here. ... Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard ), is a survival horror video game by Capcom and is the inaugural title in the Resident Evil series. ... There are currently five Silent Hill games available with three under production (although one title, Silent Hill: Play Novel, was released exclusively in Japan), all of which were released to strong sales and critical acclaim. ... Zombies attacking the player at the starting of Episode 1, Mission 3: The Necropolis. ... Ravenholm is a fictional Eastern European themed town (the actual geographic location is never revealed) in the 2004 computer game Half-Life 2. ... Half-Life 2 is a first-person shooter computer game and the highly anticipated sequel to Half-Life developed by Valve Software. ... F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon) is a first-person shooter computer game developed by Monolith Productions. ... Doom (or DOOM)[1] is a 1993 computer game by id Software that is a landmark title in the first-person shooter genre. ... Doom 3 is a science fiction, horror, first-person shooter computer game. ... This article is about Dungeons & Dragons Campaign setting. ... The World of Darkness (or WoD) is the name given to three related but distinct fictional universes. ...


Notable horror authors

Cleo Virginia Andrews (June 6, 1923 – December 19, 1986), better known as V. C. Andrews or Virginia C. Andrews was an American author. ... Jay Anson (4 November 1921-12 March 1980) was an American author whose first (and most famous) work was The Amityville Horror. ... For the South African football (soccer) coach, see Clive Barker (soccer). ... Algernon Henry Blackwood (March 14, 1869 – December 10, 1951) was an English writer of tales of the supernatural. ... Robert Albert Bloch (April 5, 1917, Chicago-September 23, 1994, Los Angeles) was a prolific American writer. ... Ray Douglas Bradbury (born August 22, 1920) is an American literary, fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer best known for The Martian Chronicles, a 1950 book which has been described both as a short story collection and a novel, and his 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, and is widely... John Ramsey Campbell (born January 4, 1946 in Liverpool) is a British writer considered by a number of critics to be one of the great masters of horror fiction. ... Nathaniel Hawthorne (born Nathaniel Hathorne; July 4, 1804 – May 19, 1864) was a 19th century American novelist and short story writer. ... James Herbert (born 8 April 1943, London) is a best selling English horror writer known for his simple yet compelling sensationalist novels, which are notable for their use of horrific set pieces. ... Washington Irving (April 3, 1783 – November 28, 1859) was an American author of the early 19th century. ... This article is about the author. ... Montague Rhodes James, (August 1, 1862–June 12, 1936). ... Brian Keene Brian Keene is a two-time Bram Stoker Award winning horror author, first in 2001 for his non-fiction work Jobs In Hell and then again in 2003 for his debut novel, the post-apocalyptic zombie tale The Rising. ... Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of over 200 stories including over 50 bestselling horror novels. ... Dean Ray Koontz (born July 9, 1945 in Everett, Pennsylvania), also known under a number of pseudonyms, including Leigh Nichols, is an American writer. ... Michael Laimo is a popular horror author whose novels include Atmosphere, Dead Souls, Deep in the Darkness, The Demonologist, Fires Rising, and Sleepwalker. ... Richard Carl Laymon (January 14, 1947 - February 14, 2001[1]) was an American horror writer. ... Bentley Little is the author of numerous horror novels. ... Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937) was an American author of fantasy, horror and science fiction, noted for combining these three genres within single narratives. ... Arthur Machen (March 3, 1863 – December 15th, 1947) was a leading Welsh-born author of the 1890s. ... Richard Burton Matheson (born February 20, 1926) is an American author and screenwriter, typically of fantasy, horror or science fiction. ... Robert R. McCammon is an American novelist. ... Joyce Carol Oates (born June 16, 1938) is an American author and the Roger S. Berlind 52 Professor in the Humanities with the Program in Creative Writing at Princeton University, where she has taught since 1978 ([1]). She serves as associate editor for the Ontario Review, a literary magazine, and... Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American poet, short story writer, playwright, editor, literary critic, essayist and one of the leaders of the American Romantic Movement. ... This article is about the 19th-century author. ... Anne Rice (born on October 4, 1941) is a best-selling American author of gothic and later religious themed books. ... For the Canadian philosopher, see John Ralston Saul. ... This article is about the author. ... Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (née Godwin) (30 August 1797 – 1 February 1851) was an English romantic/gothic novelist and the author of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus. ... Robert Louis Stevenson Robert Louis (Balfour) Stevenson (November 13, 1850–December 3, 1894), was a Scottish novelist, poet, and travel writer, and a leading representative of Neo-romanticism in English literature. ... Abraham Bram Stoker (November 8, 1847 – April 20, 1912) was an Irish writer, best remembered as the author of the influential horror novel Dracula. ... Peter Straub at the University of South Florida on February 15, 2007 Peter Francis Straub, born March 2, 1943 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is a writer of fiction and poetry, best known as a prolific horror author. ...

See also

The Bram Stoker Award is a recognition presented by the Horror Writers Association (HWA) for superior achievement in horror writing. ... Fantastique is a French term for a literary and cinematic genre that overlaps with parts of science fiction, horror and fantasy. ... A ghost story may be any piece of fiction, or drama, that includes a ghost, or simply takes as a premise the possibility of ghosts or the belief of some character(s) in them. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Erotic horror, alternately noted as Dark Erotica, is a term applied to works of horror fiction in which sensual or sexual imagery (or even descriptions of the physical act of sexual intercourse) are blended with horrific overtones or story elements. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
glbtq >> literature >> Ghost and Horror Fiction (875 words)
Ghost and horror fiction is an umbrella term for stories of the occult, of terrifying acts of antisocial behavior, of physical and psychological horror, as well as of witchcraft, vampirism, and the demonic.
Unlike fantasy or science fiction, most of the events in horror fiction take place in the natural world as we know it, instead of in constructed futures or on planets beyond the galaxy.
Horror stories of the period frequently concentrate on the interaction between the living and the dead.
Horror@Everything2.com (1526 words)
That horror fiction deals with subjects of a dark and unpleasant nature is a given; so too is it a given that the writerof horror fiction spends a decent portion of their waking (and sometimes sleeping) hours thinking about and exploring these self-same dark and unpleasant things in order to strengthen and enrich their fiction.
The horror writer has to accept that darkness, pessimism, anger, violence, loneliness, grief (and all the other more unpleasant aspects of life that no one else wants to talk about) will always be a part of their daily thought processes, and therefore, to an extent, their own personality.
In order to make their fiction as rich as it can be, in order to ensure that the bigger-than-life events they portray on the page are still very much in touch with life, to some degree or another, the horror writer has to make these darknesses a permanent part of their psychological make-up.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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