HWA's Horror Reading List

The HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION was formed, in part, to foster a greater appreciation of dark fiction among members of the general public. Whether you are new to Horror, or simply want to become familiar with some of the classics and "bests" of dark fiction, the following books are a wonderful place to begin.

Like most "best of" lists, ours is somewhat quirky. The books that appear here were picked using a survey of HWA's general membership in 1996, so many excellent books published more recently do not appear here, and some of those that do are now out of print. Most of the recognized classics of dark fiction do appear here, though. Those that are O.P. can often be obtained through used booksellers such as Alibris.

For an additional guide to excellent Horror, consider sampling HWA's Bram Stoker Award winners and finalists as well. Enjoy!

Note: This list is arranged alphabetically by author's last name. No ranking is implied.

  • Best Ghost stories of Algernon Blackwood
  • The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
  • Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
  • The Hungry Moon by Ramsey Campbell
  • The Between by Tananarive Due
  • Darklands by Dennis Etchison
  • Raven by Charles L Grant
  • Dead in the Water by Nancy Holder
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
  • Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  • The Ghost Stories of M.R. James
  • Dr. Adder by K.W. Jeter
  • The Metamorphosis and Other Stories by Franz Kafka
  • Pet Semetary by Stephen King
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • The Stand by Stephen King
  • Skin by Kathe Koja
  • Dark Dance by Tanith Lee
  • Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
  • Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
  • Songs of a Dead Dreamer by Thomas Ligotti
  • Lovers Living, Lovers Dead by Richard Lortz
  • The Dunwich Horror and Others by H.P. Lovecraft
  • At the Mountains of Madness by H.P. Lovecraft
  • The Hill of Dreams by Arthur Machen
  • Tales of Horror and the Supernatural by Arthur Machen
  • Sineater by Elizabeth Massie
  • I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  • Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • Book of the Dead edited by John Skipp and Craig Spector
  • Ghoul by Michael Slade
  • Vampire Junction by S.P. Somtow
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Some of Your Blood by Theodore Sturgeon
  • Phantom by Thomas Tessier
  • Sacrifice by Andrew Vachss

Compiled by Thomas Deja and Nicholas Kauffman

Copyright © 2009 by Horror Writers Association