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Readers' Choice: Scariest Authors


As the daylight hours grow shorter and jack-o-lanterns make their yearly appearance, horror fans know their season is upon us. It's time to grab the candy corn, dim the lights, and scare yourself silly with your favorite spine-tingling reads!

Are you looking for a bone-chilling story this Halloween? Let your hometown libraries and fellow readers help you out!

We recently asked fans of our Facebook page to tell us what they read when they're out for a good scare. Check out this list of their suggested authors. Click on the authors' names to find out which of their books are available from your hometown libraries.


H. P. LovecraftH. P. Lovecraft

Howard Philips Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island. A voracious reader of mythology and "weird fiction" from an early age, Lovecraft wrote stories for publications such as Weird Tales Magazine and is responsible for creating the famous Cthulu mythos. Many of Lovecraft's contemporaries and successors based stories around Cthulu and his demonic Old One compatriots, who came from outer space to wreak havoc on earth.

Although he died in poverty at age 46, Lovecraft is now recognized as the father of modern horror and has inspired many best-selling horror novelists, including Stephen King.


Stephen KingStephen King

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947. His first novel, Carrie, was published in 1974. Since then, King has risen to become the preeminent horror author of our time, with book sales in the hundreds of millions and several of his works adapted for film and television. Among his other best-known works are It, in which a macabre clown terrorizes a group of children, and The Shining, in which a family moves into a possessed hotel.



Mister SlaughterRobert McCammon

A contemporary of Stephen King, McCammon enjoyed popularity during the horror novel boom of the 1970s-1990s, but personal struggles caused him to seek early retirement. After a long absence, McCammon returned to writing in 2002 and has since released three books in his Matthew Corbett series.  While not as prolific as other modern horror novelists, McCammon nevertheless has a strong fan base devoted to his unique blend of the Southern gothic tradition, magical realism, and historical fiction.



Dean KoontzDean Koontz

Prolific and widely acclaimed, Dean Koontz is famous for a bevy of stand-alone novels as well as his popular series, including Odd Thomas and Frankenstein. Readers and critics love Koontz's suspenseful storytelling, explorations of the nature of evil, and his knack for juxtaposing humor and horror.



Robert KirkmanRobert Kirkman

While Robert Kirkman has worked on a variety of graphic novels series including Marvel Comics's Marvel Zombies, he is best known as the author behind The Walking Dead, a series of graphic novels chronicling the struggles of a group of survivors after a zombie apocalypse destroys civilization as we know it. The comic's mixture of interpersonal drama, gory zombie attacks, and hair-trigger plot twists gained legions of fans and inspired AMC to turn it into a hit TV series.



Richard LaymonRichard Laymon

While popular in the United Kingdom and Australia, Richard Laymon's work received little American acclaim during his life, possibly due to the release of poorly edited versions of his early work in America. He was nominated three times for the prestigious Bram Stoker Award, winning posthumously in 2001. Laymon's books are described as suspenseful contributions to the "splatterpunk" subgenre, a type of horror novel earmarked by extremely graphic depictions of violence.



William Peter BlattyWilliam Peter Blatty

William Peter Blatty is best known for his terrifying novel The Exorcist, which he turned into an Oscar-winning screenplay of the same name. The story of a young girl possessed by demons and the priests who attempt to save her, The Exorcist has been frightening readers and movie fans since 1971!

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