During the course of history, many people have been fascinated, intrigued, and inspired by authors who craft dark, mysterious stories into best-selling works. These include books, made- for- television movies, and even film. Coming up with some of the most prolific writers of horror, oddity, and awe was no easy feat; but we at Circles Magazine rose to the challenge and found what we believe may be the top 6.
Perhaps one of the most famous and eternally memorialized authors is Edgar Allan Poe. Born in January of 1809, Poe is known for his dark tales of satire, gothic works, short stories and poems, such as ‘’ The Raven’’. Poe was also one of the innovators of the American horror story and is often referred to and credited for being the father of modern detective stories. Poe’s frequent use of subjects such as death and loss played a repetitive theme throughout many of his most famous works.
Poe married Virginia Clem, his 13 year old cousin, in 1836. She served as both his literary inspiration and love interest. When she tragically passed in 1847, Poe allegedly spun into depression and indulged in alcohol. He untimely passed away at the age of 40 in 1849. Poe is still, to this day, capturing the imagination and interests of readers around the world.
Bram Stoker was born November 8, 1847. He was an Irish novelist/ short story writer and was best known for the 1897 gothic novel ‘’ Dracula’’. The 3rd of 7 children, he was bedridden with an unknown illness. He was miraculously cured and then started school at 7 years old.
Stoker later stated that the long illness served as inspiration and gave him insight and opportunity to develop creativity and thoughts in later years for his future works. He was said to be partly inspired for the great novel ‘’ Dracula’’ upon a visit to Whitby, England in 1890. He was also fascinated by a Hungarian writer who shared dark stories of the Carpathian Mountains. Stoker spent several years researching European folklore and mythological stories of vampires. The novel gave form to a universal fantasy and became an intricate part of pop culture.
‘’ Dracula’’ is a timeless, romanticized gothic story which served as the basis for several vampire-based movies and television shows and is still; to this day, considered one of the earliest works of horror/ fiction created.
Anne Rice was born in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 4 1941. She has sold over 100 million copies of her novels. The majority of Anne’s childhood and teenage years were spent coping with poverty and dealing with her mother’s alcoholism. She later attended college and majored in journalism in San Francisco and later married her high school sweetheart Stan Rice. After her daughter Michelle died of leukemia at the age of 5 in 1972, Anne penned her novel ‘’ Interview With A Vampire’’ to cope with the grief of losing her daughter. Rice currently resides outside of New Orleans following the death of her husband. Other novels Rice penned are ‘’ Queen of the Damned’’ and ‘’ Exit to Eden’’ both also became on-screen hits.
Robert Lawrence (R.L) Stein was born October 8, 1943 and is an American writer and producer. Often referred to as the “Stephen King” of children’s literature, he is author to 100’s of horror/fiction novels, which include “Goosebumps”, “Fear Street”, and “Mostly Ghostly”. His books have sold over 400 million copies as of 2008.
Stein started his career as a humor writer for “Bananas”, a children’s humor magazine under the pen name Jovial Bob Stein. He was also co-creator and head writer for the Nickelodeon networks television show “Eureka’s Castle”.