Top Horror Writers

by clint-superman | created - 29 Jan 2014 | updated - 16 Aug 2016 | Public

1. Edgar Allan Poe

Writer | Eliza Graves

Edgar Allan Poe was born on January 19, 1809, in Boston, Massachusetts. His father, named David Poe Jr., and his mother, named Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe, were touring actors. Both parents died in 1811, and Poe became an orphan before he was 3 years old. He was adopted by John Allan, a tobacco ...

2. Wes Craven

Writer | A Nightmare on Elm Street

Wes Craven has become synonymous with genre bending and innovative horror, challenging audiences with his bold vision.

Wesley Earl Craven was born in Cleveland, Ohio, to Caroline (Miller) and Paul Eugene Craven. He had a midwestern suburban upbringing. His first feature film was The Last House on ...

3. John Carpenter

Writer | The Fog

John Howard Carpenter was born in Carthage, New York, to mother Milton Jean (Carter) and father Howard Ralph Carpenter. His family moved to Bowling Green, Kentucky, where his father, a professor, was head of the music department at Western Kentucky University. He attended Western Kentucky ...

4. Kevin Williamson

Writer | Scream

Grew up in the New Bern, NC area. There is an actual Dawsons Creek in Oriental, NC where Williamson grew up.

5. Ira Levin

Writer | Rosemary's Baby

Ira Levin decided on a career of a writer at the age of 15. Educated at the elite Horace Mann school, he went on to two years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, before transferring to New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. He earned his degree in 1950. In 1953 he was...

6. James Wan

Producer | The Conjuring 2

James Wan (born 26 February 1977) is an Australian film producer, screenwriter and film director of Malaysian Chinese descent. He is widely known for directing the horror film Saw (2004) and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence (2007), Death Sentence (2007), Insidious (2010)...

7. William Peter Blatty

Writer | The Exorcist

William Peter Blatty was born on January 7, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a writer, known for The Exorcist (1973), The Ninth Configuration (1980) and The Exorcist III (1990). He was married to Julie Alicia Witbrodt, Linda Blatty, Elizabeth Gilman and Mary Margaret Rigard. He died on ...

8. Eric Red

Writer | 100 Feet

Writer/director Eric Red was born as Eric Joseph Durdaller on February 16, 1961 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and was raised in Manhattan. He specializes in hard, edgy pictures that have tough, no-nonsense tones and frequently address the darker aspects of human nature. Red attended the AFI ...

9. James Wong

Producer | The X Files

James Wong is a producer and writer, known for The X-Files (1993), The One (2001) and American Horror Story (2011). He is married to Teena Wong. They have three children.

11. Chad Hayes

Writer | The Conjuring

Chad Hayes was born on April 21, 1961 in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for The Conjuring (2013), Lethal Weapon (1987) and The Conjuring 2 (2016).

12. Carey W. Hayes

Writer | The Conjuring

Carey W. Hayes was born on April 21, 1961 in Portland, Oregon, USA. He is a writer and producer, known for The Conjuring (2013), The Conjuring 2 (2016) and Whiteout (2009).

13. Stephen King

Writer | Maximum Overdrive

Stephen Edwin King was born on September 21, 1947, at the Maine General Hospital in Portland. His parents were Nellie Ruth (Pillsbury), who worked as a caregiver at a mental institute, and Donald Edwin King, a merchant seaman. His father was born under the surname "Pollock", but used the last name ...

14. Richard D'Ovidio

Writer | Exit Wounds

Richard D'Ovidio is a writer and producer, known for Exit Wounds (2001), The Call (2013) and Thir13en Ghosts (2001).

15. Daisuke Tengan

Writer | Jûsan-nin no shikaku

He is the first son of director Shohei Imamura. He graduated from Ryuku University. In 1984 he joined Shinchosha, but left in 1991 to pursue a creative career. His directing debut was in 1990. He was also a screenwriter on movies of such directors as Shôhei Imamura and Takashi Miike.

16. Pierre Boileau

Writer | Vertigo

Pierre Boileau was born on April 28, 1906 in Paris, France as Pierre Louis Boileau. He was a writer, known for Vertigo (1958), Diabolique (1955) and Diabolique (1996). He died on January 16, 1989 in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

17. Thomas Narcejac

Writer | Vertigo

Thomas Narcejac was born on July 3, 1908 in Rochefort, Charente-Maritime, France as Pierre Robert Ayraud. He was a writer, known for Vertigo (1958), Diabolique (1955) and Diabolique (1996). He died on June 9, 1998 in Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France.

18. Jean Redon

Writer | Les yeux sans visage

Jean Redon was press agent for the French office of Warner Bros.

19. Kôji Suzuki

Writer | The Ring

Kôji Suzuki was born on May 13, 1957 in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, Japan. He is a writer and actor, known for The Ring (2002), Dark Water (2002) and Dark Water (2005).

20. Ken'ichi Suzuki

Writer | Honogurai mizu no soko kara

Ken'ichi Suzuki was born on November 3, 1971 in Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan. He is a writer and actor, known for Dark Water (2002), Koi ni utaeba (2002) and Ahiru to kamo no koinrokkâ (2007).

21. Yoshihiro Nakamura

Director | Fisshu sutôrî

Yoshihiro Nakamura was born in 1970 in Ibaraki, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Fisshu sutôrî (2009), Dark Water (2002) and Zan'e: Sunde wa ikenai heya (2015).

22. Bill Phillips

Writer | Christine

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts. First Play was a one-act performed at the Massachusetts Drama Festival in 1966: To Be or Not. Second Play was performed there in 1967: The Madison Avenue Muse. Attended Dartmouth College, where he was a Senior Fellow in Film in 1971. Attended U.S.C., where he ...

23. Allan Scott

Writer | Don't Look Now

Allan Scott was born on September 16, 1939 in Elgin, Scotland as Allan George Shiach. He is a writer and producer, known for Don't Look Now (1973), The Preacher's Wife (1996) and Kon-Tiki (2012).

24. Chris Bryant

Writer | Don't Look Now

Chris Bryant was born in 1936 in Bolton, Lancashire, England as Christopher Bryan Spencer Dobson. He was a writer and actor, known for Don't Look Now (1973), One Against the Wind (1991) and Sword of Gideon (1986). He was married to Penelope Riley. He died on October 27, 2008 in Burford, Oxfordshire...

25. Robert Engels

Writer | Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Robert Engels is a producer and writer, known for Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), Andromeda (2000) and Twin Peaks (1990).

26. Michael Crichton

Writer | Twister

Michael Crichton was born in Chicago, Illinois, but grew up in Roslyn, New York. His father was a journalist and encouraged him to write and to type. Michael gave up studying English at Harvard University, having become disillusioned with the teaching standards--the final straw came when he ...

27. John Lee Mahin

Writer | Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

John Lee Mahin was born on August 23, 1902 in Evanston, Illinois, USA. He was a writer and producer, known for Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), Show Boat (1951) and North to Alaska (1960). He was married to Barbara and Patsy Ruth Miller. He died on April 18, 1984 in Santa Monica, California, USA.

28. Donald E. Westlake

Writer | The Grifters

Donald E. Westlake was born on July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York, USA as Donald Edwin Edmund Westlake. He was a writer, known for The Grifters (1990), Payback (1999) and Parker (2013). He was married to Abigail Adams, Sandra Foley and Nedra Henderson. He died on December 31, 2008 in San Tancho, ...

29. Brian Garfield

Writer | Hopscotch

Brian Garfield was born in 1939 as Brian Francis Wynne Garfield. He is known for his work on Hopscotch (1980), Death Wish (1974) and Death Sentence (2007).

31. Laird Koenig

Writer | The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane

Laird Koenig was born on September 24, 1928 in Seattle, Washington, USA as Laird Philip Koenig. He is a writer, known for The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976), Inchon (1981) and Red Sun (1971).

32. Tobe Hooper

Director | The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

Honored with many awards for his films and achievement in the horror genre, Tobe Hooper is truly one of the Masters of Horror (2005).

Tobe Hooper was born in Austin, Texas, to Lois Belle (Crosby) and Norman William Ray Hooper, who owned a theater in San Angelo. He spent the 1960s as a college ...

34. Barry Gifford

Writer | Lost Highway

Barry Gifford was born on October 18, 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He is a writer, known for Lost Highway (1997), Wild at Heart (1990) and City of Ghosts (2002).

35. Michael Dougherty

Writer | Trick 'r Treat

Michael Dougherty was born on October 28, 1974 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Trick 'r Treat (2007), Krampus (2015) and Superman Returns (2006).

36. Eli Roth

Actor | Inglourious Basterds

Eli Raphael Roth was born in Newton, Massachusetts, to Cora (Bialis), a painter, and Sheldon H. Roth, a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, and clinical professor. His family is Jewish (from Austria, Hungary, Russia, and Poland). He began shooting Super 8 films at the age of eight, after watching Ridley ...

37. Sandor Stern

Writer | The Mod Squad

Born in the northern Canadian town of Timmins, Ontario; raised in the small town of Prescott, Ontario, on the St. Lawrence River; Sandor Stern was drawn to short story writing while in high school and began writing stage plays while attending the University of Toronto. Though he planned to obtain a...

38. George A. Romero

Writer | Diary of the Dead

George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; by all indications, though, he was very successful. The director of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 ,in New York City to Ann (Dvorsky) and Jorge Romero. His father was born in Spain and raised in Cuba, and...

39. Victor Salva

Writer | Powder

Born in Martinez, California, 20 miles outside San Francisco, Victor Salva had written and directed over 20 short and feature-length films before graduating from high school. In the mid-'80s his 37-minute short Something in the Basement (1986) took first place in the fiction category at the Sony/...

40. Arthur Flam

Writer | Kill by Inches

Arthur Flam was born in New York City, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Penny Dreadful (2006), Hit and Run (2009), Kill by Inches (1999), and Lurker (1998). He began by working as an assistant on Abel Ferrara's The Addiction (1995).

41. Diane Doniol-Valcroze

Director | Kill by Inches

Diane Doniol-Valcroze was born in Paris, France. She is a director and writer, known for Kill by Inches (1999), Fissure (1996) and Penny Dreadful (2006).

42. Jaume Balagueró

Writer | [Rec]

Jaume Balagueró was born on November 2, 1968 in Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain as Jaume Balagueró i Bernat. He is a writer and director, known for [Rec] (2007), The Nameless (1999) and Mientras duermes (2011).

43. Luiso Berdejo

Writer | [Rec]

Luiso Berdejo was born in 1975 in San Sebastián, Spain as Luis Berdejo Arribas. He is a writer, known for [Rec] (2007), Quarantine (2008) and The New Daughter (2009).

44. Paco Plaza

Director | [Rec]

Paco Plaza was born in 1973 in València, València, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain as Francisco Plaza Trinidad. He is a director and writer, known for [Rec] (2007), [Rec] 2 (2009) and [REC] 3: Genesis (2012). He is married to Leticia Dolera.

45. Sam Raimi

Director | Spider-Man

Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...

46. Fred Walton

Director | When a Stranger Calls

Fred Walton is a director and writer, known for When a Stranger Calls (1979), The Rosary Murders (1987) and When a Stranger Calls (2006). He has been married to Barbara Boles since 1979. They have two children.

47. Franck Khalfoun

Director | Maniac

Franck Khalfoun is a director and actor, known for Maniac (2012), Piranha 3D (2010) and P2 (2007).

48. Alexandre Aja

Director | Haute tension

Alexandre Aja was born on August 7, 1978 in Paris, France as Alexandre Jouan Arcady. He is a producer and director, known for High Tension (2003), Piranha 3D (2010) and The Hills Have Eyes (2006). He is married to Laïla Marrakchi.

49. Grégory Levasseur

Writer | P2

Grégory Levasseur is a writer and producer, known for P2 (2007), Mirrors (2008) and Piranha 3D (2010).

51. Robert Dean Klein

Writer | Blackwoods

Robert Dean Klein is a writer and producer, known for Blackwoods (2001), A Good Night to Die (2003) and Little Fish, Strange Pond (2009).

52. Takashi Shimizu

Director | Ju-on

Takashi Shimizu was born on July 27, 1972 in Maebashi City, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. He is a director and writer, known for Ju-on: The Grudge (2002), The Grudge (2004) and Marebito (2004).

55. Jace Anderson

Writer | Fractured

Jace Anderson is a writer and producer, known for Fractured (2013), Fertile Ground (2011) and Derailed (2002).

56. Yasushi Akimoto

Soundtrack | Wreck-It Ralph

Yasushi Akimoto was born on May 2, 1958 in Meguro, Tokyo, Japan. He is a writer and producer, known for Wreck-It Ralph (2012), AKB48 Show! (2013) and One Missed Call (2008). He has been married to Mamiko Takai since May 23, 1988. They have one child.

57. William Peter Blatty

Writer | The Exorcist

William Peter Blatty was born on January 7, 1928 in New York City, New York, USA. He was a writer, known for The Exorcist (1973), The Ninth Configuration (1980) and The Exorcist III (1990). He was married to Julie Alicia Witbrodt, Linda Blatty, Elizabeth Gilman and Mary Margaret Rigard. He died on ...

58. Carl Gottlieb

Writer | Jaws

Member of The Committee, an early improvisational comedy theater group in San Francisco, founded in the mid-1960s, which shared cast members including Gary Goodrow, Larry Hankin, Morgan Upton, Peter Bonerz, Del Close and John Brent, with similar groups such as the Compass Players (St. Louis) and ...

59. Paco Plaza

Director | [Rec]

Paco Plaza was born in 1973 in València, València, Comunitat Valenciana, Spain as Francisco Plaza Trinidad. He is a director and writer, known for [Rec] (2007), [Rec] 2 (2009) and [REC] 3: Genesis (2012). He is married to Leticia Dolera.

60. Jaume Balagueró

Writer | [Rec]

Jaume Balagueró was born on November 2, 1968 in Lleida, Lleida, Catalonia, Spain as Jaume Balagueró i Bernat. He is a writer and director, known for [Rec] (2007), The Nameless (1999) and Mientras duermes (2011).

61. Luiso Berdejo

Writer | [Rec]

Luiso Berdejo was born in 1975 in San Sebastián, Spain as Luis Berdejo Arribas. He is a writer, known for [Rec] (2007), Quarantine (2008) and The New Daughter (2009).

62. David Lynch

Writer | Twin Peaks

Born in precisely the kind of small-town American setting so familiar from his films, David Lynch spent his childhood being shunted from one state to another as his research scientist father kept getting relocated. He attended various art schools, married Peggy Lynch and then fathered future ...

63. Sam Raimi

Director | Spider-Man

Highly inventive U.S. film director/producer/writer/actor Sam Raimi first came to the attention of film fans with the savage, yet darkly humorous, low-budget horror film, The Evil Dead (1981). From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making ...

64. Ira Levin

Writer | Rosemary's Baby

Ira Levin decided on a career of a writer at the age of 15. Educated at the elite Horace Mann school, he went on to two years at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, before transferring to New York University, where he majored in philosophy and English. He earned his degree in 1950. In 1953 he was...

65. Christopher Nolan

Writer | Interstellar

Best known for his cerebral, often nonlinear storytelling, acclaimed writer-director Christopher Nolan was born on July 30, 1970 in London, England. Over the course of 15 years of filmmaking, Nolan has gone from low-budget independent films to working on some of the biggest blockbusters ever made.

...

66. Andrew Kevin Walker

Writer | Se7en

Andrew Kevin Walker was born on August 14, 1964 in Altoona, Pennsylvania, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Se7en (1995), The Follow (2001) and Fight Club (1999).

67. Stuart Gordon

Writer | Re-Animator

Stuart Gordon started his film directing career in 1985. After graduating from Lane Technical High School, Gordon worked as a commercial artist apprentice prior to enrolling at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Unable to get into the film classes, he enrolled in an acting class and ended up ...

68. Dennis Paoli

Writer | Re-Animator

Writer Dennis Paoli achieved his greatest enduring cult popularity by penning the wickedly witty scripts for two superior 80s H.P. Lovecraft adaptations directed by noted horror genre icon Stuart Gordon: the terrific "Re-Animator" and its equally excellent follow-up "From Beyond." Paoli and Gordon ...

69. William Norris

Writer | Re-Animator

William Norris is an actor and writer, known for Re-Animator (1985), The Pit and the Pendulum (1991) and The Babe (1992).

70. H.P. Lovecraft

Writer | Re-Animator

Born in Providence, Lovecraft was a sickly child whose parents died insane. When he was 16, he wrote the astronomy column in the Providence Tribune. Between 1908 and 1923, he wrote short stories for Weird Tales magazine, among others. He died in Providence, in poverty, on March 15, 1937. His most ...

71. Evan Hunter

Writer | The Birds

Evan Hunter was born on October 15, 1926 in New York City, New York, USA as Salvatore Albert Lombino. He was a writer, known for The Birds (1963), The Young Savages (1961) and Fuzz (1972). He was married to Dragica Dimitrijevic, Mary Vann Finley and Anita Melnick. He died on July 6, 2005 in Weston,...

72. Daphne Du Maurier

Writer | Rebecca

Daphne Du Maurier was one of the most popular English writers of the 20th Century, when middle-brow genre fiction was accorded a higher level of respect in a more broadly literate age. For her services to literature, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1969, the ...

73. Washington Irving

Writer | Sleepy Hollow

Elected to the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in 1900 (inaugural election).

74. David Koepp

Writer | Jurassic Park

David Koepp was born on June 9, 1963 in Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is known for his work on Jurassic Park (1993), Stir of Echoes (1999) and Spider-Man (2002).

75. Thomas Harris

Writer | The Silence of the Lambs

Thomas Harris was born in 1940 in Jackson, Mississippi, USA. He was raised in the town of Rich where his father worked as a farmer. He earned his bachelor's degree in English from Baylor University in Texas in 1964. While attending school, he also worked for the local newspaper.

After graduating, ...

76. Ted Tally

Writer | The Silence of the Lambs

Ted Tally was born on April 9, 1952 as Theodore Tally. He is known for his work on The Silence of the Lambs (1991), All the Pretty Horses (2000) and Mission to Mars (2000).

77. Glen Morgan

Producer | The X Files

Glen Morgan was born on January 16, 1947 in San Francisco, California, USA as Glenn Duane Morgan. He is a producer and writer, known for The X-Files (1993), The One (2001) and Willard (2003). He has been married to Kristen Cloke since June 13, 1998. They have four children. He was previously ...

78. Jeffrey Reddick

Writer | Final Destination

Jeffrey Reddick is best known for creating the Final Destination (2000) film franchise. He also co-wrote the story for, and executive produced, Final Destination 2 (2003). Jeffrey lives in Los Angeles. He grew up in Eastern Kentucky and attended Berea College. Jeffrey made his first connection to ...

79. Carl Mayer

Writer | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Carl Meyer was the son of a stock speculator who committed suicide. He had to leave school at 15 to work as a secretary. Mayer moved away from Graz to Innsbruck and then Vienna, where he worked as a dramatist. Meanwhile, the events of the First World War turned him into a pacifist.

In 1917 he went ...

80. Hans Janowitz

Writer | Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari

Hans Janowitz was born on December 2, 1890 in Podiebrad, Bohemia, Austria-Hungary. He was a writer and actor, known for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Der Januskopf (1920) and Marizza, genannt die Schmuggler-Madonna (1922). He died on May 25, 1954 in New York City, New York, USA.

81. Debra Hill

Producer | Escape from L.A.

Debra Hill was born on November 10, 1950 in Haddonfield, New Jersey, USA. She was a producer and writer, known for Escape from L.A. (1996), The Fog (1980) and Halloween (1978). She died on March 7, 2005 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

82. John Landis

Director | The Blues Brothers

John Landis began his career in the mail room of 20th Century-Fox. A high-school dropout, 18-year-old Landis made his way to Yugoslavia to work as a production assistant on Kelly's Heroes (1970). Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "...

83. Dario Argento

Writer | L'uccello dalle piume di cristallo

Dario Argento was born on September 7, 1940, in Rome, Italy, the first-born son of famed Italian producer Salvatore Argento and Brazilian fashion model Elda Luxardo. Argento recalls getting his ideas for filmmaking from his close-knit family from Italian folk tales told by his parents and other ...

84. Lawrence D. Cohen

Writer | Carrie

Lawrence D. Cohen is an American screenwriter who, although hardly prolific, has worked with some of the most respected names in the genre movie and genre fiction industry. He first came to prominence in the 1970s when he penned the screenplay for the Stephen King adaptation Carrie (1976): the film...

85. Bill Phillips

Writer | Christine

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts. First Play was a one-act performed at the Massachusetts Drama Festival in 1966: To Be or Not. Second Play was performed there in 1967: The Madison Avenue Muse. Attended Dartmouth College, where he was a Senior Fellow in Film in 1971. Attended U.S.C., where he ...

86. Michael Dougherty

Writer | Trick 'r Treat

Michael Dougherty was born on October 28, 1974 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Trick 'r Treat (2007), Krampus (2015) and Superman Returns (2006).

87. Richard Matheson

Writer | Jaws 3-D

Born in New Jersey and raised in Brooklyn, Richard Burton Matheson first became a published author while still a child, when his stories and poems ran in the "Brooklyn Eagle". A lifelong reader of fantasy tales, he made his professional writing bow in 1950 when his short story "Born of Man and ...

88. Earl Hamner Jr.

Writer | The Waltons

He was also the Creator and Executive Producer for the show "FALCON CREST'' 1981 thru 1988. The show starred Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Robert Foxworth, and Susan Sullivan. The show was set in the Napa Valley of California. And centered on the power and intrigues of the families involved in the ...

89. Charles Beaumont

Writer | Night of the Eagle

Charles Beaumont was the pseudonym for Charles Leroy Nutt, born on Chicago's North Side on January 2 1929. He also occasionally wrote under the names Charles McNutt and E.T. Beaumont (the latter apparently based on the name of a Texas town). Tragically short-lived, Beaumont was a dynamic and ...