Top Horror Writers

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1.
Edgar Allan Poe
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 merchant in Richmond...
 
2.
Wes Craven
Director, Scream
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 the Left, which he wrote...
 
3.
John Carpenter
Writer, Halloween
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 University and then USC film school in Los Angeles...
 
4.
Kevin Williamson
Writer, Scream 2
Grew up in the New Bern, NC area. There is an actual Dawsons Creek in Oriental, NC where Williamson grew up.
 
5.
Ira Levin
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 drafted into the army...
 
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 and creating Billy the puppet. Wan has also directed Dead Silence, Death Sentence, Insidious, The Conjuring and Furious 7...
 
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 Conservatory...
 
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Stephen King
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 "King"...
 
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Daisuke Tengan
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.
 
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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 received an M.F.A...
 
26.
Michael Crichton
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 submitted...
 
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Tobe Hooper
Before becoming a filmmaker, Tobe Hooper, a native of Austin, Texas, spent the 1960s as a college professor and documentary cameraman. In 1974, he organized a small cast that was made up of college teachers and students, and then he and Kim Henkel made The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. This film changed the horror film industry...
 
36.
Eli Roth
Producer, Grindhouse
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 Scott's Alien and vomiting...
 
37.
Sandor Stern
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 degree in teaching...
 
38.
George A. Romero
George A. Romero never set out to become a Hollywood figure; however, by all indications, he was very successful. The helmer of the groundbreaking "Living Dead" films was born February 4, 1940 in New York City, New York, to a Cuban father and a Lithuanian-American mother. He grew up in NY, until attending the renowned Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania...
 
39.
Victor Salva
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 took first place in the fiction category at the Sony/AFI Home Video Competition...
 
40.
Arthur Flam
Arthur Flam was born in New York City, New York, USA. He is a writer and director, known for Penny Dreadful, Hit and Run, Kill by Inches, and Lurker. He began by working as an assistant on Abel Ferrara's The Addiction.
 
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Paco Plaza
Director, [Rec]
 
45.
Sam Raimi
Writer, Spider-Man 3
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. From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making movies with an 8mm camera...
 
47.
Franck Khalfoun
Director, P2
 
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Masaki Adachi
Director, Zoo
 
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 the Second City (Chicago and New York).
 
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Paco Plaza
Director, [Rec]
 
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62.
David Lynch
Born in 1946 in Missoula, Montana, David Lynch was raised in small-town America. After high school, he went to Boston to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. Shortly after that, he planned a three-year trip to Europe to work on his art, but didn't take to it and left after 15 days. In 1977...
 
63.
Sam Raimi
Writer, Spider-Man 3
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. From his childhood, Raimi was a fan of the cinema and, before he was ten-years-old, he was out making movies with an 8mm camera...
 
64.
Ira Levin
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 drafted into the army...
 
65.
Christopher Nolan
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. At 7 years old...
 
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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 majoring in theater...
 
68.
Dennis Paoli
Writer, From Beyond
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 first crossed paths working for the experimental Organic Theater in Chicago...
 
70.
H.P. Lovecraft
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 famous novel is considered to be "At the Mountains of Madness," about an expedition to the South Pole...
 
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Daphne Du Maurier
Writer, The Birds
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 female equivalent of a knighthood...
 
75.
Thomas Harris
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, Harris traveled Europe for a time...
 
78.
Jeffrey Reddick
Jeffrey Reddick is best known for creating the Final Destination film franchise. He also co-wrote the story for, and executive produced, Final Destination 2. Jeffrey lives in Los Angeles. He grew up in Eastern Kentucky and attended Berea College. Jeffrey made his first connection to the film industry at age 14...
 
79.
Carl Mayer
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 to Berlin...
 
81.
Debra Hill
Producer, Halloween
 
82.
John Landis
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. Remaining in Europe, Landis found work as an actor, extra and stuntman in many of the Spanish/Italian "spaghetti" westerns...
 
83.
Dario Argento
Dario Argento was born in Rome, Italy on September 7 1940. He is the son of producer Salvatore Argento. He began his career as a movie critic for the Rome daily newspaper "Paese Sera". A professional screenwriter by the tender age of 20, he joined Bernardo Bertolucci to write the screenplay for Sergio Leone's epic western "Once Upon A Time In The West" in 1967...
 
84.
Lawrence D. Cohen
Writer, It
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: the film was directed by Brian De Palma and featured an all-star cast that included Amy Irving...
 
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 received an M.F.A...
 
87.
Richard Matheson
Writer, I Am Legend
Richard Matheson has written novels and short stories, as well as screenplays for both film and television. He has sometimes written under the pen name, "Logan Swanson". His prose has often been adapted for the screen by others and sometimes by Matheson, himself. Notably, he is among the few writers who contributed to Rod Serling's classic television series...
 
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 wine producing industry.
 
89.
Charles Beaumont
Writer, Brain Dead
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 imaginative author and screenwriter of macabre...