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Introduction to Horror Fiction

This guide is a collection of various resources for undergraduate students to use in reading and writing about horror fiction..

Important Terms to Know!

Horror fiction: Genre of writing whose purpose is to create a feeling of fear, terror, or repulsion. 

Supernatural horror: Subgenre that pertains to supernatural forces, such as demons, ghosts, and spirits.

Gothic: Literary genre with a distinct dark/mysterious aura to its writing, often utilizing pseudomedieval settings (castles, mansions, etc) as its background.

Romantic period/romanticism: A literary (and artistic) movement during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that placed emphasis on emotions and nature.



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Anna Marie Johnson
Wells Library Scholars' Commons


Welcome! Browse the tabs to the left to explore resources regarding horror fiction.

Horror is a genre intended to frighten, scare, shock, or disgust the reader. Horror fiction has roots in early folklore and religious stories but gained traction in the 19th century with the advent of the Gothic tradition. With the rise of contemporary authors such as Stephen King and Anne Rice, the genre has evolved into a favorite for many. 

This guide is for undergraduate students interested in reading and writing about horror literature. The resources include a curated recommendation list of notable horror fiction throughout the 19th-21st century periods in addition to other sources on the literary history and analysis of the genre. 

Gif from Goodreads

This guide originally created by Megan Shepherd (, a library and information science graduate student in 2021.