Classic Horror Lovers discussion

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Please tell us a little about yourself.

1. Name or Screen Name
2. Who are your favorite classic horror writers?
3. Why do you like classic horror?
4. Anything else you'd like us to know about you?


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
1. Danielle
2. I'm still discovering new old faves in this genre. So far, I've read and enjoyed MR James, Richard Matheson (on the borderline, I know), Bram Stoker, William Hope Hodgson, H. Russell Wakefield, Sheridan Le Fanu, HP Lovecraft.
3.I like classic horror because it has the right ambience for me. The writing can sometimes be overly dramatic, but tends to be subtle. The emphasis is on atmosphere. I like the spook factor of classic horror-more scary, less gory.
4.I have been a horror fan my whole life. I love being scared. I read all the books on things that go bump in the night I could find in my library. My mother was actually worried about me because of my reading choices. I'm pretty squeamish when it comes to gore. I don't care for very gross and extremely violent and disgusting books at all.

I'm glad you joined. It's great to have people to discuss one of my favorite genres with.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Oops. I forgot Edgar Allen Poe. What's wrong with me. I'd be tempted to throw in Manly Wade Wellman, although he's more dark fantasy and he wrote around the mid-20th century. Oh, what the heck.


message 4: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) 1. Hi I'm Amanda :)

2. I'm always on the lookout for any kind of horror but here's a couple of the authors I know I like from the classics: Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, Algernon Blackwood, Arthur Machen,Shirley Jackson, Oliver Onions, and lots of other authors of gothic and weird fiction. I also enjoy some of the old Alfred Hitchcock collections. Out of the weird fiction i'm fond of the cthulu mythos stories and those dealing with the supernatural such as witch stories Young Goodman Brown is a good example.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Welcome, Amanda. I love your list. I left off a few good ones, apparently. Slap me now!


message 6: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 324 comments Mod
Hey, this group is a great idea. I definitely prefer my horror on the aged side.

1. Martha
2. Lovecraft, LeFanu, Howard, Matheson, getting into Shirley Jackson (kind of pushing it there) and Clark Ashton Smith. I consider classic horror to be more of a writing style and not necessarily a certain era, although in the past 40 years or so there has definitely been a steep decline in this style.
3. I like classic horror because the atmosphere suits me. I don't mind violence in my horror if it needs to be there, but I dislike gratuitous anything. I am not a huge fan of gore but I admit it can be effective sometimes. The writing of classic style horror is so lush and flowery, it's a treat to read. I fear it has spoiled me for more "modern" horror, which mostly leaves me unimpressed.
4. I have almost always been a fan of the weird. I started reading Richard Matheson in the 5th grade. I still have tons of classic reading to do, I have read almost none of MR James, Manly Wade Wellman, or Robert Bloch at this point, for example. But I'm getting there.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Hey Martha! I'm glad you joined. I would put Matheson and Jackson on my list too, even though they are mid-20th century. I agree with you on the lush and flowery aspect of classic horror. I love my horror to be nuanced and subtle, with a dreamy edge. Oh, you should definitely check out MR James and Manly Wade Wellman. They are faves. Robert Bloch is very good too.


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Lyons (AmandaMLyons) Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Welcome, Amanda. I love your list. I left off a few good ones, apparently. Slap me now!"

Lol I think I learned about most of these guys from horror collections i found in high school. I just loved the tone of them. Some modern authors trade gore for suspense and atmosphere. I like both but love a piece that can offer me a great experience I think back to later.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
I know what you mean. I've found more of the older horror/ghost stories to be unforgettable than the newer stuff, Amanda. I'm sure there is some really great new work out there. I'm open to exploring it. That's why I love talking to other fans of the genre.


message 10: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 324 comments Mod
Lady Danielle "The Book Huntress" wrote: "Hey Martha! I'm glad you joined. I would put Matheson and Jackson on my list too, even though they are mid-20th century. I agree with you on the lush and flowery aspect of classic horror. I love..."

I definitely am checking them out!! Right now I am really into Weird Tales anthologies, but I will be picking up these great authors soon.

Also, just my 2 cents, but I think Blackwood can be either really great or really dull. I have Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories and it varies between great and just, ugh.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
I love weird tales. I haven't dived into Algernon yet. I tried to start one, and it was hard to get into. I haven't given up though.


message 12: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 324 comments Mod
I believe my favorite Blackwood story so far is 'The Insanity of Jones'. I also liked 'The Wendigo' quite a bit, but some of his others are just hard to get interested in.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Thanks for the warning, Martha. I have a couple of his at home. I'm interested in reading The Complete John Silence Stories the most, because I love occult detective stories.


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 199 comments Hi LD"TBH" (LOL), hello all, thanks for the invite. I suppose I'd have to list Poe, then Lovecraft and Stoker. I was introduced to Poe when I was in the 6th grade...by a teacher. I found I loved all kinds of what we usually call "speculative fiction", there just wasn't a lot of opportunity to find it then. As a kid I made do with anthologies of what were usually labeled "ghost stories" from public libraries and school libraries. It was high school before I found Stoker and read Dracula. Since then, of course, lots of stuff to read. When I found Lovecraft I read everything I could track down by him, and then by his imitators...most not as good as Lovecraft.

While I wouldn't call myself a major "horror fan" I do love classic horror.


message 15: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 02, 2010 12:30PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments 1. Mohammed
2.Edgar Allan Poe,William Hope Hodgson,Robert E.Howard,Richard Matheson
3.I like classic horror because its more cerebral,more literary,more vivid,more athmosphere than gore. To be a classic author in horror often you have to be specially good or important. History weeds out the bad apples. Another good reason to enjoy classics.

Anything else i can say about me is that im an infant when it comes to horror classic or modern. I only started reading in my early 20s so i have alot of catching up to do. Recently im focusing on reading alltime favs. Poe,Hodgson,Matheson at the moment before i try other classic,older horror.

Also i cant read HP Lovecraft for some reason, his prose kills it for me. Makes me think maybe he was more imporant for his Mythos,circle and for writing,storytelling reasons.


message 16: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 19 comments I usually don't do the intro stuff, no reason other than I just don't get around to it, but here goes.

1. Phil
2. Lovecraft, Stoker (I haven't read them in years and they're both due for a re-read) more recently I'm really impressed with Sheridan Le Fanu, Edith Wharton, M R James, Robert E Howard. Some 'secondary' writers that I haven't read enough of to include; Guy de Maupassant, Ambrose Bierce, Henry James. I'm also going to include W. F. Harvey; I read a collection of his stories a few months back and while the horror stuff was impressive the non-horror really over-shadowed it.

3. The atmosphere, the ambiguity, the quality of writing and most of all the rewards of thinking about what you're reading.

4. Ah... nope.


message 17: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 02, 2010 01:41PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments Great to see other people that dont underrate Robert E Howard horror work just because he is so famous for his fantasy,adventure works.

I was hugely suprised when i read his horror stories.

By the way Danielle this is a great idea for a group.


message 18: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 19 comments Mohammed wrote: "Great to see other people that dont underrate Robert E Howard horror work just because he is so famous for his fantasy,adventure works.

I was hugely suprised when i read his horror stories.

By th..."


On the same note his "fantasy" stuff shouldn't be underrated by horror fans. At least check out his Solomon Kane stories, that's some gorey, dark stuff.


message 19: by Jason (last edited Sep 02, 2010 01:49PM) (new)

Jason (Darkfiction) | 164 comments 1. Jason

2. I have read some of the major classics, such as Dracula and Frankenstein, but I am still discovering old, classic horror. My favorites are Lovecraft, Poe, Jackson, Matheson, Blackwood, and Machen. I have a whole library of classic horror on my Kindle and I can't wait to dig in.

3. I like the atmosphere that's in every classic horror story I've read. Our modern society is desensitized to a lot of things that people back then would have found horrific. In classic horror, the protagonist's sanity is almost always destroyed by their "strange" experiences. This intense fear from the protagonist adds to the whole fear factor when reading. Nothing in today's fiction is even like it.


message 20: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 02, 2010 01:50PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments Phil wrote: "Mohammed wrote: "Great to see other people that dont underrate Robert E Howard horror work just because he is so famous for his fantasy,adventure works.

I was hugely suprised when i read his horro..."


Heh im a huge Robert E Howard fan i have read his fantasy,westerns,adventure,historical fiction. Solomon Kane is my fav REH character along with El Borak. His stories are so dark that they are almost more horror than S&S,fantasy.

He is top 3,4 alltime fav authors. I prefer his historical fiction,horror first before his fantasy anyway.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Thanks everyone for joining. It's a good crowd here. For purely selfish reasons, I think I will love this group, since I will get lots of good recommendations. :)


message 22: by Phil (new)

Phil (philhappy) | 19 comments Mohammed wrote: "Phil wrote: "Mohammed wrote: "Great to see other people that dont underrate Robert E Howard horror work just because he is so famous for his fantasy,adventure works.

I was hugely suprised when i r..."


I'm in the process of rediscovering REH. I read a lot of Conan stuff years ago (he was directly responsible for me giving the two-finger salute to Tolken). I read the Solomon Kane stories earlier this year and I was completly blown away, I can't praise them enough. I have a collection of his horror stuff and the complete Conan to get through next and then I'll pick up his other stuff (I've made a note of El Borak). If those stories are 1/10th as good as the Kane stuff I'll be happy.


message 23: by Martha (new)

Martha (hellocthulhu) | 324 comments Mod
I am also of the opinion that Robert E Howard's stuff is all pretty dark. His sword & sorcery, fantasy stuff can be just as dark as his horror, which is superb by itself. I haven't read everything by him yet, but I continue to be impressed by him.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
I'd have to agree that REH definitely veers into horror. He's usually dark fantasy, which is very close to horror most of the time.


message 25: by Mohammed (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments Back in his day Sword and Sorcery was alot about horror elements. He always put Conan,Kane and co against monsters,other horror. Pretty dark is good way of putting it. For me it was natural going from S&S to horror as newbie.


message 26: by Carla (new)

Carla (Carla981) | 1 comments 1. Name or Screen Name - Carla
2. Who are your favorite classic horror writers? - I guess classic would be Poe - Love Poe, when I was 10 I took a trip to Richmond, VA and we took a historical tour and saw the house where Poe spent his last night. I also really like James Herbert, even though he is not so classic...
3. Why do you like classic horror? I like the psychological scare, blood and guts and what not is sick and gruesome - it's fine, but classic horror tales grip you at a deeper level than some of the modern-shock-value-horror
4. Anything else you'd like us to know about you? I picked this group because Danielle is the mod and she is on my friends list, I often use her ratings and reviews to determine whether a book is worth reading or not.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
I agree, Mohammed. All those dark gods and beings and such in S&S.

Wow, that's great you got to see where Poe stayed. Thanks for joining, Carla. :)


Mike (the Paladin) (thepaladin) | 199 comments You know, I have always liked Howard. I never thought of him as a horror writer. I read the "horror collection" and have the Solomon Kane stories, but never thought of them as "horror" even though thinking about it, they certainly do, often fall on that side of the line.

Does anyone else remember M.R.James?


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Mike, I love MR James.

Welcome, Antia. I'm a native English speaker and I mess up on grammar all the time, so no worries. I have to agree with you about the changes in horror fiction not being to my tastes. I absolutely love a good, old-fashioned ghost story!


message 30: by Charles (new)

Charles (tonalized) | 8 comments 1.My name is Charles
2. Lovecraft, Poe (I havent read a whole hell of a lot of classic horror, but i think this group will inspire me to explore it)
3.Atmosphere, definitely. What really grabs me about classics is the mood they create. As much as I enjoy Clive Barker and Richard Laymon, there's just something about the way a really good Lovecraft story like The Haunter of the Dark makes me feel that keeps me coming back.
4. For a year or so now I've been attempting to write my own horror short stories. I haven't submitted anything yet, but I think there's promise there.


message 31: by Scott (new)

Scott (SHissong) 1. Scott
2. Poe
3. I really haven't read much Classic Horror but I have quite a bit loaded onto my nook.
4. Stephen King is my favorite author.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Thanks guys for joining. Charles, I've been making baby steps at writing my own attempt at 'gaslit' horror.


message 33: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) Hello everyone! When I saw this group, I just had to join.

1. Kathy (Bookgoddess1969)
2. Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Robert Bloch and Richard Matheson. (I wasn't sure how far back we were going.)
3. Classic Horror is what inspired the horror writers that I love today. I'm a huge fan of King and he will be the first to rave about some of these classic writers paving the way!
4. I read alot of everything! Stephen King and Richard Matheson are my all-time favorite authors. There are alot of classic horror writers I have yet to experience, and I look forward to and welcome the recommendations!


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
*Waves at Kathy* Thanks for joining us!


message 35: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (bookgoddess1969) *Waves back* Thank you! Great idea for a group! :)


message 36: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 03, 2010 03:27PM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments Welcome guys specially the ones that rate Poe most highly :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
LOL, Mohammed. :)


message 38: by Larry (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 90 comments Howdee all- just jumped in from HA being someone who wants to discover more scary,less gory classic horror-the creepy stuff a la Poe. Got a few classic e-books to read-Hodgson, Lovecraft, Machen etc-will get round to em someday...


message 39: by Amani (new)

Amani Hey everyone. I followed the link here from HA.

1. My birth name is Amani. Although, I'm prone to randomly changing my screen name. But for now it's Amani.
2. H.P. Lovecraft, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelly, Edgar Allen Poe.
3. I like any type of horror.
4. I hate sparkly vampires. I love Anne Rice. I like to write and I love to read.


message 40: by Mohammed (last edited Sep 04, 2010 09:05AM) (new)

Mohammed (Maxamed) | 122 comments Larry wrote: "Howdee all- just jumped in from HA being someone who wants to discover more scary,less gory classic horror-the creepy stuff a la Poe. Got a few classic e-books to read-Hodgson, Lovecraft, Machen et..."

You cant wrong with Hodgson Larry, he is pretty good. Nice to see new horror fans going after older horror. You dont have read only gory hollywood like stories of today.


message 41: by Larry (last edited Sep 04, 2010 09:43AM) (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 90 comments Mohammed wrote: "Nice to see new horror fans going after older horror. You dont have read only gory hollywood like stories of today."

Conn, I tend to dislike modern horror, especially the slasher blood and guts stuff that Hollywood is determined is horror. Horror, by definition of the word is something to horrify and terrify us, not turn our stomachs. I fear that for the new generation of horror readers the Hollywood horror will be their definition of the term-they would be shocked to find that there is stuff out there that can actually make you think twice before turning the light off! and not because some guy may be waiting out there with a knife ready to disembowel you, but rather there is something creepy out there, something that will affect your dreams and put a shiver up your spine-that to me is horror!
BTW Conn, have you read any Le Fanu? I've yet to read his works but may well read Carmilla next.


message 42: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja), Jamesian Enthusiast (last edited Sep 04, 2010 04:01PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
Larry and Mohammed, I'd have to agree with you. Modern horror doesn't do much for me, other than disturb and disgust me. I prefer the deeper-penetrating aspects of classic horror. It makes me afraid of what's out there in the dark, and leaves me with enough imagination to think it's worst than guys in hockey masks could ever be.

Welcome, Amani. I admit I am a Twilight fan. I don't mind different looks at vampires, although I do like the old school, evil ones best.


message 43: by Jason (new)

Jason (Darkfiction) | 164 comments I enjoy being disturbed and disgusted. But I'm weird. LOL. I also like the old-fashioned way of actually scaring readers that horror writers from the past were masters at.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) (Gatadelafuente) | 1285 comments Mod
That doesn't make you weird, Jason. To each their own. I like having the pants scared off me in novel ways, so I'm hardly one to judge.


message 45: by Kurt (new)

Kurt Reichenbaugh (KurtReichenbaugh) | 54 comments 1. Kurt
2. Robert Bloch and the other old pulp masters like Hugh B. Cave, Clark Ashton Smith, HPL, and the rest. Going further back I really enjoy Le Fanu and Bram Stoker and Poe. I'm always looking to hear about the writers I'm missing out on.
3. Loved Horror since I can remember - it must be in the genes.
4. I feel a little bit sorry for anyone who hasn't stayed up late at night (or set their alarm clock) to see their local horror host bring them a classic black and white oldie on Fright Theater, Shock Theater, Creature Feature - whatever your town called it.


message 46: by Jason (new)

Jason (Darkfiction) | 164 comments I miss those old horror movie hosts. They should bring them back!


message 47: by Nyghtmare (new)

Nyghtmare 1.Laura
2.Bram Stoker
3.I just love the feel that you are back in old times. I hate this new crap, like Twilight....How is THAT horror?
4. I am 13.


message 48: by Larry (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 90 comments Twilight, horror?? Yea right! Well it is a horror in one way-in as much it would be a horror for me to have watch it!


message 49: by Nyghtmare (new)

Nyghtmare I see scarier things in my clean toilet!


message 50: by Larry (new)

Larry (Hal9000i) | 90 comments Laura wrote: "I see scarier things in my clean toilet!"

You need to get that thing looked at,lol


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Books mentioned in this topic

Ancient Sorceries and Other Weird Stories (other topics)
The Complete John Silence Stories (other topics)
Carmilla (other topics)
The Complete Stories and Poems (other topics)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (other topics)
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Authors mentioned in this topic

Mary Elizabeth Braddon (other topics)
May Sinclair (other topics)
Vernon Lee (other topics)
Marjorie Bowen (other topics)
William Hope Hodgson (other topics)
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