Literary Chills: Authors Who Always Deliver

With the Halloween season approaching, what could be better on those long, lonely nights than to curl up with a book that can scare you beyond belief?

Some authors are masters of this genre, and a popular online forum recently discussed the writers who deliver chills consistently. Here’s what they uncovered.

1. Stephen King

Stephen King
Image Credit: George Koroneos /

In any discussion, one suggestion gets the majority of votes. In this case, Stephen King regularly appears on this thread, and the responses are positive. Among the many glowing tributes, one poster states that they’ve never been bored reading a King book. 

2. Christopher Buehlman

Christopher Buehlman
Image Credit: Christopher Buehlman.

Another author who crosses different genres, Christopher Buehlman, is a big hit with several members of the forum. One recommends Three Across the River, which is horror rather than fantasy. 

3. Brian Evenson

Brian Evenson
Image Credit: By G.Garitan – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Commons.

We are back up to date now with a writer who has covered many fiction genres. Brian Evenson specializes in horror and dark humor, and he’s a big hit on the forum. 

4. Adam Nevill

Adam Nevill
Image Credit: Adam Nevill.

British horror writer Adam Nevill receives high praise on this thread, and his work covers all the requirements for a great spooky read. One respondent tells us that Nevill’s books have been creepy and intensely atmospheric with vivid, well-rounded characters. 

5. Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn
Image Credit: Kathy Hutchins /

The only complaint that Gillian Flynn receives relates to the relatively slow release of her work. Some contributors are impatient for her next novel, while one person informs us that the time she takes to complete her stories is why her work is high-quality and original.

6. John Ajvide Lindqvist

John Ajvide Lindqvist
Image Credit: By Mattias Blomgren – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Commons.

A fine horror writer from Sweden has scared at least one of these forum members. The poster refers to John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Let the Right One In and confesses that the book kept them up at night. 

7. Lucinda Berry

Lucinda Berry
Image Credit: Lucinda Berry.

The brief was to find authors who deliver every time, and Lucinda Berry hits the mark. One commenter puts her name forward and confirms that they have read a number of her books so far and found them all entertaining. 

8. Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt
Image Credit: CBS News.

Award-winning author Donna Tartt is another novelist who likes to take her time with new releases. While we wait for her next book, one forum member is patiently waiting for their memory to lapse so that they can read Secret History again.

9. Gerald Brom

Gerald Brom
Image Credit: Gerald Brom.

Another author with multiple votes on this thread is Gerald Brom. In this case, it pays to have more than one talent. As one individual testifies, he's not only an amazing author, but a seriously talented illustrator.

10. Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman
Image Credit: By Kyle Cassidy – By email, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Commons.

In his native United Kingdom, Neil Gaiman is widely known for his work in film and TV, but he’s also a notable novelist. He covers many genres, including sci-fi and horror, and, according to one commenter, the man just knows how to tell a story.

11. Eliza Clark

Eliza Clark
Image Credit: Richard Kenworthy.

Despite only having released two books to date, one of which was in the horror realm, Eliza Clark receives high praise. Her novel Boy Parts is an engaging read and received 10/10 from one respondent. While she’s yet to deliver consistently, early signs are encouraging.

12. Shirley Jackson

Shirley Jackson
Image Credit: By Cover photo of: Shirley Jackson: Novels and Stories ISBN 978-1598530728Cover photo of: Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life ISBN 978-0871403131NOT:, photographed in 1940, Erich Hartmann Magnum Photos, Fair use, Wiki Commons.

According to one commenter, Shirley Jackson has the best imagination of any horror writer, living or dead. In their words, she could write instructions on how to open a door, and it would be riveting and suspenseful.

13. Matt Dymerski 

Matt Dymerski
Image Credit: Matt Dymerski.

Anyone looking for new recommendations beyond the more familiar crop of horror writers should consider Matt Dymerski. He writes in the spheres of horror and science fiction but has captivated at least one forum contributor. According to that person, Dymerski’s work is eerie, heartbreaking at times, and has several storylines that become all wrapped up together.

14. Dennis Wheatley

Dennis Wheatley
By Allan warren – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wiki Commons.

As a personal favorite, I was disappointed not to see a recommendation for the British writer Dennis Wheatley. He was one of the most prolific novelists of his time, and his horror works focused greatly on the occult. I can testify that he won’t let readers down.

Source: (Reddit).