Who is the best horror author of all-time?
It’s an age-old question and one that has been discussed and disputed for at least the last thirty-five years or so. The answer may seem like a no-brainer for many. However, if that’s the case, then you have some reading to do, my friend!
Over the course of several months, I’ve asked an age-old question through numerous social media outlets. Names poured in left and right, spanning nearly 200 years. Once nearly ninety names were compiled, I began tallying duplicate votes. The fifty or so authors who received the most votes at that point were voted on and the list was whittled down to thirty-two.
Much like college basketball’s annual March Madness bracketology, I decided to take those thirty-two names and pit them against each other until a winner was crowned.
How this bracket works is easy- the leading vote-getter, an author you may have heard of named Stephen King, would match up against the author who received the thirty-second most votes in the competition. Several authors were tied with others, so in that case, the author who had their name mentioned first in the inaugural question received the higher seeding. For example, Ramsey Campbell and Bentley Little had the same amount of votes, however Campbell was mentioned first, so he got the sixteenth seeding in the bracket while Little got the seventeenth.
So now, with the thirty-two names fleshed out and the bracket completed, below you will find the first round of match-ups. Boy, are there some good ones!
Stephen King vs. Robert McCammon
Edgar Allan Poe vs. Jonathan Maberry
H.P. Lovecraft vs. Ambrose Bierce
Shirley Jackson vs. William Peter Blatty
Bram Stoker vs. Daphne Du Maurier
Clive Barker vs. Jack Ketchum
Joe Hill vs. Richard Laymon
Richard Matheson vs. Charles Beaumont
Mary Shelley vs. Anne Rice
Peter Straub vs. Brian Keene
Robert Bloch vs. Dean Koontz
Brian Lumley vs. Junji Ito
Neil Gaiman vs. Joe Lansdale
Ray Bradbury vs. Thomas Ligotti
R.L Stine vs. Koji Suzuki
Ramsey Campbell vs. Bentley Little
In the coming weeks, the brackets will be dissected and discussed by a wonderful troop of horror writers, filmmakers and fanatics and you, the fan, will determine who advances from each match-up. Voting will occur through Facebook and you can also leave your votes in the comment section below when that specific week’s match-ups go live for voting.
The end game, of course, is to crown the best horror author of all-time. Time to get creepy, folks. I can’t wait to see your votes!