Let's talk about horror. And by that, I mean the genre, not whatever other kind of horror you could think of.
I've posted on facebook the link to Kate Mosse's top ten ghost stories, or something...I've forgotten already. (Side note: I'm hungry, I want to get this midterm over with so I can get on the road to Philly, and I'm blogging to waste time until I can take it. Got talking to my Brit Lit professor and didn't make it to the next class on time so I decided not to go at all.)
Poe, of course, comes to mind. He basically created the genre. Along with the detective story. Stay tuned for my Master's Thesis on the evolution of the detective.
Kate Mosse specifically mentions the Tell Tale Heart in her post. I would also recommend The Mask of The Red Death, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven, naturally, and my favorite:
The Fall of the House of Usher.
The Murders at Rue Morgue (you know, the uber famous story) is bizarre, but not particularly horrifying. It's also not a great mystery. It is interesting, and will be explored in above-mentioned thesis, how detective story evolved into mystery. Because really, Poe's and Conan Doyle's (who blatantly thefted Poe) are not good mysteries. The reader doesn't get to play along because there is a decided lack of necessary information, until all is revealed by the detective in the last few paragraphs.
Other horror writers I've read and liked-
Dean Koontz. He's kind of horror/sci-fi/sometimes mystery
John Saul. He's mostly horror/mystery
For the younger set:
Betty Ren Wright. The Dollhouse Murders. I LOVED this book when I was younger. I haven't read it in years, but I'm sure that I would still love it, because it was wonderfully creepy, and a good mystery.
Of course, I have to mention The Picture of Dorian Gray because I love, love, love it and Oscar Wilde. Horrible, hilariously satiric, and beautifully written. Win, win, win.
Oscar Wilde pretty much wins at everything, except maybe his court case.
I'm not really sure how I've avoided mentioning Stephen King until this point. Funnily, he hadn't even crossed my mind until right now, and he's one of the greatest, and definitely most prolific horror writers ever.
Misery- I've read the first page...it was so, well, horrible...that I couldn't continue. The movie ain't got nothing shock-factor-wise on the book.
Pet Sematary- I actually didn't finish this either, because I was much younger, and very creeped out. This was also around the time my neighbor and I discovered just where her cows went when they died.
Off the top of my head, that's all I can come up with. That's a good start, though. It will take you a lifetime to read Stephen King alone (have you SEEN the SIZE of his new book? I think he's competing with the OED...the thing could be a fucking weapon.)
Now, I shall mosey along and take my midterm (on Poe, Twain, Tennessee Williams and some 19th c. Americans you've never heard of) and then I will have a wonderful weekend in Philadelphia with my wonderful boyfriend.
Everyone have a fantastic Halloween!!!!