Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a philosophy of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the eighteenth century as Gothic horror, with publication of the Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole.
Gothic fiction, sometimes referred to as Gothic horror, is a genre or mode of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance. Gothicism’s origin is attributed to English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto, subtitled “A Gothic Story”. The effect of Gothic fiction feeds on a pleasing sort of terror, an extension of Romantic literary pleasures that were relatively new at the time of Walpole’s novel. Melodrama and parody (including self-parody) were other long-standing features of the Gothic initiated by Walpole.
Crime fiction is the literary genre that fictionalizes crimes, their detection, criminals and their motives. It is usually distinguished from mainstream fiction and other genres such as science fiction or historical fiction, but boundaries can be, and indeed are, blurred. It has several sub-genres, including detective fiction (such as the whodunnit), legal thriller, courtroom drama and hard-boiled fiction.
Dark fantasy is a term used to describe a fantasy story with a pronounced horror element.
Monster literature is a genre of literature that combines good and evil and intends to evoke a sensation of horror and terror in its readers by presenting the evil side in the form of a monster.
Mystery fiction – It is often used as a synonym for detective fiction or crime fiction— in other words a novel or short story in which a detective (either professional or amateur) investigates and solves a crime mystery. Sometimes mystery books are nonfiction. The term “mystery fiction” may sometimes be limited to the subset of detective stories in which the emphasis is on the puzzle/suspense element and its logical solution (cf. whodunit), as a contrast to hardboiled detective stories, which focus on action and gritty realism.
Speculative fiction is an umbrella term encompassing the more fantastical fiction genres, specifically science fiction, fantasy, horror, supernatural fiction, superhero fiction, utopian and dystopian fiction, apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, and alternate history in literature as well as related static, motion, and virtual arts.
Thrillers are a genre of literature, film, and television programming that uses suspense, tension, and excitement as the main elements. A common subgenre is psychological thrillers. After the assassination of President Kennedy, the political thriller and the paranoid thriller film became very popular. Successful examples of thrillers are the films of Alfred Hitchcock.
Thrillers heavily stimulate the viewer’s moods such as a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, anxiety, suspense, excitement, tension, and terror. Literary devices such as red herrings and cliffhangers are used extensively. The cover-up of important information from the viewer, and fight and chase scenes are common methods in all of the thriller subgenres, although each subgenre has its own characteristics and methods.
Weird fiction is a subgenre of speculative fiction written in the late 19th and early 20th century. It can be said to encompass the ghost story and other tales of the macabre. Weird fiction is distinguished from horror and fantasy in that it predates the niche marketing of genre fiction. Because genre or stylistic conventions had not been established, weird tales often blend the supernatural, mythical, and even scientific. British “weird” authors, for example, published their work in mainstream literary magazines even after American pulp magazines became popular. Popular weird fiction writers included H. P. Lovecraft, Lord Dunsany, Arthur Machen, and M. R. James.
Although “weird fiction” is chiefly a historical description for works through the 1930s, the term has also been used since the 1980s, sometimes to describe slipstream fiction that blends horror, fantasy, and science fiction.