Popular fiction and drama whose chief purpose is to thrill its audience with dread, disgust, and terror. Although many old works partake of horror motifs, such as William Shakespeare's Macbeth (pr. 1606), modern horror literature is a development from gothic fiction. The typical plot takes place in evil locations populated by warped humans, witches, demons, fabulous beings, such as vampires, and spirits and develops on the basis of any macabre actions, principally grisly violence, that terrifies readers. H. P. Lovecraft is the undisputed master of early horror literature and Stephen King of modern horror novels.
"Horror Literature." Literary Reference Center. 2015. Web. 25 Nov. 2015.