In the horror genre my top ten authors are:
1) Stephen King
I don't think I really need to explain why. The King of Horror is more than cheap scares and lots of gore. There's so much depth to the nightmares he creates for you.
2) Darren Shan
Where no character is safe. Darren Shan knows how to torture his characters with death, life changing experiences, and monsters.
3) Kendare Blake
Anna Dressed in Blood introduces you to ghosts who are both tragic yet frightening. A chilling story and I'm looking forward to more horror from this author. I've recently reviewed Kendare Blake's Anna Dressed in Blood here.
4) Susan Hill
The Woman in Black was a tense, eerie story with a ghost that could pop up any time to haunt you. In the style of 19th Century Gothic Susan Hill will send shivers down your spine. I reviewed her novel earlier in the year.
5) Bram Stoker
Again, do I need to explain? Bram Stoker created the daddy of fictional vampires. The films tend to make it as paranormal romance as possible but the book is more than that. Dracula isn't even interested in Mina until her husband's scooby gang interfere and her change is really out of revenge and trolling. It's not at all romantic.
6) Richie Tankserley Cusick
I recently read her book Trick or Treat (reviewed here) but I was actually introduced to this author in my teens with her Unseen series. I didn't even realise until I read this and saw what else she had written. I enjoyed Trick or Treat, truly creeped out by the tale and I remember that Unseen was quite disturbing and freaky. I have a mission to get more of Cusick's books.
7) L.J. Smith
While there are paranormal romance elements Smith actually enjoys putting her characters through hell, tormenting them with nightmares and supernatural horrors. I'd recommend The Forbidden Game as her best horror.
8) Mary Shelley
Shelley could see horror in science and how it was evolving. Frankenstein has inspired so many plots in horror and sci-fi. A creation that goes horribly wrong with a master who is disgusted by its appearance and a monster who is wronged by everyone around him because of who and what he is. Those attitudes can really mess with someone.
9) Christopher Pike
I loved Spooksville when I was a kid. The series focused around a pre-teen scooby gang who came across quite a lot of strange and supernatural beasties from zombie-like cold people to witches to aliens and parallel dimensions. Pike has also written quite a few YA Horror such as The Last Vampire series.
10) R.L. Stine
R.L. Stine was the king of cheesy 90s horror. Goosebumps really loved to mess with the characters and put them through hell with all sorts of twists. Fear Street was aimed at teenagers and children but the YA books were quite chilling and horrific.