Cyclopaedia 22: Horror

Welcome to Cyclopaedia 22: HorrorCyclopaedia is a monthly article on the InnRoads Ministries website as part of the Getting Started series. When I was younger, I enjoyed watching Scooby Do and being “scared” by the monsters and ghosts early in the episode to later be surprised it was just some guy in a suit. As I grew older, I enjoyed more frightful scares watching the late night B-grade horror films of Elvira and our local horror host, Sammy Terry. Today, I don’t enjoy the more modern slasher/splatter films, but I do enjoy reading Poe and Lovecraft, and playing games inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. Do you enjoy stories that startle and surprise you? Do you like to feel that terror in the pit of your stomach? Then let the goosebumps rise as the screams commence!

If you have questions about this article or topics you would like me to consider researching for future Cyclopaedia articles, please leave a comment below.


Horror focuses on frightening, startling, and scaring through building up our feelings of terror via words, sounds, and/or images. Works of fiction and cinema build within our imagination a frightening atmosphere then shock or revile us in a sudden revelation of fear.

Horror exists throughout history. From its simplest and earliest elements, it is the stories told to frighten, especially children. Many early fables, myths, and legends were horror stories meant to scare the listeners into following a particular path.

Literature found readers through horror because it captured emotions and drew readers in. The heart gets pumping and the adrenaline starts flowing as they worry what will come on the next page. The early pulp tales and later comic books really found an audience seeking escapism from the real world horrors.

From there, cinema took off, sometimes focusing on the suspense leading to an emotional scare, while others delved into the violence to shock and awe viewers into emotional outbursts.

From ghost stories told around the camp fire to heart pounding, blood fests in movies, we truly enjoy scaring ourselves through our entertainment. What scares you?

Horror Sub-Genres?

The Horror genre covers so many sub-genres and themes. Within this article, I have tried to focus on the core elements of horror. Items with a * have been or will be broken out in their own Cyclopaedia articles because the topics are so diverse in their own right, often spinning their own tales.

  • Cthulhu Mythos
  • Demonic
  • Ghost Stories
  • Gothic*
  • Kaiju*
  • Macabre
  • Slasher
  • Splatter
  • Zombie*

Following are sources of information pertaining to Horror to assist prospective game masters, game designers, writers, and storytellers in knowing where to start their research.



Frightening Fiction : Beyond Horror
By Reynolds, Kimberley
Source: The New review of children’s literature and librarianship, Vol. 11, No. 2 (2005), p. 152-161,

Music of the Night: Horror’s Soundtracks
By Peter Hutchings
Source: Sound and music in film and visual media, S. 219-230

The Nature of Horror
By Carroll, Noel
Source: The journal of aesthetics and art criticism / American Society for Aesthetics. Ed. Thomas Munro. 46.1987, 51-59.



American Psycho
By Ellis, Bret Easton

The Amityville Horror
By Anson, Jay

At the Mountains of Madness
By Lovecraft, H.P.

Books of Blood
By Barker, Clive

The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories
By Lovecraft, H.P.

By King, Stephen

The Complete Tales and Poems
By Poe, Edgar Allan

The Exorcist
By Blatty, William Peter

Ghost Story
By Straub, Peter

The Girl Next Door
By Ketchum, Jack

The Haunting of Hill House
By Jackson, Shirley

Interview with the Vampire
By Rice, Anne

The Island of Dr. Moreau
By Wells, H.G.

By King, Stephen

By Benchley, Peter

John Dies at the End
By Wong, David

The Keep
By Wilson, F. Paul

The King in Yellow
By Chambers, Robert W.

By Kafka, Franz

The Omen
By Seltzer, David

By Bloch, Robert

The Ritual
By Nevill, Adam

Rosemary’s Baby
By Levin, Ira

The Shining
By King, Stephen

The Silence of the Lambs
By Harris, Thomas

Something Wicked This Way Comes
By Bradbury, Ray

The Stepford Wives
By Levin, Ira

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
By Stevenson, Robert Louis

The Terror
By Simmons, Dan

The Turn of the Screw
By James, Henry

By Koontz, Dean



Alone in the Dark – Computer Game
Amnesia – Computer Game
A Touch of Evil – Tabletop Game
Arkham Horror – Tabletop Game
Betrayal At House On The Hill – Tabletop Game
Beyond the Supernatural – RPG
Bloodborne – Computer Game
The Bloody Inn – Tabletop Game
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – RPG
Call of Cthulhu – RPG
Camp Grizzly – Tabletop Game
Chill – RPG
Claustrophobia – Tabletop Game
Chronicles of Darkness – RPG
Dark Conspiracy – RPG
Dead Space – Computer Game
Dread – RPG
Elder Sign – Tabletop Game
Eldritch Horror – Tabletop Game
Eternal Darkness – Computer Game
Fearsome Floors – Tabletop Game
Ghost Stories – Tabletop Game
Gloom – Tabletop Game
Kult – RPG
Last Friday – Tabletop Game
Legendary Encounters: An Alien Deck Building Game – Tabletop Game
Letters from Whitechapel – Tabletop Game
Little Fears – RPG
Mansions of Madness – Tabletop Game
Mr. Jack – Tabletop Game
Nephilim – RPG
The Others – Tabletop Game
Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu – Tabletop Game
Resident Evil – Computer Game
Room 25 – Tabletop Game
Shadow Hunters – Tabletop Game
Silent Hill – Computer Game
SOMA – Computer Game
Tides of Madness – Tabletop Game
Trail of Cthulhu – RPG
Unknown Armies – RPG
Until Dawn – Computer Game
World of Darkness – RPG



10 Cloverfield Lane
American Horror Story – TV
An American Werewolf in London
The Amityville Horror
Ash vs Evil Dead – TV
Attack on Titan – Anime
Bates Motel – TV
The Birds
The Blair Witch Project
Buffy the Vampire Slayer – TV
The Cabin in the Woods
Cat People
The Cell
Children of the Corn
The Conjuring
Dark Water
The Dead Zone
Event Horizon
The Evil Dead
The Exorcist
Eyes Without A Face
The Fall of the House of Usher
Friday the 13th
Fright Night
Fringe – TV
The Fly
Grimm – TV
Hannibal – TV
The Haunting
Higurashi no Naku Koro ni – Anime
Hollow Man
House on Haunted Hill
House of Wax
The Innocents
Invasion of the Body Snatchers
The Island of Dr. Moreau
It Comes At Night
The Keep
Masters of Horror – TV
Maximum Overdrive
The Mist
A Nightmare on Elm Street
The Omen
The Others
Peeping Tom
Penny Dreadful – TV
Pitch Black
The Re-Animator
Resident Evil
The Ring
Rosemary’s Baby
Scream Queens – TV
The Shining
Silence of the Lambs
The Strain – TV
Stranger Things – TV
Supernatural – TV
Tales From the Crypt – TV
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Theater of Blood
The Thing
The Twilight Zone – TV
Twin Peaks – TV
Village of the Damned
The Wicker Man
The X-Files – TV



Goblinhaus Horror & Haunted Attraction Convention Calendar

The Hollywood Horror Museum



Clive Barker
Tobin Bell
Bruce Campbell
Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney Jr.
Peter Chush
Jamie Lee Curtis
Robert Englund
Doug Jones
Boris Karloff
Stephen King
sir Christopher Lee
Peter Lorre
H.P. Lovecraft
Bela Lugosi
Edgar Allan Poe
Vincent Price
Anne Rice
Zelda Rubinstein
Max Von Sydow

I hope you find these resources informative and inspiring for your adventures, storytelling, or game design.

Stay Creative!

T.R. Knight

( If you would like to save this list of resources as a convenient PDF for later reference, you can find that HERE )


He is a freelance editor, proofreader, and writer in the game industry. He is also a Husband and Caregiver to his wife Angie, Father of Twins Emily and Rachel, Foodie and Hobby Chef, and Director of Academic Technology/Associate CIO at Taylor University. You can learn more about T.R. at his blog

Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply