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Horror fiction is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to, frighten its readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror.

The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the 18th century as Gothic horror, with publication of The Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole.

Today, popular horror writers include Stephen King, Brian Lumley, James Herbert, Dean Koontz, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell, and Peter Straub, among others.

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