Women in Horror?

Before I begin this post let me say that I am a woman.  Now that you know that, you can bash me to death when you read what I have to say about women in the horror genre.

With very few exceptions, I think men are better horror writers than women. There, I said it. 

Now don’t get me wrong. I LOVE many female writers. Tina Seskis, Trish Marie Dawson, Melanie Rawn, Veronica Roth and others are amazing female authors with immense talent. 

I often wonder why I don’t enjoy horror novels written by women as much as I do those written by men and I think I may have it figured out. Even if you think this hypothesis is silly, humor me for one second, okay?

Women hold back. Plain and simple. Whether it’s because a female’s imagination isn’t as sick and twisted as a man’s or a woman thinks she will be judged more harshly than a man writing the same things, in many instances, they simply hold back. To me, that makes a book a lot less appealing than those who let it all out.

Female authors often write under pseudonyms so readers can’t really be sure if they’re reading a book written by a man or a woman and they do this because I’m not the only person in the world who believes a female doesn’t quite cut it in the world of horror.

Will I ever refuse to read a horror novel written by a female? Absolutely not! However, if given a choice, I will choose a book written by a man every time. 

I know there are exceptions to this little rant I’m on right now. Carolyn McCray, Tanith Lee, and Alexandra Sokoloff are just a few female authors who aren’t afraid to push boundaries and write some really weird and creepy stuff. 

In closing, I’m on a self-imposed hunt for a female horror author that will make me second-guess my opinions and prove me wrong.

Any suggestions?


2 thoughts on “Women in Horror?

  1. Lucy Taylor doesn’t hold back. Angela Carter defies classification — mind-bending and brilliant. A few others with chilling works: Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, Octavia Butler, Lisa Tuttle, Tanith Lee, Kathe Koja, Tananarive Due, Poppy Z. Brite.


  2. Hi Dawnzilla, I enjoyed reading your article, and your others too. I just wanted to reply to this one here because I write extreme horror fiction under the pen name Vivid Mind. I’m a woman too, and I most definitely don’t hold back. 😉 So yes, there are exceptions (smiles).


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