» Horror fiction also Horror fantasy is a genre of literature, which is intended to, or has the capacity to frighten its readers, scare or startle viewers/readers by inducing feelings of horror and terror. It creates an eerie and frightening atmosphere. Horror can be either supernatural or non-supernatural. The genre has ancient origins which were reformulated in the eighteenth century as Gothic horror, with publication of the Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole.
Supernatural horror has its roots in folklore and religious traditions, focusing on death, the afterlife, evil, the demonic and the principle of evil embodied in the Devil. These were manifested in stories of witches, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and demonic pacts such as that of Faust.
Eighteenth century Gothic horror drew on these sources in such works as Vathek (1786) by William Beckford, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1796) by Ann Radcliffe and The Monk (1797) by Matthew Lewis.