Horror is a literary genre which intends to scare, frighten and terrify the readers, originating feelings of terror and fear. Horror plots are capable to create a frightening atmosphere, through the adoption of supernatural elements.
This genre dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, where there were horror works focused on death, evils, the demonic, and the afterlife. Most of these stories had different protagonists including witchcraft, vampires and ghosts.
Over the years, horror stories have become a fundamental part of the folk literature and during the 18th century, they have started being popular in the Western literature with the development of the Gothic novel. This genre has been invented by Horace Walpole, who wrote ‘The castle of Otranto’ in 1765 and it has been recognised as the best representation of horror stories.
During the Romantic era, the genre has become popular in Germany with the works of Hoffman, as well as in America with Edgar Allan Poe's works.
Nowadays, horror stories are still relevant in society and different are the best-selling books related to this genre (e.g. books by Anna Rice or R.L. Stine).
Ghost stories belong to the fiction genre and have as main characters ghosts. These stories are characterised by features such as magic and supernatural. Ghost stories can be related to both supernatural fictions, weird fictions and horror narratives.
Similarly to horror books, ghost stories have the purpose of scaring and frightening the reader.
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