In the realm of American literature, there are few writers who are as universally lauded as Edgar Allen Poe. As anyone who has read The Raven, The Pit and the Pendulum or any other selection from his vast store of macabre will attest, Poe firmly is rooted in the horror genre.
These stories are reread, dissected and analyzed in a continuous cycle in classrooms across the world. They are upheld by teachers as exemplars of mood, suspense, style and language.
The fact that they are tales of pure horror--some dealing with topics of the basest, most pulp-worthy nature--largely is ignored.
This calculated ignorance is not limited to writers as flamboyantly-horror-driven as Poe. Many of literature's sacred figures have dabbled in (if not plunged headfirst into) the realm of horror. Faulkner, Dickens, Melville, Vonnegut and Woolf all wrote at least a smattering of horror fiction at some point in their career.
Moreover, horror has proven to be a popular form of fiction in many different cultures. While America and England control the market on popular horror, stories from many different nations find their way into the horror consciousness. For instance, the Chupacabra from Central and South America and the Wendigo from Canada have become recurring figures.