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Horror fiction is a genre of fiction in any medium intended to scare, unsettle and horrify the audience. Historically, the cause of the "horror" experience has often been the intrusion of a disturbing supernatural element into everyday human experience. Since the 1960s, any work of fiction with a morbid, gruesome, surreal, or exceptionally suspenseful or frightening theme has come to be called "horror". Horror fiction often overlaps science fiction or fantasy, all three categories of which are sometimes placed under the umbrella classification speculative fiction.

Haunting is sometimes used as a plot device in horror fiction and paranormal-based fiction. Legends about haunted houses have long appeared in literature. For example, the Arabian Nights tale of "Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in Baghdad" revolves around a house haunted by djinns. The influence of the Arabian Nights on modern horror fiction is certainly discernible in some of the work of H. P. Lovecraft.

Achievements in horror fiction are recognized by numerous awards. The Horror Writer's Association presents the Bram Stoker Awards for Superior Achievement, named in honor of Bram Stoker, author of the seminal horror novel Dracula. The Australian Horror Writers Association presents annual Australian Shadows Awards. The International Horror Guild Award was presented annually to works of horror and dark fantasy from 1995 to 2008. Other important awards for horror literature are as subcategories included within general awards for fantasy and science fiction in such awards as the Aurealis Award.

Zombies are a popular feature in many horror works.

Selected horror profile

Bradbury in 1975
Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th and 21st century American writers of speculative fiction. Bradbury's popularity has been increased by more than 20 filmed dramatizations of his works.

Bradbury was born in Waukegan, Illinois, to a Swedish immigrant mother and a father who was a power and telephone lineman. His paternal grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. Bradbury was a reader and writer throughout his youth, spending much time in the Carnegie library in Waukegan, Illinois. He used this library as a setting for much of his novel Something Wicked This Way Comes, and depicted Waukegan as "Green Town" in some of his other semi-autobiographical novels—Dandelion Wine, Farewell Summer—as well as in many of his short stories.

He attributes his lifelong habit of writing every day to an incident in 1932 when a carnival entertainer, Mr. Electrico, touched him on the nose with an electrified sword, made his hair stand on end, and shouted, "Live forever!" It was from then that Bradbury wanted to live forever and decided his career as an author in order to do what he was told: live forever. It was at that age that Bradbury first started to do magic. Magic was his first great love. If he had not discovered writing, he would have become a magician.

Selected horror work

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow, known in Japan as Castlevania: Akatsuki no Menuett (キャッスルヴァニア ~暁月の円舞曲~, Kyassuruvania Akatsuki no Menuetto, lit. "Castlevania: Minuet of Dawn"), is an action-adventure game developed and published by Konami for the Game Boy Advance. It is part of Konami's Castlevania video game series, and the third installment of the series on the Game Boy Advance. The game was released in North America on May 6, 2003 and released in Japan on May 8, 2003. Although Aria of Sorrow sold poorly in Japan, selling only 27,000 units nearly one month after its release, it was commercially successful in the United States, with more than 158,000 units sold three months following its release.

Aria of Sorrow is set in the year 2035, where Dracula has long been sealed away from a battle in 1999. His powers are to be passed on to his reincarnation. The plot follows the adventures of Soma Cruz, a high school student who is granted powers as a result of Dracula's death, and his battle against those who wish to acquire Dracula's powers.

Aria of Sorrow takes many elements from other Castlevania games, including Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, which was in production at the same time as Aria of Sorrow. The game incorporates the combination of elements from platform and role-playing video games that were initially utilized in the best-selling Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. Aria of Sorrow introduces several new features to the series, such as the "Tactical Soul" system and a futuristic storyline, a contrast to the medieval setting of many other Castlevania games. Aria of Sorrow received praise from several video game publications, with many considering it one of the best games in the Castlevania series since Symphony of the Night.