I’ve finally gotten around to updating the 60 Black Women in Horror list from 2013/2014. Here are 20 more women (for a total of 80). There are probably 20 or 40 more where these came from… as I research, I find more and more black women who are categorized as sci-fi or fantasy writers who also write horror. Before I continue to the list, I would like to take out the time to thank these most invaluable resources:
British-Nigerian horror writer Nuzo Onoh is the author of The Reluctant Dead, Unhallowed Graves, and The Sleepless. A pioneer in the African horror genre, she mixes traditional beliefs with unnerving supernatural terror. The daughter of Dr. C.C.Onoh, chief and governor of the Old Anambra State, she was subjected to a terrifying exorcism attempt as a child. This impacted her worldview and as a result she is an advocate fighting against the ritual abuse of children in Africa.
Lori Titus is the author of Lazarus, Hunting in Closed Spaces, Blood Relations, The Bell House, and several other novels and novellas in the dark speculative fiction realm. Her Afrocentric paranormal Marradith Ryder series is about Sojourner: a slayer or hunter tasked with seeking out and addressing supernatural threats like shape-shifters, demons, and warlocks.
C.C. Spivey is the author of the vampire novel Reborn. It is about an African vampire, Tytarion, who rescues Mayan, an African American runaway slave of mixed heritage, from the evil plantation master who is her father. He turns Mayan into a vampire and nurses her back to health in hopes that she will become strong enough physically to carry his immortal heir.
Alexandra Lane is the author of A Vision of Angels: The Battle Begins, and Donum: The Battle Has Already Begun, two novels in the religious supernatural horror genre dealing with fallen angels and the apocalypse. The first story takes place in historical Maryland during the slavery era, and it’s central protagonist, Minty, is a slave. The second takes place in modern times.
5. Tonya R. Moore
Speculative fiction writer Tonya R. Moore writes science-fiction, paranormal fantasy and horror. Her out-of-print short story collection On the Brink contained tales about ghosts, mermaids, vampires, urban monsters, androids and witches. Her horror novelette Sea Witch Song is about a grieving lover who plays a song that entices sea monsters up from the deep. She has contributed stories to eFiction Magazine, Black Girl Lit Magic, and Writers on the Wrong Side of the Road.
6. Ann Lane Petry
The African American novelist Ann Petry was the first black woman to become a bestselling author, selling over a million copies of her 1946 novel The Street. Although her mainstream novels are urban and historical fiction surrounding issues faced by black women during and after slavery, she wrote short stories in the horror genre, including the ghost story The Bones of Louella Brown from the collection Miss Muriel and Other Stories. Her novels include magical realism, gothic imagery, and a Western fear of hoodoo consistent with the American horror genre. Other novels include the critically acclaimed The Narrows and the Y.A. novel Tituba of Salem Village.
7. Zin E. Rocklyn
An American of Trinidadian descent, her short story Need is part of the Forever Vacancy anthology. Her short story Summer Skin is in the Sycorax’s Daughters anthology. She has a series of online horror stories available at Oblique 30, where she is one of the regular contributors.
8. Tlotlo Tsamaase
Bessie Head Literary Award and Black Crake Books Award winning author Tlotlo Tsamaase from Goborone, Botswana writes sci-fi and horror short stories and poetry rife with sub-textual messages regarding black woman’s struggle. Her works include the Rhysling Award nominated I Will Be Your Grave, Sebeteledi Holds the Dead (from the An Alphabet of Embers anthology), The Palapye White Birch and Virtual Snapshots.
9. Kyoko M
Author of the Amazon Bestselling supernatural thriller The Black Parade, about an alcoholic waitress who becomes a seer tasked with helping one hundred earthbound spirits to cross over into the afterlife. It is the first in a three book series along with She Who Fights Monsters and The Holy Dark. Of Cinder and Dust, combines sci-fi, fantasy and horror when scientists learn to clone once-extinct dragons. The embryos are stolen by Yakuza, who mutate them, turning them into bloodthirsty, gruesome, malformed beasts.
A founding member of Colors in Darkness (CID), a group for diverse horror writers, dark speculative fiction author Kenya Moss-Dyme won scholastic awards for writing horror short stories in her teens. She is the author of Daymares, a seven story horror collection, Devil Inside, a psychological horror story about a cancer survivor who is tortured and mutated under the care of an evil, twisted, unethical nurse who experiments on her. She’s written several gritty thrillers dealing with real life horrors including the Prey for Me series with takes on child molestation within the church and the A Good Wife series which tackles domestic violence.
The author of Belly of the Mountain, and Back in the Belly of the Mountain, horror stories surrounding the havoc wreaked in the wake of the restless spirit of a slave which haunting the East Kentucky mountains. She also wrote a short story for the Winter’s Chill horror anthology.
Self-described “Writer of romance, speculative fiction and horror, sometimes all three” Dahlia DeWinters has horror shorts in the notable black horror anthologies Black Girl Magic: Horror Edition and CID’s Forever Vacancy. Her novels include the southern gothic horror novel Tea and Tomahawks, the zombie-themed paranormal romance Loving Among the Dead, and the paranormal romance Reluctant Magic. She also writes horror reviews for her blog, The Sultry Scribe.
She is the author of several horror, paranormal fantasy and paranormal mystery, and young adult titles. She was a 2015 Kindle Book Awards finalist for The Time of Sanura, the third book in her Madame Lilly horror series about a vengeance-driven Creole voodoo priestess born in the 1800s who uses dark magic to become immortal. Other titles include the paranormal murder mystery Anguta’s Reign, and the paranormal fantasy Blood Thirst; An Eternal Romance.
Pauline E. Hopkins
One of the lesser-known figures of the Harlem Renaissance, she was a prominent African American novelist best known for her Afrocentric historical romances. Her short story Talma Gordon, published in 1900 in The Colored American Magazine, considered by many the first African-American mystery story. Her fourth novel, Of One Blood, mixed dark fantasy with realism, setting the stage for the magical realism that would become a mainstay of modern African-American literary fiction. It mixes gothic horror and fantasy to tell the story of one educated black man’s journey to racial self-discovery.
Her debut young adult fiction novel “Doll” is like Mean Girls vs. The Craft. The popular but cruel Pepper Fox has amassed a number of tormented victims from among her high school’s outcast underdogs. Three of the aforementioned, Tomie, Sari, and Opal, travel to Louisiana to pick up a little voodoo magic remedy for the school’s one-woman bullying issue. She writes for the YA/NA set in several genres, but horror and suspense are her primary forte. She has over twenty published short stories and more than seventy works of flash fiction.
In her horror/sci-fi tale of the zombie apocalypse, The Un-United States of Z Trilogy, not even the rise of the undead can stem the tide of racial division here in the good old USA. Dr. Zen Marley, is torn between his black Southern roots and his preppy West Coast professor image until he is bitten by his recently zombified mother. Infected but coherent, he tries to find the cure while dealing with a racial divide that is exasperated by the collapse of society. The Beast of Bodmin Moor is a gothic tale about a legendary monster and mysteriously disappearing cattle. The short story He Who Would Be King deals with an ancient monster of lore: the djinn.
The prolific Rasheedah Prioleau writes in several dark speculative fiction genres, including horror, supernatural thriller, dystopian space opera and paranormal romance. The Princess X Series is a space opera about the blind orphan Amullette Rose who leaves her space colony to go into hiding because she has a dark secret. American Specter: The Seven Sisters is a supernatural thriller featuring FBI Agent Audra Wheeler. After a paranormal attack leaves her sister Kendra in a coma, Audra uses her investigative skills to go after a ghostly killer. The chase leads her to Specter, Georgia, a town where ghosts of the dead coexist with the living. Everlasting: Da Eb’Bulastin is the first book in the Sa’Fyre Island Book Series, about Aiyana Gamelle, a woman of Gullah and Native American ancestry who learns that her transformation into the Queen of Sa’Fyre Island involves a family curse and unwanted possession.
She writes dystopian fiction, gothic horror, historical fantasies and other speculative fiction. Her debut novel on Storm Moon Press, Tuesday Apocalypse takes place in the 1940s in a post-apocalyptic London where tentacle monsters draw a nun and a young girl into increasingly treacherous worlds of erotic temptation and madness. She has written dark poetry and short stories in Infernal Ink Magazine and Poems from the Darkside.
Jewell Parker Rhodes
Her debut novel Voodoo Dreams, and her Marie Laveau Trilogy, Season, Moon, and Hurricane, which are based on the legend of famous New Orleans voodoo priestess Marie Laveau tell terrifying tales of ritualized magic being used to enslave black women and create zombie-like Sleeping Beauties for a horrifying modern revival of the fetishizing quadroon balls. She has recieved the Coretta Scott King Honor Award for Ninth Ward, and the American Book Award for Douglass’ Women.
Nicole Givens Kurtz
Dark science-fiction often dances along the fine line between pure sci-fi and true horror. Stories like The Soul Cages, the first book in The Minister Knights of Souls Series features a black protagonist, Sarah, uses the sci-fi context to address the political issue of slavery. Sarah is reincarnated into Valek’s soul cages, where she can’t experience human senses or love, and desires to return to human flesh. Although the story takes place in outer space, the use of magic puts it in the dark fantasy category. The post-apocalyptic dystopic world of The Cybil Lewis Series is not horror but is definitely in the dark speculative fiction wheelhouse.