If they tried really hard, the majority of the public could perhaps name only four writers of horror: Stephen King, H.P.Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, and Clive Barker. Fans of the horror genre could doubtlessly name many more with the number of the authors they could name reflecting the intensity of their interest. For example, a person who can name fifteen authors of horror most likely has a more intense interest in the genre than someone who can name only five.
I would say that it is a safe bet that one or more of these authors are the topics in least 75% of all the conversations about horror literature going on at any one moment. While we amateurs can improve our skills from studying these four, I think we have a lot to learn from studying authors other than these four.
I recently read a compilation of stories that Lovecraft cites in his work “Supernatural Horror in Literature”. Of course, only Poe appears among his cited predecessors. Most of his influences are writers probably most of the modern public has never heard of (Lord Dunsany, Edward Lucas White, Arthur Machen, etc.) though they were as well known in their time as Dean Koontz and Peter Straub are today.
My question to you is: who are the unrecognized masters of horror that the modern public should know but in all likelihood do not? Whose name does not usually make it into any top ten list of masters of horror but should?