20 Of The Best Occult Fiction Writers

Authors who write occult fiction, often mystics, occultists, or individuals deeply immersed in esoteric knowledge, navigate the realms of the supernatural, mystical, and magical in their works. Their narratives transcend conventional boundaries, offering readers glimpses into hidden dimensions, arcane rituals, and the mysteries of the unseen.

These authors are adept at weaving spells with words, creating atmospheres charged with mystery and wonder. Their storytelling often draws from ancient occult traditions, Hermeticism, alchemy, and various mystical philosophies, blending these elements into captivating narratives that transport readers to realms beyond the ordinary. The themes explored in occult fiction range from the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment and the unlocking of hidden potentials to encounters with otherworldly beings and the consequences of meddling with forbidden knowledge.

Writers in this genre draw inspiration from historical occult figures, ancient texts, and their own spiritual experiences, infusing authenticity into their fictional explorations. As conduits between the mundane and the magical, these authors contribute to the enduring fascination with the unknown, inviting readers to contemplate the mysteries that lie beneath the surface of reality. In the hands of these adept storytellers, occult fiction becomes a where the boundaries between imagination and mysticism blur, and readers are invited to embark on journeys beyond the veil of the ordinary.

As writers of the occult are often themselves personally committed to the world of the occult, and are authorities on the subject, the books below are not all fiction: some are more like explorations and explanations of the occult.

Here are twenty writers who put occult fiction on the literary map:

Robert Fludd (1574-1637): A Renaissance physician, alchemist, and mystic, Robert Fludd’s extensive writings encompassed various esoteric subjects. His work, “Utriusque Cosmi, Maioris scilicet et Minoris, Metaphysica, Physica, Atque Technica Historia,” is a monumental synthesis of Hermeticism, alchemy, and Christian mysticism, making Fludd a significant figure in the history of occult thought.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873): A prolific Victorian novelist, Edward Bulwer-Lytton delved into the occult with his work “Zanoni,” exploring themes of immortality and mystical initiation. While also remembered for his famous opening line, “It was a dark and stormy night,” Bulwer-Lytton’s contributions to occult fiction showcase his interest in esoteric themes.

Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891): A co-founder of the Theosophical Society, Helena Blavatsky is a pioneering figure in Western esotericism. Her influential works, such as “The Secret Doctrine,” explore mystical and metaphysical concepts, shaping the foundations of modern occultism. Blavatsky’s profound insights into the spiritual dimensions of existence have left an enduring impact on occult literature.

Anna Kingsford (1846-1888): An English author, anti-vivisectionist, and mystic, Anna Kingsford wrote extensively on spiritual and esoteric topics. Her work “The Perfect Way; or, The Finding of Christ” explores her mystical vision of Christianity and the esoteric path to spiritual enlightenment, contributing to the Victorian occult revival.

Charles Webster Leadbeater (1854-1934): An influential figure in the Theosophical Society, Charles Leadbeater was not only a prominent clairvoyant but also a prolific writer. His occult fiction, including “The Astral Plane” and “The Inner Life,” reflects his deep involvement in mysticism. Leadbeater’s extensive knowledge of spiritual realms and his ability to convey esoteric concepts to a wider audience contribute to his standing as an accomplished author in occult literature.

Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers (1854-1918): A co-founder of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Mathers played a crucial role in the development of modern Western occultism. His translations of esoteric texts, including “The Key of Solomon,” and his involvement in magical rituals contributed significantly to the revival of ceremonial magic in the late 19th century.

Arthur Edward Waite (1857-1942): A British occultist and prolific writer, Arthur Edward Waite co-created the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, one of the most popular tarot decks in the world. His influential book “The Book of Black Magic and of Pacts” explores various magical traditions, showcasing Waite’s deep knowledge of occult practices and symbolism.

William Walker Atkinson (1862-1932): An American attorney and occultist, William Walker Atkinson wrote prolifically under various pseudonyms, contributing to the New Thought and occult movements. His works, including “The Kybalion,” blend Hermetic philosophy with practical insights, influencing later occultists. Atkinson’s versatile writings continue to inspire seekers of esoteric knowledge.

Arthur Machen (1863-1947): A Welsh author and mystic, Arthur Machen is renowned for his contributions to supernatural literature. His seminal work, “The Great God Pan,” explores the boundaries between the mundane and the mystical, influencing later occult fiction writers with its atmospheric and unsettling narrative. Machen’s writings make him a significant figure in the realm of occult fiction.

 Franz Bardon (1909-1958): A Czech occultist and author, Franz Bardon’s significant contributions include works like “Initiation into Hermetics.” Bardon’s writings focus on practical magical techniques and spiritual development, earning him recognition among practitioners of ceremonial magic. His systematic approach and emphasis on inner alchemy make him a revered figure in the world of occult literature.

Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998): An enigmatic figure, Carlos Castaneda gained fame for his series of books detailing his experiences with a Yaqui shaman. Blurring the lines between fact and fiction, Castaneda’s works, such as “The Teachings of Don Juan,” captivated readers with their mystical insights. Though controversial, his impact on popularizing shamanistic and mystical concepts in the West is undeniable.

Raymond Buckland (1934-2017): A prolific writer and practitioner of modern witchcraft, Raymond Buckland played a crucial role in popularizing Wicca in the United States. His books, including “Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft,” provide accessible guides to Wiccan practices and rituals. Buckland’s dedication to spreading knowledge about witchcraft cements his legacy as a key figure in the modern occult movement.

Michael Bertiaux (born 1935): An American occultist and author, Michael Bertiaux is recognized for his expertise in ritual magic and occult practices. His influential work “Voudon Gnostic Workbook” explores the intersection of Voodoo and Western esotericism. Bertiaux’s deep knowledge of occult traditions and his contributions to the study of magical systems establish him as a significant figure in occult literature.

J. Conway (1939-2019): An influential Wiccan author, D. J. Conway contributed significantly to the popularization of pagan and magical practices. Her books, such as “Celtic Magic” and “Moon Magick,” provide accessible introductions to various occult traditions. Conway’s dedication to making esoteric knowledge accessible to a broad audience solidifies her impact on modern occult literature.

Zsuzsanna Budapest (born 1940): A Hungarian-born American author and feminist witch, Zsuzsanna Budapest is a key figure in the Dianic Wiccan tradition. Her books, including “The Holy Book of Women’s Mysteries,” advocate for the empowerment of women through spirituality. Budapest’s writings continue to inspire those seeking a feminist and magical perspective within the occult.

Nevill Drury (1947-2013): An Australian writer and editor, Nevill Drury focused extensively on occult, metaphysical, and esoteric subjects. His works, including “The Dictionary of Mysticism and the Occult,” demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of various mystical traditions. Drury’s commitment to exploring the mystical aspects of human existence makes him a respected author in the field of occult literature.

Lon Milo DuQuette (1948-present): Lon Milo DuQuette, an American occultist, musician, and author, is celebrated for his witty and accessible approach to occult subjects. His works, such as “The Chicken Qabalah” and “My Life with the Spirits,” blend humour with profound insights, making complex esoteric teachings more palatable for a contemporary audience. DuQuette’s diverse expertise and engaging writing style mark him as a modern luminary in occult fiction.

Hilary Mantel (1952-2023): Though widely acclaimed for historical fiction, Hilary Mantel explored occult themes in works like “Beyond Black.” This Booker Prize-winning author skilfully weaves the supernatural into her narratives, adding a layer of mysticism to her storytelling. Mantel’s ability to seamlessly integrate historical realism with occult elements showcases her versatility as a writer.

Marie Corelli (1855-1924): A Victorian novelist with a penchant for the mystical, Marie Corelli achieved immense popularity for her works blending romance with supernatural themes. Her novel “A Romance of Two Worlds” explores spiritualism and astral projection, reflecting Corelli’s fascination with the mystical dimensions of human experience.

Scott Cunningham (1956-1993): A prominent Wiccan author, Scott Cunningham’s influence on modern pagan literature is immense. His books, including “Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner,” are regarded as essential texts for those exploring witchcraft and neopaganism. Cunningham’s clear and concise writing style, coupled with his deep knowledge of herbalism and magic, solidify his place as a foundational figure in occult literature.


And that’s our list of the 20 best occult fiction writers. What’s your take on these – any surprises, or any occult authors not on this list that you feel should make the top 20?

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