Reviewing the existing literature on the subject, the introductory chapter ‘Horror in Indian cinema: an afterthought?’ reviews the role and history of the horror genre in India. In a first of its kind, this study undertakes a brief historical mapping of the Hindi, Malayalam, Bangla, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi and Kannada horror film industries. This chapter lays down the working definition of horror: rather than pursue elements of horror in general within films, this book concentrates on those Indian films that make it their primary business to generate horripilation in their audience. Arguing that watertight generic typologies borrowed from the West are more often perforated than adhered to by Indian language cinemas, this chapter outlines a typology of Indian horror cinema emerging from its own oeuvre that it seeks to evaluate in the upcoming chapters: possession/occult films, vampire films, animal transformation films, zombie and witches films, horror-comedy films and psychological/uncanny/slasher films.