Tabula Rasa began in 1994 as a magazine devoted to both the history of horror and its present developments. Editors David Carroll and Lyla Ward conceived the magazine as a 15-issue publication that would begin with a horror timeline. The subsequent issues would then examine the key publications and authors in depth, with the history culminating with H. P. Lovecraft. Due to financial and time restraints, only seven issues were ever published in hardcopy format.
Carroll and Ward established Tabula Rasa as a website in 2001.