This is a continuation of the Speculative Fiction Genre Glossary Project posts. For the complete genre index click here.
What is Gothic Fiction?
Also known as gothic horror, the genre mixes terror and romance. Atmosphere and heightened emotions are emphasized. Setting is used to create a sense of unease, fear, or revulsion . Gothic stories are often set in decaying castles, crumbling mansions, haunted houses, and previous eras.
Gothic conventions include: ghosts, madness, secrets, decay, romance, superstitions, passions, family secrets, mysteries, the supernatural, the Byronic hero, the grotesque.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe
- Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
- Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
- House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
I scare too easily to read too much horror, but this is one subgenre I can sometimes handle. Do you enjoy gothic?