[[caption-width-right:250:[[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Pride comes before a fall..]].]]
The creepy, gothic version of the rural Southeast United States. Scenes show dying vegetation, decaying plantations, rusty farm implements, foreboding swamps with ''something'' lurking within, and frighteningly expressionless folk standing around doing...nothing, except staring at the protagonists.

The Southern Gothic is its own subgenre of [[GothicHorror Gothic media]], characterized by bleak settings in the DeepSouth, flawed (and often disturbing) characters, and the darker side of the Southeastern United States including racism, sexism, and BarefootPoverty. If you're in Louisiana, HollywoodVoodoo might make an appearance.

Unlike TheSavageSouth where the southern areas are teeming with life (most of which wants you dead), Southern Gothic settings have a constant feel of decay, death, and malaise. Anything living there will feel unnatural on top of possibly being very dangerous. Supernatural elements are popular, especially with themes of the undead or "things that should not be" instead of the typical wild animals and hostile natives usually seen in The Savage South.

This trope is deeply rooted in American history. For most of civilization fabric tended to be either uncomfortable (wool, linen) or very expensive (silk), and for early adopters, cotton farming was like being able to grow gold. However, soil degradation and the development of overseas competition caused profits to plummet, and many Southern families built mansions only to find them impossible to maintain. As a result, the South became littered with decrepit properties occupied by bitter, [[RichesToRags downwardly-mobile]] planters. Combined with the insularity and tense social order of the region, this provided the writers who established this genre with ample inspiration.

See also DeepSouth, Southern Gothic's mother trope. Compare LovecraftCountry, CampbellCountry, NordicNoir, and {{Uberwald}}. Compare and Contrast WeirdWest, which could be thought of as the [[ThirstyDesert sun-scorched]] counterpart to the [[SwampsAreEvil dark and humid rot]] of Southern Gothic. Though distinct in tone and setting, the two can blend in border areas between the Deep South and the WildWest (which is to say, mostly Texas, though Oklahoma can do in a pinch).


[[folder: Anime And Manga]]

* ''Manga/MeAndTheDevilBlues'' is loosely based on the life of legendary blues player Robert Johnson. Set in the Deep South during the Great Depression, it follows a man named RJ who barters away his soul at a crossroads for the ability to play perfectly.


[[folder: Comic Books]]

* ''ComicBook/VonHerlingVampireHunter'' is set in a small town in the remote wooded mountains of East Tennessee, where the titular protagonist has to locate and destroy a vampire.
* "The Crooked Man," a ''{{ComicBook/Hellboy}}'' story inspired by the works of Manly Wade Wellman, is set somewhere in the Appalachians in the 1950s. Although it features [[DealWithTheDevil a plot]] and [[WickedWitch characters]] that wouldn't be out of place in LovecraftCountry, the theme of the past catching up with both the flawed main character [[note]]not Hellboy [[/note]] and his community is signature Southern.
* ''ComicBook/SwampThing''
* ''{{ComicBook/Preacher}}'' dips into this at times.
* In ''ComicBook/ScareTactics'', a clan of ghouls dwell in the Appalachians, and have been involved in a decades-long feud with a clan of hillbilly werewolves.


[[folder: Film]]

* ''Film/AbrahamLincolnVampireHunter'' has the Old South be full of vampires who [[spoiler:attack and kill Lincoln's family, incite a civil war, and eventually have Lincoln murdered]].
* ''[[Film/ChildrenOfTheCorn1984 Children of the Corn]]'' is a rare non-Southern example (it's set in Nebraska) with an Amish feel, however, the decay, staring unnatural inhabitants and eerie isolation are still present.
* ''Film/EvesBayou'' is a drama based on affairs with a hint of the supernatural. It takes place in a Louisiana setting.
* ''Film/HouseOf1000Corpses'' where it's not full of [[SavageSouth wild near-tribal crazies]] everything is decaying, depressing and/or dilapidated.
* ''Film/HushHushSweetCharlotte'' is set in a once-grand plantation house that's now decaying and about to be bulldozed. The protagonist may or may not be seeing the ghost of her lover who was murdered nearly forty years ago.
* ''Film/TheSkeletonKey'' has this feel, with the primary setting being an old, run-down plantation house in Louisiana, owned by an old, run-down couple. There's also a bit of [[HollywoodVoodoo Hoodoo mysticism]] thrown in for an extra creepy factor which later becomes a major plot point.
* ''Film/{{Stoker}}'', though set in [[HollywoodNewEngland Connecticut]] takes on a low-key, manicured version of the associated tropes (albeit populated with {{Fake American}}s).
* ''Film/TheWaterboy'' is comedic example where the decay and depressing state of the world is used to highlight Bobby's cheerful and optimistic demeanor.
* ''Film/WintersBone''
* 1972 horror film ''The Other'', along with the book it was based on. Set NewEngland during 1935, and starring CreepyTwins, Niles and Holland Perry, it features old, decaying buildings, sun-parched yet oddly idyllic scenery, and horrible secrets.
* The Haunted Mansion movie invokes this aesthetic, with it's empty and decaying house.


[[folder: Literature]]

* Elements in the works of Creator/MarkTwain could be considered the UrExample.
* Creator/EdgarAllanPoe's stories often have ambiguous or abstract settings, but "Literature/TheFallOfTheHouseOfUsher" checks a lot of the thematic boxes--[[ImpoverishedPatrician aristocrats in decline]], an all-pervading sense of physical and spiritual decay, isolation, insanity, and yes, incest.[[note]] The location of the titular house above a "tarn," which is a postglacial lake or pond, suggests northern Europe or New England, but Poe may not have been using the term in the strict sense.[[/note]]
** "The Gold-Bug" is set near Charleston, South Carolina, and although it turns out to be [[CluelessMystery a different kind of story altogether]], Legrand's background and [[ObfuscatingInsanity behavior]] initially hint at Gothic themes.
** For that matter, although Poe himself was born in [[LovecraftCountry Boston]], he ''lived'' this trope.
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' has elements of this, as well as being set in the DeepSouth.
** Carson [=McCullers=]' stories are soaked in this. She once accused Harper Lee of "poaching on her preserve".
* Creator/AnneRice's ''Blackwood Farm'' has more mausoleums than people, not to mention an entire house sunk to the second story in a swamp.
** Pretty much everything Anne Rice does is Southern Gothic--with an emphasis on the [[{{Goth}} Gothic]] part.
* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's ''Fevre Dream'' is very much this. Nineteenth century, steamers in the South, vampires with slaves and a creepy mansion.
* ''Literature/ARoseForEmily'', by Creator/WilliamFaulkner. Emily Grierson's mansion, a symbol of better days long since past, is described in the most wretched terms of rot and decay--and the house hides terrible secrets.
%%** Almost everything that was written by William Faulkner, from ''Literature/AbsalomAbsalom'' to ''Literature/TheSoundAndTheFury''. %% ZCE
* Creator/HPLovecraft's ''[[Literature/TheCallOfCthulhu The Call Of Cthulhu]]'' abandons the traditional [[LovecraftCountry New England]] as a setting for monstrous buried secrets, wandering Southwards to the dank swamps of Louisiana, where Cthulhu's cultists gather for celebration with orgies and human sacrifices.
** "The Statement of Randolph Carter" (that'd be the story [[spoiler:that ends with '''[[ItCanThink "You fool, Warren is dead!"]]''']]) is also set in the Big Cypress of southern Florida.
* Pretty much anything by Creator/FlanneryOConnor.
* Creator/JohnSaul set his horror novel ''The Right Hand of Evil'' in backwoods Louisiana and ''The Unloved'' in South Carolina.
* Creator/RobertEHoward's short story "Black Canaan" fits here.
* Creator/CheriePriest's ''Four and Twenty Blackbirds'' mixes this with Magic Realism is a story of a girl who sees ghosts dealing with the legacy of her great-great grandfather, an evil sorcerer. In fact most of Priests work fits here.
* Many of the novels by Creator/VCAndrews.
* Erskine Caldwell's ''Tobacco Road'' and ''God's Little Acre''.
* Shane Berryhill's ''Literature/ZoraBanks'' UrbanFantasy series is a modernized example with Chattanooga, TN's genteel Southern heritage contrasted against its modern-day sleaze and supernatural crime.
* ''Literature/TheCasterChronicles'' is not as horror-y as the classic model, but features a lot of the same atmosphere and elements, showing the Deep South as being full of things that aren't what they seem, that can't be explained, and that are often very dangerous.
* ''Literature/EdenGreen'' is a modern take on the genre, mixing smartphone GPS and mysterious needle monsters. It also takes place in Gothic, an expy of the author's home city of Fayetteville, Arkansas.
* Creator/CharlaineHarris' ''Literature/TheSookieStackhouseMysteries'', [[Series/TrueBlood the TV series based on them]] and her non-supernatural Lily Bard mystery series all fit in here.
* ''ComicBook/{{Hellboy}}: Emerald Hell'' takes place in the swamps around Enigma, Georgia where Hellboy has to find a missing woman Sarah Nail and keep her safe from the [[SinisterMinister former backwoods preacher]] Brother Jester, who seeks revenge against Sarah's father. In the swamps Hellboy finds allies in swamp witches, Brother Jester's former apprentice, and a lost town of mutants against the horrors of the Emerald Hell such as a pair of beautiful but murderous brothers, a giant tree-woman and her "daughters" that kill men to feed it's roots, and man-eating swamp gators. A lot of man-eating swamp gators.


[[folder: Live-Action TV]]

* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'', which takes place in UsefulNotes/NewOrleans, Louisiana. And ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryFreakShow'' takes place in Jupiter, Florida in 1952 (back when Jupiter was still part of the South, rather than the Northern-and-Cuban sprawl emanating from Miami). ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryRoanoke'' takes place in rural North Carolina and has so far included hillbilly stereotypes and extremely violent ghosts.
* The [adult swim] series ''Series/TheHeartSheHoller'' wallows in the clichés of the genre, gleefully cranking the trashiness and degeneracy UpToEleven.
* ''Series/{{Justified}}'' has the Truth family, a household full of brash, maladjusted criminals in rural Kentucky.
* ''Series/TrueDetective'': The first season features two detectives investigating an occult-themed serial killing in the suburban and rural areas surrounding UsefulNotes/NewOrleans. [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane Although nothing is definitely supernatural]], it's very much portrayed as a southern version of LovecraftCountry, with Creator/ThomasLigotti being a major influence.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' dove headfirst into this territory the moment the survivors left the Atlanta Metro Area.
* ''Series/TheOriginals'' is set in storied and beautiful New Orleans. It weaves her ''extremely'' eventful history into the narrative, and makes use of the sometimes macabre beauty of the city's streets, cemeteries, and churches for visual interest. The story also ventures out into the surrounding rural areas of Louisiana--whose swamps and woods are both very different from the city, yet still have a similarly spooky beauty.
* ''Series/{{Outcast}}'', about Kyle Barnes, who lives in a small West Virginia town plagued by demonic possessions fits this trope. It helps that the comic it's based on was created by Robert Kirkman, who also created ''The Walking Dead''.


[[folder: Music]]

* Sons of Perdition fits this trope to a T.
* A lot of the imagery in Music/{{Beyonce}}'s visual special for her album ''Lemonade'' falls into this, much of it being shot in Louisiana.
* The country song [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTuzpQfhfwo "Southern Gothic"]] by Dan Tyminski has heavy [[ReligionRantSong religious]] and [[SleazyPolitician political]] overtones, but it presents them using imagery that absolutely lives up to the title. And that's ''without'' counting the music video itself.
--> ''Blackbird on the old church steeple\\
Spanish moss hangin' in the settin' sun\\
Every house has got a Bible and a loaded gun''
* Some of Delta Rae's music videos fall into this, particularly [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bimam2j2gEg "Bottom of the River"]].
* Creator/NickCave and the Bad Seeds' music includes many songs that were heavily inspired by southern gothic themes. Nick himself also wrote a novel in the genre.


* ''Podcast/STown'', although nonfiction, is usually described as Southern Gothic (more in the Creator/WilliamFaulkner-Creator/FlanneryOConnor mode than the "Supernatural South" one), as it focuses on a small town in the Deep South (Woodstock, Alabama, in Birmingham's southern hinterland) and its social divisions and problems. To top off the vibe, the closing theme is Music/TheZombies' "A Rose for Emily", which is a ShoutOut to [[Literature/ARoseForEmily Faulkner's famous short story]].


[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]

* Wrestling/TheWyattFamily - a UsefulNotes/CharlesManson-meets-TrueDetective stable of evil southern cultits - play upon this in a way that's so legitimately chilling that it's probably inappropriate for what is, ostensibly, family entertainment.


[[folder: Tabletop Games]]

* ''Rage Across Appalachia'', a supplemental book for ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'', runs on this trope. Memorable examples of horror from the book include the Bledsons, a rural family of [[DemonicPossession bane-possessed]] men, and the Pigeon River Howlers, a bluegrass band made up of Black Spiral Dancers who corrupt their audiences through music and dancing.
* ''TabletopGame/RealmsOfCthulhu'', by Creator/RealityBlurs, is a ''TabletopGame/SavageWorlds'' setting that uses Charleston, South Carolina, as the default location for its CosmicHorror adventures.


[[folder: Theatre]]

* The collected works of Creator/TennesseeWilliams, particularly ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire.''
* Creator/StephenKing, T-Bone Burnett and JohnMellencamp created a musical called ''Ghost Brothers of Darkland County'' which plays with a lot of the tropes associated with the genre. It also contains several shout-outs to Creator/FlanneryOConnor, Creator/TennesseeWilliams and Creator/WilliamFaulkner, but with a supernatural elements thrown.


[[folder: Video Games]]

* Most of the rural locations in Louisiana as seen in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', [[JustifiedTrope though admittedly]], a ZombieApocalypse ''did'' strike down these places.
* ''VideoGame/Fallout3'''s Point Lookout DLC could qualify for this, as it's an area crawling with mutant hicks, radioactive swamps, and deadly conspiracies.
* ''VideoGame/GhostHunter'': you get to visit a haunted swamp filled with ghostly rednecks at one point.
* The ''VideoGame/NancyDrew'' game ''Ghost of Thornton Hall'' dives into this full force, taking place in a [[http://www.download-game-demo.com/imgs/nancy-drew-ghost-of-thornton-hall_z-pc-22067-en_screen2.jpg creepy decaying plantation home.]] ''Legend of the Crystal Skull'' has elements of this trope as well.
* ''VideoGame/KentuckyRouteZero'' nails the dusty beige old crossroad where you'll likely encounter the Devil between this and MagicalRealism while setting itself in the modern decay of the South after the the Great Recession of 2008.
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto2'': The Rednecks' RV park. The roads are even replaced by dirt paths.
* ''[[Creator/AvanquestSoftware Voodoo Whisperer: Curse of a Legend]]'' New Orleans is under a voodoo curse and the player character must free the inhabitants. The ghosts of murder victims can be conjured up for a chat to gather clues and the grounds of the heroine's home include a family mausoleum and a swamp with an aligator in it.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil7Biohazard'' is set in a derelict plantation in the fictional town of Dulvey, Louisiana, [[RevisitingTheRoots returning the franchise]] to its original survival horror roots in rural America.


[[folder: Web Original]]

* ''WebVideo/MarbleHornets'' takes place in Alabama, mostly shot in abandoned and wooded areas. Nobody is who you think they are, and the forest is hiding something supernatural.
* The Wiki/SCPFoundation's newest canon, [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/dixieland-nightmare-magic-hub Dixieland Nightmare Magic,]] is set in a heavily gothic North Florida, full of witchcraft and religiously significant anomalous objects.


[[folder: Western Animation]]

* WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo has visited these once in a while. ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'' is one of the best examples of the trope.
** Scooby and Shaggy both have ancestral (probably on mother sides) southern gothic homes. As depicted in "Scooby's Roots" and "Boo Brothers".
* Played with on ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' when we get to meet Bill Dauterive's family. He's from Louisiana and his family home is a typical crumbling plantation with weird family members and a secret. In this case barbecue sauce, but still.