Authors who wrote partially or entirely in the Gothic fiction genre include:
open/close all folders
- Horace Walpole (1717-1797). His novel The Castle of Otranto (1764) makes him the Trope Maker. Also gave us Haunted Castle.
- Eliza Parsons (1739-1811). Better known for her novel The Castle Of Wolfenbach (1793).
- William Beckford (1760-1844). Author of Vathek (1786) and started the subgenre of Orientalist Gothic, frightening because set beyond "civilised" Europe altogether.
- Ann Radcliffe (1764- 1823). Author of, among others, The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) and The Italian (1797). Notably replaced real supernatural events with the "Scooby-Doo" Hoax.
- Regina Maria Roche (1764-1845). Her novel The Children Of The Abbey (1796) was a best-seller of its time. But she is best remembered for the moodier Clermont (1798).
- Carl Friedrich Kahlert (1765-1813), alias Ludwig Flammenberg. He is better known for the novel The Necromancer (1794), also known as The Tale of the Black Forest. The work was written in German and translated into English. The translator Peter Teuthold considerably revised the text and even added a chapter of his own. The Teuthold version is still the best known form of the work.
- Carl Grosse (1768-1847) alias Marquis de Grosse. Better known for Horrid Mysteries (1796), the English translation of his novel Der Genius (The Guiding Spirit, 1791-1795).
- Eleanor Sleath (1770-1847). Married name of Eleanor Carter. Better known for her novel The Orphan of the Rhine(1798).
- Charles Brockden Brown (1771-1810): The first important American Gothic writer, best known for Wieland (1798).
- Francis Lathom (1774-1832). His better known work in the genre was The Midnight Bell (1798). He is also known for The Mysterious Freebooter (1806), an early work of Historical Fiction Literature.
- Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818). His novel The Monk (1796) gave us the Sinister Minister, who, among other sins, enters into a Deal with the Devil.
Pre-Victorian Nineteenth Century
- James Hogg (1770–1835). Best known for The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (1824), which gave us the Doppelgänger. The eponymous Sinner supposedly makes a Deal with the Devil, but it is never clear if this is true or all in his head. Also makes chilling use of Psychological Horror and "Rashomon"-Style.
- Jane Austen (1775-1817) — wrote Northanger Abbey (1817), the most famous Parody of the genre. The novel was written between 1798 and 1803, but remained unpublished for several years.
- E. T. A. Hoffmann (1776-1822). The most important German author of Gothic fiction. His novel The Devils Elixirs (1815) is a classic of the genre. His best known work, however, is the short story The Nutcracker (1816).
- Charles Robert Maturin (1782-1824). Author of Melmoth the Wanderer (1820), a notable use of the Nested Story style to tell a complex tale.
- Washington Irving (1783-1859): Author of numerous classic tales of terror. Some, like "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (1820), have rational explanations a la Radcliffe. Others, like "The Devil And Tom Walker" (1824), are purely supernatural.
- Eaton Stannard Barrett (1786-1820). Wrote The Heroine (1813), a notable parody of the genre. Particularly of the Changeling Fantasy plots which had been used by several gothic novels. In these novels, characters of seemingly modest backgrounds often found themselves secret progeny of noble and/or affluent families. Barrett's "heroine", Cherry Wilkinson, is a farmer's daughter and an avid reader of gothic novels. She convinces herself that she is heiress Cherubina de Willoughby and embarks on a series of quixotic misadventures.
- Lord Byron (1788-1824). His Byronic Hero was a major contribution to Gothic fiction. The type was introduced in the narrative poem Childe Harolds Pilgrimage (1812-1818). His poem The Giaour (1813) is one of the earliest depictions of vampires in fiction. The satiric poem Don Juan (1818-1824) is not part of the genre, however.
- John William Polidori (1795-1821). He wrote the first vampire novel, The Vampyre (1819).
- Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Her novel Frankenstein (1818) gave us Frankenstein's Monster. She is also considered the first Science Fiction writer.
- Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852). Infamous Russian horror writer of Viy, The Nose, and Nevsky Prospekt.
- Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873) of It Was a Dark and Stormy Night fame. He had an actual interest in the occult and the paranormal. He incorporated elements of his study in various tales, most notably Zanoni (1842). His most enduring work is probably The Coming Race (1871), combining elements of occultism, gothic horror, and science fiction.
- Marie Corelli (1855-1924) had this in some of her novels, notably Wormwood and Vendetta.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864):Intertwined Gothic Horror with the history of New England in such stories and novels as "Young Goodman Brown" (1835), The House Of The Seven Gables (1851), etc.
- Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). One of the most important writers of Gothic fiction; wrote the first Great Detective Mystery. He revisited classic gothic themes in the short stories "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), and "The Pit and the Pendulum" (1842), among many other classics of the genre. His best known Gothic poem is probably The Raven (1845).
- Charles Dickens (1812-1870). He gave us Victorian London or at least the Hollywood version of it. He tended to use old gothic tropes in new ways. Such as secret heirs to prominent families ("Oliver Twist", 1837-1839), and wicked uncles plotting or performing murder (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, 1870). All in an urban environment and graphically depicting the life of the low classes.
- J. Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873). Better known as the author of Carmilla (1872). Gave us the Occult Detective and Lesbian Vampires.
- Paul Féval (1816-1887) penned The Vampire Countess (1856), Knightshade (1860), and Vampire City (1875), all of which are classic examples of Our Vampires Are Different.
- George W.M. Reynolds (1814-1879). He wrote the serial novels The Mysteries Of London (c. 1844-1848), and The Mysteries Of The Court Of London (1848-1856). He was a pioneer of the "urban mysteries" style of gothic horror. Tales changing the story setting from the haunted castles of the past to the great metropolis of the Industrial Revolution. He luridly depicted the poverty, crime, and violence of London life. Reynolds also wrote three other gothic novels: Faust: a Romance of the Secret Tribunals (1847), Wagner the Wehr-Wolf (1846-7), and The Necromancer (1851-2).
- James Malcolm Rymer (1814–1884). Helped pave the way for the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire with the title character of Varney the Vampire (1847), which is also the Trope Codifier for many commonly used vampire tropes such as fangs, two-hole puncture wounds, and Super Strength, among others.
- Charlotte Brontë (1816-1855). Gave us the Madwoman in the Attic in Jane Eyre (1847).
- Emily Brontë (1818-1848). Author of Wuthering Heights (1847).
- Wilkie Collins (1824-1889). Author of The Woman in White (1859-1860).
- Mary E Braddon (1835-1915). Writer of sensation novels, which took on Gothic tropes like secret marriages and madwomen but generally left out supernatural elements. Author of Lady Audley's Secret (1862), one of the first mystery novels, and a possible forerunner to the Film Noir genre.
- Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888). While best known for Little Women (1868-1869), She Also Did reasonably successful "sensational" Gothic romances such as A Modern Mephistopheles (1877) under the pen name of A.M. Barnard, and one called A Long Fatal Love Chase that everyone in her own lifetime found too scandalous to publish. The latter was written in 1866 and first published in 1995.
- George Du Maurier (1834-1896). Author of the novel Trilby (1894), which was the Trope Namer and possibly the Trope Maker for The Svengali. Also the grandfather of Daphne du Maurier, author of Rebecca.
- Ouida (1839-1908) had Gothic elements in many of her stories. She even had some tales with zombies.
- Ambrose Bierce (1842-1913?). Another precursor to the Cosmic Horror Story. His short story An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge (1890) is a classic case of Dying Dream. The lesser known An Inhabitant Of Carcosa (1886) is an influential use of the Eldritch Location. The mysterious disappearance of this author has also inspired younger storytellers.
- Henry James (1843-1916). Author of The Turn of the Screw (1898).
- Bram Stoker (1847-1912). Gave us Dracula (1897) and Überwald.
- Isidore Ducasse (1847-1870), aka Le Comte de Lautréamont, although it was only a pseudonym. Author of the self-consciously outrageous Les Chants de Maldoror (1868), later a canonical text for the Surrealist movement in France and Belgium.
- Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894). Gave us the Jekyll & Hyde trope through The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886).
- Mary Wilkins Freeman (1852-1930): Author of regional Gothic tales like "A Symphony in Lavender" (1883), "The Twelfth Guest" (1893), "Luella Miller" (1902), and "The Shadows on the Wall" (1903, adapted as an episode of Night Gallery).
- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900). Author of The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890).
- Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). Creator of Sherlock Holmes. His novel The Hound of the Baskervilles (1901-1902) uses classic gothic horror elements, but of course more in the Ann Radcliffe, "Scooby-Doo" Hoax style. (On the other hand, he also wrote "Lot No. 249", an early Mummy tale, in an era when fascination with Ancient Egypt was gaining ground.)
- Arthur Machen (1863-1947). Author of The Great God Pan (1894).
- Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933). Paved the way for the emergence of the Cosmic Horror Story with The King in Yellow (1895).
- Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936). Credited with updating the ghost story for the 20th century. His works often used Sealed Evil in a Can. His short stories were collected in volumes such as Ghost Stories Of An Antiquary (1904), and its sequel More Ghost Stories (1911).
- Edith Wharton (1862-1937): Disciple of Henry James' . Wrote classic ghost stories, collected in volumes like Tales Of Men And Ghosts (1910).
- Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951). Influential writer of ghost stories. His better known works are The Willows (1907) and "The Wendigo" (1910). Both are influential works in the Cosmic Horror Story genre.
- William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918). Author of The House on the Borderland (1908), The Night Land (1912), and Carnacki the Ghost-Finder (1913).
- Hugh Walpole (1884-1941). Author in several genres. His better known gothic horror tale is Portrait of a Man With Red Hair (1925) … and yes, he is the descendant of Horace Walpole, the Trope Maker and author of The Castle of Otranto as earlier mentioned.
- Marjorie Bowen (1885-1952). Prolific author of gothic novels, horror tales, and historical novels. Several of her stories were collected posthumously in the collection "Kecksies And Other Twilight Tales" (1976). Her own life story was pretty horrific as well.
- Dennis Wheatley (1890 - 1977), author of The Devil Rides Out.
- Guy Endore (1900-1970):Author of the classic werewolf novel, The Werewolf Of Paris (1933).
- William Sloane (1906-1974): Author of two classic horror novels, To Walk The Night (1937) and The Edge Of Running Water (1939, filmed as The Devil Commands in 1941 with Boris Karloff).
- Daphne du Maurier (1908-1989). Granddaughter of the above-mentioned George du Maurier; wrote Rebecca (1938), Jamaica Inn (1936) and the original short story on which The Birds was based.
Authors influenced by Gothic Fiction
- Agatha Christie (1890-1976).
- H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937).
- William Faulkner (1897-1962).
- Shirley Jackson (1916-1965).
- Robert Bloch (1917-1994).
- V. C. Andrews (1923-1986)
- Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964).
- Toni Morrison (1931-).
- Margaret Atwood (1939-).
- Anne Rice (1941-).
- Stephen King (1947-).
- Barbara Gowdy (1950-).
- Amy Tan (1952-).
- Neil Gaiman (1960-).
- J. K. Rowling (1965-).
- Billy Martin (1967-).
- Joss Whedon.
- Claudia Gray (at least in her early works)
Non-literary works of (and inspired by) Gothic horror
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- Pandora Hearts has a good many tropes representative of the genre, including old castles and mansions, crazy ladies in towers (Lacie and later Alice/the Intention of the Abyss initially appear to play this straight before subverting it, as none of them are actually crazy and are only locked up because of their connection with the Abyss), confinement and imprisonment, Evil Twins and doubles (Alice and the Will and Jack and Oz, respectively, play with these concepts), mutilation and torture of multiple varieties, otherworldly places (the Abyss) and creatures (chains), and insanity, among others.
- The first Fullmetal Alchemist anime has Gothic Horror themes, with heavy emphasis on symbolism, despair and Tragic Villains. In contrast the original manga (and its Truer to the Text adaptation Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood) is more of a Gaslamp Fantasy Thriller.
- Berserk certainly had the archetypal atmosphere in the Black Swordsman Arc, the Retribution Arc, and in The Prototype. Traces of the genre are found throughout the series though, since it tends to overlap with Dark Fantasy.
Film — Live-Action
- Nosferatu (1922) is often listed as the Ur-Example of the Gothic horror film genre, being a (very loose) adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, one of the key entries in the original literary genre.
- The Universal Horror movies of the early 20th century did not all belong to the Gothic subgenre, but their most prominent early specimen, namely the 1931 Dracula and Frankenstein laid the foundations of the then- and now-contemporary Gothic film expression. The ur-trifecta of 1931 Gothic horror films is rounded off by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which was produced by Paramount and therefore isn't part of the Universal Monsters franchise.
- Hammer Horror is a series of Gothic horror movies made by the British company Hammer Film Productions between the 1950s and the early '70s. They were influential enough for "Hammer horror" to become a distinct subgenre label that was also applied to entirely unrelated, but similar productions.
- A Cure for Wellness is a modern take on the genre, particularly drawing influence on Dracula with a young urban professional traveling to an imposing, Germanic castle where he encounters a monstrous immortal aristocrat who engages in a form of vampirism.
- Black Sunday's style, cinematography and story hearkens back to older Gothic horror films of the 1930s.
- Crimson Peak is a love letter to classic Gothic literature, featuring a grand but rather creepy ancestral house in a beautiful but rather creepy landscape, Victorian-ish time period, romance with unsettling undertones, and ghosts.
- The Fearless Vampire Killers is an Affectionate Parody of Gothic Horror and vampire movies, particularly those in the Hammer Horror tradition.
- The Man with Two Brains is a modern day take on and an Affectionate Parody of Gothic horror.
- One of the more popular and influential eras of Doctor Who — specifically, season 13, featuring Philip Hinchcliffe as producer, Robert Holmes as script editor and Tom Baker as the lead — is sufficiently influenced by this movement to be known by the Fan Nickname "the Gothic Horror era".
- American Horror Story: Asylum: Deeply flawed characters in an insane asylum run by people abusing both religion and science to their most inhumane extremes with occasional visits by enigmatic beings beyond human comprehension pretty much fits the bill.
- Penny Dreadful is set in 1891 Victorian Britain and weaves together various Public Domain Characters from classic horror literature in a story about the supernatural.
- Ravenloft was the first Gothic horror adventure module for Dungeons & Dragons, featuring the Player Party trapped in a haunted castle smack in the middle of Überwald, lorded over by an ancient Tragic Villain vampire named Count Strahd von Zarovitch. The module was so popular, it was eventually expanded into an entire setting, consisting of mostly independent dark realms surrounding equally larger-than-life romanticized villains. The original module has since been rebooted as Curse of Strahd.
- My Life with Master puts the players in the shoes of the eponymous Master's minions as they struggle to preserve the slivers of rationality and humanity — or jump head-first off the slippery slope. The nature and character of the "Master" are entirely up to the players, but s/he naturally gravitates towards an unholy fusion of Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein.
- Blades in the Dark has classic Gothic horror as one of its inspirations, being set in a haunted Victorian-era city where it's Always Night, ghosts, vampires, and demons roam free, and technological progress causes more harm than good.
- Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine: Much of the atmosphere of Horizon is based on this, what with vampires, ghosts and undead horrors being very common, as well as Gothic ruins, cemeteries and the like. Due to this the region is the preferred location of Gothic-genre games. And then there's the Halloween World in the Halloween Special.
- Gloom is an Affectionate Parody of Victorian literature, but especially of Gothic horror.
- A Touch Of Evil is an Adventure Board Game set in a secluded village of Shadowbrook in the early 19th century, where player-controlled heroes battle classic Gothic villains like vampires, ghosts, and reanimated monsters.
- Magic: The Gathering has the plane of Innistrad which is heavily influenced by many Gothic horror tropes with vampires, werewolves, zombies, and a host of other monsters preying on the humans unfortunate enough to live there. The only thing keeping them at bay is the magic of the Church of Avacyn... which has been slowly getting weaker thanks to Avacyn's disappearance.
- Haunting Ground is essentially a Gothic horror game — a young, Fragile Flower heroine ventures/flees through an incredibly elaborate castle inhabited only by Frankentinian servants and sexually abusive vampires whose motivations are vague but clearly malicious. Keeping her fear to manageable levels is actually a game mechanic.
- Bloodborne starts off as a pretty traditional Gothic horror, with the player character battling classic monsters like werewolves on the streets of a Victorian city of Yharnam, before subverting it and diving head-first into outright Lovecraft Lite instead.
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent features a dark, decaying, and (kinda) haunted castle, a Haunted Hero, a mysterious, morally ambiguous, (kinda) vampiric Baron, as well as lots of madness and curses.
- Harvest is a mod for Amnesia, likewise set in a dark, decaying, and haunted castle, albeit without any vampires.
- Clive Barker's Undying is set in a creepy house on the moors, inhabited by a cursed family.
- Mythos is a love letter to the Gothic horror films of the early 20th Century, revolving around the mysteries of London's dreaded Harborough Asylum — a place rumored to be full of ghosts, zombies and other nasties.
- Vampyr is set in the 1918 London, during the Spanish flu pandemic and its protagonist is a genius doctor who gets involuntarily transformed into a vampire.
- The original Diablo had a very Gothic atmosphere, set in a remote town whose Creepy Cathedral had become a literal Hell Gate, through which a lone hero must enter the underground dungeons to defeat the outpouring demons and undead. Diablo II and Diablo III continued the trend, although also expanding it to other environments as well.
- The original Max Payne is not itself a Gothic horror, but the eponymous protagonist's Private Eye Monologue is satiated with Gothic imagery.
- Darkest Dungeon takes place entirely on old estate grounds, ruins, and woodlands that evoke the classic Gothic horror environment, coupling it with aspects of Cosmic Horror: the player's heroes do battle with zombie and undead, as well as corrupted wildlife, twisted plantlife and fungie, demonic pig-men, and monstrous humanoid fish-people, as well as facing the deformed and twisted cultists of the titular Darkest Dungeon. The Crimson Court expansion takes it even further into the realms of Gothic horror, with vampires being the main enemy, although these vampires are akin to blood-sucking insects who wear the trappings and thin demeanor of nobility to cover up their depraved cruelty and ravenous hunger.
- Blood Stain is a comedy masquerading as Gothic horror. The tropes common to the genre are playfully subverted. In a review of the work, L.J. Phillips remarks how Elliot, while being Damsel in Distress and Unreliable Narrator common to works of the genre, confronts not fantastic monsters but instead from the burdens of maintaining a job.
- Starcrossed Ravenloft takes place in the eponymous D&D setting, carrying over most of its key tropes.