[[quoteright:250:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/southerngothic-small_7940.jpg]]
[[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, forbidding 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 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.

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 TheSavageSouth.

See also DeepSouth, Southern Gothic's mother trope. Compare LovecraftCountry, CampbellCountry, NordicNoir, and {{Uberwald}}.

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!!Examples:

[[AC: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.

[[AC:{{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 west-coast example with an Amish feel, however, the decay, staring unnatural inhabitants and eerie isolation are still present.
* ''Film/HouseOf1000Corpses'' where it's not full of [[SavageSouth wild near-tribal crazies]] everything is decaying, depressing and/or dilapidated.
* ''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.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird'' has elements of this, as well as being set in the DeepSouth.
** Carson Mc Cullers' stories are soaked in this. She once accused Harper Lee of "poaching on her preserve".
* 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.
* GeorgeRRMartin's ''Fevre Dream'' is very much this. Nineteenth century, steamers in the South, vampires with slaves and a creepy mansion.
* ''Literature/ARoseForEmily'', by Main/WilliamFaulkner, could well be the poster child of this trope. 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 ''Absalom, Absalom!'' to ''Literature/TheSoundAndTheFury''.
* 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.
* 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.
* Cherie Priest'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.
* 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.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'', which takes place in NewOrleans, Louisiana.
* 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 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.

[[AC:{{Theatre}}]]
* The collected works of Creator/TennesseeWilliams, particularly ''Theatre/AStreetcarNamedDesire.''

[[AC:{{Music}}]]
* Sons of Perdition fits this trope to a T.

[[AC:{{Professional 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.

[[AC: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.

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* Most of the rural locations in Louisiana as seen in ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', [[JustifiedTrope though admittedly]], a ZombieApocalypse ''did'' strike down these places.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'''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.]]
* KentuckyRouteZero nails the intersecting point between this and MagicalRealism.

[[AC:{{WebOriginal}}]]
* The 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.

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* WesternAnimation/ScoobyDoo has visited these once in a while. ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooOnZombieIsland'' is one of the best examples of the trope.
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