Image: Canva and Dream by Wombo
The top novels of all times cross all genres and span all periods. What makes gothic novels survive centuries? One reason is that they make people feel alive. The settings in these types of literature are chilling. People may not have felt chills for a long time, and now they reacquaint themselves with them between the pages of a book.
Berry asks, “Where would we be without gothic literature? With its seductive blend of the strange and macabre, gothic literature is one of those few genres that is also a mood: castles, coffins and claustrophobia, yes, but also darkness, secrets and vengeance.”
Let’s look at some of the top novels of all time regarding the Gothic period. You may have a different list. We all have differing opinions, but most literary critics will likely agree with the novels listed below. Gothic novels are filled with dark, melancholy, and terrifying themes.
Images: Dream by Wombo
Take a look at these 10 classic Gothic Novels that have earned their right to be celebrated over time:
Most everyone has heard of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving. This spooky tale has your innards sloshing around. It has an atmosphere (Sleepy Hollow) and mystery (what happened to Ichabod Crane and who is the menacing figure riding horseback?). Of course, there is more eeriness to this story.
Let’s take a sneak peek into the story of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow:
Mesmerizing isn’t it? It makes you want to stay with the story until the end to find answers to these, and other, questions. Good job, Irving!
Gothic novels are not just a thing of the past, seen through a rearview mirror. No, they serve as blueprints, a method of paying it forward, for contemporary novels. Gothic novels survived the ages because of the way they fumbled with the reader’s minds and emotions, giving them a wild ride through haunts that flirt with apparitions, insanity, monsters, not-so-nice animals, bloodied things, wicked intent, and the like, while promising them a safe return to normalcy.
Here are 10 contemporary Gothic novels that drew their first breath in the 20th and 21st Centuries:
Let’s take one of the titles above, and peek into the innards of the story. This one is titled What Moves the Dead:
I have a feeling that if you pick up What Moves the Dead, it will be hard for you to put it down. If the unsettling of your nerves is something you’re looking for, choose from the menu of titles above. But be forewarned: read during the day when there’s plenty of light. However, if you must read at night, leave the lights blazing and have a sane human check on you often.
Click here for more Gothic horror books to unsettle your nerves.