Gothic novels are riveting tales of terror. They have everything: haunted houses, doomed romances, untimely deaths, family curses and lingering mysteries. Themes of unknown horror, death, mystery and gore make Gothic novels unique and thrilling. Here is the list of 10 best Gothic novels of all time.
List Of Best Gothic Novels Of All Time:
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Mysteries Of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
- The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Dracula by Bram Stoker is a tale of suspense and horror. The story begins when solicitor Jonathan Harker goes to Transylvania to help Count Dracula buy a house in London. There in Count’s castle, Haker makes terrifying discoveries. Soon disturbing incidents start happening in England, such as an unmanned ship being destroyed; strange puncture marks appearing on a young woman’s neck; and a lunatic asylum inmate raving about the impending arrival of his ‘Master’. Count Dracula unleashes a terrible evil on the countrymen. All that stands between Dracula’s reign of terror and the innocent citizens of London is the vampire hunter Dr Van Helsing and his team of slayers. Dracula by Bram Stoker is a compelling Gothic novel.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein is a classic Gothic novel by Mary Shelley. It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist, who discovers the secret of reanimating the dead and brings a creature to life, only to reject his hideous creation, and calls it a monster. Frakenstein’s monster is left tormented and in isolation and soon the innocent creature turns on his creator Victor. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley shows readers the dangers of science and human judgment. Frankenstein is a riveting tale of the unexpected humanity of the monstrous creature.
The Strange Case Of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is a novella by Robert Louis Stevenson. The novella is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde. Utterson soon finds himself dragged from a world of genial hospitality into London’s dreary nights, which are covered in shadows and fog and stalked by the mad Edward Hyde. Utterson’s mission to find the truth is not only a detective story filled with twists, but is also an intense reflection on man’s innate dualistic nature. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson is a thrilling novel with a shocking twist.
The Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole was first published in 1764, and is widely regarded as the first modern Gothic novel. The story begins on the day of Conrad’s wedding, heir to the house of Otranto. However, he is killed in mysterious circumstances. His father, Manfred fears that this is the end of his dynasty and proof of the fact that an ancient prophecy, foretelling the tragic demise of the castle’s inhabitants, is starting to be fulfilled. He decides to marry his son’s betrothed, Isabella and trap her in the castle but a series of supernatural events stand in his way. The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole combines psychological realism and supernatural terror to make it an enthralling tale.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is a great classic novel. This is a story about an orphaned girl, Jane. She has felt as an outcast her entire young life. Even though Jane is of plain appearance, she has an unyielding spirit, a sharp wit and great courage. When she gets a job as a governess for Edward Rochester’s ward Adèle at Thornfield Hall, Jane’s courage is tested. Soon after her arrival at Thornfield, Jane finds herself drawn to Edward’s troubled yet kind spirit and soon she falls in love with him. Jane Eyre is a story about a woman who has been striving for happiness her entire life. It is also about love, justice, prejudice, strength, struggles, and existence.
The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a story of moral corruption. It is a story of a young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty. Dorian Gray is enthralled by his own beauty. He is enticed by his friend, Lord Henry Wotton to sell his soul in order to hold on to beauty and youth. Dorian caves in and murders the portrait painter Basil Haliward, who stands between him and his goal. Soon he starts living a corrupt double life, indulging his desires in secret while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the most popular work by Oscar Wilde.
The Mysteries Of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
In The Mysteries of Udolpho, Ann Radcliffe combines Gothic romance with terror in an alluring way. The Mysteries of Udolpho is one of her most famous works. Set in a European castle, it tells the story of an orphan, Emily St. Aubert. Emily is separated from the man she loves and is trapped within the medieval castle of her aunt’s new husband, Montoni. At the castle, she has to deal with an unwanted suitor, Montoni’s threats, and the wild thoughts and terrors that threaten to overwhelm her. The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe has a gripping plot that continues to thrill readers today.
The Fall Of The House Of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe is the master of mystery and Gothic. The Fall of the House of Usher recounts the horrifying events that befall the last remaining members of the once acclaimed Usher clan before it is demolished. The story begins with an anonymous narrator’s arrival at the remote mansion owned by his friend Roderick Usher, who believes the house is alive. Roderick is worried about a crack in the house’s roof, and soon his sanity starts to crack too. Roderick Usher’s fate is inevitably intertwined with his twin sister, Madeline, and their estate. The story has a suspenseful narrative that is destined toward death. The Fall of the House of Usher is one of Poe’s best known short stories.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë is a dark brooding, Gothic romance. The story follows Lockwood, who is the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange. Thrushcross Grange is located on the bleak Yorkshire moors. Lockwood is forced to seek shelter at the Wuthering Heights for one night because of the storm. Wuthering Heights is the home of his landlord. There he finds out about the history of the of intense passion between an orphan Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, and her betrayal of him and the turbulent events that took place years before. Heathcliff’s spite and vengeance befalls the next generation, as they struggle to escape the legacy of the past. Wuthering Heights is an evocative story.
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier is a gripping tale of jealousy and rage. The story begins with the marriage of an unnamed American narrator to a wealthy English widower, Maxim de Winter. The narrator is soon swept away to his beautiful mansion of Manderley on the Cornish coast. However, the married life of the new Mrs. de Winter is not picturesque. Her marriage is haunted by the ghost of her husband’s first wife, Rebecca. Her memories continue to command control over the house. The narrator battles the menacing housekeeper Mrs. Danvers and Rebecca’s phantom influence all the while trying to uncover the secrets of her husband’s past and the hidden truths within Manderley. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is a poignant story of a young girl who is consumed by love and is struggling to find her identity.
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