The best gothic novels, ghost stories and early horror 1764-1937

The roots and classics of dark and weird literature in a period from the publishing "The Castle of Otranto" to H.P. Lovecraft's death.
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303 books · 641 voters · list created May 21st, 2009 by Hanna (votes) .
560 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


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Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Nona (new)

Nona I appreciate The Castle of Otranto's place in literary history but I found reading it to be a tortuous experience. It wasn't so much the overblown aspects of the story but that they were so badly told.

On the other hand I think The Werewolf of Paris is terribly unappreciated and left out of too many discussions on Gothic literature.


message 2: by Gregory (new)

Gregory Rothbard Love this list... thanks for making it easier to find many great eerie tales.


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads What's The Canterbury Tales doing on it?


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Susanna wrote: "What's The Canterbury Tales doing on it?"

I'm wondering about that as well!


message 5: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Great list of books. I see that I read only a little part of the great novels listed here.


message 6: by Gregsamsa (new)

Gregsamsa Nona wrote: "I appreciate The Castle of Otranto's place in literary history but I found reading it to be a tortuous experience. It wasn't so much the overblown aspects of the story but that they were so badly ..."

I agree. Same with Anne Radcliffe. It's funny how her novel The Italian is so famous in this genre while The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis is all but forgotten. Not that The Monk is some great piece of literature but it was at least pretty fun in an over-the-top hysterical way, whereas The Italian was just incompetent. It's got all the gothic trappings, however, such as big spooky flights of stairs, people lurking about by torchlight, shady assassins with knives hidden in their shirts. Unfortunately it's edited so poorly people go up the same set of stairs more than once, put out torches that they just put out a few paragraphs ago, and in one sequence a conspirator gives a knife to one of his henchmen, goading him to commit a nefarious deed. The henchman takes it, listens to more emotional goading, and then takes the knife... again.


message 7: by Óscar (new)

Óscar how do I save this list in my (obviously) goodreads account?


message 8: by Tracy (new)

Tracy swoephowx wrote: "how do I save this list in my (obviously) goodreads account?"

If you click on "like," it will show up in your "My Liked Lists."


message 9: by Aubrey (last edited Jan 03, 2016 04:16PM) (new)

Aubrey The Canterbury Tales was published 374 years previous to the chronological requirements of this list, so away it goes.

Edit: Also removed

Thores-Cross (2012)
Spectre Nightmares and Visitations (2010)


message 10: by Suvi (new)

Suvi Removed: Creed (2014)


message 11: by Charles (new)

Charles The haunting of Hill House (1959) also needs to be removed. It is an excellent book, but over twenty years too late for this list.


message 12: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Charles wrote: "The haunting of Hill House (1959) also needs to be removed. It is an excellent book, but over twenty years too late for this list."

Removed it.


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