Why we are living in 'Gothic times'?

There is a surge in goth-lit that channels our fears and anxieties. Hephzibah Anderson explores how the genre's past and new stories delve deep into disorder and darkness.

"We live in Gothic times," declared Angela Carter back in 1974. It's a theme Carlos Ruiz Zafón took up several decades later: "Ours is a time with a dark heart, ripe for the noir, the gothic and the baroque", he wrote in 2010. Both authors had good reason. The Gothic has always been about far more than heroines in Victorian nightgowns, trapped in labyrinthine ancestral homes, and along with the supernatural, its imaginings probe power dynamics and boundaries, delving deep into disorder and duality.

Monsters of Gothic Fiction

During the 1700s, as the world became better known through exploration and scientific experimentation, mythical monsters disappeared from studies of nature and medicine. But they became increasingly popular in the Gothic fiction that arose in the late 1700s and persisted as an important genre through the 1800s. Monsters of this literature personified the fears of society: fear of what happens when science is allowed to go too far; fear of the encroachment of contagious disease; and fear of the demons within ourselves.

Legend of the "Hunderprest" Vampire of Melrose Abbey

Melrose, Scotland

 In the heart of the Scottish Borders, Melrose is the perfect holiday destination for, walking, cycling and rugby. Melrose also boasts some of the best salmon and trout fishing in Scotland. Visitors to Melrose are drawn by a range of attractions. Best known is the ruins of the Melrose Abbey, which lies on the north east side of the centre of the town and, off course the ‘Hunderprest’ vampire that roams the ruins at the dark of night.

Political Vampires

Taken from The London Magazine, May 1732, courtesy of University of Michigan and Google

Submission: The Creepy Truth About Chupacabras

The Americas have many legendary creatures in their folklore like Bigfoot and the Mothman, but arguably its most terrifying legend is the Chupacabra. The name for the creature literally means “goat sucker,” and is derived from reported vampirism of livestock like goats.

Its first sightings were reported in Puerto Rico in 1995, and it's often described as either dog-like or lizard-like in appearance. The chupacabra is also said to be the size of a small bear with a row of spines that goes from its neck to its tail. It’s definitely not a creature you want to encounter in the middle of the night. If that’s not enough, we’ve made a video that looks into more creepy truths about the Chupacabra.

Anne Rice, Author and Screenwriter of ‘Interview With the Vampire,’ Dies at 80

Her nearly 40 novels published over a half-century sold some 135 million copies, placing her among the most popular fantasy writers of all time.

By Lisa de los Reyes for The Hollywood Reporter, December 12, 2021

Anne Rice at her home in Palm Springs, California, in 2010. She wrote like a time traveller, layering her novels with astonishingly evocative period detail. 

The Vjesci: A Canadian Vampire

The Vjesci, also known as the Vjeszczi or Vjescey, is a Vampire from Polish folklore.   Much like the European Vampire, The Vjesci retained their mortal characteristics and blended well within society.  Legends indicate that humans were destined to become Vjesci at birth if born with teeth or a more common condition, ‘cradle cap”.  If the child was born with a cap, the mother could protect the child by drying the cradle cap, grinding it into a fine dust and retaining it until the child’s 7th birthday; when she would feed it to him to ward off curse.

A Vampire Legend from the Cherokee Nation

 The Jumlin is widely referred to within the Cherokee Nation as the father of vampires.  His Legend is as follows: