Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
When I first read this, at 16, I found it unbearably painful, which, of course, made me instantly love it. Flawed, passionate characters making horrible mistakes and a spatter of supernatural ghastliness makes this one of my all-time favourite reads.
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
This novel has the perfect setting for a great gothic yarn: a family, struck by tragedy, lives isolated in a big house, guarding a devastating secret. The unique voice of the narrator, Merricat, is what makes this such a spectacular and chilling read.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
No list of gothic fiction is complete without the count. If it is the lush descriptions, Dracula’s ambiguous humanity, or the intriguing way the story is told through journal entries, letters and newspaper clippings, the pull of this novel is timeless.
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Past trauma comes back as a haunting in this story about the former slave Sethe and her daughters: one living, one dead. The prose is as beautiful and complex as the story is heartbreaking. It lingers long after the end – much like a ghost.
Little Eve by Catriona Ward
This is the newest addition to my list, published in 2018. Part murder mystery, part psychological thriller, and with a slithering monster lurking under the surface. This gorgeously written novel drips with gothic dread.