Big Issue Vendor

Top 5 gothic novels

The You Let Me In author takes her pick of the top reads for all things gothic

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.

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce is out on March 5 (Transworld, £14.99)

You Let Me In by Camilla Bruce
You Let Me In pic