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A Gothic Reading List For School Librarians & Teachers

** denotes Southern Gothic titles
! denotes dark themes/content alert

(with dark curses and/or characters with dark secrets)


  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (the father of all Gothic novels!)
  • Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe
  • Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  • Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
  • The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
  • "The Fall of the House of Usher," by Edgar Allan Poe
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde
  • Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
  • "A Rose for Emily" by William Faulkner**!
  • Other Voices, Other Rooms, by Truman Capote**!
  • The Violent Bear it Away, by Flannery O'Connor**!
  • Bastard out of Carolina, by Dorothy Allison**!
  • Child of God, by Cormac McCarthy**!

YA options

  • Dark Companion, by Marta Acosta
  • The Casquette Girls, by Alys Arden**
  • Wake Unto Me, Lisa Cache
  • The Dark Unwinding (+ sequel), by Sharon Cameron
  • The Poisoned House, by Michael Ford
  • Beautiful Creatures (+ sequels), Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl**
  • Masque of the Red Death (+ sequels), by Bethany Griffin
  • The Fall, by Bethany Griffin
  • Ashes on the Waves, by Mary Lindsey
  • Set in Stone, by Linda Newbery
  • Strands of Bronze and Gold, by Jane Nickerson**
  • The Mirk and Midnight Hour, by Jane Nickerson**
  • Thorn Abbey, by Nancy Ohlin
  • Asylum, by Madeleine Roux
  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, by April Genevieve Tucholke
  • In the Shadows, by Kiersten White & Jim Di Bartolo
  • Winter's Bone, by Daniel Woodrell
  • Prophecy of the Sisters, Michelle Zink

MG options

  • Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough
  • Serafina and the Black Cloak, by Robert Beatty**
  • Tennyson, by Lesley Blume**
  • Warren the 13th and the All-seeing Eye, by Tania del Rio
  • The Visconti House, by Elsbeth Edgar
  • Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, by Claire Legrand
  • The Dead End, by Mimi McCoy (See more in the "Poison Apple" series)
  • The Aviary, by Kathleen Odell
  • Uncle Montague's Tales of Terror, by Chris Priestly (told in a Gothic house, but stories in this series cover all three categories; check all titles by Priestly)
  • The Book of Elsewhere: The Shadows, by Jacqueline West (More in this series)



  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
  • Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  • Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Island of Dr. Moreau, by H.G. Wells

YA Options

  • The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black
  • The Diviners, by Libba Bray
  • Unspoken, by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices books), by Cassandra Clare
  • Servants of the Storm, by Delilah S. Dawson**
  • Unbreakable, by Kami Garcia (+ sequels)
  • Blood Magic, by Tessa Gratton**
  • Spellcaster, by Claudia Gray
  • Claire de Lune, by Christine Johnson
  • Twilight (+ sequels), by Stephanie Meyer
  • This Dark Endeavour (+ sequels), by Kenneth Oppel
  • Beware the Wild, by Natalie Parker**
  • Sisters Red, by Jackson Pearce
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (+ sequels), by Ransom Riggs
  • Jackaby (+ sequels), by William Ritter
  • Broken, by A.E. Rought
  • The Madman's Daughter (+ sequels), by Megan Shepherd
  • Shiver (+ sequels), by Maggie Stiefvater
  • The Unnaturalists (+ sequel), by Tiffany Trent
  • The Monstrumologist (+ sequels), by Rick Yancey [!Note: 12yo protagonist, but added to YA list for high levels of gore]

MG Options

  • Doll Bones, by Holly Black
  • Crooked Hills, by Cullen Bunn**
  • The Monsters of Morley Manor, by Bruce Coville
  • Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
  • Dead Boy, by Lauren Gate
  • Encyclopedia Horrifica, by Joshua Gee (reference)
  • A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
  • Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Nightmares! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
  • Monsterology: the Complete Book of Monstrous Beasts, by Dugald A. Steer (reference)
  • Charlie and the Grandmothers, by Katy Towell
  • Skary Childrin and the Carousel of Sorrow, by Katy Towell
  • Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place (+ sequels), by Maryrose Wood. (Humorous)



  • The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James (see ^^ for YA updates)
  • The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
  • The Shining, by Stephen King
  • The Woman in Black, by Susan Hill
  • Beloved, by Toni Morrison**!

YA options

  • The Looking Glass, Jessica Arnold
  • Anna Dressed in Blood, Kendare Blake
  • Compulsion, by Martina Boone**
  • Texas Gothic, by Rosemary Clement-Moore**
  • Splendor Falls, by Rosemary Clement-Moore**
  • The House of Dead Maids, by Claire B. Dunkle
  • The Revenant, by Sonia Gensler**
  • The Dark Between, by Sonia Gensler
  • The Awakening (1st in Ghost Huntress series), by Marley Gibson**
  • Tighter, by Adele Griffin^^
  • Picture the Dead, by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown
  • Haunting Violet, Alexandra Harvey
  • Hereafter (+sequels) by Tara Hudson**
  • The Everafter, by Amy Huntley
  • Beating Heart, A.M. Jenkins
  • The Name of the Star, by Maureen Johnson
  • Ruined, by Paula Morris**
  • Jade Green, by Phyliss Reynolds Naylor**
  • Fairy Tales for Wilde Girls, by Allyse Near
  • The Turning, by Francine Prose^^
  • In the Shadow of Blackbirds, by Cat Winters

MG options

  • The Night Gardener, by Jonathan Auxier
  • Seer of Shadows, by Avi
  • Cold in Summer, by Tracy Barrett**
  • Spirit's Key, by Edith Cohn
  • The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman
  • Ghostlight, by Sonia Gensler**
  • The Crossroads, by Chris Grabenstein
  • Wait Till Helen Comes, by Mary Downing Hahn (and all her ghost books!)
  • Constable & Toop, Gareth P. Jones
  • The Year of Shadows, by Claire Legrand
  • Breathe, Cliff McNish
  • Shadowed Summer, by Saundra Mitchell**
  • Ghosts I Have Been, by Richard Peck
  • A Drowned Maiden's Hair, by Laura Amy Schlitz
  • The Hunt for the Seventh, Christine Morton-Shaw
  • The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co.) (+sequels), by Jonathan Stroud
  • Christina's Ghost, by Betty Ren Wright

GOTHIC for the little ones
(picture books and early readers)

  • A Dark, Dark Tale, by Ruth Brown
  • Ghost's Hour, Spooks Hour, by Eve Bunting
  • There Was an Old Monster, by Rebecca Emberley
  • The Teeny, Tiny Woman (Step Into Reading), by Jane O'Connor
  • Jitterbug Jam, by Barbara Jean Hicks
  • Little Goblins Ten, by Pamela Jane
  • The Ghost of Nicholas Greebe, by Tony Johnston
  • All Hallow's ABC, by Jenni Kaye
  • Ghosts in the House! By Kazuno Kohara
  • The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, by Sam McBratney
  • Precious and the Boo Hag, by Patricia C. McKissack
  • I'm Coming to Get You! by Tony Ross
  • The Boy and the Ghost, by Robert D. San Souci
  • Abiyoyo, by Pete Seeger
  • Monster Goose, by Judy Sierra
  • The Witch's Child, by Arthur Yorinks
(list adapted from Oakland Public Library and The Monster Librarian)

My additions:

  • Leo, A Ghost Story, by Mac Barnett
  • Vampire Boy's Good Night, by Lisa Brown
  • One, Two . . . Boo!, by Kristen L. Depken
  • Ten Timid Ghosts, by Jennifer O'Connell
  • The Monster at the End of this Book, by Jon Stone
  • The Night Before Halloween, by Natasha Wing

Download a copy of this list (pdf)

(Updated November 2015)