Autumn is here and with it we have 6 Best Gothic Autumn Reads. It’s time to drink hot chocolate on the balcony, time to go hiking in the woods, and time to sit by the bonfire and roast marshmallows. In this beautiful weather, the idea of sitting cozily wrapped in light blankets and reading a book sounds dreamy, right?
Well, to make you fall in love with Autumn, we have curated a list of 6 Best Gothic Autumn Reads.
These books all have the perfect October vibe – dreamy, spooky, and gothic.
Let’s dive right in!
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (1847) –
Orphaned as a child, Jane has felt an outcast her whole young life. Her courage is tested once again when she arrives at Thornfield Hall, where she has been hired by the brooding, proud Edward Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit. She falls in love. Hard.
But there is a terrifying secret inside the gloomy, forbidding Thornfield Hall. Is Rochester hiding from Jane? Will Jane be left heartbroken and exiled once again?
Written in a sensationalist romantic style, Jane Eyre has moral, depth, and an interesting plot, and twists and turns that not only advance the plot but inform on the moral.
Perfect for an autumn night, this book will give you time to settle in for a nice, spooky October.
- The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886) –
“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is Stevenson’s famous exploration of humanity’s basest capacity for evil. It has become synonymous with the idea of a split personality.
More than a moral tale, this dark psychological fantasy is also a product of its time, drawing on contemporary theories of class, evolution, criminality, and secret lives.
This hauntingly interesting tale is a perfect read in the dark and gloomy weather. What’s better than reading the twisted minds of humanity?
- The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764)-
The “infant” of gothic novels, The Castle of Otranto begins with plentiful theatrics and moves at a refreshingly quick pace.
It’s a short, entertaining book full of bizarre and supernatural happenings, lots of drama, a villainous prince, gracious princesses (and perhaps one changeable princess), comic attendants, and mysterious strangers.
An ancient prophecy shadows the castle and its inhabitants, and the reader gets a glimpse of the prophecy coming to fruition in the very first chapter.
Crammed with invention, entertainment, terror, and pathos, it’s perfect for anyone who wants to get into Gothic fiction.
- The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe (1839) –
When we think of Gothic Fiction, Edgar Allen Poe’s name comes instantly in our mind.
The Fall of the House of Usher recounts the terrible events that befall the last remaining members of the once-illustrious Usher clan before it is — quite literally — rent asunder.
With an amazing economy, Poe plunges the reader into a state of deliciously agonizing suspense. It’s a must-read for fans of the golden era of horror writing. The Fall of the House of Usher is one of Poe’s best known short stories.
The best thing about this story is that it can be consumed in one sitting. So, if you’re struggling due to a reader’s block, this story is perfect for you to get out of it.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)-
Frankenstein is Mary Shelley’s seminal novel of the scientist whose creation becomes a monster.
But it’s not as simple as that. There are layers of meaning in this book. In this way, it’s more than a conventional horror novel.
Frankenstein tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.
Shelley started writing the story when she was 18 and it was published when she was 20.
It’s difficult to assign a particular genre to this novel. It has elements of gothic fiction, horror, as well as science fiction.
So, if you’re a fan of either of these genres, you should definitely read this book.
- Dracula by Bram Stoker (1892)-
Dracula: the very name instantly brings to mind visions of vampires, stakes, garlic, and crucifixes. Yet, when one bothers to read the novel, it becomes self-evident how twisted modern vampire fiction now is.
Dracula is a macabre novel that serves to make the reader reflect upon good and evil.
Bram Stoker set the ground rules for what a vampire should be, and set the benchmark for all other writers of the vampire afterwards. Indeed, if tyrannical villains are a necessity of Gothic fiction then Count Dracula is the father of all gothic villains, in spite of it being one of the last Gothic fiction novels to be written.
It’s a work of genius that his presence is felt so strongly in the novel with him appearing in the flesh so rarely.
A perfect fit for a dark, chilly weekend, this book is a must read for lovers of horror fiction.
Hope you get what you were looking for. Take the book along with a hot cup of your favourite beverage and wander in the fictional world of your choice.
Let us know in the comments section which is your favourite Autumn Gothic read? Happy reading!