Traditionally, gothic fiction features an environment of fear, supernatural events (real or contrived), and the influence of the past on the present day, often taking place in decaying or isolated buildings.
The books in this bibliography build on foundational works like Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.
Black Rabbit Hall / Eve Chase
Planning her wedding at her family’s haunting, timeless London country estate, Lorna recalls half-buried memories of her mother before uncovering the manor’s labyrinthine history and becoming obsessed with a need for answers. Also available as an audiobook on CD, and as an audiobook on Overdrive/Libby.
Daisy Darker / Alice Feeney
After years of avoiding each other, Daisy Darker’s entire family is assembling for Nana’s 80th birthday party in her crumbling gothic house on a tiny tidal island. At the stroke of midnight, Nana is found dead. An hour later, the next family member follows. The present mystery and past secrets must be reckoned with. Also available in Large Print, and as an ebook and audiobook on Libby/Overdrive.
The Death of Jane Lawrence / Caitlin Starling
Embarking on a marriage of convenience with bold, courageous surgeon Augustine Lawrence in post-war England, on the condition she never visit his crumbling family manor Lindridge Hall, practical and unassuming Jane Shoringfield finds herself at the Hall with a terrified, paranoid man who cannot tell reality from a nightmare and realizes something is deeply wrong.
The Forgotten Garden / Kate Morton
Abandoned on a ship heading for Australia in 1913, “Nell” is told the truth of her ancestry on her twenty-first birthday, which sets her on a journey to England and Blackhurst Manor on the Cornish cost, a house replete with the secrets of the doomed Montrachet family.
The Hacienda / Isabel Cañas
In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence and the execution of her father, Beatriz accepts Don Rodolfo Solórzano’s proposal of marriage and is whisked away to his remote country estate where she is faced with a malevolent presence linked to his first wife’s death. Also available in Large Print.
The House Between Tides / Sarah Maine
Leaving a strained marriage to return to her ancestral home in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides, Hetty Deveraux discovers human remains beneath a basement floorboard and uncovers a family secret: the century-old story of an unfaithful painter and a wife who went missing. Also available as an audiobook on hoopla.
The Little Stranger / Sarah Waters
During a dusty postwar summer, Dr. Faraday is summoned to treat a patient at dilapidated Hundreds Hall, a crumbling Georgian mansion. Against his will, he finds himself becoming entangled in the lives of the owners, the Ayres family, and the supernatural presences in the house.
Mexican Gothic / Silvia Moreno-Garcia
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. Glamorous debutante Noemí is an unlikely rescuer, but she soon finds herself in conflict with her cousin’s menacing husband, his father, and the house itself, as it begins to invade her dreams with visions of blood and doom. Also available in Large Print, and as an ebook and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby.
The Only One Left / Riley Sager
In 1983, home-health aide Kit McDeere arrives at a decaying Hope’s End to care for Lenora Hope, helping her write about the events leading up to her family’s massacre in 1929, and soon discovers this seemingly harmless woman could be far more dangerous than she first thought. Also available in Large Print, and as an ebook and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby.
The Silent Companions / Laura Purcell
While residing in her late husband’s crumbling estate to see out her pregnancy, newly widowed Elsie is met with resentment and hostility from both the servants and local villagers and soon discovers that she is not alone when she finds a wooden figure that bears a startling resemblance to her—and whose eyes seem to follow her where she goes.
The Thirteenth Tale / Diane Setterfield
When her health begins failing, the mysterious author Vida Winter decides to let Margaret Lea, a biographer, write the truth about her life, but Margaret needs to verify the facts since Vida has a history of telling outlandish tales. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Also available as an audiobook on CD.
The Turn of the Key / Ruth Ware
When a high-paying nanny job at Heatherbrae House, a luxurious Scottish Highlands “smart” home outfitted with all the modern conveniences, ends with her imprisonment for a child’s murder, a young woman struggles to explain to her lawyer the unraveling events that led to her incarceration: the constant surveillance from the cameras, the malfunctioning technology that woke the household, and her isolation with children whose behavior turns out to be far different from when she first met them at her interview.
What Moves the Dead / T. Kingfisher
When his receives world that his childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, retired soldier Alex Easton races to the House of Usher where he, after encountering a nightmare of fungal growths and possessed wildlife, recruits a British mycologist and a baffled American doctor to unravel the truth. Also available as an ebook and audiobook on Overdrive/Libby.
White is for Witching / Helen Oyeyemi
Suffering an acute form of pica throughout her youth that is exacerbated by her mother’s death, sixteen-year-old Miranda helps to run the family bed-and-breakfast while witnessing her community’s hostilities toward outsiders, a malice that erupts in violent and destructive ways.
The Widow’s House / Carol Goodman
Moving to a Hudson River valley community and into Riven House, a crumbling estate and the home of their old college writing professor, Jess and Clare Martin hope to revitalize their marriage and literary ambitions. However, Clare begins to have hallucinations about the house’s anguished past, and they both must confront the menacing force that controls the estate they live and work at. Also available in Large Print.