If you read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s novel Mexican Gothic and need something similar or if you’re on the hold list and you’re looking for something to tide you over until it arrives, here’s a few more gothic horror stories set in unforgettable, atmospheric locations we hope you’ll love.
Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Machado
In this electric and provocative debut, Machado bends genre to shape startling narratives that map the realities of women’s lives and the violence visited upon their bodies.
A wife refuses her husband’s entreaties to remove the green ribbon from around her neck. A woman recounts her sexual encounters as a plague slowly consumes humanity. A salesclerk in a mall makes a horrifying discovery within the seams of the store’s prom dresses. One woman’s surgery-induced weight loss results in an unwanted houseguest. And in the bravura novella “Especially Heinous,” Machado reimagines every episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, a show we naïvely assumed had shown it all, generating a phantasmagoric police procedural full of doppelgängers, ghosts, and girls with bells for eyes.
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A woman suffering from post-partum depression is prescribed a “rest cure” by her doctor husband. She is to see no one, and to refrain from all reading, writing and thinking, with nothing to occupy her other than staring at the room’s ugly, worn wallpaper.
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi
There’s something strange about the Silver family house in the closed-off town of Dover, England. Grand and cavernous with hidden passages and buried secrets, it’s been home to four generations of Silver women—Anna, Jennifer, Lily, and now Miranda, who has lived in the house with her twin brother, Eliot, ever since their father converted it to a bed-and-breakfast.
The Silver women have always had a strong connection, a pull over one another that reaches across time and space, and when Lily, Miranda’s mother, passes away suddenly while on a trip abroad, Miranda begins suffering strange ailments. An eating disorder starves her. She begins hearing voices.
When she brings a friend home, Dover’s hostility toward outsiders physically manifests within the four walls of the Silver house, and the lives of everyone inside are irrevocably changed.
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
A masterpiece in ambivalence and the uncanny, The Turn of the Screw tells the story of a young woman who is hired as governess to two seemingly innocent children in an isolated country house. As the tale progresses she begins to see the ghost of her dead predecessor. Or does she? The story is so ambivalent and eerie, such a psychological thriller, that few can agree on exactly what takes place. James masters “the strange and sinister embroidered on the very type of the normal and easy” in this chilling Victorian classic.
Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff
In 1954, young Army vet Atticus Turner leaves Chicago to find his missing father. Driving in the south is dangerous for a black man in Jim Crowe America, and he encounters human and supernatural terrors at the estate of a descendant of slave owners. It’s unclear what’s worse: the monsters with tentacles, or the monsters with burning crosses.