6 Books, Movies, And More For The Gothic Romantic At Heart

6 Books, Movies, And More For The Gothic Romantic At Heart

For those who love a little bit of creepy with a little bit of romance.


For those of you who never quite grew out of your emo phase and especially thrive when fall/Halloween comes around, this list is for you. I don't really consider myself an "emo kid" anymore, but I definitely went into that phase when I was younger. However, I don't think that part of me completely died and instead grew into an appreciation for things macabre, darkly romantic, and generally spooky. I know I'm not alone in this regard so please if that kind of stuff resonates with you as it does with me, check out this small compilation of things I think you'll particularly enjoy.

1. Book: "The Book of Lost Things" by John Connolly

Ok, so not really a romance but definitely has that creepy air of original fairy tales so just hear me out. I'll be honest, it's been a while since I've read this book, but I still attribute it to being one of the books that really refined my taste and turned me more towards material with Gothic attributes, so it felt wrong to leave it out. It has all the unintentional horror of a Grimms' Brothers fairy tale that is just enough to leave you feeling generally unsettled in the best way after you put it down.

2. Movie: "Crimson Peak" (2015)

From one of my favorite directors of all time, Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak" combines horror movie qualities with the elements of classic Victorian romance to bring you a film perfect for those who like a bit of horror with their romance. With a wonderful a cast and a set both breathtaking as it is haunting, it's easy to fall in love with this story (and Tom Hiddleston even more) while being creeped out at the same time.

3. Podcast: "Lore" by Aaron Mahnke

I'm not a super big podcast person, but I make an exception for this one. "Lore" is an extensive collection of all the chilling stories and folktales littered throughout history brought together in one place. Each episode has a general theme and stories that you can't help but think about extensively. Plus, Mahnke's voice is just one of those made for telling spooky stories. Not all of the episodes have that gothic romance vibe, but many do and they're all still interesting.

4. Movie: "Bram Stocker's Dracula" (1992)

If you ever went through a phase of vampire obsession, be prepared to have it reawakened (if it ever actually died) after watching this movie. Gary Oldman makes an incredible Dracula that feels so much more like the Victorian novel it was born from. It doesn't get much more Gothic and romantic than a vampire saying stuff like "I have crossed oceans of time to find you".

5. TV Show: "Penny Dreadful" (2014-2016)

You can almost say this is the dream mashup of all Victorian-era gothic romance/horror books. With classic characters such as Dorian Gray and Victor Frankenstein trying to navigate a London plagued by the paranormal, you can expect a really cool show. Plus, it's on Netflix so it's perfect for fall binge-watching.

6. Book: "This Dark Endeavor" by Kenneth Oppel

A YA series that details the origin behind Victor Frankenstein, this is an intriguing series. I won't say it's amazing, but it definitely immerses you in a gothic atmosphere just as Mary Shelley's original does. There is a sequel too, which I personally find even better than this first installment

Hopefully, there was something here that caught your interest. This list definitely wasn't as long as I wanted it to be and I hope to add a second part sometime soon. Until then, check some of this stuff out and get yourself in the perfect mindset for the spookiest season of the year. Now if only it would get below 80 degrees outside...

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Why High School Musicals Should Be As Respected As Sports Programs Are

The arts are important, too.

When I was in middle school and high school, I felt like I lived for the musicals that my school orchestrated.

For those of you who don't know, a musical is an onstage performance wherein actors take on roles that involve singing, and often dancing, to progress the plot of the story. While it may sound a little bit nerdy to get up in front of an audience to perform in this manner, this is something you cannot knock until you try it.

For some reason, though, many public schools have de-funded arts programs that would allow these musicals to occur, while increasing the funding for sports teams. There are a few things that are being forgotten when sports are valued more than musical programs in high schools.

Much like athletic hobbies, an actor must try-out, or audition, to participate in a musical. Those best suited for each role will be cast, and those who would not fit well are not given a part. While this may sound similar to trying out for say, basketball, it is an apples to oranges comparison.

At a basketball try-out, those who have the most experience doing a lay-up or shooting a foul shot will be more likely to succeed, no questions asked. However, for an audition, it is common to have to learn a piece of choreography upon walking in, and a potential cast member will be required to sing a selected piece with only a few days of preparation.

There are many more variables involved with an audition that makes it that much more nerve-racking.

The cast of a school musical will often rehearse for several months to perfect their roles, with only several nights of performance at the end. Many sports practice for three or four days between each of their respective competitions. While this may seem to make sports more grueling, this is not always the case.

Musicals have very little pay-off for a large amount of effort, while athletic activities have more frequent displays of their efforts.

Athletes are not encouraged to but are allowed to make mistakes. This is simply not allowed for someone in a musical, because certain lines or entrances may be integral to the plot.

Sometimes, because of all the quick changes and the sweat from big dance numbers, the stage makeup just starts to smear. Despite this, an actor must smile through it all. This is the part of musicals that no sport has: introspection.

An actor must think about how he or she would respond in a given situation, be it saddening, maddening, frightening, or delightful. There is no sport that requires the knowledge of human emotion, and there is especially no sport that requires an athlete to mimic such emotion. This type of emotional exercise helps with communications and relationships.

Sports are great, don't get me wrong. I loved playing volleyball, basketball, track, and swimming, but there were no experiences quite like those from a musical. Sports challenge the body with slight amounts of tactic, while musicals require much physical and mental endurance.

The next time you hear someone say that it's “just a musical," just remember that musicals deserve as much respect as sports, since they are just as, if not more demanding.

Cover Image Credit: Cincinnati Arts

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10 Shows To Watch If You're Sick Of 'The Office'

You can only watch it so many times...


"The Office" is a great show, and is super easy to binge watch over and over again! But if you're like me and you're looking for something new to binge, why not give some of these a try? These comedies (or unintentional comedies) are a great way to branch out and watch something new.

1. "New Girl"

A show about a group of friends living in an apartment in a big city? Sound familiar? But seriously, this show is original and fresh, and Nick Miller is an icon.

2. "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend"

Ya'll have been sleeping on this show. It's a musical comedy about a girl that follows her ex boyfriend across the country. I thought it sounded horrible so I put it off for WAY too long, but then I realized how incredible the cast, music, writing, and just EVERYTHING. It really brings important issues to light, and I can't say too much without spoiling it. Rachel Bloom (the creator of the show) is a woman ahead of her time.

3. "Jane the Virgin"

I know... another CW show. But both are so incredible! Jane The Virgin is a tongue-in-cheek comedy and parody of telenovelas. It has so many twists and turns, but somehow you find yourself laughing with the family.

4. "Brooklyn Nine-Nine"


Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been in popular news lately since its cancellation by Fox and sequential pickup by NBC. It's an amazing show about cops in, you guessed it, Brooklyn. Created by the amazing Michael Schur, it's a safe bet that if you loved "The Office" you'll also love his series "Brooklyn Nine-Nine".

5. "The Good Place"

Another series created by the talented Micael Schur, it's safe to say you've probably already heard about this fantasy-comedy series. With a wonderful cast and writing that will keep you on your toes, the show is another safe bet.

6. "Fresh Off The Boat"

Seriously, I don't know why more people don't watch this show. "Fresh Off The Boat" focuses on an Asian family living in Orlando in the mid 90s. Randall Parks plays a character who is the polar opposite of his character in "The Interview" (Yeah, remember that horrifying movie?) and Constance Wu is wonderful as always.

7. "Full House"

Why not go back to the basics? If you're looking for a nostalgic comedy, go back all the way to the early days of Full House. If you're a '98-'00 baby like me, you probably grew up watching the Tanner family on Nick at Night. The entire series is available on Hulu, so if all else fails just watch Uncle Jesse and Rebecca fall in love again or Michelle fall off a horse and somehow lose her memory.

8. "Secret Life of the American Teenager"

Okay, this show is not a comedy, but I have never laughed so hard in my life. It's off Netflix but it's still on Hulu, so you can watch this masterpiece there. Watch the terrible acting and nonsense plot twists drive this show into the ground. Somehow everyone in this school dates each other? And also has a baby? You just have to watch. It might be my favorite show of all time.

9. "Scrubs"

Another old show that is worth watching. If you ignore the last season, Scrubs is a worthwhile medical comedy about doctors in both their personal and medical life. JD and Turk's relationship is one to be jealous of, and one hilarious to watch. Emotional at times, this medical drama is superior to any medical drama that's out now.

10. "Superstore"

I was resistant to watch this one at first, because it looked cheesy. But once I started watching I loved it! The show is a workplace comedy, one you're sure to love if you can relate to working in retail. If you liked the Office, you'll like Superstore!

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