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...