Famous Victorian Gothic Novels- 6 Masterpieces to Read Before You DIE

famous victorian Gothic Novels

Gothic literature has appeared to the readers from an early age. But since the Victorian era, gothic novels have mesmerized many to the roots. Gothic literature is something that very few have known or read. In 19 century this fiction reading captivated readers for its exciting, thrilling, supernatural elements. The reason for pleasure among Gothic readers is the imagination that writers create beyond thinking.

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Gothic novels directly contributed to the feeling of fear, thrill, excitement, and uneasiness. Authors often used settings like medieval Castles, romanticized in the Medieval period, played a large role in early Gothic writings.

Its popularity grew rapidly throughout the nineteenth century and it is this, I believe, that triggered the settings for many famous Victorian Gothic novels throughout the seventeen and eighteen hundreds.

If you need a quick view of the famous Gothic fiction in the Victorian era, we have combined every novel with the gothic element that makes a masterpiece unique in its own way. Head on further for the complete view into every novel.



Victorian Published Year Gothic Element Reading difficulty

The Castle of Otranto

1764 Mystery, Horror


The Fall of the House of Usher


Psychological Horror, Thriller



1897 Romance, Horror, Villain Medium

Jane Eyre

1847 Emotional, Setting


Uncle Silas

1864 Horror, Mystery, Thriller


Wuthering Heights


Anti-hero, Romance



From supernatural powers to haunted houses, from dark forests to unnerving mountains to threatening storms, Gothic fiction has always attracted readers since the 18 century. So here are some of the famous Gothic Victorian novels picks that you shouldn’t miss.

6The Castle of Otranto

Book by Horace Walpole

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The first Gothic novel to be published in the 18 century is a blend of supernatural horror, romance, curse, deaths is a founding work of gothic fiction. Its core elements became the staples of gothic fiction.  A literary genre that Walpole presented The Castle of Otranto is a translation of an Italian story of the time of crusades. Mystery and horror pervades this thrilling tale. The story begins on the wedding day of the only heir of the Prince, Manfred. Shortly before the wedding expectations crushed to pieces. As my first Gothic Novel read, I highly recommend this famous Gothic novel for its more important than just literary but serves a great view to the medieval history.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

Although written in the Victorian times,  I did not find it difficult to read.  This gothic fiction excites the senses of people who enjoy reading fantasy. An easy and light read that will consume your imagination and soul.

5The Fall of the House of Usher

Short story by Edgar Allan Poe

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Turn your excitement into wilderness. The Fall of the house of Usher is one of the most famous Victorian Gothic novels and Poe was the first writer to introduce psychological madness into gothic fiction. The story begins with an unnamed narrator arriving at his friend Roderick Usher who has been in isolation for an extended period of time and is deteriorating into madness.  It’s horror of the creepy, atmospheric kind the kind that gets under your skin and makes you feel it in a thousand subtle ways. The house of the Ushers, with its large crack from the roof, and its decrepitude and instability, is mirrored in the persons of Roderick Usher and his twin sister. Things changed as the story moves on. The author has positively succeed evoked the feeling of dread which you cannot escape of.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

You have all the gothic elements any fantasy reader look for: a haunted house, a mysterious illness, madness, death, entombment, a dungeon, a violent storm, a cursed family, hints of possible incest, resurrection, bizarre poetry, and a story-within-the-story about a knight slaying a dragon. Alternatively, you will enjoy at every moment.


Novel by Bram Stoker

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Considered a horror Gothic fiction figure, Dracula birthed a thousand of vampire stories. A haunting horror romance containing the strong elements of violence, tension, power, wrath, blood which all serve to explain why the novel became the famous Victorian Gothic novels till the times.

The story is so well known that we won’t recount on its hero as a villain. Bram stoker put years of research into the novel drawing ideas from diverse areas to flesh out his characters and location. Stoker narrates the book by use of the diaries and journals of taking the reader on a rollercoaster ride.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

The most dreadful villain, Dracula is enjoyed by many. Although the novel didn’t make much money at the time of its release, since 20 century that the popularity rose to heights. This book is a classic and one of the pioneers of Horror Gothic fiction.

3Jane Eyre

Novel by Charlotte Brontë

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Every novel in our list has something unique that our reader would love reading about. Like other famous Victorian Gothic novels, Jane Eyre amazed by its setting in a house full of deadly secrets. It has every element of Gothic fiction in one story.  Jane’s journey is a gut-wrenching and emotional. A tale of a young girl, orphaned as a child and an outcast among her remaining family. At the center is her romantic life with Rochester.

Jane transgresses the boundary associated with her gender in the Victorian age. Each time I have read this novel, I am blown by the strength of Jane. With every twist life hurled at her, Jane merely straightened her shoulders, adjusted her pack, and trudged on.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

Jane Eyre is more than just a beautiful book about a love story that transcends all boundaries; it is a testament to the power of pure emotion and strength of character across all the times of difficulty.

2Uncle Silas

Novel by Sheridan Le Fanu

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A well developed and page-turning novel. This Irish writer’s main genre was gothic horror & mystery. He lived during the Victorian era & was one of the leading ghost-story writers of his time.  The story is narrated from the point of a 17-year-old orphan, living with her fearful uncle, Silas. Silas is a man of personal greed and a hypocritical sociopath, an opium addict with dangerous plans for our heroine. Uncle Silas is recommended to those interested in exploring the Victorian period and this genre.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

Uncle Silas is considered one of the most significant and intriguing gothic novels of the era and it evokes interest in modern readers as a psychology thriller blend of gothic elements.

1Wuthering Heights

Novel by Emily Brontë

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Wuthering Heights, a classic of English literature is famous for its unique element of the Victorian. Wuthering Heights is loved for the plot and setting, the wilderness.  This is the tale of the people who aren’t so socially acceptable, who live away from the strict rules of civilization – it’s almost as if they’re not quite from the world we know. This kind of read is for people who understand unlikeable characters. It is a story of love, jealousy, betrayal, revenge between Heathcliff and Catherine, and how their relationship ruins those around them.

What makes it a famous Victorian Gothic novel?

The emotional magnitude of this book is great and far-reaching that readers enjoyed it the most. The provoking and unapologetic quality of Bronte’s writing is seductively creating every piece of his writing a remembering tale for everyone.

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