Bella Vida by Letty

Gothic Fiction: Growing Up With Vampires

My entire life has been infused with stories.  Since I was a child there were frequent trips to the library and the book store.  In addition nothing on television was off-limits.  My parents were strict in other ways but censoring stories was not one of them.  I’ve had full access to imaginary realms my entire life including gothic ones.

From a very early age the difference between reality and fantasy was very clear to me.  I was a voracious reader, even before the age of ten I was subscribed to several book clubs.  Some of those books included mentions of Dracula, Frankenstein and many other imaginary creatures though I always preferred vampires.  With little effort, you can find them everywhere; in series such as Goosebumps, cartoons like Scooby Doo and even Sesame Street had the Count.

Vampire Collage movies tv film

Television and movies had an even greater impact on me.  On weekends and late nights I watched hosted horror shows with funky characters like Svengoolie and Elvira.  Remember them?  Most of the movies featured on those shows were old, in black and white or Technicolor, low budget horror or sci-fi films.  I never found them one bit scary.  On the contrary, their cheesiness always made me laugh.  Their efforts at being terrifying were actually hilarious.

As I got older, I discovered heavier, more serious gothic tales and am still enamored of them.  I read Bram Stoker along with many imitations before stumbling across Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.  A Japanese anime series I enjoyed was the Vampire Hunter D.  It pushes the limits of the genre because it’s a wonderful mash up of western, science fiction, horror, and high fantasy.

Vampire 2 Collage

Gothic horror is a style of fiction which combines elements of horror and romance.  It’s an extreme form of romanticism set in gothic locations.  These stories demonstrate the duality of life, expose our vulnerabilities while inciting fear while demonstrating each of us has capability for great good or evil.

Quality’s of Gothic Horror:

  • The atmosphere provides fear and dread.
  • The hero is usually isolated.
  • High emotions.
  • Someone in distress.

Some of my favorite vampire stories are: The Anne Rice Chronicles, True Blood TV Series, Let the Right One In, The Lost Boys, Underworld, Blade, Coppola’s Dracula, Buffy the Vampire Slayer …

 

What is your favorite vampire story?

If you’ve written one please share your links in the comments below.

Vampire Lessons

5 Life Lessons I’ve Learned from Vampires

Resources:

If you enjoy reading, Project Gutenberg has an extensive Gothic Bookshelf of books you can read online for free

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“Evil is always possible. And goodness is eternally difficult.”  Anne Rice 

 “You will lose what you value most, so treasure it while you can.”  Richelle Mead 

 “When other little girls wanted to be ballet dancers, I kind of wanted to be a vampire.”  Angelina Jolie

 “It’s a good day to do great things!”  Randy Lipnitzky 

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