alternate terms: gothic novel, gothic narrative
A type of fiction that arose in the 18th century. “It was characterized by horror, violence, supernatural effects, and medieval elements, usually set against a background of gothic architecture, especially a gloomy and isolated castle” (Source: Benet’s, 417). In addition to the gloomy, isolated castle, other common gothic trappings include insanity (often in the form of a mad relative kept locked in a room in the castle), ghosts and spirits, and dramatic thunder-and-lightning storms.
See also: Southern gothic
Examples: Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier epitomizes the gothic novel. Other works by duMaurier, including Jamaica Inn, also include gothic elements.