9 Intriguing Non-Fiction Books for Goths

Vampire Forensics: Uncovering the Origins of an Enduring Legend is, interestingly enough, published by National Geographic. Chapters include A Vampire in Venice 2006; Twilight Zone; Gatherings from Graveyards; The Vampire Epidemics; Corpi Morti; Terra Damnata; The Wanderers; and The Larvae. The tale of Lord Byron's ghost story contest, causing Polidori to write "The Vampyre," is recounted here as well.

Food for the Dead: On the Trail of New England's Vampires. A scholarly look at the consumption outbreak in early New England, and the cremations, exhumations and oddness that followed.

The Private Letters of Countess Erzsebet Bathory. Over 40 historical documents and letters written by Countess Bathory are included here, translated into English. Historical supporting material helps put the letters in context and deepens our knowledge of the Countess's life.

Goths: A Guide to an American Subculture. This book covers goth music, fashion, body modification, goth fiction and literature, and the goth community (this last chapter is a bit outdated already). The book ends with a look at rejecting conformity and an overview of how subcultures form.

Mummies, Cannibals and Vampires: The History of Corpse Medicine from the Renaissance to the Victorians. This sounds like a gross and depressing read: "charts in vivid detail the largely forgotten history of European corpse medicine, when kings, ladies, gentlemen, priests and scientists prescribed, swallowed or wore human blood, flesh, bone, fat, brains and skin against epilepsy, bruising, wounds, sores, plague, cancer, gout and depression." It may well be fascinating to the right people though. I think I'm too wimpy to stomach this read!

Haunted Air would make a fabulous goth coffee table book. It contains vintage Halloween photographs taken between 1875–1955. Someone clearly spent a ton of time scouting vintage photograph and postcard markets to compile this beautiful book. As you can imagine given the dates taken, the photos are all in black and white.

Worldwide Gothic: A Chronicle of a Tribe.

Natasha Scharf's excellent well-researched book on the goth scene, the history and emergence of goth music, and the current state of goth music.

The Haunting of America: From the Salem Witch Trials to Harry Houdini. Chapters include:

  • Colonial America: The Devil in Salem

  • Whig, Tory and Spiritualist

  • Is That You, Mr. Splitfoot?

  • Spiritualism Spreading Like Wildfire

  • Home and the Power of Levitation

  • Women at the Seance Table

  • From Seance to Science

  • A Magician Among the Spirits

Monsters in America: Our Historical Obsession with the Hideous and the Haunting. This book discusses everything from Victorian-era mad men scientists to Salem witches, frontier beasts, haunted houses, undead Americans, freak show oddities, alien invasions, even Freddie Krueger.

Enjoy a serious, dark read on a long winter's night, esconced in front of your fireplace with your favorite brew (whether it be tea, wine, beer, coffee or cocoa).