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Horror in Literature and Film (NW): Home


Welcome to the Horror Research Guide for HUMA 1315. Here you will find recommended books, journals, and databases to help you complete your analytical essay. If you get stuck, ask your librarians!

Horror: Themes and Tropes

These themes and tropes can serve as keywords while you search for sources:

  • Anti-hero
  • Black or Dark Humor Corruption (often of human nature)
  • Body-snatching, grave-robbing
  • Dark, often haunted settings (Abbeys, Graveyards, Castles, Crypts, Ruins)
  • Disintegration of the American Dream (American/"California" Gothic)
  • Doppelgangers
  • Dreaming / nightmares
  • Entrapment / imprisonment
  • ​Fascination with death, decay
  • Fascination with misdeeds of the past
  • Incubus / male demon
  • Madness
  • Modern in conflict with past
  • Not quite human (dolls, wax works, animals)
  • Paranoia
  • Power (over innocence or vulnerability, especially over females or children)
  • Religious Misdeeds or Guilt (Southern Gothic)
  • Spirits
  • Supernatural Forces
  • The Sublime (awesome, terrifying)
  • The Supernatural/Ghosts
  • The Vulnerable Young Woman
  • Weird or violent, explicit or “unnatural” sexual behavior or innuendo / masochism


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SO Library - Teri Rogers
SLIB 2101