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ENG 152/JRN 180: The HORROR! The HORROR!: Home

This research guide was created for a Learning Community

ENG 152 Information Literacy Objectives

Information Literacy is one of MCC's four general education goals. Information Literacy is the ability to recognize when information is needed and to locate, evaluate and use information effectively. In this session, you will learn how to:

  1. Select appropriate search tools to identify and locate information sources.
  2. Construct effective database searches.

These skills will help you find quality, appropriate resources for your research assignments.

The Gothic (The British Library) 8:51 min.

What is Horror?


A subgenre of gothic fiction in which supernatural events, occult forces, macabre effects, and obsessive introspection are combined with chilling suspense to produce visceral sensations of fear and revulsion in the reader. Ghosts, hallucinations, monsters, mummies, nightmares, witches, werewolves, vampires, demons, and black magic are common themes. Rooted in the gothic novel of the 18th and 19th centuries, early literary examples include Mary Shelley's novel Frankenstein (1818), Edgar Allan Poe's short story "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1839), and Dracula (1897) by Bram Stoker. In motion pictures, the earliest examples are The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1919) directed by Robert Wiene and Nosferatu (1922) by F.W. Murnau, classics of German expressionism. More recent examples include Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960) and Rod Serling's television series The Twilight Zone. The contemporary master of horror fiction is Stephen King. Extreme graphic horror has been dubbed splatterpunk. Synonymous with weird fantasy. Compare with thriller. See also: Horror Writers Association and slasher.

Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science (ODLIS)


The History of Horror (Filmmaker IQ) 28min. 46 sec.

The Gothic: themes and tropes (possible keywords, search terms)

  • 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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Edgar Allan Poe guide