The goth subculture is a contemporary subculture found in many countries. It began in England during the early 1980s in the gothic rock scene, an offshoot of the post-punk genre. The goth subculture has survived much longer than others of the same era, and has continued to diversify. Its imagery and cultural proclivities indicate influences from the 19th century Gothic literature along with horror films.
The goth subculture has associated tastes in music, aesthetics, and fashion. The music of the goth subculture encompasses a number of different styles, including gothic rock, deathrock, post-punk, darkwave, ethereal wave, dark ambient, industrial music, and neoclassical. Styles of dress within the subculture range from deathrock, punk, and Victorian styles, or combinations of the above, most often with dark attire, makeup, and hair.
- 1 Music
- 2 Art: historical and cultural influences
- 3 Fashion
- 4 Subculture
- 5 See also
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
Origins and development
The term "gothic rock" was coined in 1967 by music critic John Stickney to describe a meeting he had with Jim Morrison in a dimly lit wine-cellar which he called "the perfect room to honor the Gothic rock of the Doors". The Velvet Underground with a track like 1967's "All Tomorrow's Parties", created a kind of "mesmerizing gothic-rock masterpiece" according to music historian Kurt Loder. In the late 1970s, one of the first usages of the "gothic" term (as applied to music) was by Joy Division's manager, Tony Wilson on 15 September 1979 in an interview for the BBC TV program's Something Else: Wilson described Joy Division as "gothic" compared to the pop mainstream, right before a live performance of the band. Joy Division's "distorted guitars and foregrounded basslines" provided an "important foundation for gothic rock."In 1979, the term was later applied to "newer bands such as Bauhaus who had arrived in the wake of Joy Division and Siouxsie and the Banshees". Bauhaus's 1979 single "Bela Lugosi's Dead" is generally credited as the starting point of the gothic rock genre.
In 1979, Sounds described Joy Division as "gothic" and "theatrical". In February 1980, Melody Maker qualified the same band as "masters of this Gothic gloom". Critic Jon Savage would later say that their singer Ian Curtis wrote "the definitive Northern Gothic statement". However, it was not until the early 1980s that gothic rock became a coherent music subgenre within post-punk, and that followers of these bands started to come together as a distinctly recognisable movement. They may have taken the "goth" mantle from a 1981 article published in UK rock weekly Sounds: "The face of Punk Gothique", written by Steve Keaton. In a text about the audience of UK Decay, Keaton asked: "Could this be the coming of Punk Gothique? With Bauhaus flying in on similar wings could it be the next big thing?". In July 1982, the opening of the Batcave in London's Soho provided a prominent meeting point for the emerging scene, which would be briefly labelled "positive punk" by the NME in a special issue with a front cover in early 1983. The term "Batcaver" was then used to describe old-school goths.
Independent from the British scene, in the late 1970s and early 1980s in California, deathrock developed as a distinct branch of American punk rock, with acts such as Christian Death and 45 Grave. Another genre which had gothic rock's "dark, morbid, and otherworldly leanings" was the "Horror Punk and Death Rock" genre exemplified by the Misfits, a band formed in New Jersey in 1977. The "Horror Punk and Death Rock" genre "...still exists firmly in the gothic rock universe."
The bands that defined and embraced the gothic rock genre included Bauhaus, The Cure, early Adam and the Ants, The Birthday Party, Southern Death Cult, Specimen, Sex Gang Children, UK Decay, Virgin Prunes, Killing Joke and the later incarnations of The Damned. Near the peak of the scene in 1983, The Face's Paul Rambali recalled that there were "several strong Gothic characteristics" in the music of Joy Division. In 1984, Joy Division's bassist Peter Hook named Play Dead as one of their heirs:
"If you listen to a band like Play Dead, who I really like, Joy Division played the same stuff that Play Dead are playing. They're similar."
By the mid-1980s, bands began proliferating and became increasingly popular, including The Sisters of Mercy, The Mission (known as The Mission UK in the U.S.), Alien Sex Fiend, The March Violets, Ausgang, Kommunity FK, Xmal Deutschland, Clan of Xymox, Dead Can Dance, This Mortal Coil, The Bolshoi, and Fields of the Nephilim. Record labels Factory, 4AD and Beggars Banquet released much of this music in Europe, while Cleopatra, among others, released the music in the U.S., where the subculture grew, especially in New York and Los Angeles, California, where many nightclubs featured "gothic/industrial" nights. The popularity of 4AD bands resulted in the creation of a similar U.S. label, Projekt, which produces what was colloquially termed ethereal wave, a subgenre of dark wave music.
The 1990s saw further growth for some '80s bands and the emergence of many new acts. "In the 90s, goths all but disappeared as dance music became the dominant youth cult."  As a result, the goth "movement went underground and fractured into cyber goth, Christian goth, industrial goth, medieval goth and the latest sub-genre, zombie goth." During this period, around the world "goth hit the mainstream" and "goth crossbred with electronica and heavy metal in the form of Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson." During the 1990s, the styles of music heard in goth venues ranged from gothic rock, deathrock, industrial music, including gothic rock, post-punk, darkwave, ethereal wave, dark ambient, neoclassical, EBM, ambient, experimental pop, new wave, synthpop and punk rock. The 2000s saw a resurgence in the early positive punk and deathrock sound in reaction to aggrotech, industrial, and synthpop, which had taken over many goth clubs.
Art: historical and cultural influences
18th and 19th centuries
Gothic literature combines dark elements of both horror and romance: English author Horace Walpole, with his 1764 novel The Castle of Otranto is one of the first writers who explored this genre. The Revolutionary War-era "American Gothic" story of the Headless Horseman, immortalized in Washington Irving's story "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (published in 1820), marked the arrival in the New World of dark, romantic storytelling. The tale was composed by Irving while he was living in England, and was based on popular tales told by colonial Dutch settlers of New York's Hudson River valley. The story would be adapted to film in 1922 and 1949 in the animated The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. It would be re-adapted in 1980 and again in Tim Burton's 1999 Sleepy Hollow.
Throughout the evolution of goth subculture, classic romantic, Gothic and horror literature has played a significant role. E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776–1822), Poe (1809–1849), Baudelaire (1821–1867), Lovecraft (1890–1937), and other tragic and romantic writers have become as emblematic of the subculture as the use of dark eyeliner or dressing in black. Baudelaire, in fact, in his preface to Les Fleurs du mal (Flowers of Evil) penned lines that could serve as a sort of goth malediction:
- C'est l'Ennui! —l'œil chargé d'un pleur involontaire,
- Il rêve d'échafauds en fumant son houka.
- Tu le connais, lecteur, ce monstre délicat,
- —Hypocrite lecteur,—mon semblable,—mon frère!
- It is Boredom! — an eye brimming with an involuntary tear,
- He dreams of the gallows while smoking his water-pipe.
- You know him, reader, this fragile monster,
- —Hypocrite reader,—my twin,—my brother!
20th century influences
By the 1960s, TV series such as The Addams Family and The Munsters used these stereotypes for camp comedy. The Byronic hero, in particular, was a key precursor to the male goth image, while Dracula's iconic portrayal by Bela Lugosi appealed powerfully to early goths. They were attracted by Lugosi's aura of camp menace, elegance and mystique. Some people credit the band Bauhaus' first single "Bela Lugosi's Dead", released in August 1979, with the start of the goth subculture, though many prior arthouse movements influenced gothic fashion and style, the illustrations and paintings of Swiss artist H. R. Giger being one of the earliest. Notable examples of later icons include several bandleaders: Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie and the Banshees, Robert Smith of The Cure, and Dave Vanian of The Damned. Some members of Bauhaus were, themselves, fine art students or active artists.
Some of the early gothic rock and deathrock artists adopted traditional horror film images and drew on horror film soundtracks for inspiration. Their audiences responded by adopting appropriate dress and props. Use of standard horror film props like swirling smoke, rubber bats, and cobwebs featured as gothic club décor from the beginning in The Batcave. Such references in bands' music and images were originally tongue-in-cheek, but as time went on, bands and members of the subculture took the connection more seriously. As a result, morbid, supernatural and occult themes became more noticeably serious in the subculture. The interconnection between horror and goth was highlighted in its early days by The Hunger, a 1983 vampire film starring David Bowie, Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon. The film featured gothic rock group Bauhaus performing Bela Lugosi's Dead in a nightclub. Tim Burton created a storybook atmosphere filled with darkness and shadow in some of his films like Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Edward Scissorhands (1990), and the stop motion films Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), which was produced/co-written by Burton, and Corpse Bride (2005), which he co-produced.
A literary influence on the gothic scene was Anne Rice's re-imagining of the idea of the vampire. Rice's characters were depicted as struggling with eternity and loneliness. Their ambivalent or tragic sexuality held deep attractions for many goth readers, making her works popular in the 1980s through the 1990s.
The re-imagining of the vampire continued with the release of Poppy Z. Brite's book Lost Souls in October 1992. Despite the fact that Brite's first novel was criticized by some mainstream sources for allegedly "lack[ing] a moral center: neither terrifyingly malevolent supernatural creatures nor (like Anne Rice's protagonists) tortured souls torn between good and evil, these vampires simply add blood-drinking to the amoral panoply of drug abuse, problem drinking and empty sex practiced by their human counterparts", many of these so-called "human counterparts" identified with the teen angst and Goth music references therein, keeping the book in print. Upon release of a special 10th anniversary edition of Lost Souls, Publishers Weekly—the same periodical that criticized the novel's "amorality" a decade prior—deemed it a "modern horror classic" and acknowledged that Brite established a "cult audience".
Later media influences
As the subculture became well-established, the connection between goth and horror fiction became almost a cliché, with goths quite likely to appear as characters in horror novels and film. For example, The Crow and the Underworld film series drew directly on goth music and style. The dark comedy Beetlejuice, The Faculty, American Beauty, Wedding Crashers and a South Park cartoon show portray or parody the goth subculture. Neil Gaiman's acclaimed graphic novel series The Sandman influenced goths with characters like the dark, brooding Dream and his sister Death. Mick Mercer's 2002 release 21st Century Goth explored the modern state of the goth scene around the world, including South America, Japan, and mainland Asia. His previous 1997 release, Hex Files: The Goth Bible, similarly took an international look at the subculture.
Visual art influences
The gothic subculture has influenced different artists—not only musicians—but also painters and photographers. In particular their work is based on mystic, morbid and romantic motifs. In photography and painting the spectrum varies from erotic artwork to romantic images of vampires or ghosts. There is a marked preference for dark colours and sentiments, similar to Gothic fiction, Pre-Raphaelites or Art Nouveau. In the fine art field, Anne Sudworth is a well-known artist with her dark, nocturnal works and strong gothic imagery.
Other contemporary graphic artists with this aesthetic include Gerald Brom, Luis Royo, Dave McKean, Trevor Brown, Victoria Francés as well as the American comic artist James O'Barr. H. R. Giger of Switzerland is one of the first graphic artists to make serious contributions to the gothic/industrial look of much of modern cinema with his work on the 1979 film Alien by Ridley Scott. The artwork of Polish surrealist painter Zdzisław Beksiński is often described as gothic.
Siouxsie Sioux "...helped to popularize a look characterized by deathly pallor, dark makeup, [and] Weimar-era decadance..."Gothic fashion is stereotyped as conspicuously dark, eerie, mysterious, complex and exotic. Typical gothic fashion includes dyed black hair, dark eyeliner, black fingernails and black period-styled clothing; goths may or may not have piercings. Styles are often borrowed from the Elizabethan, Victorian or medieval period and often express pagan, occult or other religious imagery. Gothic fashion may also feature silver jewelry and studs.
The New York Times noted: "The costumes and ornaments are a glamorous cover for the genre's somber themes. In the world of Goth, nature itself lurks as a malign protagonist, causing flesh to rot, rivers to flood, monuments to crumble and women to turn into slatterns, their hair streaming and lipstick askew".
Present-day fashion designers such as John Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen, and John Galliano have also been described as practising "haute goth". Fashion designer Rick Owens has been described as "...lavishly dark, and the ultimate hipster of goth", using "layers upon layers of black, on black, on black leather, on more black leather..." Japanese designer Hirooka Naota brought goth into the mainstream, creating a "...punk-Loilita fusion of rock, Medieval, Victorian, Elizabethan, and anime influences."
The goth subculture has a "strong sense of shared identity even while traversing geographical boundaries"; indeed, goths "...have been identified in North America, Australia, Europe, Japan, the Caribbean, and Latin America." The goth subculture consists of a number of elements, some of which have been described in the earlier sections on goth music. The goth subculture includes goth clubs and events, goth zines, magazines, and websites, and a particular approach to gender and sexuality. Observers from outside the subculture have made negative and positive comments about the goth subculture.
The goth music scene thrives in Western Europe, with large annual festivals in Germany, including Wave-Gotik-Treffen (Leipzig) and M'era Luna (Hildesheim), both annually attracting tens of thousands of attendees. Goth events like "Ghoul School" and "Release the Bats" promote deathrock and are attended by fans from many countries, and events such as the Drop Dead Festival attract attendees from over 30 countries. The Whitby Goth Weekend is a twice-yearly goth music festival for in Whitby, North Yorkshire, England. In 2014, a World Goth Day was announced for May 22. Online events include the "World Goth Fair: A Second Life Event." Two UK goth clubs include "The Faversham, a pub close to Leeds University, [which] a couple of decades ago...was the very heart of goth" and "London's goth hangout, the Devonshire Arms." In the US, VampireFreaks hosts a wide number of events in the New York City area, including 'Cybertron', a gothic-industrial club night in NYC, and the 'Triton Festival', a music festival that has attracted gothic-industrial bands from around the world. 
Zines, magazines and websites
There are a variety of zines, magazines and websites that are aimed at members of the goth scene. In the UK, there is horror zine called the Necronomicon Fanzine. In Italy, Ver Sacrum covers the Italian goth scene. In the US, Propaganda was a gothic subculture magazine founded in 1982. It covered goth fashion, sexuality, music, art and literature. Some magazines, such as the now-defunct Dark Realms and Goth is Dead included goth fiction and poetry. Other magazines cover fashion (e.g., Gothic Beauty); music (e.g., Severance) or culture and lifestyle (e.g., Althaus e-zine). VampireFreaks.com is an online community for the Gothic–industrial subcultures. It was created by site owner Jet Berelson in 1999 and it began with a small number of forums dedicated to Gothic–industrial music.Since then, the website has grown to include a number of online forums and social networking sections.
Gender and sexuality
Since the late 1970s, the UK goth scene refused "traditional standards of sexual propriety" and accepted and celebrated "unusual, bizarre or deviant sexual practices."  Observers have noted changes in the subculture, such as the "increasing incorporation of S-M sexual practices and fetish culture" in the goth scene.Another aspect of the goth subculture is the "...ambivalence of gothic androgynous practice." The goth subculture is "...equally open to women, men, and transgendered people."
Several observers have raised the issue of to what degree individuals are truly members of the goth subculture. On one end of the spectrum is the "Uber goth", a person who is humorously described as seeking a pallor so much that he or she applies "...as much white foundation and white powder as possible." On the other end of the spectrum are what Nancy Kilpatrick's Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined terms "poseurs": "goth wannabes, usually young kids going through a goth phase who do not hold to goth sensibilities but want to be part of the goth crowd...". Liisa Ladouceur's Encyclopedia Gothica describes a "mall goth" as a teen who dresses in a goth style and spends time in malls with a Hot Topic store, but who does not know much about the goth subculture or its music, thus making him or her a poseur. In one case, even a well-known performer has been labeled with the pejorative term: a "number of goths, especially those who belonged to this subculture before the late 1980s, reject Marilyn Manson as a poseur who undermines the true meaning of goth." In Goth: Undead Subculture, the authors note that "...self-identified goths...police goth boundaries through ethnographic discourse to ward off the processes of defusion or recuperation."
Media and academic commentary
Some observers in the media and in academia have made comments about various aspects of the goth subculture. Carol Siegel argues that since the Columbine High School massacre, teens who declare a goth identity or wear goth-associated clothing, such as dark trenchcoats, may face expulsion from school or attention from the police. The attacks created a moral panic about the purported role of goth subculture in the shootings. There was a "tabloid hysteria about goth, with references to "suicide pact kids killing themselves listening to Sisters of Mercy", an eerie precursor of a story the Daily Mail ran...warning of the "threat to our children" posed by goth and emo (although they're two different cultures)."
According to The Guardian, Scottish "teenagers who are goths are at increased risk of self-harm or suicidal tendencies [more] than if they took drugs or were depressed, according to research in...[the] British Medical Journal. "The study of 1,300...schoolchildren through their teens found that of the 25 who identified strongly as a goth, 53% had self-harmed and 47% had attempted suicide. The correlation was stronger than any other predictor among those interviewed." A physician who wrote a book on drug abuse argues that "Goths usually smoke" and says that while "[n]ot all Goths are drug addicts,...a high percentage experiment with all types of drugs, including hallucinogens."  The Guardian reported that "[a]nother glue binding the [goth] scene together was drug use"; however, in the goth scene drug use was a mixed bag. "Goth is virtually the only youth movement not identifiable with a single substance."
On the other hand, some observers have made positive comments about the goth subculture. The BBC described academic research that indicated that goths are "refined and sensitive, keen on poetry and books, not big on drugs or anti-social behaviour." "They are also likely to carry on being goths into their adult life", and become well-educated and enter professions such as medicine or law."Dr. Lynne E. Ponton, an adolescent psychiatrist at University of California at San Francisco, [who] has worked with teenagers for 15 years" says that the goth subculture "appeals to teenagers who are looking for meaning and for identity." She points out that the goth scene “acknowledges that there are bad things in life, and that you have to make an attempt to understand them. And it tries to explain some of them."
- Gothic lolita
- History of subcultures in the 20th century
- List of gothic rock bands
- Toronto goth scene
- Propaganda magazine
- César Fuentes Rodríguez "Mundo Gótico", pages 18 & ss./pages 206 & ss.
- Carol Siegel "Go's Dark Emhpire", pages 8-13 and ss.
- Wilson, Cintra (17 September 2008). "You just can't kill it". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 September 2008.
- John Stickney (24 October 1967). "Four Doors To The Future: Gothic Rock Is Their Thing". The Williams Record. Posted at "The Doors : Articles & Reviews Year 1967". Mildequator.com. Retrieved 3-10-12. ""The Doors are not pleasant, amusing hippies proffering a grin and a flower; they wield a knife with a cold and terrifying edge. The Doors are closely akin to the national taste for violence, and the power of their music forces each listener to realize what violence is in himself."... "The Doors met New York for better or for worse at a press conference in the gloomy vaulted wine cellar of the Delmonico hotel, the perfect room to honor the Gothic rock of the Doors"."
- Loder, Kurt (December 1984). V.U. (album liner notes). Verve Records.
- "Something Else [featuring Joy Division]". BBC television [archive added on youtube]. 15 September 1979. "Because it is unsettling, it is like sinister and gothic, it won't be played. [interview of Joy Division's manager Tony Wilson next to Joy Division's drummer Stephen Morris from 3:31]"
- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 1
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- De Moines (26 October 1979). "Live review by Des Moines (Joy Division Leeds)". Sounds. "Curtis may project like an ambidextrous barman puging his physical hang-ups, but the 'Gothic dance music' he orchestrates is well-understood by those who recognise their New Wave frontiersmen and know how to dance the Joy Division! A theatrical sense of timing, controlled improvisation..."
- Bohn, Chris. "Northern gloom: 2 Southern stomp: 1. (Joy Division: University of London Union – Live Review)". Melody Maker (16 February 1980). "Joy Division are masters of this Gothic gloom"
- Savage, Jon (July 1994). "Joy Division: Someone Take These Dreams Away". Mojo via Rock's Backpages (subscription required). Retrieved 2014-07-10. "a definitive Northern Gothic statement: guilt-ridden, romantic, claustrophobic"
- Keaton, Steve (21 February 1981). The Face Of Punk Gothique. Sounds.
- North, Richard (19 February 1983). Punk Warriors. NME.
- Ohanesian, Liz (Nov 4, 2009). "The LA Deathrock Starter Guide". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved July 10, 2014.
- Hammer, Josh (31 Oct 2012). "Barbarian Void of Refinement: A Complete History of Goth". Vice.
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- Rambali, Paul. "A Rare Glimpse Into A Private World". The Face (July 1983). "Curtis' death wrapped an already mysterious group in legend. From the press eulogies, you would think Curtis had gone to join Chatterton, Rimbaud and Morrison in the hallowed hall of premature harvests. To a group with several strong Gothic characteristics was added a further piece of romance."
- Houghton, Jayne. "Crime Pays!". ZigZag (June 1984): 21.
- Dave Simpson. "Back in black: Goth has risen from the dead - and the 1980s pioneers are (naturally) not happy about it." The Guardian, Friday 29 September 2006. Available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2006/sep/29/popandrock. Accessed on July 14, 2014
- Dave Simpson. "Back in black: Goth has risen from the dead - and the 1980s pioneers are (naturally) not happy about it." The Guardian, Friday 29 September 2006. Available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2006/sep/29/popandrock. Accessed on July 14, 2014 "Severin admits his band [(Souixsee and the Banshees)]pored over gothic literature - Edgar Allen Poe and Baudelaire."
- Dave Simpson. "Back in black: Goth has risen from the dead - and the 1980s pioneers are (naturally) not happy about it." The Guardian, Friday 29 September 2006. Available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2006/sep/29/popandrock. Accessed on July 14, 2014 "Severin admits his band pored over gothic literature - Edgar Allen Poe and Baudelaire."
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- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 18
- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 40
- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 36
- Nancy Kilpatrick. Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined. St. Martin's Griffin, 2004, p. 24
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- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 344
- Lauren M. E. Goodlad, Michael Bibby. Goth: Undead Subculture. Duke University Press, Apr 11, 2007. P. 18
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- Polly Curtis and John Carvel. "Teen goths more prone to suicide, study shows." The Guardian, Friday 14 April 2006
- John C. Fleming. Preventing Addiction: What Parents Must Know to Immunize Their Kids Against Drug and Alcohol Addiction. Hannibal Books, Nov 1, 2006. p. 187
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- Andrew C. Zinn: The Truth Behind The Eyes (IUniverse, US, 2005; ISBN 0-595-37103-5)—Dark Poetry
- Baddeley, Gavin: Goth Chic: A Connoisseur's Guide to Dark Culture (Plexus, US, August 2002, ISBN 0-85965-308 0)
- Catalyst, Clint: Cottonmouth Kisses. (Manic D Press, 2000 ISBN 978-0-916397-65-4 )- A first-person account of an individual's life within the Goth Subculture (book has Library of Congress listing under "Goth Subculture").
- Davenport-Hines, Richard: Gothic: Four Hundred Years of Excess, Horror, Evil and Ruin. 1999: North Port Press. ISBN 0-86547-590-3 (trade paperback)—A chronological/aesthetic history of Goth covering the spectrum from Gothic architecture to The Cure.
- Digitalis, Raven: Goth Craft: The Magickal Side of Dark Culture (2007: Llewellyn Worldwide)—includes a lengthy explanation of Gothic history, music, fashion, and proposes a link between mystic/magical spirituality and dark subcultures.
- Embracing the Darkness; Understanding Dark Subcultures by Corvis Nocturnum (Dark Moon Press 2005. ISBN 978-0-9766984-0-1)
- Fuentes Rodríguez, César: Mundo Gótico. (Quarentena Ediciones, 2007, ISBN 84-933891-6-1)—In Spanish. Covering Literature, Music, Cinema, BDSM, Fashion and Subculture topics
- Furek, Maxim W.: The Death Proclamation of Generation X: A Self-Fulfilling Prophesy of Goth, Grunge and Heroin". (i-Universe, US 2008; ISBN 978-0-595-46319-0)
- Hodkinson, Paul: Goth: Identity, Style and Subculture (Dress, Body, Culture Series) 2002: Berg. ISBN 1-85973-600-9 (hardcover); ISBN 1-85973-605-X (softcover)
- Kilpatrick, Nancy: The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined. 2004: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-30696-2
- Mercer, Mick: 21st Century Goth (Reynolds & Hearn, 2002; ISBN 1-903111-28-5)—an exploration of the modern state of the Goth subculture worldwide.
- Mercer, Mick: Hex Files: The Goth Bible. (9 Overlook Press, 1 Amer ed edition, 1997 ISBN 0-87951-783-2)—an international survey of the Goth scene.
- Reynolds, Simon (2005). "Dark Things: Goth and the Return of Rock". Rip it up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978–84. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-21569-6.
- Scharf, Natasha: Worldwide Gothic. (Independent Music Press, 2011 ISBN 978-1-906191-19-1 ) - A global view of the Goth scene from its birth in the late 1970s to the present day.
- Vas, Abdul: "For Those About to Power". (T.F. Editores, 2012; ISBN 9788415253525) Hardcover 208 pages
- Venters, Jillian: Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them.(Harper Paperbacks, 2009 ISBN 0-06-166916-4 )- An etiquette guide to "gently persuade others in her chosen subculture that being a polite Goth is much, much more subversive than just wearing T-shirts with "edgy" sayings on them."
- Voltaire: What is Goth? (WeiserBooks, US, 2004; ISBN 1-57863-322-2)—an illustrated view of the Goth subculture
- Brill, D. (2008). Goth Culture: Gender, Sexuality and Style. Oxford: Berg Publishers.
- Goodlad, Lauren M. E.; Michael Bibby, eds. (2007). Goth: Undead Subculture. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3921-8.
- Hodkinson, Paul (2005). "Communicating Goth: On-line Media". In Ken Gelder. The Subcultures Reader (2nd ed.). London: Routledge. pp. 567–574. ISBN 0-415-34416-6.