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Sensitive Content Notice ⚠️
The following article contains and discusses content that may be distressing to some readers.
Reason for Warning: This article has a heavy focus on topics of cults, religion, trauma based mind control, and ritual abuse. Images may be disturbing, shocking, and specific. If this topic is triggering to you, please turn back from this page. viewer discretion is strongly advised.

Cultcore is an aesthetic centered around the themes of cults. It often involves imagery that hints towards idealization, religious symbols, mind control, and god complexes. From a media standpoint, Cultcore media is based on stories, real or false, of people following false, unrealistic leaders and ideals and the longing for purity but being corrupted. It can also consist of escaping or overthrowing a cult when it comes to a visual story or the stories in the media.


Cultcore has been criticized for misrepresenting cults and minimizing the extremely negative effects many cults have on members.[1][2] Cultcore also has been described as a harmful aesthetic as it aestheticizes cults, ritual abuse, and trauma based mind control.


Cultcore visuals include groups of people, usually all in black or white clothing, candles, crosses, light gore, open skies, rainbows, and VHS tapes. Cryptic or spiritual figures and settings such as churches, forests, and remote communes are often used. Quotes of phrases, words and especially chants relevant to control, religion, power, and corruption are popular. Imagery that has become emblematic of certain cults in history, such as purple Kool-Aid or black Adidas tracksuits may also be used as a reference.




  • Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  • Valerie & Her Week of Wonders (1970)
  • The Wicker Man (1973)
  • Children of the Corn (1984)
  • Population 436 (2006)
  • Bryan Loves You (2008)
  • Martha Marcy Mae Marlene (2011)
  • Red State (2011)
  • The Sacrament (2013)
  • Holy Ghost People (2016)
  • The Path (2016)
  • Waco (2017)
  • Midsommar (2019)

TV Shows[]

  • True Detective, season 1 (2014)

Video Games[]

  • Outlast 2 (2013)
  • Kanye Quest 3030 (2013)
  • Far Cry 5 (2018)
  • Cult of the Lamb (2022)


  • My Life With The Liars by Caela Carter
  • The Liar's Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
  • Genesis 1 by Poppy
  • After The Fire by Will Hill
  • We Can Only Save Ourselves by Alison Wisdom
  • Family by Micol Ostow
  • Starbird Murphy And The World Outside by Karen Finneyfrock
  • The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
  • The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass
  • Gated by Amy Christine Parker
  • Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Burned and Smoke by Ellen Hopkins
  • The Believing Game by Eireann Corrigan
  • The Patron Saint Of Butterflies by Cecilia Galante
  • Agnes At The End Of The World by Kelly McWilliams
  • The Girls by Emma Cline
  • The Sacred Lies Of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
  • No Parking At The End Times by Bryan Bliss
  • Karma For Beginners by Jessica Blank
  • Girl In A Bad Place by Kaitlin Ward