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Regional Gothic is a Tumblr trend in the mid-2010s wherein users would write bullet-pointed lists of eerie moments related to the region in which they grew up in or other seemingly benign moments in life, such as college.

History[]

The creator, Tumblr user clive-gershwin-palmer, invented the trend in January 2015, in a post that has now been deleted.[1] The trend was relatively dormant until March 2015, when Tumblr user korvidian created a post entitled "south-east queensland gothic"[2] that created the template for all future Regional Gothic lists here on after.

Despite its origin from the Tumblr community, the aesthetic is a continuation of the Gothic literary genre, with multiple authors such as H.P. Lovecraft and William Faulkner combining horror with their local culture and history. The largest influence appears to have come from the podcast Welcome to Night Vale, where a radio host describes eerie events in their paranormal and unusual town with the same diction as the later Tumblr posts.

Visuals[]

Regional Gothic visuals include photography of towns or townspeople with eerie overlays/weather. Imagery of houses, neighborhoods, streets, apartments, and farms are common motifs of this aesthetic. Photos inside houses, schools, and similar buildings are also common. However, cities and more developed, populated areas are less common to see in this aesthetic, if not included at all. Regional gothic emphasizes architecture and people as a collective.

Fashion[]

Regional gothic fashion is typically conservative and traditional - consistent with one's hometown, so this can vary.

  • Jeans of various styles
  • Dark dresses (that typically go beyond the knee)
  • Trench coats
  • Sweater vests
  • Mary jane shoes
  • White ankle socks
  • Light jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, etc.)

Subgenres[]

Southern Gothic[]

Southern Gothic is a literary genre encompassing fashion inspired by the culture of the American South. It originated in works by 19th-20th century Southern authors criticizing their society's racism, sexism, classism, fixation on the past, and decaying economy.

Later the aesthetic deviated from literature with the "regional gothic" trend on tumblr in the mid-2010s, which places greater emphasis on Liminal Space, modern American iconography, evangelicalism, and controversially, hillbilly horror.

Suburban Gothic[]

Suburban Gothic is an aesthetic based around feelings of alienation and the uncanny, usually represented in being alone in suburban neighborhoods. Common motifs include coming-of-age, familial/generational trauma, facades, and the shallowness of capitalistic culture. The motifs and photographs are American-centric, with parodies and dark interpretations of the 1950s nuclear family and 1980s economic boom. Those characters and locations tend to have a dark secret, such as drug addiction or infidelity, to emphasize the darker nature of the restrictiveness of social norms.  

Media[]

Movies[]

  • The Quiet Place (2018)
  • Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)
  • 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

TV Shows[]

  • Legacies (2018-2022)
  • Roswell (1999-2002)
  • Riverdale (2017-2023)

Books[]

  • Welcome to Night Vale (2015)

Podcasts[]

  • Welcome to Night Vale (2012-present)

Music[]

Music is not a major part of this aesthetic, but songs and playlists for Regional Gothic exist.

Artists[]

  • Maria Mena
  • Mother Mother
  • Hozier
  • Cavetown

Songs[]

  • Devil Town by Cavetown
  • Hayloft by Mother Mother
  • Growing Pains by Maria Mena
  • The Village by Wrabel

Playlists[]

Gallery[]

References[]

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