Travel topics > Cultural attractions > Fiction tourism > Horror fiction
Horror fiction includes fiction in various media (literature, film etc) and settings, such as contemporary, historical, science-fiction, and fantasy.
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Horror fiction can be traced to folklore which has existed in virtually all societies around the world. The settings can vary a lot, and be fantastic, historical, contemporary, as well as futuristic.
Recurring themes are the afterlife, the uncanny (the slightly unfamiliar), human instincts, and the unknown. Gothic fiction was a literary genre originating in 18th century Britain, as an expression of the romantic movement.
Owing in part to the limitations of early motion pictures when it came to "special effects" (and in far more cases, simple limitations of budget) many visual media of horror rarely or never depict the object of horror - a goofy rubber suit might not evoke nearly the sheer terror as something only glimpsed from the shadows or hidden in the fog which kills and maims our plucky protagonists one by one.
Modern horror fiction has integrated themes and characters from around the world.
Franchises and genres
- Frankenstein – a story by Mary Shelley about the mad scientist who created a monster, featured in countless motion pictures
- Dracula – a character inspired by Vlad III of Wallachia and East European folklore, popularized by Bram Stoker
- Nordic Noir – Scandinavian crime fiction with elements of horror
- X-Files tourism – Chris Carter's series about FBI investigations of the paranormal
- 1 Castle Frankenstein (Darmstadt, Germany). Is a hilltop castle located near Darmstadt in Mühltal. The castle is first mentioned in the records in the year 948, and initial construction of the castle ruins remaining today began in the 13th century. The 14th and 15th centuries saw expansion, followed by construction of reinforcements in the 16th. It was owned by the Barons von Frankenstein who owned most of the surrounding land until 1662, when the Baron of that time sold the property to the Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. There have been claims that the castle may have inspired the Mary Shelley novel, Frankenstein. While Shelley is known to have travelled through this area in 1814, historical scholars believe that she did not visit this castle. At any rate, the Dr. Frankenstein of the novel is a alumnus of Ingolstadt University, which had moved to Landshut (and has since moved to Munich) by the time the novel was published. There are special dinners for Halloween and for other occasions. It is also possible to hike up to the castle.
- 2 Bran Castle (Castelul Bran) (Transylvania, Romania). More commonly referred to and marketed as "Dracula's Castle". In reality, Vlad Ţepeș never called that castle home, and it is unknown whether he even visited. You are limited to a single pathway taking you through the castle, with many interesting sights and areas roped off or locked.
- Whitby Goth Weekend (Whitby Gothic Weekend), The Pavilion, Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK. Whitby Abbey was the setting for Dracula. The largest goth festival in the UK, the last weekend in April and the last weekend in October or first weekend in November.
- 3 Palazzo Vecchio (Florence). Featured in Hannibal, sequel of Silence of the Lambs.
- 4 Orava Castle (Oravský Hrad) (Slovakia — , a few kilometres north-east of Dolny Kubin in the village Oravsky Podzamok, 112 meters above sea level). The castle came into existence in the 13th century and the first written record of the castle goes to the year 1267 when it was royal possession. It had multiple owners, such as Matúš Čák Trenčiansky, Stibor from Stiboríc, Thurzovci, or family of Palffy. In 1800, the castle burnt out and was destroyed significantly. The last and the most significant reconstruction of the castle was in the years 1953-1968.
The interior of building is from the time of Gothic, Renaissance, and romanticism. The 1922 film Nosferatu was shot here, as well as the 2020 Dracula TV series.
- 1 Batalj Event, Storå. A closed down mine with post-apocalyptic atmosphere, used for sci-fi and horror events.
- 5 Martha's Vineyard (Massachusetts, United States). The 1975 film Jaws, which pioneered the horror blockbuster and maritime horror films, was shot here. The film is based on a 1974 novel by Peter Benchley, set in the fictional village Amity on Long Island.
- 6 Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 4400 Forbes Ave (Pittsburgh/Oakland, Pennsylvania, USA). Featured in Silence of the Lambs.
- 7 Timberline Lodge (Overlook Hotel). Featured in The Shining.
- 8 Texas Chainsaw House. Featured in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
- 9 Evans City, Pennsylvania. Featured in Night of the Living Dead
- 10 Monroeville Mall. Site of Dawn of the Dead
- 11 Burkittsville, Maryland. Featured in the Blair Witch Project.
- 12 Mojave Desert. Featured in The Hills Have Eyes.
- 13 Sleepy Hollow (Westchester County , New York). Known internationally through The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, an 1820 short story about the local area and its infamous specter, the Headless Horseman, written by Washington Irving, who lived in Tarrytown and is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.