GOTHIC became a label for the mysterious, supernatural, and terrifying…. especially the pleasurably terrifying.
The Castle of Ontrato, Horace Walpole, 1764 Walpole led the way in this genre with his self-styled Gothic Story.
The Castle of Ontrato had all these and more!!!! Haunted Castle A hero named Manfred Mysterious deaths (sickly heir crushed by giant helmet on his wedding day!) Moaning Ancestral portrait Damsels in Distress Violent passions Strange obsessions
Mary Shelley, Frankenstein the most enduring Gothic novel
Edgar Allen Poe Poe is a well known for crafting terrifying tales, although chronologically he came after the Gothic literature of Romantic period writers.