Black and white photo of a gothic style mansion at night with clouds over the moon

Episode 21: Women in white – Gothic Halloween special

This year’s Halloween special sees us joined by Australian horror author Kyla Ward as we talk all about the women in white: gothic fiction – what is is, and is it still relevant after nearly 300 years.

In this episode, Kyla provides us with an overview of the history of gothic fiction, including the infamous ‘women in white’. Then we look at the narrative elements of the gothic genre, and how these have spilled over into other forms of genre fiction. Next we do a deep diver into the character archetypes that appear in gothic fiction, and the roles they play in the stories via Gail Carriger’s text ‘The Heroine’s Journey’.

We also explore the politics (of course!) of gothic tropes, and the connection between gothic and noir. Finally, we explore how gothic fiction is used today and if the archetypes are still relevant.

There is also a minor detour into Australian Gothic. But that is for another time. Mostly…

You can listen to this episode for free on our website, or you can subscribe on on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Guest Host: Kyla Ward – Author

The Gothic provides a model by which we can have an encounter with the past as it relates to our present.



  • 0:00 – Introduction
  • 1:59 – The Gothic – an introduction
  • 3:08 – Features of the Gothic genre
  • 40:00 – Rich people behaving badly
  • 1:16:24 – Are modern Gothic stories still horror today?
  • 1:20:10 – Wrap up & Outro

Books we discuss

“we’re sketching out the notion of the gothic as a form of sort of democratic satirical pantomime”

  • Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey.
  • Baynton, Barbara, short stories including “A Dreamer” and “The Chosen Vessel”. (Australian Gothic) 1902
  • Beckford, William. Vathek
  • Bronte, Charlotte. Wuthering Heights
  • Carriger, Gail. The Heroine’s Journey
  • Chandler, Raymond. The Big Sleep
  • Clarke, Marcus. For the Term of his Natural Life. 1874
  • Collins, Wilkie. The Moonstone
  • Collins, Wilkie. The Woman in White
  • Dickens – Great Expectations
  • Du Maurrier, Daphne. Rebecca
  • Du Maurrier, Daphne. Jamaica Inn
  • Hardy, Thomas. Return of the Native
  • Hardy, Thomas. Tess of the D’urbervilles
  • Jackson, Shirley. The Haunting of Hill House
  • James, Henry. The Turn of the Screw 1898
  • James, Henry. The Romance of Certain Old Clothes
  • Kingfisher, T. A House With Good Bones. 2023
  • Lewis, Matthew. The Monk
  • Polidori, John. The Vampyre
  • Radcliffe, Ann. The Mysteries of Udolpho.
  • Rice, Anne, Mayfair witches, Vampire chronicles
  • Singh, Nalini. A Madness of Sunshine.
  • Stoker, Bram. Dracula
  • Stoker, Bram. The Lair of the White Worm
  • Tran, Trang Thanh. She is a haunting.
  • Walpole, Horace. Castle of Otranto.
  • Ward, Kyla Lee. This attraction now open til late, 2022
  • Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Grey

Movies & TV shows we discuss

  • Archive 81
  • Birth of a Nation
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
  • Crimson Peak (2015 – dir. Guillermo del Toro)
  • Dracula, (Mark Gattis & Steven Moffat) 2020 BBC.
  • Ender’s Game
  • Ex Machina (2014, dir. Alex Garland)
  • Fight Club
  • For the Term of his Natural Life (1927, dir. Norman Dawn)
  • Get Out
  • The Haunting (1963 – dir. Robert Wise)
  • The Haunting of Hill House
  • The Haunting of Bly Mannor
  • The Invitation (2022 – dir Jessica M. Thompson)
  • The Kettering Incident 
  • Knives Out
  • Ready or Not (2019 – dir. Matt Bettinelli-Opin & Tyler Gillett)
  • Rebecca
  • The Uninvited
  • Wallstreet

Games we discuss

  • Immortality

Other Resources

Scroll to Top