gothic ideas

Pacific Northwest Gothic

  • the fog is so thick, you can barely make out your hand in front of your face, let alone identify the shapes and shadows around you. Grotesque shapes and forms, could be a tree or something else. You cannot know for certain.
  • The mountains stir and shift. A hole opens in the ground, exposing the bowels of the earth. It calls to you, but who knows how long until it snaps shut once more.
  • “Another Grizzly attack” they say, tucking their hats down low over their eyes. “Sixth one this week, but we haven’t caught the beast yet.” They keep looking, but you know its not a bear that their looking for.
  • Single lane roads twist and turn so sharply, you cannot see beyond the sharp turns, cannot see what is waiting for you from the woods.
  • Not even the waters of the Missoula flood could conquer the Colombia gorge, why did mankind think that they could?
  • The ground rumbles and shakes beneath your feet and you smile and say “Another earthquake,” and pretend you do not know what is waking up.
  • Houses so deep in the forests, you wouldn’t know they exist if it weren’t for the post box and trail. 
  • Building the railroad through the mountains, who knows how many workers died up there, their bones left inside the mountains to be forgotten.
  • “There is something hiding in the woods,” the children whisper to each other, but you don’t try to comfort or correct them. It’s best they learn now to fear, than to learn later.
  • You keep your eyes up, not on the road, as you drive under suicide bridge. You can never be too careful.
  • Another girl drowned in the river, and they only look for her body halfheartedly, for decorum’s sake. You all know the river takes as good as it gives.
  • When they built the dam, the entire town let out its breath like a sigh of relief. Their secrets are buried under the water, now.
  • You’ve gone so long without the sun, it frightens you when you finally see it, exposed and naked in the cloudless sky. You shut the blinds and crawl back into bed to wait out the storm.
  • God only knows what happened to all those poor people on the mountain. We only ever found their cars, after all, their belongings still inside. 
  • There are meetings out there, in the woods. You know, you can hear them. They dance around a bonfire and sing to the forces older than the Gods you know, and this power is real.
  • They call the stretch of water the Graveyard of the pacific and they aren’t wrong. The Columbia Bar claimed more than 2,000 ships, the water is greedy here.
  • Migrant workers moving between town and farm and work, their dark eyes gleaming with secrets you could not even begin to comprehend.
  • The rain is so hard sometimes, you swear it feels like penance. God’s rain to wash away the devil’s weight, and you know it’ll be okay when it stops because the rain’ll be back right in time to wash your soul clean of sin again.
high school horrors

i actually love that suburban high school aesthetic. brimming with reveries & teenage dreams. 

  • those elegant-vampiric redbrick school buildings, three-hundred-years old with shielded pasts, sophisticated gates that squeak and creak like old floorboards or wounded warblers when wrenched open, a vast lawn for spilling blood & dirty secrets after class.
  • school libraries and how they always smell like steam-cleaned carpet, old paper and anxiety, getting lost in a particularly dense section, being hushed by the stern-eyed librarian, lullaby-inducing & packed with centuries of burning knowledge it is the most comforting room in the entire school building (as long as you avoid one certain section). 
  • the nostalgia of a hundred sneakers squeaking against the recently polished floors, lockers slamming open and closed, the indistinct chatter of jittery voices all buzzed up on something or the other, sheets ruffling, bodies slamming into one another, the prideful chorus of a school anthem pouring out of the throats of overexcited cheerleaders.
  • passing notes to your friends in class, pens tapping against wooden desks, the way the girl sitting behind you’s laughter runs downstream and the boy who talks to no-one, always looking like he’s hiding something.
  • disembodied voices coming from the bathroom, various bright and persuasive posters encouraging you to join various clubs tacked up everywhere, the theatre a ramp of glitter & deception, post-it notes stuck to skin & gum clinging to the soles of your shoes.
  • the malicious rumors that flitter at lightspeed frequencies and build up like bed bugs, slip into every nook & cranny like dust, how the janitor once found a body in the broom closet and the history teacher’s into the dark arts, how all the staff gather after-school hours in the gym to perform satanic rituals, how someone once broke into the principal’s office only to find it covered in caution tape.
  • breaking into the school at night, hearing soft chanting like the distant mewling of traffic, a parking lot as sullen as the deteriorating gleam in every student’s eyes, the ghost of a little boy rounding the corner, a prophecy engraved into stone and the hellhouse graffiti lining some of the walls. 
  • the clausterphobic feeling of a thousand trapped teenage souls, melancholy and raging anger sprawling from the ceilings and leaking out through the taps, setting off the fire-alarm accidentally, attending an exam you thought you’d taken a bunch of times already, staring out the window because you thought you caught a shadow flicker by during detention, the man on the speaker announcing yet another prom or pep rally bloodbath.