New England Gothic, like other manifestations of the American Gothic, encompasses supernatural and explained phenomena, ghosts, witches, and monsters as well as inbred families, guilty secrets, and monsters in human shape. New England’s Gothic history, folklore, and literature combine nostalgia for a medieval or colonial golden age with the stronger belief that from the past comes horror and evil. Stephen King, the exemplar of Gothic New England since the 1970s, continues the tradition of collecting and rewriting supernatural legends begun by Cotton Mather and John Greenleaf Whittier. Nineteenth-century authors such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Beecher Stowe immortalized the region’s Gothic past. In the twentieth century, Rhode Island’s H. P. Lovecraft peopled the landscape with hybrid monsters and the reanimated dead. For these writers, seventeenth-century Puritans stand in for the Middle Ages of the first Gothic Revival.
— Faye Ringel on New England Gothic