Darkness Visible: On World Goth Day, Photos of Romance and Shadow

Michael Ackerman—Agence VU/Aurora Photos
Michael Ackerman—Agence VU/Aurora Photos
Poland

2010

Spring has finally sprung, and what better way to celebrate — on World Goth Day, no less — than with a bunch of haunting photos of graveyards, romantic ruins and landscapes laid waste by time?

Today’s distinctive, global Goth culture can trace its black-clad lineage back several hundred years, to a revolutionary series of literary works, from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein in 1818 to Edgar Allan Poe’s bleak, evocative novels, stories and poems to, of course, Bram Stoker’s 1897 psycho-sexual horror masterpiece, Dracula.

In the middle part of the last century, England’s beloved Hammer Films kept the Goth spirit alive with a slew of dark, campy — and often critically panned — gems (The Curse of Frankenstein, The Mummy and more). In the Sixties, Goth received a slightly lighter treatment with the hit American TV series, The Addams Family, based on Charles Addams’ wry, gloomy New Yorker cartoons.

In the 1970s, the romance of Goth culture revived in a big way when British bands like Bauhaus, Siouxsie & the Banshees and, above all, The Cure slouched onto the scene, crafting lovely, somber albums that appealed to misanthropes and misunderstood teens everywhere. Bands like Depeche Mode, Marilyn Manson and The Knife have helped carry the movement into the present day. (If interested, check out The Guardian’s selection of its favorite goth tunes curated for last year’s World Goth Day.)

Millions of bottles of black eyeliner and nail polish later, Goth’s influence can be felt everywhere from Alexander McQueen’s fashion to Tim Burton’s films.

Here, LightBox presents a selection of images from more than 150 years of photo history—photographs made not by Goth photographers, but pictures that instead evoke the original, dark and beautiful spirit of Goth — the spirit articulated so perfectly by Shelley’s Victor Frankenstein himself: “Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world.”

So, on World Goth Day 2013, why sit on your couch and mope when you can sit in front of your computer and mope?

Enjoy! (But no smiling allowed.)


Myles Little is an associate photo editor at TIME.


Related Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Latest Posts

New York, New York. United States.October 17th 2014.#Dysturb New York.

Guerrillas in the Streets: The Dysturb Photo Collective Comes to NYC

Dysturb, a collective of photographers, takes to New York City's streets to bring photojournalism directly to the crowd

Read More
CARNIVORE’S DILEMMA PERMITTED USE: This image may be downloaded or is otherwise provided at no charge for one-time use for coverage or promotion of National Geographic magazine dated November 2014 and exclusively in conjunction thereof. No copying, distribution or archiving permitted. Sublicensing, sale or resale is prohibited. REQUIRED CREDIT AND CAPTION: All image uses must bear the copyright notice and be properly credited to the relevant photographer, as shown in this metadata, and must be accompanied by a caption, which makes reference to NGM. Any uses in which the image appears without proper copyright notice, photographer credit and a caption referencing NGM are subject to paid licensing. Mandatory usage requirements:1. Include mandatory photo credit with each image © Brian Finke/National Geographic2. Show the November cover of National Geographic somewhere in the post (credit: National Geographic) unless using only one image - you do not have to show the cover3. Provide a prominent link to: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/foodfeatures/meat/4. Mention that the images are from "the November issue of National Geographic magazine”Beef is big in Texas. Last year in the state, ten times as many calves were born, 3.85 million, as human babies.At the Big Texan in Amarillo—which offers free rides in a longhorn limo—you get your 72-ounce steak for free ifyou finish it in under an hour, along with the shrimp cocktail, the baked potato, the salad, and the roll.

Photojournalism Daily: Oct. 20, 2014

Courtesy Ginger Miller

#TIMEvets: Share Your Stories and Photos of Inspiring Veterans

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,510 other followers