7 Captivating Gothic Gifts and Ideas to Enchant, and Bewitch - Bookshelf Memories

7 Captivating Gothic Gifts and Ideas to Enchant, and Bewitch

One of the standout facets of all the gothic subcultures is a necessity to be collectively different. The culture emerged in the United Kingdom in the early 1980’s. In a study into goth youth subculture, it’s influence has been observed across continents. Mallgoths in the USA, Gogans in Australia, Cuervos in Spain, Dark in Latin America, and Neogoths in the UK. All of them have one thing in common. Music.

All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream

~ Edgar Allan Poe

Beliefs, attire, and interests differ, so buying a gift that’s “gothic” doesn’t narrow things down much. To find a gift that’ll have that magic touch of appreciation, one must dive into the culture, research the groups, and find points where interests converge. We’ve done it and below, you’ll find a detailed list of gothic gift ideas that span every genre, so no matter the subculture of interest, there’ll be something unique for the goth fan in your life.

7 Gothic Gifts & Ideas that Promise to Illicit Bewilderment and Enchantment

1. Gothic Literature for the Bookworms


Illustration of a bookshelf with gothic book spines on display

Bookworms will be enthralled with a classic to add to their collection. The caveat - you need to know what they don’t already have. Among the classic gothic literature collection are titles like Dracula by Bram Stoker (not any of the spin-offs based on it), Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, or any of the whimsical anthologies of Edgar Allan Poe's short poems and tales. For the history buffs, consider going back as far as 1764 and get a paperback copy of the edited version by Penguin Classics of The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, which is widely regarded as the very first gothic novel. The classics are considered the keepsakes and always make great gifts for bookworms that will take pride of place on the bookshelves, oftentimes with complimentary bookshelf decor being added for an immersive and personalized display.

2. Original LPs or Sleeve Art from Iconic Bands

Bauhaus Bela Lugosi's Dead album cover art

Leo Reynolds | CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Music influenced the goth era with one band having a massive influence - Bauhaus. The band’s regarded as pioneers of gothic rock. Their first hit was titled Bela Lugosi's Dead and it was released in August of 1979 as a 12” LP, originally on a white vinyl. Different designs were subsequently released, each with limited copies available. Any of those originals will be collectors’ items these days.  The sleeve cover art was from the 1926 film The Sorrows of Satan. The significance of the song was owing to the lyrics depicting “bats swooping and virgin brides marching past his coffin”. It’s the theatrics of the lyrics that caught on.

That gave way to a wave of new genre punk rock music. Among the first were another UK band, The Cure. The Cure have always rejected being categorized as a Goth band, preferring the term “post-punk”. Nevertheless, the collective recognition meant it stuck. The bands’ first significant hit was Boys Dont Cry, which was the title of the albums first US release in February of 1980.  Other notable songs influencing the punk-rock genre include Hong Kong Garden by Siouxsie and the Banshees, Transmission by Joy Division, and Alice by the Sisters of Mercy band. Any LPs, CDs, or album cover art of these singles or albums would likely make for appealing gifts.

3. Art supplies with a gothic twist

A sheet with goth decals of skeletons, roses, and medival architecture with iridescent ink pens

Much of the goth culture is about self-expressionism and authenticity. The best way to explore that is through creative exercises such as drawing, journaling, or sketching. Rather than look for generic art supplies, look for art supplies that can be used with a gothic twist. Think stencils for skulls, roses, and arches for architecture. Metallic or iridescent ink pens can add a shimmer to dark backgrounds creating an otherworldly effect. For those with an inept ability to write with a calligraphy style, help them expand their handwriting into a craft with calligraphy sets specific to Blackletter alphabets, perhaps with a book on the subject like Marc Drogin’s Medieval Calligraphy.

4. Gothic motifs and miniatures

a curation of gothic motifs including skulls, skeleton keys, moon crescents, ravens, fishbones, and crosses.

Gothic motifs can be a creative addition to craft hobbies like making stained glass (one of the tech-free hobbies for small spaces we covered here). Using things like brass shaped arches can help with designing. Skeleton keys can be a symbol of unlocking mysteries and secrets, perfect for adding as a bookshelf decor piece, or even attaching as a keychain to the zip of a book folder. Other motifs for gothic themed projects include bats, skulls, moons and moon crescents, crosses, ravens and anatomical heart pendants. For bookshelf decor, consider miniature lanterns with gothic styling, absinthe spoons, coffin lockets or a planchette - the pointer used on ouija boards. One doesn’t need to use these, but rather, they can be used as stylistic decor pieces, either on shelves, or if collected, displayed as a curation inside a frame as an authentic piece of fantasy wall art above a bookshelf display.

5. DIY Gothic Decor Craft Kits

an illustration of a completed cross-stitch pattern of a raven on top of a stack of books inside a picture frame

The gothic motifs above can be combined with craft kits and there are varieties with a gothic twist to them. Take for example candle making. For the scents, you could have a set of patchouli, amber, musk and various earthy scents that remind one of old libraries, forest floors, or ancient crypts. Add these to a set of gothic candle molds and they can create their own home decor candles with scents that add an atmospheric element.

For those who like cross-stitch kits, you can find some with intricate designs from a stack of books with a raven perched on top, to skulls and roses, to the more detailed designs of Angels, Demons, and Alchemy kits. For those who prefer woodworking to threading, there’s 3D puzzles and décor items like Harry Potter book nook kits, cyberpunk book nook kits, and other spellbinding theatrical book nook kits that can add an interesting perspective to books on shelves. Have a look at our in-depth guide to DIY book nook kits here.

6. A Selection of Gothic Teas

red colored fruit tea being poured from a teapot

To our knowledge, tea is the only botanical beverage in the world to have been “used as justification for the launching of wars”. It’s come a long way since the 18th century. Today, herbal teas are enjoyed the world over, in peace and harmony. The leaves of plants have so many taste notes that there are themed tea recipes to suit any mood. For selections of gothic teas, have a look at The Vampyre Tea Company website, and you’ll find everything from Blood Teas to Coffin Nightcaps. For accompanying gothic inspired gifts, consider gothic tea sets that can include decorative teapots, complete with cups and saucers, befitting for creating a dark tablescape setting.

7. Fantasy and horror board games

The Arkham Horror board game setup on a table

heath_bar | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

For the game enthusiasts eager to delve into the eerie and mystical through board games, there's a wide array of fantasy and horror-themed options available that are perfect for game nights. For a gift for couples with a gothic twist, perhaps for a travel-themed date night-in, there’s the Eldritch Horror board game where players globetrot to save the world from ancient evil. The Fury of Dracula pits one player as Count Dracula against others who are vampire hunters. Fans of H. P. Lovecraft may enjoy the associated Arkham Horror board game. As a gift for international travel lovers who do themed game nights, Blood on the Clocktower (Age: 15+) is a game for 5 to 20 players, perfect for a horror-themed game night with hours of fun to be had.

Some images have been generated by ai for illustrative purposes.