It's been 10 years since the very first World Goth Day – the annual celebration "where the goth scene gets to celebrate its own being, and an opportunity to make its presence known to the rest of the world," and Goth shows no signs of stopping.
But why does the subculture that revels in all things macabre and morbid remain so popular over three decades since it first emerged from its deep, dark grave?
1. The Cure
Aside from being named after a healing antidote to all things, ever (because they can, obviously) The Cure are living proof that once you go goth, you don't go back.
The seminal goth band are headlining Glastonbury (for the fourth time) this year and last year they played Hyde Park. They are still attracting new fans thanks to tireless touring and their enduring, catchy pop tunes – appealing to literally everyone.
The band are even releasing a new album, forty years since their debut and were inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame in 2019. Immortal, we're telling you.
2. They avoid the sun
We all know that the sun is the leading cause of skin cancer. But, those clever goths don't go out in it, so they don't have to worry about that, or age spots, wrinkles, burning... So why not embrace your inner goth and grab a parasol or head for the nearest tree (goths love trees) the next time you are out and about in the midday heat?
3. Goth shape-shifts
While goth started off as a relatively one trick pony with a distinctive style that set it apart from the punkers and the heavy metallers of the 80s, it has an uncanny way of engulfing more and more elements to create subgenres of the subgenre – this enigmatic nature is perhaps inherited from the gothiest goths, Count Dracula, who could shift his appearance at will...
These tribes include cybergoths, steampunks, vampire goths, pagan goths, emos, black metallers, spooky kids, Lolitas, pastel goths, nu-goths, and many many more types of goth existing all over the world today, each with their own distinct style and tastes.
Traditionalists might believe the only true goth is the Bauhaus listening, velvet loving, winkle-picker wearers of the 80s and early 90s – but there's a lot more to the gothic than that, just ask any literary expert...
4. Even children like goth
There's always been a little bit of goth in kids media. There was Funny Bones, Meg and Mog, Count Duckula, Sesame Street's the Count and many many more. Now they've got Monster High and Vampirina – if that doesn't prove the unfaltering appeal of goth, we don't know what does.
5. There is ALWAYS a goth trope in fashion
Back in the 1990s, Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a surprise hit for new television network, The WB. Popularity for horror and the gothic never wavers but there's always a new "it" monster for us to all obsess about.
There was a resurgence of zombies in the past decade thanks to Resident Evil and The Walking Dead. Then there was the vampire obsession with shows like True Blood and The Vampire Diaries and that young adult book series that spawned an incredibly lucrative film franchise, Twilight.
But what about now? Witches. From American Horror Story: Coven to The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is dominating Netflix – the post "Me Too" climate has made witches more popular than ever.
We just can't get enough of the gothic and the way it captivates our imagination, scares us to our wits end or simply makes us laugh.
So what next? With What We Do In The Shadows being made into a television series, perhaps we will rekindle our undying romance with vampires yet again, but who knows?
6. Goth has even taken over our food
Yeah okay sure there is this whole rainbow unicorn trend going on at the moment, but then there's the enduring appeal of edible treats that are as black as your soul... There's Lost Boys pizza, a London establishment with charcoal pizza bases and a vampiric theme – definitely goth. In fact, they also have an underground vampire bar if you prefer your treats alcoholic.
Then there is black ice cream. Yep. Buzzfeed reported on the "coconut ash" iced sweet (opens in new tab) back in 2016 and it looks rather splendid (see image above).
But wait, that's not all! Japanese Burger King have offered a goth alternative to their regular boring brown burgers (opens in new tab), complete with black buns, black cheese AND black sauce. Nice.
7. Halloween is the best holiday
Everyone gets involved in Halloween. EVERYONE. Candy, dress-up, alcohol, fun times, an opportunity for everyone to embrace their dark side... I mean, what's not to love?
And while it's always been a major deal in the US, thanks to the internet the UK is finally catching up with the spooky craze. It makes it so much easier for goths to find suitable decor to deck out their homes all year round.
8. This guy in Marilyn Manson's Tainted Love video
He needs no words.
Germany are almost single-handedly keeping goth alive. Metal Hammer's own Jonathan Selzer says, "it's a black hole where the 80s can't escape." Brilliant.
It's still a huge deal to the Germans, and there is of course the annual Leipzig Festival (opens in new tab)– a goth heaven.
Whitby is a stunning historical town in England, and known primarily for where Count Dracula first arrives when he leaves Transylvania for England in the formative gothic novel, Dracula.
Every year the town hosts the Whitby Goth Weekend. Goths flock to the annual event from far and wide in order to meet and greet with others of their kind and buy an enormous array of gothic fashion, literature, art and much much more.
They also host the Bram Stoker Film Festival – the last of which held host to Fields of the Nephilim and Salvation.
Salem, Massachusetts is the USA's answer to Whitby. Made infamous by the tragic Salem Witch Trials of 1692, the town's cultural identity is entwined with witchcraft and mysticism.
Police cars feature witch logos, there is a public elementary school dubbed Witchcraft Heights and the Salem High school sports teams are named the Witches. There are also numerous esoteric stores and the headquarters of The Satanic Temple is situated there. Tourists flock to the destination in their thousands (one million per year), generating more than $100 million for the town's economy – pretty impressive for such a small, unassuming coastal city.
Salem is also known for its Halloween celebrations (opens in new tab), holding an entire season worth of festivities!
12. We all look good in black
Black is the most flattering colour, and that's a fact. Whatever your size, gender, skin tone, weight – you will 100% look great all in black.
Do you ever put on that lovely brightly coloured shirt you bought two years ago at your favourite department store, only to rip it off every. single. time. and replace it with a black, comfy tee? You know you do.
Why even bother with any other colour? You might as well just deck out your wardrobe with black and be done with it. Go full goth.
13. We've all had a "goth phase"
Nobody truly fits in, and everyone has at least one period of their lives when they had an overwhelming urge to rebel against their parents, their school system, authority figures of all kinds... What better way to do so than to dye your hair black, don a black trench coat, plenty of studs and a hell of a lot of eyeliner?
Instagram is keeping goth alive, in all it's monstrous incarnations. From the brilliant 90s Mallgoth insta page, to inspiration for gothic homes, fashion and more – just delve into the black hole that is scrolling the Insta feed!
Getting the goth aesthetic has never been so accessible to all. Just follow a couple of hashtags and hey presto, you can learn about every aspect of goth.
Plus, all your favourite goth musicians and brands like Killstar, Disturbia and Black Craft Cult are all on Instagram!
15. The Crow
The Crow is almost universally accepted as the most goth film ever made. Based upon the comic book of the same name, created by James O'Barr, the original text featured lyrics from all the best 80s trad goth bands and featured black and white eerie illustrations set against the bleakest of storylines.
The cult comic book flick has stood the test of time, inspiring dedicated fans to ink themselves with various Crow-related imagery and quotations ("It can't rain all the time" is a particular favourite") and the mythos surrounding the death of Brandon Lee, the protagonist of the film, adds to its gothic nature.
The Crow's legacy shows no signs of stopping either, with a remake due out later this year it'll surely be attracting many more of the younger generation to turn to the dark side.
16. The music is immortal
Music is a universal language, and it keeps going long after the musicians have passed on from this mortal plane.
Goth has managed to sink its claws into every musical genre you can think of: dark pop, dark wave, gothic rock, gothic metal, funeral doom, gothabilly, death gospel, death metal, black metal... all of these forms of music incorporate elements of goth into their sound.
Lately, many extreme metal bands, particularly black metal artists – known for their corpse paint and gothic imagery – have been rediscovering traditional goth music, particularly Fields of the Nephilim and Dead Can Dance (favourites amongst the black metallers) with elements of it found in Gaahls Wyrd's new album. Plus, artists like Sòlsifir and Grave Pleasures credit Killing Joke as an influence on their music.
17. It's a part of high culture
The gothic is an important literary genre and can be studied in top universities across the world. The architectural style can be seen across Europe and further afar, and it inspires modern building designs as well as spurning direct imitations, even today. Thanks to Queen Victoria and her extensive mourning period, gothic-inspired designs can also been seen in modern fashion and accessories – not to mention in the ever popular antiques trade.
18. We are all obsessed with death
Whether you are terrified of it or not, we all have a bizarre relationship to death and our naturally morbid curiosity will mean the gothic will never die.
Murder and death is all over our big and small screens and what better way to face it than head on? Embracing the darkness is surely a healthier way to live, and perhaps eventually goth will be the norm (we can hope!).
19. Our political climate
Wherever you are in the world, but particularly us Brits and our US friends, we are all experiencing a pretty uneasy political climate. Do you feel that sense of dread? I mean who doesn't in these rather dier circumstances... Am I right?