By: Sydney Kalnay, Training Specialist

The days are getting longer – ugh, the worst – and that means hours of hiding in my windowless room far away from the cloudless skies, the SPF 100s, the cheery beach umbrellas…the people. Thank badness for World Goth Day on 5/22, the one dark spot in an otherwise drearily sunny season.

How do I escape the boredom of those endless summer days? When I am not drowning out the din of fireworks and picnics by pumping Bauhaus through my noise canceling headphones, I light a candle and peer at a book through the tangle of my black mantilla.

This year, I begin the delightfully miserable wait for the resurgence of dark days and dead leaves with a peek at what titles are on the TBD (to be devoured) lists of famous goth girls in media.

Lydia Deetz – Beetlejuice

Lydia is a classic goth. She lives in a house haunted by a recently deceased married couple, her parents torture her with relentless cheeriness and terrible modern art, and she is about five seconds away from becoming the child bride of a demented ghost with a God complex. When she’s not too busy moping, taking photos, or levitating to Harry Belafonte in her front stairwell, she likes to curl up with a true classic just like her: The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath.


Nancy Downs – The Craft

When I think dark, I think Nancy. Never one to follow rules or care what anyone thinks about her, Nancy Downs uses and abuses her goddess-given power until it consumes her. If she were celebrating World Goth Day the same way as me, she’d get as close to the elements as she could – possibly atop a hill overlooking Los Angeles – reading The House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. (And probably tagging the title “nursery stories” in Libby!)


Margot Tenenbaum – The Royal Tenenbaums

Mad, maudlin, mesmeric Margot. Though she dresses like a Nouvelle Vague film star mixed with a tennis ingenue, Margot nonetheless fits the bill as the most kohl-loving member of the goth assembly. She’s even introduced in The Royal Tenenbaums by walking in slow motion to Nico’s version of “These Days.” Given her druthers (which she never, ever is), on World Goth Day, she’d be highlighting passages of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides on her tablet, the other hand free to tap ash from the tip of her Gauloise.


Jane Lane – Daria

In the late 90s to early 00s, anyone worth their goth salt endeavored to dress, talk, and make art like Jane Lane. As Daria Morgendorffer’s cynical but shockingly well-adjusted best friend, Jane oozes cool and smarts. Even her misanthropy is brainy!

Her one fatal flaw seems to be her ongoing hatred of the outdoors – and in particular camping – which I imagine she is overcoming on World Goth Day by reading volume 1 of the appropriately titled Lumberjanes graphic novels (in the dark, with a flashlight, on the top bunk of whatever bug-ridden campground she’s been dragged to.)


Wednesday Addams – The Addams Family

Wednesday is the O.G. – Original Goth! But for someone who has been around since the 30s and portrayed across comics, TV, books, and movies, she’s surprisingly modern. When she’s not raising spiders, guillotining her dolls, or practicing her judo with her butler, Lurch, she’s making glow-in-the-dark protest signs and teaching herself about intersectional feminism by reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay.

Readers, what are some other dark titles that could be appropriate to celebrate this Word Goth Day? Let’s share. But…not. Actually, just leave me alone.