Word of the Week: Macabre

According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, macabre means, “having death as a subject : comprising or including a personalized representation of death.”

The origins of the word stem from the French phrase, “danse Macabre” which means “dance of death“.

In a literature sense, macabre is a type of fiction that centers around themes, both metaphorical and literal, of death and horror.

A prominent writer in the macabre genre is Edgar Allan Poe. The Poe Museum describes him as the “Master of Macabre” saying,

“Most famously, Poe completely transformed the genre of the horror story with his masterful tales of psychological depth and insight not envisioned in the genre before his time and scarcely seen in it since. Stories like “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher” reveal Poe’s talent at its height.”

The Poe Museum

Penguin Random House, an American publisher and is the largest paperback producer in the world, has an article called, “13 Creepy, Dark, Macabre Books”, which lists 13 books they recommend for this genre. Some of the most notable mentions include Stephen King’s Carrie, M.R.James’ Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories, and Shirley Jackson’s Dark Tales.

For the full list click on the article here.

Do you like a good scary story? Comment you thoughts below!


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