Although the Goths originated in Sweden, the tradition of Gothic literature began in England in the late 1700s. The first novel considered to be Gothic literature, "The Castle of Otranto," was written by Horace Walpole in 1764.
Gothic novels employ the use of terror, dread and the supernatural to entertain. The name comes from the type of architecture often used as the setting, which include Gothic-style castles and abbies, usually in a state of decay. Modern-day Gothic literature often breaks with this tradition. Stephen King, for instance, makes heavy use of the supernatural to create a sense of horror, but his books are often set in contemporary locales.