Today, we have Stephanie Meyer's glittery high school vampires, the works of Neil Gaiman (Coraline) and the films of Tim Burton (Sleepy Hollow, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Corpse Bride), all feeding from a strong literary tradition.
As life imitates art, we have social groups derived from this art form: the Goths (the kids with eyeliner, not the East Germanic tribe).
The name gothic actually comes from the architectural style of the middle ages. The Irregular style, lack of symmetry, grotesque gargoyles and angular shapes are characteristics of this type of architecture.
By the 19th century, gothic elements had taken over the work of Edgar Allan Poe (The American master of the genre), Nathaniel Hawthorne (yes, THAT guy), Washington Irving (The Legend of Sleepy Hollow) and, in a more subtle way, Hermann Melville (Moby Dick)