The Witch House Goth
Ah, the most spooky of the Goth types. The kind that you might imagine only comes out at Halloween. Yes, even more so than other Goths. This is The Witch House Goth.
However, Witch House Goths tend to take occult symbols and incorporate it into their clothing. Heavily. in fact, they might look like the kind of Goth the media used to be so full of. The Satanisic panic Goths. Even though not all of them will believe in these kinds of spiritual matters.
And yes, sometimes they are also known for wearing a pentagram,
Ultimately, Witch House Goths tend to have nothing malicious about them. Just like any other groups, you are likely to get your bad apples, but on the whole, there is nothing inherently wrong, bad, or evil about a Witch House goth.
Part of the reason for them existing, other than the musical reasons (see the next section), is that Goths tend to on the whole take an interest in things that other people don’t. Most Goths believe that everything should be judged on it’s own merits, and not what people might otherwise think of it. The Witch House Goth can also harken back to the old Goth way of shocking people. Not for a provocation, but to encourage debate. To encourage conversation and a romance of ideas.
And the typical Witch House Goth can dress up in a very provocative way.
Witch House Goth Fashion
Baggy clothing is a key component of the Witch House Goth style. That is, oversized tops and hoodies. We are talking about hoodies with sleeves and bottoms that extend to the knees. A baggy appearance is a must.
These items will typically have some form of occult or religious symbols on them. Pentagrams, in both inversions, are pretty common. However, you might also find religious symbols such as those from Christianity on a Witch House Goth’s clothing. Or even more, you could find that a Witch House Goth has clothing which has plenty of other symbols on it.
In fact, sometimes the Witch House Goth can be a very close friend of the Pastel Goth. This is an interesting contrast as the pastel goth, as their name implies, will typically wear pastel colors, whereas the Witch House Goth tends to be dressed in all black. However, with their love for having different symbols on their clothing, it would not be unusual for them to borrow each other’s clothing choices.
With this idea of symbols and bagginess, it is also quite common for a Witch House Goth to also include many necklaces on their outfits. These necklaces, of course, include occult and religious symbols as well. The chains of which these items are on tend to hang a lot lower than other people might wear their necklaces. Layering is also quite common, with a Witch House Goth wearing many different necklaces.
With all of this bagginess, on the bottom a Witch House Goth will actually also often wear tight clothing. Be this skinny jeans or leggings. This creates a lovely little dangling effect. Alongside the potentially high boots, this creates an effect on the typical Witch House Goth’s silhouette. That of a witch doctor. Or an old pagan cultist. As many Witch House Goth hoodies and tops also have long, cloak like goods, this just simply adds all to the effect.
Witch House Goth Music
Witch House Goth music has it’s very own genre. Called Witch House.
Okay, so what is Witch House? It’s an electronic dance music that is all about slow beats, chants in the backgrounds, and distortion in the form of white noise in the background and distorted main vocals that actually exist in the further-background.
Mainstream artists that appropriate some of the Witch House style, that Witch House Goths can listen to (but may not tell you that they do) are grimes and Crystal Castles. However, Grimes tends to make much more upbeat music than most true Witch House artists, and Crystal Castles tend to use far more 80-bit style beeps and synths than other Witch House artists.
One semi-mainstream band that edges closer to what a Witch House Goth would consider as pure Witch House is Salem. There tends to be a bit too much of a hip-hop influence in their songs for the Witch House label to be fully applied, but on the whole, with their themes of witchcraft (Salem? The name?) and ethereal chanting background vocals, Salem are the closet that people outside the culture might know.
From here though, we can get talking about the true Witch House bands. The main important one, and a good introduction to the genre as a whole, is White Ring. Their album arts are simply inspired, creating a sense of menace and rituals from what should be common and non-scary elements. Musically, White Ring are pretty much the Witch House ideal, while still being accessible(ish). Sounds with a haunting feeling of menace, as if you are walking along the woods to the site of a satanic gathering. Lyrics that are whispered and create a background noise layered with so many other background noises that there is no foreground to the song. An aesthetic that is neither dreamlike, nor nightmare like, but somewhere between the two.
Another important band in this genre is GL▲SS †33†H(Glass Teeth). Yeah… they write their names like that. There are two reasons for this. The first one is that it adds to the occult aesthetics of the genre. But the second is a much more interesting reason. As Witch House did start off as a truly underground movement, by adding these symbols that are very hard to type, these bands can carry on being unknown.
You can see the history of Witch House Goth in some bands that even non Goths have heard of, such as The Cure. Other important pre-cursors to the whole Witch House movement include Dead can Dance (especially with the hippy-pagan themes Dead can Dance go for) and Cocteau Twins. And also, although a lot of the beats are too fast for many Witch House purists, Portishead was also an important influence.
Other than music that is firmly within the Witch House genre, Witch House Goths can also enjoy a lot of Neofolk music, including bands such as Novemeber Növelet and Death in June.
Witch House Goth Interests
Let’s start this section with getting the religious aspect of it out of the way. Some Witch House Goths are interested in spiritualism. Some are Paganists. Some are Wiccans. Some are Satanists (which might not mean what you think it means). Some are Christians. Some are Buddhists. Some are Atheists. There are as many different divergent beliefs for Witch House Goths as there are in any other social group.
With this out of the way, most Witch House Goths decorate their home very much in line with their fashion sense. Think long, blowing fabrics all around the home, including curtains at the windows. A Witch House Goth’s home can also be a fire hazard waiting to happen, with plenty of candles around. And you shouldn’t be surprised to find a shrine, or a display cabinet that could very much look like a shrine. Although, of course, sometimes the contents of this are deeply ironic, such as an ode to alcohol.
Because of the spirituality in their songs, and what they dress like, a lot of Witch House Goths do also have an interest in religions and in spiritual practices around the world. Although many Goths like facing the idea of death, a Witch House Goth is the most likely one to have an idea of different funeral right practices around the world.
Media wise, Witch House Goths tend to love old horror movies. Moral panic movies, intended to be shown at Christian scare camps and in schools are a key source of humor for many a viewing. For actual horror movies, such as The Blair Witch project, Witch House Goths will have a full collection, and an encyclopedic knowledge of them.
This kind of interest will also move into the books they read, with tales of witchcraft being common topics for them to read about. Other forms of horror would also not be unheard of to be found on their book shelves.
All of this means one thing. If you ever want to have one of the most amazing Halloweens of you life, simply find your local Witch House Goth gathering and join them for the evening. You will have one evening that you will never, ever, forget.
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