Goth baby namesGoth baby names sound just a little dark. Mysterious, even. But it feels like gothic names – especially gothic girl names – are having a moment.

It’s punk meets Victoriana; half-Edgar Allan Poe, half-Siouxie and the Banshees. A whole lotta Wednesday Addams.

There’s a certain sophistication to these names. Sophia is too popular to really qualify, but otherwise it might. Bright and cheerful Sadie misses the mark entirely.

While brooding vampires and moody musicians don’t exactly make us think of babies, it’s surprisingly easy for Goth baby names to feel perfectly wearable. Even under the radar. You wouldn’t know that many of these qualify as Goth-inspired choices … unless you know.

And it’s certainly possible to love these poetic, romantic favorites without identifying with the subculture, too. An entire generation of parents grew up on dark academia, and now it’s surprising close to the mainstream.



There’s something captivating about the story of Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. The entire imperial family met a grisly fate, but for decades, rumors circulated that Grand Duchess Anastasia had escaped. With the passing of time – and the 1997 musical with the happily-ever-after ending – Anastasia feels a little lighter. And yet, even without the historical story, the name means resurrection. That keeps Anastasia firmly on the list of Goth baby names.


“Annabel Lee” was Edgar Allan Poe’s last poem, published posthumously. Lovely young women meeting tragic fates was a recurring theme, but this poem is probably his best known. The Annabelle spelling is far more popular today. Plus, scary doll flick Annabelle and spin-offs reinforce the name’s dark vibe.


Amaya might succeed mostly on sound. But this name comes from the Basque language, and it means “the end.” That’s a fitting choice for a list of Goth girl names. It’s also associated with a Japanese name meaning “night rain.” Again, that feels pretty perfect.


Maybe the goddess of the dawn in Roman mythology gives an optimistic, new-day kind of vibe. And it could. But no question that the Aurora Borealis – the Northern Lights – is a night sky show that feels a little dark and mysterious. That puts Aurora on this list, too.


Plenty of celestial objects have great names, and many of those names lean Goth. Bellatrix – a star in the constellation Orion – has a second association. The villainous, and wholly unrepentant, Bellatrix LeStrange from the Harry Potter series cements this name’s place on the Goth Baby Names list. And just might make it unwearable, too, despite a richly appealing sound.


A sorceress who captivates Odysseus on his voyage, Circe is another Greek name pronounced with an ‘ee’ sound. That puts Circe in the company of Zoe, Chloe, and Penelope, but her bewitching nature earns her a place on this list.


An ancient name with a lot of strength, Claudia is rarer than Julia, but just as enduring. Characters like Monster High’s Clawdeen Wolf have worn forms of the name, but Claudia makes the Goth Baby Names list thanks to Anne Rice’s child-vampire in her Vampire Chronicles series.


The best known bearer of the name was Roman Emperor Caligula’s sister. Drusilla comes from a Roman family name, but makes the list for two reasons. First, there’s her association with her powerful and terrifying brother. More recently, Victorian vampire Drusilla terrorized California on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spinoffs.


Before it was the name of Sherlock Holmes’ little sister, Enola was “alone” spelled backwards. Nancy Springer’s engaging young sleuth puts a positive spin on her name – think “independent” rather than “abandoned.” But it was as a dark and forbidding choice, too, as in 2015 thriller Crimson Peak.


In Longfellow’s 1847 lament about the Acadian Expulsion, Evangeline Bellefontaine doesn’t die. But she’s separated from her beloved, Gabriel, and they spend their lives apart. Many years later they reunited, Evangeline as a Sister of Mercy nursing the sick in a hospital, and Gabriel on his deathbed. Romantic, tragic, dark.


The most out-there name on the list, Hecate was a Greek goddess associated with witchcraft and the undeworld. Pronounce it with three syllables: HEHK ah tee. Fun fact: while we associate Katharine with the word katharos, meaning pure, the name’s Greek origins point to a different meaning. Originally Hekaterine, it may have come from the goddess Hecate, and was altered in spelling and meaning later.


We’ve loved Lily names in recent years, but Lilith is no elegant botanical. By tradition, she’s the first wife of Adam, cast out of Eden for her willfulness. Lilith comes from the Akkadian lilitu – night. Lilith’s ties to Lily make her wearable; her connection to the night keeps her Goth.


Lucretia was a legendary Roman maiden, a third century saint, and a nineteenth century suffragette. Then there’s Lucrezia Borgia, of the Italian Renaissance. Historical accounts vary, but most often we think of her as scheming and dangerous. In 2006 high school comedy John Tucker Must Die, a student in Goth-signature black and heavy eye makeup is called Kimmy, only to retort “My name is Lucretia!”


Lots of names are associated with the night sky and could easily find a place on this list. But Luna is wildly popular and so obviously connected to the moon – it’s the Latin and Spanish word, after all. The name’s Latin origin is obvious, and it’s also the name of the Roman goddess of the moon.


In the Old Testament, Mara means bitterness. It’s what Naomi calls herself after the loss of her husband and sons. But it’s also possible that Mara is of American English origin, coined from sound-alikes like Cara, or a cousin to Maria, Mary, and many related names.


The Roman goddess of wisdom and war, Minerva fits on this list. Possibly that’s thanks to Professor Minerva McGonagall, professor and later headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Or maybe it’s just the offbeat sound. The Greek goddess equivalent is Athena, but that doesn’t feel quite as Goth as Minerva.


The tragic death of Ophelia in Hamlet lands this lovely name on the list. It reads darkly romantic and dramatic, too.


Like Annabel, so many names inspired by Edgar Allan Poe could be considered Goth girl names. But few are as of-the-moment as Raven. It’s a nature name, a colorful choice, and thanks to that middle V, a stylish-sounding one, too. While Raven could be considered gender-neutral, it’s used in overwhelming numbers for girls.


A character on Dynasty answered to Sable, probably chosen because their fur is used for coats – something the 1980s television extravaganza embraced. But the color is a dark brown-black, which makes it a perfect fit for this list, too.


When the world first met Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, she was a colorful character from the Archie comics. The first television version of the sorceress stuck with the upbeat vibe. But then along came Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and Kieran Shipka gave us a very different take on the story – and the name. It originally came from a legend associated with the River Severn, which is also dark and tragic.


2002 hit horror movie The Ring could be enough to put Samara on the list. But there’s a Babylonian legend about a man trying to evade death, which involves the place name Samarra. It’s been referenced by writers over the years, and it feels just right in the company of these names.


If you follow the Underworld movies, you’ll recognize Selene – an elite vampire assassin, a warrior who finds out that much of what she believes is untrue. Even without the wildly successful film series and its spinoffs, Selene belongs on this list. It’s a name from Greek mythology, associated with a moon goddess.


Tanith was the Phoenician goddess of the moon and stars – enough to land her on the Goth Baby Names list. Plus, her name means “serpent lady.” And lastly, Tanith is associated with human sacrifice in Ancient Carthage – though some historians argue that this is a tale told by Carthage’s enemies, not historical fact. Add it up, and Tanith leans dark, indeed – though the name sounds perfectly reasonable today.


The name of the fairy queen in Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a companion to Oberon.


Borrowed from Disney’s name for the sea witch of Little Mermaid fame, though the name’s saintly backstory is also surprisingly dark.


A Bond Girl name, but also the name for the evening star. Vespers is an evening prayer service. The name nods to religious faith, the night sky, and pop culture all at once. In our age of Harper and Piper, Vesper is also more wearable than ever before. If you’re looking for something even more obscure, there’s always Hesperia. The Greek used it to refer to Italy, as in the “the land where the sun sets.”


The Addams Family has been around, in comic strips and television series, since way back in 1938. Movies, video games, and more have followed. But now eldest child Wednesday Addams is the star of a Netflix series, simply titled Wednesday. We do meet her family, including mother Morticia, in several episodes. It fits with Goth names, but also with broader trends favoring word names in general.


It might mean shadow, which feels quite Goth – but Zella’s exact origins and meaning are many. What’s certain: Zoe Marriott’s 2007 YA re-telling of a Hans Christian Andersen fairytale includes an evil enchantress. The Swan Kingdom makes Zella a villain. There’s also the Old Testament Zillah, which means “shade” in Hebrew, and might be the ultimate origin.


A long list of enchanting Z names, all ultimately derived from Zeus, the head of the gods in Greek mythology. They feel like gothic baby names based on sound as much as origin.



Bram is big in the Netherlands, short for Biblical Abraham and Abram. But Bram earns a place on the Goth Baby Names list thanks to Mr. Stoker, author of Dracula. The nineteenth century novelist created an entire genre of horror story and romantic anti-hero, and his original tale is constantly reinvented with every new generation.


Ravens are strongly associated with Goth imagery, and Corbin comes from the Old French corbeau. Corbett is another surname-name associated with the bird; they probably started out as names for dark-haired people. High School Musical alum Corbin Bleu introduced it to a new generation.


Borrowed from Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, it’s a sleek, stylish name that fits with Julian and Adrian. But the image of a cursed portrait is just enough to earn it a spot on this list, too.


Another Harry Potter name, this time belonging to Harry’s chief schoolyard rival, the privileged and cruel Draco Malfoy. Unlike his aunt Bellatrix, Malfoy isn’t mad or all-bad. But he’s a villain for most of the tale. His name comes from the Latin draco, the source of our word dragon. Danica McKellar – Winnie from The Wonder Years – named her son Draco in 2010, and who can argue with Winnie Cooper?


Or maybe this should be Gryphon, as in the majestic mythical beast. Part-lion, part-eagle, the creature appears from Ancient Greece through medieval heraldry. Griffin is also associated with the Welsh name Gruffudd. While it’s solidly established as a boys’ name, Griffin feels just Goth enough.


A nature name that feels a little bit dark. Partly it’s because the second syllable – thorn – is undeniably Goth. It also helps that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote Gothic horror stories.


It’s Ciaran in Irish, but Kieran seems more familiar in the English-speaking world. It means “little dark one” which is pretty much the epitome of a Goth baby name for a boy.


From a religious perspective, the associations with Lazarus are positive. Christ raises one Lazarus from the dead. Another is described as worthy to enter heaven, even though he was powerless and penniless in life. But because of that first Lazarus, we tend to associate this name with the reawakening of the dead, lending Lazarus a certain Goth vibe.


There are tons of Nick- names, and many of them have had a good run. There’s a Saint Nicodemus, a companion of Jesus during his lifetime, and several other men in the ancient world. Nicodemus is also a character in Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. This name makes the list almost purely on sound. Nicodemus feels like it should be dark, or at least mysterious. A handful of fictional uses have capitalized on this potential.


A king of the fairies from the Middle Ages through Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and a moon of the planet Uranus. Like Nicodemus, Oberon makes this list partially on sound alone.


A gemstone name, Onyx might be one of the few that feels solidly masculine. Maybe that’s because the ending ‘x’ puts it in the company of Jax and Felix. The gem’s standard color – dark black – earns it a place on this list.


As in author Edgar Allan. A younger generation hears Poe as a Star Wars name, but it’s still wedded to the author.


It sounds almost like an invented name, a two-syllable, n-ender in the key of Callen. Except Talon is another word for the sharp claws on birds of prey. It’s a sharp and edgy choice for a son, a little more common that you might guess, but still distinctive.


If Hunter is too mainstream, how about Theron? It’s the Greek equivalent, and a name that charted in the US Top 1000 for decades. In 1896, American author Harold Frederic penned The Damnation of Theron Ware, a story of a Methodist minister who struggles with his faith. In 1968, author James Blish gave the same name to an evil magician in Black Easter. The name is wearable – especially with the rise of Theo and Theodore – but feels leans Goth, too.


A rook is a member of the crow family, and so another creature name. But it is also the preferred name for the chess piece sometimes known as the tower. Both associations – with crows and siege towers – carry a hint of darkness.


Bear and Fox, Wren and Lark all feel like mainstream favorites. Wolf – as in Wolfgang – seems like an even more storied possibility. From werewolves to vampires, plenty of creatures are associated with wolves. The surprise isn’t that Wolf makes the list of Goth Baby Names – the surprise is how wearable this name seems today.

What do you think of Goth baby names? Would any of these make your own short list? What would you add?

First published on October 31, 2014, this post was revised and expanded on October 31, 2020 and again on October 31, 2023.

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About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. For girls name, I would like to add Christabel, from the work of English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Carmilla, from the work of Irish author Sheridan Le Fanu. Both are the titular names of female vampires.