What a fun topic! There are many ways to approach this paper. You might want to look at the real world or you might want to look at fiction or you might want to compare them both in the same paper.
Here are some possible topics for a gothic research paper:
- Choose a gothic novel and examine the historical context that led to its creation. For example, scientific development in the time of Mary Shelley and how it influenced the writing of Frankenstein.
- Choose a gothic novel and do a deep character analysis of the primary characters and explain what their traits teach us about ourselves. For example, you could compare the character traits of both Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. What is positive about each? Negative? What traits of each do we commonly see in ourselves?
- Choose a gothic monster, like a vampire for example, and discuss what makes that monster so effective. Is it frightening? Why? Why not? What do we learn from it? Why do we want to read about it?