Three Gothic Novels: The Castle of Otranto, Vathek, The Vampyre, and a Fragment of a Novel - E.F. Bleiler, William Beckford, John William Polidori, George Gordon Byron, Horace Walpole I was assigned Walpole's tale "The Castle of Otranto" for my Gothic Tale of Terror class. I enjoyed the story although the dialogue was a little hard to follow. The story reminded me of the Knights of the Round Table stories and I couldn't help but see a glimpse of Henry VIII in there as well. This story set the mold for future Gothic tales. The giant helmet bit hooked me from the beginning.