Buffy the Vampire Slayer appropriates the gothic genre as it maintains the characteristics of the genre whilst also makes constant referrals and allusions to various elements of the genre. It particularly uses elements of Bran Stoker's Dracula, though other texts in the show can be identified, such as Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. Buffy deals with the common thematic preoccupations of the gothic genre and particularly explores themes such as Christianity and feminism, along with other characteristic themes of the gothic genre.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer appropriates the gothic genre through the use of archetypal characters, the strange settings, villains and heroes, secret passages and realms and, of course, transgressive sexuality, which are all characteristics of the genre. Buffy herself is portrayed as being "outside society's norms- and manages to always survive the wanton killings. The fact that she is blonde and pretty and, much like the 3 vampire women in Bran Stoker's Dracula: every man's fantasy, highlights her highly sexual powers and outlines her traditionally feminine nature. In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there are many allusions to Bran Stoker's Dracula, both oblique and explicit. This is significant in recognising the gothic genre in the show as Bran Stoker's novel is one of the more significant pieces of gothic genre literature ever written. The stake which is used to kill vampires is symbolic of a penis in both Dracula and Buffy, however, this act is presented in a more feminine context in Buffy as we see a woman using it. In Dracula, we see Arthur Holmwood using the stake which emphasizes the naturalisation process of women in the text as the man is once again predominant which, in turn, restores the gender inversion back to its natural state. However, in Buffy, it is Buffy who holds the stake which she uses to kill male vampires, reinforcing the idea of empowerment in women and highlights the gender inversion in the show.