On the Western Front in World War I, a generation faced a horrifying reality that ushered in the modern age. But in the previous century, many of the fears we still face were first given form in the pages of popular fiction. Books such as Frankenstein, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula became modern myths because they gave people a safe way to confront modern fears also taking shape at that time. By looking at such varied subjects as Victorian architecture, urban crime, women's rights, and the impact of new technology, we can come to understand the peculiar relationship between horror in literature and the horror of daily life. World War I made it clear that the images of horror in popular fiction had not been an escape from the world around us, but a way of seeing deeper into it, as well as revealing the shape of things to come.