View Full Version : Favorite Lovecraft Tale?

Brian Lindsey
10-22-2002, 04:25 AM
In the last few weeks I've plunged headlong into the works of H.P. Lovecraft -- besides Poe, the premier American horror writer prior to the age of mass-market paperpacks and Stephen King. I had read some of Lovecraft's tales many years ago, but at the time found them dense, obtuse and dull. (Though produced between the end of WWI and 1937, his stories often sound like they could've been written a century earlier. He also had the somewhat annoying habit of throwing in as many arcane terms and phrases as possible.) Giving Lovecraft another chance via some (thankfully!) annotated editions of his work, I came away much more satisfied this time... It's easy to see now what an inspiration his ideas were to other writers and filmmakers.

So, with that in mind, I was curious what any other Lovecraft fans here thought of his most famous tales... What's your fave?

Grant Windsor
10-22-2002, 05:30 AM
I'm a big fan of Lovecraft...have been for years...and have collected all of his stories in various volumes (still working on tracking down Arkham House hardbacks of his stuff...I've been working too slowly on that). My personal favorite is The Rats in the Walls, followed closely behind by Pickman's Model and Cool Air. All three are classics...but not included in the above list. Both Pickman's Model and Cool Air were adapted for Night Gallery during that series' run.

Kenton Sem
10-22-2002, 08:43 AM
I like "At the Mountains of Madness" best... all those strange beasties! The frozen setting reminds me a bit of Carpenters THE THING.

Here's a link to the story, for the uninitiated:


The world hinted at in the new Stephen King book "From A Buick 8" reminds me a lot of Lovecraftian settings such as those described in the Kadath stories.

On a side note, there's a petition to get Lovecraft's name removed from the books that were actually written by August Derleth (based on snippets of ideas initiated by HPL):


I noticed that if you look the books up on Amazon, only Derleth's name is listed as author, so maybe the petition is working. The actual cover still boasts HPL, though.

Derleth was responsible for many people's misconception that HPL invented stories about "good" gods at war with "evil" gods with earth as the prize. HPL would have balked at that idea. He wrote about god-like beings from an unimaginably vast and uncaring universe who were far beyond our concepts of good and evil, which was one reason why they were so terrifying and so alien.

Ted Hath
10-22-2002, 09:49 AM
Pickman's Model, The Rats in the Walls, and The Dunwich Horror, of the one's that I've read. One day I will plow through all the big three volumes I have by him.

Andrew Monroe
10-22-2002, 10:08 AM
I discovered Lovecraft as a teenager,and sought out all his books.At The Mountains Of Madness remains my favorite,but I think nearly everything is top notch.I have one Arkham House edition,The Dunwich Horror and Other Tales.Those Night Gallery episodes mentioned are probably my favorites of the series.

Chris Workman
10-22-2002, 01:03 PM
Lovecraft is at the top of my list, along with Poe, Tryon, and Blackwood. What a beautiful writer. And I agree, that stuff by August Derlethe, sealing a line from Lovecraft here and there and mixing and matching Lovecraft titles, is terrible. Lovecraft wasn't the only person Derlethe aped. He stole from popular novels like MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION when it was popular, created his own detective in the manner of Sherlock Holmes, and when adventure tales for young peope were popular, he tried to capitalize on that success too. The man was a thief, and untalented hack pure and simple who never had an original thought in his head or bone in his body. That said...

Back to Lovecraft.

My favorite Lovecraft story is not listed above. THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE managed to scare the living daylights (what does that mean anyway?) out of me when I was a kid. The not-so-subtle suggestion as to what the man in the room was hacking, what he ate... And I've always wondered what horrible picture Lovecraft had thought up in his head, until an annotated Lovecraft edition actually published the picture along with the story - and it was every bit as scary as the picture I had personally imagined Lovecraft had seen. Man oh man, what a great, terrible, beautiful, scary, ugly story. Pure and perfect Lovecraft.

There's very little Lovecraft I dislike. Now, if someone would sit about making the perfect Lovecraft film. (I would have said the perfect "Cthulu mythos" film, but I believe the term was crafted personally by Derlethe.)

Stephen Sorrell
10-22-2002, 03:21 PM
Started HP Lovecraft with "The Haunter of the Dark & Other Tales" waaaayyy back in the early 80s. First story from the book was "The Outsider". I remember reading it for the first time so clearly.... Have since managed to track down most of his work and moved on to the mostly unknown and horribly under-rated Clark Ashton Smith....

"DreamQuest of Unknown Kadath" is my favourite of those listed, a fabulous and fantstic tale of dreamworlds, terror and loss....
Otherwise, I've always loved "Whisperer in the Darkness".


Ted Hath
10-22-2002, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Svenghouli

I've seen this sometimes listed in anthologies as
"Dreams in the Witches' House." I wonder if this was republished under an altered title . . .

Noah Soudrette
10-22-2002, 06:03 PM
Even though Lovecraft didn't like it much, I really like "Hebert West - Re-animator." It has some absolutely chilling moments.

Al Edwards
10-22-2002, 08:23 PM
I have read two of his collection of stories by Del Ray and need to read the third, so by then I will figure what is my favorite Lovecraft story.

John G.
10-22-2002, 08:40 PM

John G.
10-22-2002, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Chris Workman
There's very little Lovecraft I dislike. Now, if someone would sit about making the perfect Lovecraft film.
Somebody already has... it's called RE-ANIMATOR! :D I also thought IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, while not a Lovecraft adaptation per se, exhibits some strong Lovecraftian overtones, and is a damn fine movie to boot!

Andrew Monroe
10-22-2002, 10:01 PM
I`ve read in various places that Guillermo del Toro wants to film At The Mountains Of Madness.That would be a great choice for a director,imo.

John G.
10-23-2002, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Svenghouli
I can't agree that RE-ANIMATOR is the "perfect Lovecraft film," though it probably does remain the best (I haven't seen DAGON but the reviews have been mixed so far).

For one, explicit gore and sexual situations don't figure into Lovecraft's approach to horror; the story itself (a spoof of FRANKENSTEIN he wrote strictly for money) is a bit of an odd duck in his ouvre, not reflecting on Lovecraft's famous themes of cosmic terror at all. It would take a truly daunting and fearless filmmaker to do Lovecraft justice...
I've got to disagree with you here... You're right when you say that the HERBERT WEST-RE-ANIMATOR is an odd duck in Lovecraft's body of work. However, I think that this story is, in a way, very much like any other bit of exploitation fiction to emerge from the pulp magazines at the time it was writtern. While it's true that the story is written in Lovecraft's inimitable literary style, there is an emphasis on rather grisly details. In this regard, the cinematic version of RE-ANIMATOR is very much in keeping in spirit with the original story.

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 03:52 AM
Damn near everything he wrote can be found here...


A great resource, I've downloaded several stories I didn't have in book form.

Remember when Ctuhlu comes out of the ocean and Lovecraft talks about "unholy geometry" that distorts time/space? Anton Levay used to blather on about "infernal Trapezoids" that were "gates" to other worlds. But he probably got the idea from Lovecraft, just as he got most of his ideas of magick from Crowley and philosophy from Nietzsche.

Certian occult writers, like Kenneth Grant, put forth the theory that Lovecraft was initiated into secret societies and actually was describing real entities. The introduction to "Simon's" Necronomicon makes a ham-fisted attempt to explain these theories. Much more compelling are Grant's works "Cults of the Shadow", "Nightside of Eden" and "Outer Gateways". Grant talks up quite a tale but his free-wheeling use of linguistics sets off my BS detector...still though, it's interesting.

Lovecraft was a singular talent, though his writting craft was somewhat lacking, the nightmare dreamworld he created will haunt those who read his tales for centuries to come. A master of horror.

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 04:15 AM
From the website "Dagobert's Revenge"...

by, Vadge Moore

What is this Typhonian Tradition and how is it linked to the Merovingian/Grail Bloodline and the Priory of Sion as described in Michael Baigent, Henry Lincoln and Richard Leigh's book The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail? According to Kenneth Grant, a leading exponent of this Typhonian Tradition, and head of the Ordo Templi Orientis (a magical organization that was once headed by the one and only Aleister Crowley) this tradition is part of a current of magical force and occult lore dating back to Sumeria and pre-Dynastic Egypt. Originally known as the Draconian Tradition it is a magical current "based on initiated knowledge or gnosis of the Fire Snake." The Fire Snake is also known as the Kundalini or the Ophidian Current; the basis of all true initiation.

Who is Typhon? According to Mr. Grant, Typhon is "The feminine aspect of Set; sometimes typified as the Mother of Set in her role of Goddess of the Seven Stars, of which Set is the Eighth." Set is the brother of Osiris in the Egyptian Pantheon. Set, Osiris' dark brother, chopped Osiris up into many pieces, leaving him for dead. Set was also the prototype for Satan. Grant writes, "The word Set or Sut, means 'black'. This indicates not only the generative nature of this god but also his association with the night-world, Amenta, for from being a god of the heavens Set fell beneath the horizon and was recognized in later mythologies as the Lord of Hell, the Hidden Land... This god is of supreme importance in Crowley's Cult, being not only the name of the primal creative spirit but also the formula of sexual magick."

In E.A. Wallis Budge's book The Gods of the Egyptians, Set is identified as a personification "of the forces of the waters which were supposed to resist light and order. A number of beasts which dwelt in the water, were regarded as symbols of him and of beings wherein he took up his habitation." We will recall that the Merovingian race was sired by a water beast known as the Quinotaur. This Quinotaur took the form of a sea-bull. Crowley's personal seal was of a sea goat. Grant, writing of Crowley's Seal of the Beast, says: "The beast is the sea-goat or amphibious monster identical with Cthulhu, the Quinotaure or Bull of the Deep." Grant writes as a footnote; "The waters under the earth; home of the 'ancestors' or subconscious atavisms of the race." Is this a reference to the race of the Grail?

Grant, writing of the cross of the four corners says; "The intersection of this surface (horizontal and vertical) represent, therefore, the gateway to another dimension, the waters beneath the earth that mirror in their uncertain depths the heights of space above the earth wherein glow the stars, the unborn or un-fleshed souls of future states of consciousness, or simply life beyond earth. The mortal world spreads east and west and the land of le invisibles lies above and below it in the vertical dimensions of height and depths, north and south, Horus and Set." This ties in with the Book of Enoch and the Hosts above and the fallen, banished Nephilim below. This also reminds us of the twins or brother gods in Sumeria called Enki and Enlil. Enki, the infernal of the two, represents Set and Enlil represents Horus (although in this context Enlil would also be Osiris.) In ancient mythologies names and stories can be switched and one god can also be an attribute of another. It's best to keep this in mind when studying this type of material. Set kills Osiris as Enki kills Enlil. As it has been shown in another article of this publication, Enki is associated with Cain, and Cain was a very bad boy. Enki was an infernal god that has been identified, in this publication, as siring the Merovingian race.

Writing of the Great Old Ones or Elder Gods from Lovecraftian lore, Grant says, "The letter M, the key vibration of the plane of the Elder Gods, is represented mythologically as the sea-goat, Makaru or as the crocodile, the beast of the waters." Couldn't Makaru be a form of Merovee who spawned the Merovingians, and was sired himself from a sea-bull?

Now we come to the Qliphoth. The Qliphoth are denizens of the back side of the Tree of Life. This back side or dark side is said to be behind the regular Sephirah of the Qabalah. They are said to be the shells or the husks of the dayside of the Tree. But according to Kenneth Grant they are actually the first, primal manifestation of all things. In terms of Lovcraftian lore they are the Ancient Ones or Great Old Ones of the Necronomicon. They are the first primal void of Nothing before there was something. They have been considered evil by Qabalists and Occultists for centuries only because they represent the terrible blackness of the void and the complete destruction of what we understand as ego, which seems horrific to us. These Qliphoth reside in what is known as the Tunnels of Set. These Tunnels are behind or beneath the Day Side of the Tree of Life as the Nephilim reside beneath the earth. As terrifying as these "beings" may seem, Grant says they are here to enlighten us, as the Nephilim were. Why is the abode of these beings called the Tunnels of Set? Grant writes; "Of Set, because Set is the Seat of the powers manifest as the Tree of Life." This is what is known as the Typhonian Tradition that Kenneth Grant speaks of.

Let's review: Kenneth Grant believes that he is a part of the Typhonian Tradition or Draconian Tradition which is concerned with the god Set who, like the Nephilim, was banished to live beneath the earth. The Nephilim are believed to have sired the Merovingian Race. Set is a god of the waters and the Merovingian race was sired by a god, the Quinotaur, that also was a beast of the waters. The denizens of the Tunnels of Set, which are behind the Tree of Life, or beneath have been considered "evil" and bestial and are known in the ancient Hebrew texts of the Qabalah as the Qliphoth. The Qliphoth, according to Grant, are actually of benefit to the initiated in order to take them to another level of initiation

In his book Outer Gateways Kenneth Grant writes: "In The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail, the authors reproduce the family crest of Clan Plantard, the contemporary representative of which was, until recently, the Grand Master of the Prieure de Sion, an Order which, according to Lincoln, dominated the Order of the Knights Templar and various other highly influential institutions which, at certain periods of history, included the Vatican. The crest which supplies the key to the Current represented by the Merovingian bloodline and the Order of Sion, comprises the symbols of the Typhonian line of descent: the two bears, eleven bees, and the fleur de lys. The motto incorporated in the crest reads 'et in Arcadia ego.' Arcadia=127, which is the number of the Egyptian Goddess Heqt who was typified by the 'lower part of the back, or haunch.' The two bears denote the Mother (Typhon) and her son (Set). The image of the bee pictorializes the buzzing or humming vibration peculiar to the Outer Ones, or their vehicles. Eleven is the number of Those who are Without, or beyond, the Tree of Life, thus identifying the Outer Ones." The Outer Ones are also the Qliphoth or the Ancient Ones of Lovecraftian lore. That the Typhonian Tradition and the Merovingian Tradition share the same important symbols seems to be much more then a mere coincidence.

Yeah, it's pretty thick, but you get the idea.


Brian Lindsey
10-23-2002, 04:31 AM
I was very surprised to learn that a number of people apparently believe that the Necronomicon - the ancient tome mentioned in a number of his stories - is a real book from which Lovecraft drew inspiration.

He made the whole thing up, of course.

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 04:35 AM
Dead But Dreaming:
The Great Old Ones of Lovecraftian Legend Reinterpreted as Sumerian/Atlantean Kings
part 1 | part2

by, Tracy R. Twyman

The Secret Doctrine given to the elite castes of mankind by the Nephilim or the "Annunaki", the gods of ancient Sumeria and Atlantis, has been passed down through the ages, not only to the Masons, Templars, Rosicrucians, and other fraternal orders which perpetuate the tradition, but also to the teenage geeks and D & D "gamers" of today via the Lovecraft/Necronomicon lore, which has given birth to a cornucopia of role-playing and computer games, in much the same way that Monty Python and the Society for Creative Anachronism have kept alive the Grail myth for these same teenagers. The fact that S.C.A.'s membership correlates strongly with participation in Lovecraftian role-playing games is no coincidence, for the "demons" of the "Cthulhu Mythos" as its called, are the same as the gods of Ancient Sumer, and the fallen angels who spawned the Grail family. The "Grail Blood" and the "bloodline of the Great Old Ones" are the same thing. They are also the same as the sea-monsters such as Leviathan and Dagon, the "Lords of the Deep" and gods of the "Underworld" or Abyss recorded in the legends of every ancient culture.

It takes only a cursory examination of H.P. Lovecraft's most quintessential work, "The Call of Cthulhu" to see that the entire system of mythology upon which his story is based comes from the Book of Enoch, the Nephilim story in Genesis, and the universal tale of the fall of Atlantis. In this story, Lovecraft's main character finds a strange carved idol in his grand-uncle's affects, its appearance described as that of, "an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature... scaly body, rudimentary wings." The discovery of this idol leads to his investigation and uncovering of a sinister, age-old "Cult of Cthulhu (the name of the idol)", which worshipped the creature represented by the idol, and the entire race of demons from which he had come. The description of the idol bears a striking resemblance to the descriptions of the Sumerian god-king Enki, also known as Dagon or Oannes, a half-human, half-fish combination who was known as the "Lord of the Flood", and was said to rise out of the sea every day to teach his secret knowledge to those who followed him. He is mentioned in Samuel, Chapter 5, when the Philistines capture the Ark of the Covenant and place it in the Temple of Dagon. Two nights later, "Dagon was fallen upon is face to the ground before the Ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him." It is this character upon which Satan or Lucifer is based, but the physical description attributed to him applied to an entire race of "gods", or as they were described in the Bible, Nephilim, or Fallen Angels, the "Great Old Ones", as Lovecraft calls them. The Watchers, "those who were cast down", are described in the Book of Enoch literally as stars that descended to Earth. Cthulhu is also described with wings, another attribute of the Nephilim, who, according to our research, were real flesh-and-blood beings, and ruled as the antediluvian kings of the ancient world over a global kingdom whose capitol was Atlantis. As they were an expert sea-faring people - navigators - they were also depicted as sea gods, half-man, half-fish, and with the horns of a goat. The fact that the city which Lovecraft's "Great Old Ones" ruled over was Atlantis is quite clear, as the city, called "R'lyeh" in the story, is covered with what Lovecraft describes as "Cyclopean" architecture, the same word used by Ignatius Donnelly to describe the architecture of Atlantis. Lovecraft's descriptions paint a picture of multi-dimensional, non-Euclidean angles, as if they existed in a space-time different than ours, perhaps in an "otherworld" somewhere in between the planes of heaven and earth. They are described as grand and mighty creatures, with a moral creed similar to that of Aleister Crowley's "Do What Thou Wilt", and they trounced on all those weaker than them, bringing destruction to the Earth, devouring every living thing. This is exactly the behavior that is ascribed to the sons of the Watchers, or Nephilim, the Giants who wrought havoc upon the World, oppressed and devoured all of the gods' living creation to feed their own voracious appetites. Because of the pride and destructive behavior of the Great Old Ones, their empire city, R'lyeh, sank beneath the ocean in some punishment by natural disaster mercifully imposed by God. This is exactly what is said to have happened to the island kingdom of Atlantis, which also sank because of the pride of its inhabitants. It is also what is said about the Nephilim in the Bible, who, along with their offspring, are destroyed by god via the Flood of Noah. The fact that the Great Old Ones are lead by a being called "Cthulhu" is significant, for "Thule" is another name for Atlantis, and the Nazis believed that it was literally located inside the Earth, in the "Underworld", in which was located the city of "Agartha" or "Agade", the Abode of the Gods. The Hollow Earth, or Underworld seems to be the place where R'lyeh ultimately sank to, where Cthulhu and the rest of the Great Old Ones now remain, sleeping in their watery tomb, "Dead but dreaming", as Lovecraft now describes it, waiting for the day when they will awaken, their city rise from the waves, and their empire shall once again hold dominion over the whole earth. This echoes the story of the Watchers or the Nephilim, who are imprisoned by God inside the Earth, or "the Abyss", which was a word used by the Ancients to describe the ocean. The theme of the subterranean Lord, imprisoned in the Underworld, who will one day awaken from his death-like slumber to reclaim his kingdom is, as we have established in other articles, a very common archetype, most notable in the form of Kronos, called "The Forgotten Father" and "The Hidden One", the leader of the Titans, and the king of Atlantis, whose kingdom was cast down into the Abyss, and who was imprisoned therein, thereafter known as the Dark Lord of the Underworld. And there is clearly an etymological connection between "Titan" and "Teitan", otherwise spelled "Satan." The Titans, or Satans, and the Nephilim are clearly the same as the Great Old Ones, and Kronos, otherwise known as Saturn, or Satan, is clearly the same as Cthulhu. As we have established, he is also synonymous with Dagon or Oannes, who is referred to in the Bible as Leviathan, the beast who will rise from the sea at the Apocalypse. The return of Cthulhu, the Great Old Ones, and the city of R'lyeh would appear to be Lovecraft's way of depicting the Apocalypse.

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 04:36 AM
Confirmation of the above conclusions can be found by examining quotations from Lovecraft's manuscript, the implications of which, in light of what we have just said, will be self-explanatory. When the main character in "The Call of Cthulhu" manages to interview an actual member of the Cthulhu Cult to divine their beliefs, the descriptions that follow parallel precisely the tales of the Nephilim, the Titans, and the war in Heaven between God and Lucifer, as well as the fall of the Atlantean empire.

"They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones, who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. These old ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets to the first man, who formed a cult which had never died. This was that cult, and the prisoners said it had always existed and always would exist, hidden in the distant wastes and dark places all over the world until the time when the Great Priest Cthulhu, from his dark house in the mighty city of R'lyeh under the waters should rise and bring the Earth again under his sway. Some day he would call, when the stars were ready, and the secret cult would always be ready to liberate him.

Meanwhile, no more must be told. There was a secret which even torture could not extract. Mankind was not absolutely alone amongst the conscious things of the Earth, for shapes came out of the dark to visit the faithful few. But these were not the Great Old Ones. No man had ever seen the Old Ones. The carven symbol was great Cthulhu, but none might say whether or not the others were precisely like him. No one could read the old writing now, but things were told by word of mouth. The chanted ritual was not the secret - that was never spoken aloud, only whispered. The chant meant only this: 'In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming."

This clearly describes the secret Luciferian doctrine of the gods being transmitted to their offspring, "the first man", just as the serpent did for Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. They created a covenant with that man, and a cult of magick, of ritual and sacrifice, in order to preserve their infernal secrets, one of which is so secret that it could not be talked about, only whispered, as they've done in the rites of Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, the Templars, the Greek and Egyptian mystery schools, the Sufis, the Assassins, and countless other secret occult orders, which Lovecraft was no doubt alluding to when he referred to the "cult which had never died... had always existed, and always would exist", preserving the teachings of the "Forgotten Father" until such time as he should rise again from the sea to once more rule the Earth. The connections to Leviathan and the rise of the Anti-Christ don't even need to be repeated. Lovecraft's description goes on:

"Old Castro remembered bits of hideous legend that pales the speculations of Theosophists and made man and the world seem recent and transient indeed. There had been eons when other things ruled on the Earth, and they had had great cities. Remains of them, he said the deathless Chinaman had told him, were still to be found as Cyclopean stones on islands in the Pacific. They all died vast epochs of time before man came, but there were arts which could revive them when the stars had come round again to the right positions in the cycle of eternity. They had indeed come themselves from the stars, and brought their images with them."

Lovecraft, like Enoch, and like ancient man himself, conceived of the ancient Atlantean gods or Nephilim as possessing supernatural power, and, like Enoch, says that this power comes from the stars, that these beings in fact had come from the stars themselves, and seemed to be metaphysically affected by the movement of the stars, being able to resurrect from the dead only when the stars were in a certain position.

Likewise, the Atlantean god-kings purposely associated themselves with the stars and the planets, taking on the personifications of planets and constellations, each of which had a particular "energy" or "plain of existence" associated with it. This energy could be further manipulated by the prayers and rituals of the cult members who are loyal tot he Great Old Ones, and wish to see their kingdom rise again, in much the same way that Masons, Rosicrucians and other occultists today perform rituals in hope of bringing about the "Great Work" called the "New World Order", a new Golden Age just like the one that covered the Antediluvian world when the Atlantean god-kings (whom they revere) ruled over the Earth directly. The Eye in the Pyramid on our dollar bill, which represents the New World Order, is clearly a symbol of this newly-risen kingdom of Atlantis, "watched over " (as in "the Watchers") by the All-Seeing Eye, which could just as easily be the eye of Dagon, or Leviathan, or Cthulhu. It even looks reptilian, like it belongs on the face of a dragon.

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 04:38 AM
The rise of R'lyeh, the New World Order, the New Atlantis, the New Jerusalem, the Golden Age, and even the Apocalypse - these are all terms for the same resurrection of the ancient global kingdom of the gods. Such a resurrection is also described in Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Law when he writes about the coming "Age of Horus" and the return of the rule of the gods, as well as their offspring, the human "kings":

"Ye shall see them at rule, at victorious armies, at all the joy... love one another with burning hearts, on the low men trample in the fierce lust of your pride, in the day of your wrath... Trample down the Heathen; be upon them, O warrior, I will give you of their flesh to eat."

Now read the following passage from "The Call of Cthulhu" and compare:

"Then, whispered Castro, those first men formed the cult around small idols which the Great Old Ones showed them; idols brought in dim eras from dark stars. That cult would never die 'til the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take great Cthulhu from his tomb to revive His subjects and resume his rule of Earth. The time would be easy to know, for then mankind would have become as the Great Old Ones; free and wild and beyond good and evil, with laws and morals thrown aside and all men shouting and reveling in joy. Then the liberated Old Ones would teach them new ways to shout and kill and revel and enjoy themselves, and all the earth would flame with a holocaust of ecstasy and freedom. Meanwhile, the cult, by appropriate rites, must keep alive the memory of those ancient ways and shadow forth the prophecy of their return.

This age of the glorious rule of the Old Ones, and the land which they ruled over, is so similar to Atlantis, Thule, Lemuria, and all of the other mythical lost civilizations as to be blatantly obvious, and it is clear that it is the Biblical deluge that puts an end to their kingdom. We read:

"In the elder time chosen men had talked with the entombed Old Ones in dreams, but then something had happened. The great stone city R'lyeh, with its monoliths and sepulchers, had sunk beneath the waves; and the deep waters, full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass, had cut off the spectral intercourse. But memory never died, and the high priests said that the city would rise again when the stars were right. Then came out of the Earth the black spirits of the earth, moldy and shadowy, and full of dim rumors picked up in caverns beneath forgotten sea-bottoms. But of them old Castro dared not speak much."

It is interesting that the ocean is said to be "full of the one primal mystery through which not even thought can pass", because to the priest-kings of Atlantis, and the cult that followed them, the element of water itself is revered seemingly because of this metaphysical power. If it truly acts as a barrier for psychic thought waves, then if the Earth was ever covered in a "Firmament" of water, as the Bible says it was, it would have performed the same function.

The climax of Lovecraft's story comes when the main character reads an account of his uncle's death in a fishing boat off the coast of Australia. They had come across a monolith sticking out of the ocean, which turned out to be resting on top of a mountain that was poking out of the water, upon which they landed their boat. There they discovered a strange sunken city built with "Cyclopean", non-Euclidean architecture. It was an earthquake that had brought the top of the city to the surface, where Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones were entombed. Their presence awakened Cthulhu, who oozed out of the mountain, dripping green slime, and presumably killed the whole crew.

Similar themes are touched upon in Lovecraft's other work. In "At the Mountains of Madness", he returns to the theme of discovering the lost city of the Old Ones, this time set in Antarctica, which, as the Nazis and many others believed, was the location of one of the largest entrances to the Hollow Earth. In this story, none of the continents had drifted apart yet, so all of the Earth's land was basically Antarctica. In "The Nameless City", he delves explicitly into the Hollow Earth, describing the discovery of a subterranean passage filled with the caskets of dead reptilian bodies, who had obviously, at one time, lived inside the Earth. And finally, in "Dagon", Lovecraft tells the tale of a shipwrecked man who finds himself stuck in a "slimy expanse of hellish black mire", which had been unearthed when "through some unprecedented volcanic upheaval, a portion of the ocean floor must have been thrown to the surface, exposing regions which for innumerable millions of years had lain hidden under unfathomable watery depths." This is clearly another reference to the recurring theme in Lovecraft's work of the sunken city of Atlantis rising from the ocean, which as we have established, is also a common theme in world mythology. One is reminded of the final scene in the box office hit, The Abyss. There also seems to be an allusion to the Hollow Earth and its black sun when Lovecraft writes, "The sun was blazing down from a sky which seemed to me almost black in its cloudless cruelty", and then later, when he described walking through this once sunken, newly arisen land, likening it to Hell. "Through my terror ran curious reminiscences of Paradise Lost", he writes, "and Satan's hideous climb through the unfashioned realms of Darkness." There he discovers a white monolith covered with hieroglyphs.

"The writing was in a system of heiroglyphics unknown to me, and unlike anything I had even seen in books, consisting for the most part of conventional aquatic symbols, such as fishes, eels, octopi, crustaceans, mollusks, whales, and the like. Several characters obviously represented marine things which are unknown to the modern world, but whose decomposing forms I had observed on the ocean-risen plain."

Clearly, then, what this character has discovered are the remains of a high civilization of sea-faring, ocean-obsessed people, which is exactly what Atlantis is described as being, and why their kings, or "gods" were depicted as half-man, half-fish. Lovecraft continues:

"Plainly visible across the intervening water on account of their enormous size was an array of bas-reliefs whose objects would have excited the envy of Doré. I think that these were supposed to depict men - at least, a certain sort of men; though the creatures were shown disporting like fishes in the waters of some marine grotto or paying homage at some monolithic shrine that appeared under the waves as well. They were damnably human in general outline, despite webbed hands and feet, shockingly wide and flabby lips, glossy, bulging eyes, and other features less pleasant to recall."

It is at this point that our narrator espies with his own eyes one of these creatures - not a bas-relief, but the real thing. "Vast, Polyphemus-like, and loathsome, it darted like a stupendous monster of nightmare to the monolith about which it flung its gigantic scaly arms, the while it bowed its hideous head and gave vent to certain measured sounds. It think I went mad then."

When the character awakes, he is in a hospital bed in San Francisco, safe and sound, but not of sound mind,. Disturbed by his memories, he consults "a celebrated ethnologist, and amused him with peculiar suggestions regarding the ancient Philistine legend of Dagon, the Fish-God." Clearly, the character believes that it was Dagon himself, or one of his horde, whom he witnessed that faithful night. And as we have previously established, Dagon, one of the kings of Atlantis, was the same as Poseidon, Kronos, Oannes, Enki, and therefore Satan. He was one of the Nephilim, Watchers, or Fallen Angels upon which Lovecraft's "Great Old Ones" are based. And of course, in keeping with the theme, the character in this story believes that they will one day return to once more hold dominion over the Earth.

"I dream of a day when they may rise above the bellows to drag down, in their reeking talons, the remnants of puny, war-exhausted mankind - of a day when the land shall sink, and the dark ocean floor shall ascend amidst universal pandemonium."

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 04:39 AM
The themes alluded to in Lovecraft's work were taken to their utmost logical conclusion by the authors and editors of The Necronomicon, based on the imaginary grimoire that Lovecraft wrote of repeatedly in connection to Cthulhu and the Old Ones, a book of black magic with spells aimed at causing the sunken city of R'lyeh to rise again, and the "dead but dreaming" Old Ones to awaken from their slumber. The Necronomicon, published by Avon books, purports to be that very grimoire, "the most dangerous Black Book known to the Western World." Although from reading it and the silly portentous warnings that fill the introduction (attempting to scare away the casual practitioner from meddling with forces so dangerous) it is hard to believe that this is, verbatim, an ancient text, it does appear to be based largely on genuine texts. As the Editor, L.K. Barnes explains:

"The Necronomicon is, according to Lovecraft's tales, a volume written in Damascus in the Eighth Century, A.D., by a person called the "Mad Arab", Abdul Alhazred. It must run roughly 800 pages in length, as there is a reference in one of the stories concerning some lacunae on a page in the 700's It had been copied and reprinted in various languages - the story goes - among them Latin, Greek and English. Doctor Dee, the Magus of Elizabethan fame, was supposed to have possessed a copy and translated it. This book, according to the mythos, contains the formulae for evoking incredible things into visible appearance, beings and monsters which dwell in the Abyss, and Outer Space, of the human psyche."

Those texts, as well as the system of gods, legends, and rituals presented in the book, are as old as civilization itself, having originated from the oldest civilization accepted by historians, one of the crowning empires of the God-Kings of Atlantis - ancient Sumeria.

There is a dualistic notion inserted into The Necronomicon that is completely absent in Lovecraft's work. Lovecraft's "Old Ones" were primordial beings, beyond good and evil. That was the essence of their power. In The Necronomicon , the "Great Old Ones" have been split into two factions: the "Elder Gods" and the "Ancient Ones" - the good guys and the bad guys. This is noted in the excellently-written introduction by the Editor, L.K. Barnes, which alone should be invaluable to the serious student of the occult, and Sumerian mythology. Writes Barnes:

"Basically there are two 'sets' of gods in the mythos: the Elder Gods, about whom not much is written, save that they are a stellar race that occasionally comes to the rescue of man, and which corresponds to the Christian 'light'; and the Ancient Ones, about whom much is told, sometimes in great detail, who correspond to Darkness. These latter are the Evil Gods who wish nothing but ill for the Race of Man, and who constantly strive to break into our world through a gate or door that leads from the Outside In. There are certain people among us, who are devotees of the Ancient Ones, and who try to open the Gate, so that this evidently repulsive organization may once again rule the Earth. Chief among this is Cthulhu, typified as a Sea Monster, dwelling in the Great Deep, a sort of primeval Ocean..."

This author has herself tried to figure out what the essential difference is between the Ancient Ones and the Elder Gods. The Elder Gods are lead by a great trinity: Anu, Enlil and Enki, whom we have talked about in other Dagobert's Revenge articles as being the ancient god-kings of Sumeria, and perhaps, Atlantis. Anu held the seat of kingship, the inheritance of which was disputed by his sons, Enki and Enlil, leading to a catastrophe that destroyed most of Earth's civilizations and which is recorded in the Sumerian Enuma Elish, as well as the Biblical "War in Heaven." In the Sumerian texts, there is a race of gods descended from this trinity called the "Annunaki", analogous to the "sons of god", or the Nephilim in the Bible and the Book of Enoch. In The Necronomicon the strife between Enki and Enlil is completely ignored, and the Annunaki are considered to be a separate race, a faction of the Ancient Ones. They live in the Absu, or Abyss, a.k.a. "Nar Mattaru", the great Underworld Ocean, which is also called "Cutha" or "Kutu." This place is also described as "the Sea beneath the Seas", and clearly indicates an ocean inside the Earth which coincides with descriptions of the Hollow Earth being largely filled with water. "Nar Mattaru" is very similar to "Nar Mar", one of the kings of the global empire of Atlantis, Sumeria, Egypt and India, whose name meant "Wild Bull", but who was symbolized by a cuneiform character depicting a cuttlefish. Since "Mar" means sea, it's not difficult to figure out that this king is he upon whom Enki, Dagon , Oannes, and all the other "Sea Bulls", including the Quinotaur that spawned the Merovingians, have been based. But Leviathan is also based on this character, who in turn is the same as Cthulhu, the Ancient One. Are we confused yet?

Well I am...

This is going to be a long series of posts so to continue reading the article go to the thread "continued". (http://www.dvdmaniacs.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1249)

Brian Lindsey
10-23-2002, 05:06 AM
S.T. Joshi, editor of The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, states categorically that the Necronomicon never existed -- it's totally fabricated. Anything published under that title purported to have been written by the "Mad Arab" is a HOAX.

For one thing, "Abdul Alhazred" isn't even a legitimate name... No Arab would have such a name. Lovecraft totally mangled the Arabic when he created the "Mad Arab".

Chuk H
10-23-2002, 05:13 AM
Well, there are several "Neconomicons" out there and they are all hoaxes. The rather long article I C&P'd doesn't claim it's real but explores the connections between Lovecraft's mythos and other occult traditions. It's mostly for shits and grins.

Still, it resonates on some strange levels.

That said, Necronomicon magick does work, as will any magickal system that enough psychic energy is invested in.

Brian Lindsey
10-23-2002, 05:32 AM
Originally posted by chuk hell
Well, there are several "Neconomicons" out there and they are all hoaxes...
Still, "Necronomicon" is definitely a COOL NAME for an ancient, mystical text... Beats the heck out of "The Grimoire of Evil Forbidden Shit"! :)

Kenton Sem
10-23-2002, 09:23 AM
Lovecraft was for the most part a repressed mommy's-boy with an intrest in science and an admiration for writers like Lord Dunsany and E. A . Poe. He was also a very interesting and often original writer. Any attempt to make him an expert in esoteric occult matters or a member of secret societies is wishful thinking. A lot of the names of his creatures and, of course, the cursed tomes were created as in-jokes and wordplay between HPL and his circle of friends, many of whom were fellow writers.

There was a big occult craze during HPL's lifetime as evidenced by the popularity of Madam Blavatsky and Aleister Crowley, among many others, which may account for some so called "real" name-similarites in the fiction of the HPL circle, along with the idea of secret cults, etc. No wonder, it was in the air at the time. Early 20th century pop culture.

Generally when people refer to something as being Lovecraftian, they are referring to terrifying gulfs, half-glimpsed monstrosities, madness, and fear of the unknown. There's NO sex, humor, or foul language, and gruesome violence is there, but usually only glimpsed from a skewed angle - it's there but you aren't getting a detailed description. Can a big-budget film get made today that reflects this? Possibly, but I doubt it since it won't make any money. There are a couple of recent short films that are supposed to be great - does anyone know anything about these?

REANIMATOR is an excellent horror film, but it doesn't reflect true Lovecraftian sensibilities, although it may have succesfully kept the original story in mind. ALIEN was much closer in spirit, as was AT THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, or NIGHT OF THE DEMON (aka CURSE OF THE DEMON), the last of which I think comes closest.

Chris Workman
10-23-2002, 02:34 PM
John G.,

It's nice to see you're a Lovecraft fan and that you place THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE at the top. It's amazing how Lovecraft took a real-life picture he'd seen and turned it into one of the most frightening stories he'd ever written.

About RE-ANIMATOR, true, it seems to capture the spirit of Lovecraft's story, but Lovecraft's story is the most unLovecraftian thing Lovecraft ever wrote. So I'm not sure that RE-ANIMATOR the film is the best example of the spirit of Lovecraft on the screen. I also have to admit that I despise IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS (long story) and feel that it rips and bastardizes Lovecraft rather than pays intelligent homage.

Carpenter's THE THING seems to capture much of the spirit of Lovecraft. I also love Charles Beaumont's screenplay for THE HAUNTED PALACE. While it isn't faithful to the source material (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), it IS faithful to Lovecraft's overall work and excellently conveys the threat of those beings outside time and space are to us.

Harvey C
10-23-2002, 04:57 PM
Originally posted by Chris Workman
I also love Charles Beaumont's screenplay for THE HAUNTED PALACE. While it isn't faithful to the source material (The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), it IS faithful to Lovecraft's overall work and excellently conveys the threat of those beings outside time and space are to us.

I agree. For some reason this cheap but effective Corman flick gets far too little praise from Lovecraft fans.

John G.
10-23-2002, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Chris Workman
It's nice to see you're a Lovecraft fan and that you place THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE at the top. It's amazing how Lovecraft took a real-life picture he'd seen and turned it into one of the most frightening stories he'd ever written.
I don't know why this one gets so overlooked by Lovecraft fanatics... It's one of the scariest stories that ANYBODY has ever written! I also think that PICKMAN'S MODEL is an absolutely brilliant work of his. Oh, and I'd also have to add THE MUSIC OF ERICH ZANN... it's one of his more creepier stories, and it left a big impression on me after I first read it!

Franklin Harris
10-24-2002, 09:58 PM
I've always been partial to The Colour Out of Space.

Al Edwards
01-03-2003, 04:08 PM
The Dunwhich Horror, although there are other stories by Lovecraft I like as well.

Al Edwards
03-26-2005, 01:56 PM
I also like Shadows Over Innsmouth and Color Out of Space.

Al Edwards
08-27-2008, 02:14 AM
What would be the most difficult to adapt that hasn't been made into a film?

Phil B.
08-27-2008, 02:25 AM


What a genius of writing.

What would be the most difficult to adapt that hasn't been made into a film?
I recently read that Del Toro wanted to do Mountains, but the project was "under-funded". I will have to look for the link.

Randy Thomas G
08-27-2008, 02:58 AM
Not a big fan, his prose is overwrought and his 'surprises' are often visible long before the conclusion of the story, but I do find him very readable and often fun. My favourites would be The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward, closely followed by The Mountains of Madness and The Colour From Space.

I think a proper adaptation of The Strange Case.. would be great. Del Toro doing The Mountains of Madness (which I also read about somewhere else) would be great, but I would see that as the most difficult story to adapt, but I bet Del Toro could do it.

mitch m
08-27-2008, 03:55 AM
i actually got a rpg based on lovecrafts writings.

has anyone seen this...?

Robert Wilkins
08-27-2008, 12:48 PM
Actually, my favorite HPL tale is The Haunter Of The Dark, but I voted for The Dunwich Horror in it's absence, as it wasn't a voting option.

As for his shorter tales I'd have to say The Festival gets my vote.

Robert Wilkins
08-27-2008, 01:10 PM
I was very surprised to learn that a number of people apparently believe that the Necronomicon - the ancient tome mentioned in a number of his stories - is a real book from which Lovecraft drew inspiration.

He made the whole thing up, of course.

These are also the same people who will tell you that the pyramids we're built by E.T.s, or that Stonehenge was the work of crystal gazing druids levitating enormous blocks across the neolithic British countryside.

HPL was a staunch atheist. His "pantheon of gods" was a literary device which he used, quite successfully, to parody all religions.

Also, some people have noted that Herbert West-Reanimator is sort of the "odd man out" in his oeuvre, but I believe this is not the case. The tale is entirely keeping with HPL's beleif in mechanical materialism

And another thing, The Haunted Palace is a very underated film!

Isaac K.
08-27-2008, 01:12 PM
Shadow over Innsmouth is the most memorable for me. Dreamquest I liked a lot while reading it, but just like dreams, I now remember almost nothing about. Probably my favorite "non-Lovecraft" Cthulhu Mythos story is "The Hounds of Tindalos" by Frank Belknap Long.

08-28-2008, 06:06 PM
Unfortunately none of those titles are my favorite. That would be THE PICTURE IN THE HOUSE. When I first read it, I imagined all sorts of horrible pictures like the one Lovecraft describes in the story. Little did I know then that he was basing his story on an actual picture (which I now have in an annotated Lovecraft book). It's a great story, really horrific, and the final realization is so deftly handled that I challenge anyone to read this story late at night by yourself and NOT be scared.

Randy Thomas G
08-29-2008, 02:20 AM
i actually got a rpg based on lovecrafts writings.

I played that game as a teen, it was great fun, since you were lucky if your character survived more than one 'adventure' it was actually a lot more fun than the overly serious and time consuming AD&D games.

Chuk H
08-31-2008, 03:35 AM
My faves are

Haunter of the Dark
Rats in the Walls
Imprisoned with the Pharaohs
Beyond the Walls of Sleep
Shadow Over Innsmouth
The Dunwich Horror
The Shadow out of Time

Chuk H
08-31-2008, 03:38 AM
i actually got a rpg based on lovecrafts writings.

has anyone seen this...?

Yes, I have it.

It's a nice effort to try to recreate silent film and tell the story. It suffers from a non-budget but is a valiant effort..

Chad Haden
08-31-2008, 09:33 AM
Has anyone read SHADOWS OVER BAKER STREET where Lovecraft's mythos is introduced into the world of Sherlock Holmes?

Aaron G
02-11-2011, 05:14 AM
Just read THE CALL OF CTHULU for the first time. It was fuckn awesome! I wanna join the cult!

Jim R.
02-18-2011, 06:38 PM
I like "Pickman's Model" the best. It's not on the poll options. Demons snacking on human babies....oooh, yuck!