The Halloween season is upon us, and with it comes a huge wave of horror enthusiasm. People are renting horror movies, visiting haunted locations, and generally enjoying a good scare. Before you rent “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, why don’t you spend some time reading before bed. I suggest the master of uber-creepy-otherworldly horror: Mr. H.P. Lovecraft.
Howard Phillip Lovecraft, widely known as H.P. Lovecraft, August 20, 1890 – March 15, 1937, was a master of otherworldly fictional horror and truly a visionary that can be called “ahead of their time.” Lovecraft began writing early in life and primarily wrote poetry and other less terrifying works before he released his first works of horror. Lovecraft wrote in three different styles for the most part.
- Macabre stories (approximately 1905–1920)
- Dream Cycle stories (approximately 1920–1927)
- Cthulhu Mythos/Lovecraft Mythos stories (approximately 1925–1935)
While his Cthulhu works are arguably the the most influential and popular, Lovecraft was a very prolific write and churned out many other popular tales. The Call of Cthulhu, was published in Weird Tales in 1928 and established the character as a malevolent entity trapped in an underwater city in the South Pacific called R’lyeh. Lovecraft describes Cthulhu as “My somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature…. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings.” This story has inspired everyone from Metallica to Stephen King. Most horror fans seem to be familiar with his creation of Necronomicon, a fictional grimoire with instruction on how to summon age-old demons. This was pretty much the basis for the film, The Evil Dead.
If you’re making your initial entry in Lovecraft, I would suggest the following. If you have nightmares, you’re not alone. Lovecraft drew much of his inspiration from his own dreams and nightmares.
Give these a shot:
You may want to move on to the Twilight series if you end up dreaming about this guy.