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Constructing fear and horror.

Son of Winfield Scott Lovecraft (1853-1898), travelling salesman, and Sarah Susan Phillips (1857-1921), Howard Phillips Lovecraft (August 20, 1890, Providence, Rhode Island--March 13, 1937, Providence) was raised, after his father's death, by his mother and two aunts, but especially by his grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips (1833-1904), a wealthy industrialist. Frail and unhealthy--just like Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), whose works he read when he was about seven--Lovecraft completed his education not in school, but by individual study, becoming acquainted with the Greek and Roman classics when six, with chemistry when nine, with geography and astronomy when only twelve. He started writing storiettes and poems around 1897 (The Little Glass Bottle; The Poem of Ulysses, November 8, 1897, an eighty-eight lines paraphrase of the Odyssey), treatises on chemistry (The Scientific Gazette, 1899-1907) and astronomy (The Rhode Island Journal of Astronomy, 1903-1907). His first story, written about 1896, and lost today, seems to have been The Noble Eavesdropper. His first still existing horror stories were The Beast in the Cave (spring 1904--April 21, 1905, The Vagrant, No. 7, June 1918), and The Alchemist (1908, The United Amateur, 16, No. 4, November 1916); his first published poem was the satire Providence in 2000 A.D. (early 1912, Evening Bulletin, March 4, 1912), while the first astronomy article appeared in The Providence Sunday Journal, 1906. Lovecraft further contributed to The Pawtuxet Valley Gleaner (monthly astronomic column), The Providence Tribune (1906-1908), The Providence Evening News (1914-1918), The Asheville Gazette-News (1915). The death of his grandfather brought him great financial problems and had an important role in his first nervous breakdown (1908), which made him abandon high school without gaining his diploma. Between 1908 and 1913 he read extensively, and devoted himself to scientific writing and poetry. Ad Criticos, a satirical poem in four books, was published in Argosy (January 1914, Book 1; February 1914, Book 2) and in Saturnalia and Other Poems (1984, Books 3, 4) (cf. Joshi & Schultz 2001: 2). In 1914, invited by Edward F. Daas, Lovecraft joined the United Amateur Press Association (UAPA), whose president and official editor he would become after a few months. From 1915 to 1923 he published his own journal, The Conservative (13 issues). After his mother's death, Lovecraft met Sonia Haft Greene, a Russian Jew seven years his senior, whom he married on March 3, 1924; they divorced in 1929. After his first important short stories (The Tomb, June 1917, The Vagrant, No. 14, March 1922; Dagon, July 1917, The Vagrant, No. 11, November, 1919, re-issued in Weird Tales, 2, No. 3, October 1923), and the beginning of his contributions to famous magazines such as Astounding Stories, Amazing Stories, Fantasy Magazine, Lovecraft became acquainted with the works of Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914), Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951), Edward John Plunkett, Lord Dunsany (1878-1957), William Hope Hodgson (1877-1918), Arthur Machen (1863-1947). That was the period in which he wrote Supernatural Horror in Literature (November 1925-May 1927, The Recluse, 1927), The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (autumn 1926--January 22, 1927, Beyond the Wall of Sleep, 1943), The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (late January-March 1, 1927, Weird Tales, 35, No. 9, May 1941, 35, No. 10, July 1941), The Colour out of Space (March 1927, Amazing Stories, 2, No. 6, September 1927), At the Mountains of Madness (February 24-March 22, 1931, Astounding Stories, 16, No. 6, February 1936, 17, No. 1, March 1936, 17, No. 2, April 1936), The Shadow out of Time (November 1934-February 1935, Astounding Stories, 17, No. 4, June 1936). The short stories of this period, be they nostalgic (The Shunned House, October 16-19, 1924, printed, not bound or released by Recluse Press, 1928, first published in Weird Tales, 30, No. 4, October 1937), dark (The Horror at Red Hook, August 1-2, 1925, Weird Tales, 9, No. 1, January 1927), or misanthropical (He, August 11, 1925, Weird Tales, 8, No. 3, September 1926) pointed out more and more the loneliness the Providence writer indulged in. Usually characterized not only by common everyday scenes, but also by an imaginary pantheon of gods and forces (such as Cthulhu, Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep)--to which some of his friends (Clark Ashton Smith, 1893-1961; Robert E. Howard, 1906-1936) often contributed (cf. Letter to William Frederick Anger, August 14, 1934)--these stories contain interrelations beyond the normal. (Joshi 1982: 31)

Two names were suggested for his entire mythology. The first was the Yog-Sothothery or the Yog-Sothoth Cycle (Lovecraft 1971: 294), after the name of one of the important gods, first mentioned in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

B. dy'd not. Escap'd into walls and founde Place below.

Saw olde V. saye ye Sabaoth and learnt ye Way.

Rais'd Yog-Sothoth thrice and was ye nexte Day deliver'd.

F. soughte to wipe out all know'g howe to raise Those from Outside. (Lovecraft 2008: 577)

as related to some strange incantations:

Weird and menacing in that abyss of antique blasphemy rang his voice; its accents keyed to a droning sing-song either through the spell of the past and the unknown, or through the hellish example of that dull, godless wail from the pits whose inhuman cadences rose and fell rhythmically in the distance through the stench and the darkness. Y'AI 'NG'NGAH, / YOG-SOTHOTH / H'EE--L'GEB / F'AI THRODOG / UAAAH! (Lovecraft 2008: 579)


cryptic invocation whose heading was the Dragon's Tail, sign of the descending node--OGTHROD AI'F / GEB'L--EE'H / YOG-SOTHOTH / NGAH'NG AI'Y / ZHRO! (Lovecraft 2008: 593)

Later, Yog-Sothoth would be mentioned both in The Dunwich Horror (August 1928, Weird Tales, 13, No. 4, April 1929):

Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. (Lovecraft 2008: 645)

and in Through the Gates of the Silver Key (with E. Hoffmann Price, 1898-1988, October 1932--April 1933, Weird Tales, 24, No. 1, July 1934):

It was an All-in-One and One-in-All of limitless being and self--not merely a thing of one Space-Time continuum, but allied to the ultimate animating essence of existence's whole unbounded sweep--the last, utter sweep which has no confines and which outreaches fancy and mathematics alike. It was perhaps that which certain secret cults of earth have whispered of YOG-SOTHOTH, and which has been a deity under other names; that which the crustaceans of Yuggoth worship as the Beyond-One, and which the vaporous brains of the spiral nebulae know by an untranslatable Sign. (Lovecraft 2008: 903)

The second term for his entire mythology was the Arkham Cycle (Lovecraft 1968: 246) because the places of action were to be found in an imaginary New England area included within the perimeter Arkham (Salem), Innsmouth (Newburyport, Massachusetts), Dunwich (the area around Hampden, Wilbraham, and Monson, Massachusetts), Kingsport (Marblehead, Massachusetts). However, some exceptions should be noted, the backgrounds of At the Mountains of Madness, The Music of Erich Zann (December 1921, The National Amateur, 44, No. 4, March 1922), The Shadow out of Time being placed somewhere else.

In a letter of May 16, 1931, Lovecraft wrote to his friend August Derleth (1909-1971)

It's not a bad idea to call this Cthulhuism and Yog-Sothothery of mine 'The Mythology of Hastur'--although it was really from Machen and Dunsany and others, rather than through the Bierce--Chambers line, that I picked up my gradually developing hash of theogony--or daimonogony. Come to think of it, I guess I sling this stuff more as Chambers does than as Machen and Dunsany do--though I had written a good deal of it before I ever suspected that Chambers ever wrote a weird story! (apud Joshi 1996: 505)

One must emphasize here the name of Cthulhu, the many-tentacled, octopus-headed god, a cosmic entity created in The Call of Cthulhu (August or September 1926, Weird Tales, 11, No. 2, February 1928). Partially shaped after Mana-Yood-Sushai, imagined by Lord Dunsany, and considered begotten from an unknown alien substance (cf. At the Mountains of Madness; The Whisperer in Darkness, February-September 1930, Weird Tales, 18, No. 1, August 1931), Cthulhu was used by August Derleth (essay H. P. Lovecraft, Outsider, June 1937), then by Francis T. Laney (1914-1958, study Cthulhu Mythology: A Glossary, initially published in the The Acolyte magazine, 1942, and republished in Beyond the Wall of Sleep, 1943), to generically call the myths on which the works of Lovecraft and of some of his followers (Robert Bloch, 1917-1994; Ramsey Campbell, 1946-; Lin Carter, 1930-1988; Frank Belknap Long, 1901-1994; Brian Lumley, 1937-; Clark Ashton Smith; Colin Wilson, 1931-) were based. However, scholars such as Donald R. Burleson (1941-), S. T. Joshi (1958-), Richard L. Tierney (1936-) chose to call them Lovecraft Mythos taking into account the fact that the author of Dagon never used the name Cthulhu Mythos (Tudor & Tudor 2012: 409). The unity of the entire cycle is given by five essential elements (Joshi 1982: 32), these being: 1) the mythical and imaginary New England area mentioned above; 2) the common cosmic element; 3) the existence of some pseudomythological deities and beings (Azathoth, Yog-Sothoth, the shoggoths, the Great Old Ones); 4) the usage of forbidden books containing information on these deities (Necronomicon [in The Nameless City, The Hound, The Dunwich Horror]; Book of Eibon / Liber Ivonis [in The Dreams in the Witch House, The Thing on the Doorstep, The Haunter of the Dark], Nameless Cults by Friedrich von Juntz--introduced by Robert E. Howard in The Children of the Night, 1931, subsequently modified and retitled Unaussprechlichen Kulten by August Derleth and E. Hoffmann Price; Cultes des Goules / Cults of Ghouls by Comte D'Erlette [in The Shadow out of Time, The Haunter of the Dark]; De Vermis Mysteriis / Mysteries of the Worm by Ludwig Prinn [in The Shadow out of Time, The Haunter of the Dark]; The People of the Monolith by Justin Geoffrey [in The Thing on the Doorstep]; Pnakotic Manuscripts, of pre-pleistocenic origin; the R'lyeh text [in The Call of Cthulhu] written in a pre-human language from which only a few words were kept: "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgahnagl fhtagn" / "In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming" (Lovecraft 2008: 363); 5) some real books, among them, Raymond Lully, Ars Magna et Ultima (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), W. Scott-Elliot, The Story of Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria (in The Call of Cthulhu), Robert Fludd, Clavis Alchemiae (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Giovanni Battista della Porta, De Furtivis Literarum Notis (in The Dunwich Horror), Remigius, The Daemonolatreia (in The Festival, The Dunwich Horror), Sir James George Frazer, The Golden Bough (in The Call of Cthulhu), Johannes Trithemius, De Lapide Philosophico (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Johannes Trithemius, Poligraphia (in The Dunwich Horror), Artephius, Key of Wisdom (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Johann Ludwig Kluber, Kryptographik (in The Dunwich Horror), Cotton Mather, Magnalia Christi Americana (in The Picture in the House, The Unnamable, Pickman's Model, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Joseph Glanvil, Saducismus Triumphatus (in The Festival), Roger Bacon, Thesaurus Chemicus (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Guglielmo Grataroli, Turba Philosophorum (in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward), Margaret Murray, The Witch-Cult in Western Europe (in The Call of Cthulhu, The Horror at Red Hook), Cotton Mather, Wonders of the Invisible World (in Pickman's Model), John Falconer, Cryptomenysis Patefacta (in The Dunwich Horror).

Being inspired by the mythologies imagined by Lord Dunsany and Robert W. Chambers (1865-1933), Lovecraft worked out his own mythology, which by its archaic language had to hint at the real and true one; this mythology was especially connected with the mysterious black magic book of Necronomicon. According to The History of the Necronomicon (September 1927, published as a pamphlet in late 1938 by Wilson Shepherd, Rebel Press, Oakman, Alabama), the original title was Al Azif, "azif" being the Arabic name of the "nocturnal sound, made by insects, suppos'd to be the howling of daemons" (Lovecraft 2008: 621); this book was supposed to have been written by Abdul Alhazred, a "mad poet of Sann, in Yemen", around 700 A.D. Abdul visited the ruins of Babylon, the "subterranian secrets" of Memphis, and spent "ten years alone in the great southern desert of Arabia--the Roba el Khaliyeh or 'Empty Space' of the ancients--and 'Dahna' or 'Crimson' desert of the modern Arabs, which is held to be inhabited by protective evil spirits and monsters of death" (Lovecraft 2008: 621), an area where he discovered the fabulous Irem or City of Pillars. Abdul spent his last years in Damascus where he wrote Necronomicon, and where he died, probably in 738, devoured in broad daylight by an invisible monster, according to Ebn Khallikan, a 12th century biographer. Claiming to have discovered beneath the ruins of a nameless desert town the secrets of a race older than mankind, Abdul worshipped some unknown entities which he named Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu. Alhazred's book was translated in 950 into Greek, as Necronomicon, by Theodorus Philetas, a scholar from Constantinople. Because of the blasphemies included, the book was banned by the Constantinople Patriarch Michael I Cerularius (1000-1059) in 1050. However, it was translated into Latin (1228) by Olaus Wormius--one should note that the real Danish physician and philosopher of that name lived between 1588-1655--and printed for the first time in the 15th century in Germany, then in Italy (16th century) and Spain (17th century). Both the Greek and the Latin translations were banned in 1232 by Pope Gregory IX (1145/1170-1241), the original Arabic text being already lost at that time. The existence of a last Greek version was mentioned in 1692 when it was burned in a Salem house fire. The book was allegedly translated into English by the Welsh mathematician, astronomer and astrologer John Dee (1527-1608/1609).

Lovecraft first mentioned Abdul Alhazred in The Nameless City (January 1921, The Wolverine, No. 11, November 1921) as the author of an "unexplainable couplet"

That is not dead which can eternal lie, / And with strange aeons even death may die (Lovecraft 2008: 141) in which the mad Alhazred dreamed of an unknown and ancient civilization lost somewhere in the Arabia deserts. But it was only in The Hound (September 1922, Weird Tales, 3, No. 2, February 1924) that Alhazred was presented as the author of Necronomicon:

Alien it indeed was to all art and literature which sane and balanced readers know, but we recognised it as the thing hinted of in the forbidden Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred; the ghastly soul-symbol of the corpse-eating cult of inaccessible Leng, in Central Asia. All too well did we trace the sinister lineaments described by the old Arab daemonologist; lineaments, he wrote, drawn from some obscure supernatural manifestation of the souls of those who vexed and gnawed at the dead.... We read much in Alhazred's Necronomicon about its [jade amulet] properties, and about the relation of ghouls' souls to the objects it symbolised; and were disturbed by what we read. Then terror came. (Lovecraft 2008: 218-219)

The title, translated from Greek--necros (dead), nomos (law), eikon (image)--meant an "Image of the Laws of the Dead" (Lovecraft 1976: 418). But, by analogy with Marcus Manilius' Astronomicon, a volume Lovecraft knew, Necronomicon meant "Book considering, or classifying, the dead", or, simply, "The Book of the Dead" (Joshi 2008a: 34-35).

Special attention was given to the fabulous civilizations existing before the emergence of man. Much more advanced, these imaginary civilizations were characterized by cyclopean architectures, forbidden religions and damned morals and manners (the Nameless City in the Arabia deserts [The Nameless City], the millennia-abandoned titanic city of the Old Ones in the Antarctic wasteland [At the Mountains of Madness], or the mythical Kadath [The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath]).

There were five prehuman civilizations on Terra: three extraterrestrial (the Great Old Ones; the Cthulhu horde; and the dreaded Mi-Go, or the Abominable Snow-Men who came from Yuggoth, i.e. Pluto, both to mine a certain metal not to be found on their own planet, and, from time to time, to kidnap humans and take them on trips throughout the universe, The Whisperer in Darkness), one extragalactic (the Great Race of Yith, The Shadow out of Time), and one about which no more was known except that it had preceded and outlived the Great Race.

Some details, further to become common, were given as early as Dagon, when the narrator accidentally stumbled upon the traces of an aquatic civilization of hideously hybrid beings represented at that moment only by the fish-god Dagon:

They were damnably human in general outline despite webbed hands and feet, shockingly wide and flabby lips, glassy, bulging eyes, and other features less pleasant to recall. Curiously enough, they seemed to have been chiselled badly out of proportion with their scenic background; for one of the creatures was shewn in the act of killing a whale represented as but little larger than himself I remarked, as I say, their grotesqueness and strange size; but in a moment decided that they were merely the imaginary gods of some primitive fishing or seafaring tribe; some tribe whose last descendant had perished eras before the first ancestor of the Piltdown or Neanderthal Man was born....With only a slight churning to mark its rise to the surface, the thing slid into view above the dark waters. Vast, Polyphemus-like and loathsome, it darted like a stupendous monster of nighmares to be monolith, about which it flung its gigantic scaly arms, the while it bowed its hideous head and gave vent to certain measures sounds. (Lovecraft 2008: 26)

At the Mountains of Madness included information on the history, politics, aesthetics and civilization of the Old Ones, a "classic" civilization whose importance and influence could be compared to those of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Moreover, it seemed that the Old Ones themselves had created not only crude synthetic life-forms, but also a shambling primitive mammal, used sometimes for food and sometimes as an amusing buffoon by the land dwellers, whose vaguely simian and human foreshadowings were unmistakable. (Lovecraft 2008: 774)

As shown in The Shadow out of Time, the members of the Great Race were immense rugose cones ten feet high, and with head and other organs attached to foot-thick, distensible limbs spreading from the apexes. They spoke by the clicking or scraping of huge paws or claws attached to the end of two of their four limbs, and walked by the expansion and contraction of a viscous layer attached to their vast ten-foot bases. (Lovecraft 2008: 962) and they seemed to form a single, loosely knit nation or league, with major institutions in common, though there were four definite divisions. The political and economic system of each unit was a sort of fascistic socialism, with major resources rationally distributed, and power delegated to a small governing board elected by the votes of all able to pass certain educational and psychological tests. Family organisation was not overstressed, though ties among persons of common descent were recognized, and the young were generally reared by their parents. (Lovecraft 2008: 971)

Having conquered "the secret of time", and being "faced with death", its members "sought to escape mental extinction", first by sending their "minds" in the past, or the future, then by introducing them into the body of any life form in the universe, this representing their own peculiar way of studying--and thoroughly coming to know--other species. Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee, professor of political economy at Miskatonic University, recalled his encounter with the alien minds:

There was a mind from the planet we know as Venus, which would live incalculable epochs to come, and one from an outer moon of Jupiter six million years in the past. Of earthly minds there were some from the winged, star-headed, half-vegetable race of palaeogean Antarctica; one from the reptile people of fabled Valusia; three from the furry pre-human Hyperborean worshippers of Tsathoggua; one from the wholly abominable Tcho-Tchos; two from the arachnid denizens of earth's last age; five from the hardy coleopterous species immediately following mankind, to which the Great Race was some day to transfer its keenest minds en masse in the face of horrible peril; and several from different branches of humanity. (Lovecraft 2008: 968)

In Beyond the Wall of Sleep (spring 1919, Pine Cones, 1, No. 6, October 1919) there was a strange cosmic connection between an ignorant peasant, Joe Slater by name, and an astral entity connected with the Nova Persei star. He was a creature of importance and vivid life; moving proudly and dominantly, and checked only by a certain deadly enemy, who seemed to be a being of visible yet ethereal structure, and who did not appear to be of human shape, since Slater never referred to it as a man, or as aught save a thing. This thing had done Slater some hideous but unnamed wrong, which the maniac (if maniac he were) yearned to avenge. From the manner in which Slater alluded to their dealings, I judged that he and the luminous thing had met on equal terms; that in his dream existence the man was himself a luminous thing of the same race as his enemy. This impression was sustained by his frequent references to flying through space and burning all that impeded his progress.... The man who had been Joe Slater was now gazing at me with a pair of luminous, expanded eyes whose blue seemed subtly to have deepened.... Joe Slater is dead, came the soul-petrifying voice or agency from beyond the wall of sleep.... 'He is better dead, for he was unfit to bear the active intellect of cosmic entity. His gross body could not undergo the needed adjustments between ethereal life and planet life. He was too much of an animal, too little a man; yet it is through his deficiency that you have come to discover me, for the cosmic and planet souls rightly should never meet. He has been my torment and diurnal prison for forty-two of your terrestrial years. I am an entity like that which you yourself become in the freedom of dreamless sleep. I am your brother of light, and have floated with you in the effulgent valleys. It is not permitted me to tell your waking earth-self of your real self, but we are all roamers of vast spaces and travellers in many ages.' (Lovecraft 2008: 41, 43-44)

Lovecraft considered that in the 1920s some of the most important "characters" of horror fiction (Satan, demons, werewolves, vampires) had become obsolete, so that he suggested new "menaces" should be found. (Neilson 1981: 1823)

That was why he stated, in The Call of Cthulhu, the metaphysical assumption behind his entire mythology:

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age. (Lovecraft 2008: 355)

This "terrifying reality" should consist of beings, vast, powerful, and immortal, who hovered at the edges of man's consciousness, poised to enter his world and sweep him away like so much useless debris. These creatures, such as the Great Old Ones, dominated the earth long before man, but lost the power very long ago for reasons that vary from story to story (in early tales, they tended to be supernatural creatures from another dimension; in later ones, they were usually powerful extraterrestrials). The Old Ones could be banished by various magical defenses, but, mostly, if reanimated, they were invulnerable (Neilson 1981: 1823). Thus, "with their indifferent cruelty and overwhelming powers," the Old Ones were "metaphors for a cruelly indifferent universe that provides a fragile, temporary refuge for the most ephemeral and insignificant of creatures--man." (Neilson 1981: 1827)

One sight of the thing had been enough to throw the assembled men of science into a state of tense excitement, and they lost no time in crowding around him to gaze at the diminutive figure whose utter strangeness and air of genuinely abysmal antiquity hinted so potently at unopened and archaic vistas. No recognised school of sculpture had animated this terrible object, yet centuries and even thousands of years seemed recorded in its dim and greenish surface of unplaceable stone.

The figure, which was finally passed slowly from man to man for close and careful study, was between seven and eight inches in height, and of exquisitely artistic workmanship. It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence, and squatted evilly on a rectangular block or pedestal covered with undecipherable characters. The tips of the wings touched the back edge of the block, the seat occupied the centre, whilst the long, curved claws of the doubled-up, crouching hind legs gripped the front edge and extended a quarter of the way down toward the bottom of the pedestal. The cephalopod head was bent forward, so that the ends of the facial feelers brushed the backs of huge fore paws which clasped the croucher's elevated knees. The aspect of the whole was abnormally life-like, and the more subtly fearful because its source was so totally unknown. Its vast, awesome, and incalculable age was unmistakable; yet not one link did it shew with any known type of art belonging to civilisation's youth--or indeed to any other time. Totally separate and apart, its very material was a mystery; for the soapy, greenish-black stone with its golden or iridescent flecks and striations resembled nothing familiar to geology or mineralogy. The characters along the base were equally baffling; and no member present, despite a representation of half the world's expert learning in this field, could form the least notion of even their remotest linguistic kinship. They, like the subject and material, belonged to something horribly remote and distinct from mankind as we know it; something frightfully suggestive of old and unhallowed cycles of life in which our world and our conceptions have no part. (Lovecraft 2008: 362)

The dreaded Cthulhu was seen and, subsequently, destroyed by the Norwegian sailor Gustaf Johansen:

The awful squid-head with writhing feelers came nearly up to the bowsprit of the sturdy yacht, but Johansen drove on relentlessly. There was a bursting as of an exploding bladder, a slushy nastiness as of a cloven sunfish, a stench as of a thousand opened graves, and a sound that the chronicler would not put on paper. For an instant the ship was befouled by an acrid and blinding green cloud, and then there was only a venomous seething astern; where--God in heaven!--the scattered plasticity of that nameless sky-spawn was nebulously recombining in its hateful original form. (Lovecraft 2008: 378)

In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath there heaved in sight both Azathoth, the boundless daemon-sultan whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes. (Lovecraft 2008: 410) and Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, the "frightful soul and messenger of infinity's Other Gods". Also called the "Mighty Messenger" (The Whisperer in Darkness, Lovecraft 2008: 683), being coined after Dunsany's Mynarthitep and Alhireth-hotep, Nyarlathotep, a "kind of combination of Thoth-Hermes and the Antichrist" (Price 1992: x), was a tall, slim figure with the face of an antique Pharaoh, gay with prismatic robes and crowned with a golden pshent that glowed with inherent light, ... a regal figure; whose proud carraige and swart features had in them the fascination of a dark god or fallen archangel, and around whose eyes there lurked the languid sparkle of caprious humour. (Lovecraft 2008: 482)

The other two important deities were Yog-Sothoth (mentioned above) and Shub-Niggurath, borrowed from Lord Dunsany's Sheol-Nugganoth, "the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young" (The Whisperer in Darkness, Lovecraft 2008: 683).

Lovecraft's mythology was completed, in time, with Tsathoggua, the "amorphous, toad-like god-creature" (The Whisperer in Darkness, Lovecraft 2008: 708); Nodens, the "Lord of the Great Abyss" (The Strange High House in the Mist, November 9, 1926, Weird Tales, 18, No. 3. October 1931; Lovecraft 2008: 406); Rhan-Tegoth (The Horror in the Museum, with Hazel Heals, October 1932, Weird Tales, 22, No. 1, July 1933); Ghatanothoa (Out of the Aeons, with Hazel Heals, August 1933, Weird Tales, 25, No. 4, April 1935); Yig, the Father of Serpents, (The Curse of Yig, with Zealia Bishop, 1928, Weird Tales, 14, No. 5, November 1929), and, in Through the Gates of the Silver Key, Umr at-Tawil

He who guardeth the Gateway; He who will guide the rash one beyond all the worlds into the Abyss of unnarnable Devourers, ...the Most Ancient One, which the scribe rendereth as 'the Prolonged of Life.' (Lovecraft 2008: 897)

Despite some visible inconsistencies, the stories known as Cthulhu Mythos can be considered "a series of tales unique not only in their interrelatedness or in their structural and stylistic excellence but in their conveying of the 'cosmic' attitude which gives to Lovecraft's philosophy its distinctiveness." (Joshi 1982: 43)

Lovecraft wrote about his prose fiction in a letter to Farnsworth Wright (July 5, 1927):

Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. To me there is nothing but puerility in a tale in which the human form--and the local human passions and conditions and standards--are depicted as native to other worlds or other universes. To achieve the essence of real externality, whether of time or space or dimension, one must forget that such things as organic life, good and evil, love and hate, and all such local attributes of a negligible and temporary race called mankind, have any existence at all. Only the human scenes and characters must have human qualities. These must be handled with unsparing realism, (not catchpenny romanticism) but when we cross the line to the boundless and hideous unknown--the shadow-haunted Outside--we must remember to leave our humanity--and terrestrialism at the threshold. (Lovecraft 1968: 150)

Tales had to be inspired from the past rather than from the future because

The past is real--it is all there is. The present is only a trivial and momentary boundary-line--whilst the future, though wholly determinate, is too essentially unknown and landmarkless to possess any hold upon our sense of concrete aesthetic imagery. (Lovecraft 1971: 31)

This was why some stories took place in the past (The Alchemist), either in England (The Hound; The Rats in the Walls, August--September 1923, Weird Tales, 3, No. 3, March 1924), or in Europe (The Music of Erich Zann).

Referring to the weird literature, Lovecraft wrote to editor Edwin Baird (Weird Tales, 3, No. 3, March 1924) that

One can't write a weird story of real power without perfect psychological detachment from the human scene, and a magic prism of imagination which suffuses them and style alike with that grotesquerie and disquieting distortion characteristic of morbid vision. Only a cynic can create horror--for behind every masterpiece of the sort must reside a driving daemonic force that despises the human race and its illusions, and longs to pull them to pieces and mock them. (apud Joshi & Schultz 2000: 122)

In a letter to J. Vernon Shea (August 7, 1931) Lovecraft stated that

There is no field other than the weird in which I have any aptitude or inclination for fictional composition. Life has never interested me so much as the escape from life. (apud Joshi 1996: 579)

Furthermore, he wrote on the topic to E. Hoffmann Price (September 29, 1933):

When I say that I can write nothing but weird fiction, I am not trying to exalt that medium but am merely confessing my own weakness. The reason I can't write other kinds is not that I don't value & respect them, but merely that my slender set of endowments does not enable me to extract a compellingly acute personal sense of interest & drama from the natural phenomena of life. I know that these natural phenomena are more important & significant than the special & tenuous moods which so absorb me, & that an art based on them is greater than any which fantasy could evoke--but I'm simply not big enough to react to them in the sensitive way necessary for artistic response & literary use. God in heaven! I'd certainly be glad enough to be a Shakespeare or Balzac or Turgeniev if I could! ... I respect realism more than any other form of art--but must reluctantly concede that, through my own limitations, it does not form a medium which I can adequately use. (apud Joshi 1996: 579)

A weird story had to be carefully writen:

In writing a weird story I always try very carefully to achieve the right mood and atmosphere, and place the emphasis where it belongs. One cannot, except in immature pulp charlatan-fiction, present an account of impossible, improbable, or inconceivable phenomena as a commonplace narrative of objective acts and conventional emotions. Inconceivable events and conditions have a special handicap to overcome, and this can be accomplished only through the maintenance of a careful realism in every phase of the story except that touching on the one given marvel. This marvel must be treated very impressively and deliberately--with a careful emotional "build-up"--else it will seem flat and unconvincing. Being the principal thing in the story, its mere existence should overshadow the characters and events. But the characters and events must be consistent and natural except where they touch the single marvel. (Lovecraft 1995: 113)

The events in a weird tale had to form "supplements rather than contradictions of the visible and mensurable universe" (Lovecraft 1971: 295-96), but any weird fiction should be based on a solid and realistic foundation:

Spectral fiction should be realistic and atmospheric--confining its departure from Nature to the one supernatural channel chosen, and remembering that scene, mood and phenomena are more important in conveying what is to be conveyed than characters and plot. (apud Derleth 1963: xvi)

As Lovecraft seemed to have identified with his native New England--"I am Providence, and Providence is myself" (Letter to James F. Morton, May 16, 1926, apud Joshi & Schultz 2000: 192); "Providence is part of me, I am Providence" (Letter to Lillian D. Clark, March 29, 1926, apud Joshi & Schultz 2000: 186)--, the perfect setting for a weird story could not have been elsewhere (Letter to Elizabeth Toldridge, October 9, 1931). And, finally, "I am Providence" is the inscription to be read on his tombstone in Swan Point Cemetry, near the banks of the Seekonk River.

As for New England as a seat of weirdness--a little historic reflection will show why it is more naturally redolent of the bizarre & the sinister than any other part of America. It was here that the most gloomy-minded of all the colonists settled; & here that the dark moods & cryptic hills pressed closest. An abnormal Puritan psychology led to all kinds of repression, furtiveness, & grotesque hidden crime, while the long winders and backwoods isolation fostered monstrous secrets which never came to light. To me there is nothing more fraught with mystery & terror than a remote Massachusetts farmhouse against a lonely hill. Where else could an outbreak like the Salem witchcraft have occurred? Rhode Island does not share these tenedencies--its history & settlement being different from those of other parts of New England--but just across the line in the old Bay State the macabre broods at its strongest. (Lovecraft 1971: 423)

Sometimes, horror elements were to be found in hoary and desolate regions (The Picture in the House, December 12, 1920, The National Amateur, 41, No. 6, July 1919):

Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands. But the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous. (Lovecraft 2008: 124)

The atmosphere, "the all-important thing" (Lovecraft 2008: 1043), rather than action and characters, should be essential for any supernatural tale, as it must, if it is to be authentic art, be the crystallisation or symbolisation of a definite human mood. (Lovecraft 1976: 158)

In a letter to Reinhardt Kleiner (March 7, 1920) Lovecraft described his own nature as tripartite, my interests consisting of three parallel and dissociated groups--(a) Love of the strange and fantastic. (b) Love of the abstract truth and of scientific logick. (c) Love of the ancient and the permanent. Sundry combinations of these three strains will probably account for all my odd tastes and eccentricities. (Lovecraft 1965: 110)

Any "good art" means (Letter to Woodburn Harris (February 25-March 1, 1929)

the ability of any one man to pin down in some permanent and intelligible medium a sort of idea of what he sees in Nature that nobody else sees. In other words, to make the other fellow grasp, through skilled selective care in interpretative reproduction or symbolism, some inkling of what only the artist himself could possibly see in the actual objective scene itself. (apud Joshi 1996: 487)

As a genuine form of art, phantasy (Letter to Clark Ashton Smith, October 17, 1930) is

an extension rather than a negation of reality. Ordinary tales about a castle ghost or old-fashioned werewolf are merely so much junk. The true function of phantasy is to give the imagination a ground for limitless expansion, and to satisfy aesthetically the sincere and burning curiosity and sense of awe which a sensitive minority of mankind feel toward the alluring and provocative abysses of unplumbed space and unguessed entity which press in upon the known world from unknown infinities and in unknown relationships of time, space, matter, force, dimensionality, and consciousness. This curiosity and sense of awe, I believe, are quite basic among the sensitive minority in question; and I see no reason to think that they will decline in the future--for as you point out, the frontier of the unknown can never do more than scratch the surface of eternally unknowable infinity. But the truly sensitive will never be more than a minority, because most persons--even those of the keenest possible intellect and aesthetic ability--simply have not the psychological equipment or adjustment to feel that way. I have taken pains to sound various persons as to their capacity to feel profoundly regarding the cosmos and the disturbing and fascinating quality of the extra-terrestrial and perpetually unknown; and my results reveal a surprisingly small quota. In literature we can easily see the cosmic quality in Poe, Maturin, Dunsany, de la Mare, and Blackwood, but I profoundly suspect the cosmicism of Bierce, James, and even Machen. It is not every macabre writer who feels poignantly and almost intolerably the pressure of cryptic and unbounded outer space. (apud Joshi & Schultz 2000: 213)

Therefore, ordinary life was never a subject for Lovecraft's artistic creation (Letter to E. Hoffmann Price, August 15, 1934):

However--the crucial thing is my lack of interest in ordinary life. No one ever wrote a story yet without some real emotional drive behind it--and I have not that drive except where violations of the natural order ... defiances and evasions of time, space, and cosmic law ... are concerned. Just why this is so I haven't the slightest idea--it simply is so. I am interested only in broad pageants--historic streams--orders of biological, chemical, physical, and astronomical organisation--and the only conflict which has any deep emotional significance to me is that of the principle of freedom or irregularity or adventurous opportunity against the eternal and maddening rigidity of cosmic law ... especially the laws of time.... Hence the type of thing I try to write. Naturally, I am aware that this forms a very limited special field so far as mankind en masse is concerned; but I believe (as pointed out in that Recluse article) that the field is an authentic one despite its subordinate nature. This protest against natural law, and tendency to weave visions of escape from orderly nature, are characteristic and eternal factors in human psychology, even though very small ones. They exist as permanent realities, and have always expressed themselves in a typical form of art from the earliest fireside folk tales and ballads to the latest achievements of Blackwood and Machen or de la Mare or Dunsany. That art exists--whether the majority like it or not. It is small and limited, but real--and there is no reason why its practitioners should be ashamed of it. Naturally one would rather be a broad artist with power to evoke beauty from every phase of experience--but when one unmistakably isn't such an artist, there's no sense in bluffing and faking and pretending that one is. (apud Joshi & Schultz 2000: 213)

For any writer,

The time has come when the normal revolt against time, space, and matter must assume a form not overtly incompatible with what is known of reality--when it must be gratified by images forming supplements rather than contradictions of the visible amd measurable universe. (Lovecraft 1971: 295-296)

And this could be done, as mentioned in Notes on Writing Weird Fiction, from the

galling liminations of time, space, and natural law which forever imprison us and frustrate our curiosity about the infinite cosmic paces beyond the radius of our sight and analysis. (apud Joshi 1982: 59)

This was the reason why Fritz Leiber (1910-1992) considered that the Providence author was the first fantasist who

firmly attached the emotion of spectral dread to such concepts as outer space, the rim of the cosmos, alien beings, unsuspected dimensions, and the conceivable universes lying outside our own spacetime continuum. (apud Davis 1995)

By "fusing cutting-edge science with archaic material", Lovecraft created a "twisted materialism in which scientific 'progress' returns us to the atavistic abyss, and hardnosed research revives the factual basis of forgotten and discarded myths." (Davis 1995)

Very important in Lovecraft's works--as in some of the great Romantics, for that matter--was the conception of dream. Some tales such as Dagon, Polaris (late spring or summer of 1918, The Philosopher, 1, No. 1, December, 1920), The Statement of Randolph Carter (December, 1919, The Vagrant, No. 13, May 1920), Celephais (November 1920, The Rainbow, No. 2, May 1922), Nyarlathotep (November or December 1920, The United Amateur, 20, No. 2, November 1920), Hypnos (March 1922, The National Amateur, 45, No. 5, May 1923), The Dreams in the Witch House (January-February 1932, Weird Tales, 22, No. 1, July 1933), The Shadow out of Time, were based largely or exclusively upon actual dreams or dream-images. Actually, one could speak here of "'ordinary dreams'" or of some "'supra-reality', a higher place of reality than was normally granted to men's eyes" (Joshi 1982: 61). This distinction was made clear in Beyond the Wall of Sleep:

Whilst the greater number of our nocturnal visions are perhaps no more than faint and fantastic reflections of our waking experience--Freud to the contrary with his puerile symbolism--there are still a certain remainder whose immundane and ethereal character permits of no ordinary interpretation, and whose vaguely exciting and disquieting effect suggests possible minute glimpses into a sphere of mental existence no less important than physical life, yet separated from that life by an all but impassible barrier. From my experience I cannot doubt but that man, when lost to terrestrial consciousness, is indeed sojourning in another and uncorporeal life of far different nature from the life we know; and of which only the slightest and most indistinct memories linger after waking. From those blurred and fragmentary memories we may infer much, yet prove little. We may guess that in dreams life, matter, and vitality, as the earth knows such things, are not necessarily constant; and that time and space do not exist as our waking selves comprehend them. Sometimes I believe that this less material life is our truer life, and that our vain presence on the terraqueous globe is itself the secondary or merely virtual phenomenon. (Lovecraft 2008: 37)

The themes of Lovecraft's stories are various (Joshi 1982: 60). One can include heredity which refers either to hereditary degeneration (The Beast in the Cave; Picture in the House; The Rats in the Walls; The Lurking Fear, November 1922, Home Brew, 2, No. 6, January 1923, 3, No 1, February 1923, 3, No. 2, March 1923, 3, No. 3, April 1923; The Shadow over Innsmouth, November-December 1931, volume 193; The Horror at Red Hook), or to the influence of ancestry upon the thoughts and actions of individuals (The Alchemist; The Tomb; Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family, fall of 1920, The Wolverine, No. 9, March 1921; The Rats in the Walls; The Festival, October 1923, Weird Tales, 5, No.1, January 1925; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward). There is also the psychic possession (The Thing on the Doorstep, August 1933, Weird Tales, 29, No. 1, January 1937; The Shadow out of Time; The Haunter of the Dark November 1935, Weird Tales, 28, No. 5, December 1936; The Tomb; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward) as well as the Faustian theme (The Alchemist; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward; Cool Air, March 1926, Tales of Magic and Mystery, 1, No. 4, March 1928; The Dreams in the Witch House; The Thing on the Doorstep; From Beyond, November 16, 1920, The Fantasy Fan, 1, No. 10, June 1934; Hypnos).

Lovecraft wrote about

the terror of the newly discovered, the apparently infinite universe, the questioning of all established beliefs, the disintegration of the social structures cherished by those who had gone before and the the confused kaleidoscope of things to come.... His basic fears derived not from old legendry but from a new and even more frightening legendry that to him derived from the hints of what science was bringing forth in its most daring investigations of the universe all around us. (Wollheim 1992: 133)

Lovecraft's protagonists, often neurotic, whose actions are subjected to a thoroughly psychological analysis (The Tomb, The Hound, The Rats in the Walls), were often

doomed almost from the outset, but it was the journey and not the destination that held the attention of the readers, and his ability to evoke slightly twisted versions of familiar New England settings was highly effective. Many of the buildings and institutions mentioned in the stories have an almost exact counterpart in the real world. (D'Ammassa 2006: 222)

Somewhat similar to a paragraph from T. S. Eliot's 1921 essay The Metaphysical Poets

The possible interests of a poet are unlimited; the more intelligent he is the better; the more intelligent he is the most likely that he will have interests: our only condition is that he turn them into poetry, and not merely meditate on them poetically. A philosophical theory which has entered into poetry is established, for its truth or falsity in one sense ceases to matter, and its truth in another sense is proved. (Eliot 1950: 248)

Lovecraft noted (In the Editor's Study, July 1923):

What is art but a matter of impressions, of pictures, emotions, and symmetrical sensations? It must have poignancy and beauty, but nothing else counts. It may or may not have coherence. If concerned with large externals or simple fancies, or produced in a simple age, it is likely to be of a clear and continuous pattern; but if concerned with individual reactions to life in a complex and analytical age, as most modern art is, it tends to break up into detached transcripts of hidden sensation and offer a loosely joined fabric which demands from the spectator a discriminating duplication of the artist's mood. (apud Joshi 2001: 176)

Art is something special for an author:

Art is not what one resolves to say, but what insists on saying itself through one. It has nothing to do with commerce, editorial demand, or popular approval. The only elements concerned are the artist and the emotions working within him. Of course, there is a business of magazine-purveying which is perfectly honest in itself, and a worthy field for those with a knack for it. I wish I had the knack. But this isn't the thing I'm interested in. If I had the knack, it would be something performed entirely apart from my serious work--just as my present revisory activities are. However, I haven't the knack, and the field is so repugnant to me that it's about the last way I'd ever choose to gain shelter and clothing and nourishment. Any other kind of a legitimate job would be preferable to my especial tastes. I dislike this trade because it bears a mocking external resemblance to the real literary composition which is the only thing (apart from ancestral traditions) I take seriously in life. (Lovecraft 1976: 19-20)

When asked by a certain A. H. Brown, journalist and critic, why he would not write more about "ordinary people", since this might increase the audience for his work, Lovecraft replied:

I could not write about 'ordinary people' because I am not in the least interested in them. Without interest there can be no art. Man's relations to man do not captivate my fancy. It is man's relation to the cosmos--to the unknown--which alone arouses in me the spark of creative imagination. The humanocentric pose is impossible to me, for I cannot acquire the primitive myopia which magnifies the earth and ignores the background. (apud Joshi 2001: 181-182)

This was Lovecraft's first definition of "cosmicism", a

metaphysical position (an awareness of the vastness of the universe in both space and time), an ethical position (an awareness of the insignificance of human beings within the realm of the universe), and an aesthetic position (a literary expression of this insignificance, to be effected by the minimizing of human character and the display of the titanic gulfs of space and time). (Joshi 2001: 182)

Lovecraft wrote (July 1, 1929) to the poet Elizabeth Toldridge (1861-1940):

It would be an excellent thing if you could gradually work out of the idea that this kind of stilted & artificial language is 'poetical' in any way; for truly, it is not. It is a drag & hindrance on real poetic feeling & expression, because real poetry means spontaneous expression in the simplest & most poignantly vital living language. The great object of the poet is to get rid of the cumbrous & the emptily quaint, & buckle down to the plain, the direct, & the vital--the pure, precious stuff of actual life & human daily speech. (apud Joshi 2001: 275)

Fantastic literature was discussed in a long letter to Frank Belknap Long (February 22, 1931):

Fantastic literature cannot be treated as a single unit, because it is a composite resting on widely divergent bases. I really agree that 'Yog-Sothoth' is a basically immature conception, & unfitted for really serious literature. The fact is, I have never approached serious literature as yet ... The only permanently artistic use of Yog-Sothothery, I think, is in symbolic or assocative phantasy of the frankly poetic type; in which fixed dream-patterns of the natural organism are given an embodiment & crystallisation. The reasonable permanence of this phase of poetic phantasy as a possible art form (whether or not favoured by current fashion) seems to me a highly strong probability.... But there is another phase of cosmic phantasy (which may or may not include frank Yog-Sothothery) whose foundations appear to me as better grounded than those of ordinary oneiroscopy; personal limitation regarding the sense of outsideness. I refer to the aesthetic crystallisation of that burning & inextinguishable feeling of mixed wonder & oppression which the sensitive imagination experiences upon scaling itself & its restrictions against the vast & provocative abyss of the unknown. This has always been the chief emotion in my psychology; & whilst it obviously figures less in the psychology of the majority, it is clearly a well-defined & permanent factor from which very few sensitive persons are wholly free.... The time has come when the normal revolt against time, space, & matter must assume a form not overtly incompatible with what is known of reality--when it must be gratified by images forming supplements rather than contradictions of the visible & mensurable universe. And what, if not a form of non-supernatural cosmic art, is to pacify this sense of revolt--as well as gratify the cognate sense of curiosity? (Lovecraft 1971: 293-296)

Lovecraft's works made the transition from the 19th century fantasy fiction to the 20th century science fiction and horror ones. Basically, his tales were

science-fictional rather than supernatural. The horrors he conjured up were subject to unknown laws of the vast and Creatorless universe. They were beings of substance no different from the innumerable species that exist on Earth, save that they were originated elsewhere with powers derived from laws inexplicable to humanity. This is what makes Lovecraft so effective in today's science-haunted world, for we recognize that we do not know as much as we had thought and that the 'laws' of science we believed we had discovered were but fragments and shadows of the real, uncaring, and possibly antagonistic universe. His Old Ones and Elder Gods were but beings from other worlds somewhere Out There. (Wollheim 1992: 134)

The Lovecraftian horror was usually produced by the "intrusion of an extravagant, unconventional, supernatural menace into a heavily atmospheric, but realistic setting", and despite his "ornate and abstract language", the Providence author revitalized the dark fantasy by offerring "a provocative and significant view of modern man's predicament" (Neilson 1981: 1820-1821).

As Poe before him, Lovecraft decisively influenced the fantastic and horror literature of the 20th century, many short stories from the '60s and '70s being inspired, more or less under certain aspects, by the mythology invented by the Providence writer who, in fact, encouraged his friends and fellow-writers to further develop his pantheon of entities and gods. Henry Kuttner (1914-1958, The Book of Iod: The Eater of Souls and Other Tales, 1995) was one of the writers who took up his suggestion. This idea also worked out the other way round as Lovecraft had no scruples to use elements suggested by his friends. The Tree on the Hill (1934, with Duane W. Rimel, 1915-1996, Polaris, September 1940) was a different reading of a story by Robert E. Howard; The Haunter of the Dark was a sequel to Robert Bloch's The Shambler from the Stars, 1935; in fact, Bloch wrote in 1951 another variant (The Shadow from the Steeple) while another story of his--Fane of the Black Pharaoh, 1937--was, in a certain way, a first sequel to The Haunter of the Dark by hinting at the abominable deeds of Pharaoh Nephten-Ka. Maybe this was the reason why some scholars such as Richard L. Tierney and Dirk W. Mosig (1943-) blamed August Derleth for ascribing to Lovecraft his own conflict between the benevolent Elder Gods and the Satan-like Old Ones as well as for imposing the typical Good versus Evil dichotomy instead of the original morally neutral Lovecraftian one. (Price 1992: xi-xii)

Lovecraft's literary output is staggering, the critics counting 549 titles, from the first stories and poems of 1897 to the handnotes written on his deathbed; one can also add some 100 other revisions or ghost-written tales for friends as well as his non-fiction contribution. His horror works can be considered obsolete for today's readers especially on account of their antiquated style, better suited for a long-ago audience. Realizing this, Lovecraft himself noted that

In my metrical novitiate I was, alas, a chronic & inveterate mimic; allowing my antiquarian tendencies to get the better of my abstract poetic feeling. As a result, the whole purpose of my writing soon became distorted--till at length I wrote only as a means of recreating around me the atmosphere of my 18th century favourites. Self-expression as such sank out of sight, and my sole test of excellence was the degree with which I approached the style of Mr. Pope, Dr. Young, Mr. Thomson, Mr. Addison, Mr. Tickell, Mr. Parnell, Dr. Goldsmith, Dr. Johnson, and so on. (Lovecraft 1968: 314-15)

Lovecraft's personality and works were seen differently, even by his friends and fellow-writers. Many blamed him for his themes and his way of approaching life and religion. In this respect, maybe the best words were those of Robert Bloch (An Open Letter to H. P. Lovecraft), a retro-style Introduction to an 1990 anthology of horror stories celebrating the centenary of the Providence master's birthday:

The real problem with you, Mr. Lovecraft, is that you were a religious writer.

Your Mythos repudiated Biblical texts and substituted a new theology, with its own gods, its own explanation of creation and mankind's insignificance in a universe devoid of moral law or values. Abandoning anthropocentrism, dismissing concepts of good and evil, right and wrong--that's what agitated devout believers. Eliminating scientifically based explanations caused equal indignation amongst orthodox atheists.

And the way you went about it touched a nerve; you made your stories the narrations of scholarly, intelligent men whose skepticism was relentlessly overcome by proof that 'nameless horrors' existed. You invested your weird world with plausibility by interweaving it with the one we knew, strengthened your tales with internal logic and a chilling consistency....

You knew that cold logic made for cold chills. There's the reason for the rats in your walls, the dreams in your witch house, the whisperings in your darkness....

Your true skills lay not in adjectivitis, references to weird deities mentioned in weird reference works, or a reliance on italicized emphasis. The real secret of a good Lovecraft story was its ability to create a temporary suspension of disbelief. Making the incredible seem credible lent those tales a literary life which endures to this day. (Bloch 1996: xiv-xv)

The author of The Shining considered that

Lovecraft opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me: Robert Bloch, Clark Ashton Smith, Frank Belknap Long, Fritz Leiber, and Ray Bradbury among them.... The reader would do well to remember that it is his shadow, so long and gaunt, and his eyes, so dark and puritanical, which overlie almost all of the important horror fiction that has come since. It is his eyes I remember best from the first photograph of him I ever saw ... black eyes which seem to look inward as well as outward. (King 1986: 97)

We think there are no better words to characterize the entire creation of the Providence genius than those of his scholar S. T. Joshi:

It must always be remembered that Lovecraft was, above all, a scientific rationalist. His tales appear to put on stage a bewildering array of outlandish monsters, and the flamboyance of his prose may seem the work of an eccentric; but Lovecraft, as his letters attest, was a materialist and atheist who had the highest respect for scientific fact and who saw nothing but pitiable folly in the delusions of religion, spiritualism, and occultism. As for his prose style ... it was quite clearly chosen with deliberation to create the maximum emotive impact and to harmonize with the outre conceptions filling his tales. As his career progressed, Lovecraft reined in some of its floridity, so that his prose became an almost mathematically precise tool in conveying the fusion of horror and science fiction that typified his later work. (Joshi 2008b: xiii)

As Lovecraft happened to be in New York in November 1925, he was asked by W. Paul Cook (1880-1948), his friend and fellow from the United Amateur Press Association, to draw up a critical study on the supernatural literature to be published in one of his magazines. Written between November 1925 and May 1927, it was published in the first, and only issue of The Recluse amateur magazine (1927, summer), an issue which also included poems by Clark Ashton Smith and Frank Belknap Long as well as fiction by H. Warner Munn (1903-1981) and Donald Wandrei (1908-1987). Once this first version published, Lovecraft decided to enlarge and update his essay. Revised between the fall of 1933 and August 1934, it was serialized between October 1933 and February 1935 in the fanzine The Fantasy Fan, edited by Charles D. Hornig (1916-1999); unfortunately, this variant was not published entirely, the fanzine ceasing to appear shortly afterwards. Although Lovecraft intended to further enlarge his essay, this did not happen, and, at the time of his untimely death, it remained unfinished. However, this last version is the one published by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei in The Outsider and Others (1939), then in a separate edition introduced by Derleth (1945); all subsequent editions are based on this version.

Supernatural Horror in Literature is considered both the manifesto of the horror genre--similar to the Preface to Lyrical Ballads (Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, 1798), the manifesto of the English Romanticism, and to the essay The Simple Art of Murder (Raymond Chandler, 1950), the manifesto of the modern detective novel--, and one of the most important critical studies on fantastic literature.

Lovecraft's essay is essential for understanding the supernatural literature as a specialized literary genre, seen by the masters of dark fantasy. While some previous critical analyses discussed only the fantastic literature of the end of the 18th and of the beginning of the 19th centuries, respectively, Supernatural Horror in Literature starts with the origin of the horror literature, i.e. the antiquity, and goes on both to underline the fear of the supernatural, and to point out the conflicts, needs and primary impulses of human beings. Fear, intrinsically connected with the unknown, is explained by starting from the folklore and the mythological beliefs as mirrored even in the first religious writings. Lovecraft selects the authors according to his own aesthetical views, preferring those writers and those works whose structures, themes and final impressions upon the readers reflects his rather narrow conception on the ambiguity of the cosmic nightmares so well depicted in Dagon, The Dunwich Horror, At the Mountains of Madness, or The Call of Cthulhu. Dealing, essentially, with the art which produces a single cosmic emotion in fiction, Lovecraft underlines the insignifiant position of human beings in a horrible, unknown and alien universe, an universe of pain, grief and loneliness. Trying to define the horror story, Lovecraft considers that

a certain atmosphere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

Vaguely, this might suggest that any horror fiction may depend on what Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) called--in his Biographia Literaria, 1817--the "willing suspension of disbelief". (Coleridge 1927: 161)

Haunted by "cosmic terrors", Lovecraft preferred to write about horrors coming from elsewhere, other planets being included, instead of the "real" ones, connected, for instance, with real crimes or ghosts.

An important part of fantastic literature, the horror genre has been approached differently throughout centuries.

The stories of horror (Latin horror,--oris, French horreur, Italian orrore, Spanish horror, German Horror) are deeply rooted both in cave paintings, religion, rituals, magic, cannibalism, and in the stories spun by fires, during the long, cold, damp nights by our ancestors, frightened by real or imagined creatures. Horror elements can be found in The Epic of Gilgamesh (standard Babylonian version, 13th to 10th centuries BC), The Aeneid (Virgil, 29-13 BC), The Iliad (Homer, around the 8th century BC), The Odyssey (Homer, around the 8th century BC), The Metamorphoses, or The Golden Ass (Lucius Apuleius, 170), Epistles (Pliny the Younger, 100), The Satyricon (Petronius, 60), La Divina Commedia (Dante Aligheri, 1308-1321, printed 1472), not to mention the plays of William Shakespeare (Hamlet, 1601; Macbeth, 1605) or John Webster (The White Devil, 1611; The Duchess of Malfi, 1614), the gothic novels of Horace Walpole (1717-1797), Matthew Gregory Lewis (1775-1818) or Ann Radcliffe (1764-1823), the poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 1798; Christabel, 1816), Wieland; Or the Transformation (Charles Brockden Brown, 1798, the first American horror novel). One must not forget Edgar Allan Poe (Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque, 1839), Nathaniel Hawthorne (Young Goodman Brown, 1835), Charles Dickens (The Signalman, 1866), Herman Melville (The Piazza Tales, 1856; Moby Dick, 1851), Herbert G. Wells (The Island of Doctor Moreau, 1896; The Invisible Man, 1897), or even Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre, 1847) and Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights, 1847). Besides fundamental topics such as murder, suicide, torture, fear, madness, horror fiction deals with vampires, ghosts, succubi, incubi, poltergeists, doppelgangers, demonic pacts, diabolic possessions, exorcism, witchcraft, black magic, voodoo, lycanthropy, telekinesis, paranormal phenomena. Horror stories explore

the limits of what people are capable of doing and the limits of what they are capable of experiencing", ... [thus venturing into] the realms of psychological chaos, emotional wastelands, psychic trauma, abysses opened up by the imagination, the capacity for experiencing fear, hysteria and madness, all that lie on the dark side of the mind and the near side of barbarism, on and beyond the shifting frontiers of consciousness. (Cuddon 1984: 12)

Boris Karloff (1887-1969) considered that horror was a response to a physical reality such as murder or torture, whereas torture--a more intense form of fear--was awakened in the presence of the supernatural, the unknown, the invisible threat. (cf. Cuddon 1984: 12)

Modern and contemporary horror fiction suffered essential changes as compared to that of Mary Shelley (1797-1851), Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), M. R. James (1862-1936), or Bram Stoker (1847-1912), changes determined mainly by the evolution of everyday life, by the insecurity, anxiety and fright of human beings. These new stories include worldly (the more or less sadistic everyday crimes), supernatural or erotic elements. The writers try to decide if the reality we are aware of is truly real or if it cannot somehow be overcome any time by revealing some even darker "realms". Horror fiction is a form of fantastic that moves more and more away from our everyday reality, although including such elements. It presents images we would often wish to ignore or simply forget, buried somewhere in our subconsciousness, images revealing the monstrosity we do not intend to accept as reality. In spite of its various "names"--strange or gothic, supernatural or macabre, weird or terror (because it offers "a more pure frisson of fear" (Jones 1991: xv), or simply horror (because it "invokes images of putrefying corpses, psychotic knife-wielding maniacs and dark, glutinous, dripping things likely to invade the private recesses of your body", Jones 1991: xv)--but which revolves around the real or imagined "interventions" of some supernatural things or beings in our daily life, the contemporary horror fiction is nevertheless a well-established literary genre.

David G. Hartwell (1941-) divides it into three streams depending on the modes of enphasis: 1) moral alegorical; 2) psychological metaphor; 3) fantastic. The first category, the most popular in fact, includes the supernatural thread, being based on the unwanted appearance and the intrusion of the supernatural evil into our real life. One meets here demon-possesssed children (Regan McNeil, The Exorcist, William P. Blatty, 1971; Jeremy, Such a Good Baby, Ruby Jean Jensen, 1982), children endowded with born, malefic supernatural powers (Rhoda Penmark, The Bad Seed, William March, 1954; Carrie White, Carrie, Stephen King, 1974), or with destructive powers acquired after experiments carried out in official or secret laboratories (Charlie McGee, The Firestarter, Stephen King, 1980; Joey Wilkenson, Guardian, John Saul, 1993), evil ghosts (The Secret of the Growing Gold, Bram Stoker, 1892; The Valley of Lost Children, William Hope Hodgson, 1906; Haunted, James Herbert, 1988), haunted houses in which the evil keeps on existing for centuries, decades or years (Burnt Offerings, Robert Marasco, 1973; The Shining, Stephen King, 1977; The Amytiville Story, Jay Anson, 1977), witchcraft and satanism (The Satanist, Dennis Wheatley, 1960; Night Plague, Graham Masterton, 1991). The second category includes metaphorically-presented abnormal psychological stories, either purely supernatural (Dracula, Bram Stoker, 1897; Little Boy Lost, T. M. Wright, 1992) or purely psychological (Psycho, Robert Bloch, 1959). Their common element is the presence of a monster, be it "human" (Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus, Mary Shelley, 1818), or of other nature (Carmilla, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, 1872), of a sadistic psychopath stalking from the darkness of the night and then stealthily creeping into bedrooms (Red Dragon, Thomas Harris, 1981; Slice, Rex Miller, 1990; Sliver, Ira Levin, 1991; Black Angel, Graham Masterton, 1992). This monster, from the supernatural vampire and werewolf to the only too real serial killer with chainsaw or cleaver, haunts ceaselessly our dreams, being in fact a subconscious reflection of our daily fears referring to our own safety; moreover, many of these characters, often considered to have been invented by the ebullient imagination of the horror masters did really exist (Ed Gein, 1906-1984, the prototype of Norman Bates, Psycho, Robert Bloch, 1959; Albert de Salvo, 1931-1973, the main character of The Boston Strangler, Gerold Frank, 1966; Hermann Webster Mudgett [1861-1896, the killer from The Devil in the White City, Eric Larson, 2002; David Richard Berkowitz, 1953-, better known as Son of Sam; John W. Gacy, 1942-1993; Henry Lee Lucas, 1936-2001, these last three being "transferred" in the sadistic psychopath from American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis, 1991). We are also frightened by possible prehistoric monsters (Rawhead Rex, Clive Barker, 1984), mutants resulted from atomic radiations (The Rats, 1974, Lair, 1977, Domain, 1984, James Herbert) or of genetic experiments (The Watchers, Dean R. Koontz, 1987), by the abominable beings from the intergalactic space (The Space Vampires, Colin Wilson, 1976; Alien, 1979, Aliens, 1986, Alien 3, 1992, Alan Dean Foster), from the inmost depths of the desert (The Djinn, Graham Masterton, 1977), from the abysses of oceans or lakes (Jaws, Peter Benchley, 1974; Alligator, Shelley Katz, Paul N. Katz, 1977; Beneath Still Waters, 1989, Wurm, 1991, Matthew J. Costello), from under the ground (The Wells of Hell, Graham Masterton, 1979), from the almost unclimbable heights of mountains (Snowman, Norman Bogner, 1978), by animals, birds or insects, usually unaggressive but which, from various reasons, become bloodthirsty (The Birds, Daphne Du Maurier, 1952; The Swarm, Arthur Herzog, 1974; Cujo, Stephen King, 1981). The third category is based on ambiguity as to the nature of reality, an ambiguity which generates terror. The supernatural is not revealed "live", it is only hinted at; the essential elements are not fully given, and the real explanation of the facts is usually missing, thus making the reader more frightened. One can talk here about a fantastic blended with surrealism and absurd such as, for instance in some of Poe's short stories, or as in Seven American Nights (Gene Wolfe, 1978), a complex and terrifying but also allusive and ambiguous vision of the future, started from the drug-induced hallucinations. (Hartwell 1991: 12-16).

For Julia Briggs (1943-2007), the supernatural horror story

appealed to serious writers largely because it invited a concern with the profoundest issues: the relationship between life and death, the body and the soul, man and the universe, the nature of evil ... it could be made to embody symbolically hopes and fears too deep and too important to be expressed more directly" (apud Hartwell 1994: 18-19)

In his seminal study of the genre, Stephen King (1947-) considers that

all tales of horror can be divided into two groups: those in which the horror results from an act of free and conscious will--a conscious decision to do evil--and those in which the horror is predestinate, coming from outside like a stroke of lightning.... The stories of horror which are psychological--those which explore the terrain of the human heart--almost always revolve around the free-will concept; 'inside evil' [Frankenstein, Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Tell-Tale Heart] ... Novels and stories of horror which deal with 'outside evil' are often harder to take seriously; they are apt to be no more than boys' adventure yarns in disguise, and in the end the nasty invaders from outer space are repelled. ... And yet it is the concept of outside evil that is larger, more awesome. Lovecraft grasped this, and it is what makes his stories so stupendous, Cyclopean evil so effective when thy are good [The Dunwich Horror, The Rats in the Walls, The Colour out of Space]. (King 1986: 62-63)

As Lovecraft states in his essay, horror fiction is fundamentally based on one of the most common feelings man has ever had: fear. And this is the very word which characterizes his entire fiction, and which, by extension, has become ever since a label for the horror genre:

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown. (Lovecraft 2008: 1041)

In spite of all odds and malicious interpretations, the horror ("weird" or "spectrally macabre") tale has survived and developed because it

demands from the reader a certain degree of imagination and a capacity for detachment from everyday life ... [because] the sensitive are always with us, and sometimes a curious streak of fancy invades an obscure corner of the very hardest head; so that no amount of rationalisation, reform, or Freudian analysis can quite annul the thrill of the chimney-corner whisper or the lonely wood. (Lovecraft 2008: 1041-1042)

Here one can speak of the involvement of a

psychological pattern or tradition as real and as deeply grounded in mental experience as any other pattern or tradition of mankind; coeval with the religious feeling and closely related to many aspects of it, and too much a part of our innermost biological heritage to lose keen potency over a very important, though not numerically great, minority of our species. (Lovecraft 2008: 1042)

Human instincts and emotions are closely connected both with the environment beings live in and with the phenomena they usually understand; however, around phenomena beyond their power of understanding

were naturally woven such personifications, marvellous interpretations, and sensations of awe and fear as would be hit upon by a race having few and simple ideas and limited experience. (Lovecraft 2008: 1042)


the unknown, being likewise the unpredictable, became for our primitive forefathers a terrible and omnipotent source of boons and calamities visited upon mankind for cryptic and wholly extra-terrestrial reasons, and thus clearly belonging to spheres of existence whereof we know nothing and wherein we have no part. (Lovecraft 2008: 1042)

Dreams have held a very important part in maintaining the psychic saneness of human beings:

The phenomenon of dreaming likewise helped to build up the notion of an unreal or spiritual world; and in general, all the conditions of savage dawn-life so strongly conduced toward a feeling of the supernatural, that we need not wonder at the thoroughness with which man's very hereditary essence has become saturated with religion and superstition. That saturation must, as a matter of plain scientific fact, be regarded as virtually permanent so far as the subconscious mind and inner instincts are concerned; for though the area of the unknown has been steadily contracting for thousands of years, an infinite reservoir of mystery still engulfs most of the outer cosmos, whilst a vast residuum of powerful inherited associations clings round all the objects and processes that were once mysterious; however well they may now be explained. And more than this, there is an actual physiological fixation of the old instincts in our nervous tissue, which would make them obscurely operative even were the conscious mind to be purged of all sources of wonder. (Lovecraft 2008: 1042)

Death, its specific religious rituals, and the unknown seem to be closely connected:

Because we remember pain and the menace of death more vividly than pleasure, and because our feelings toward the beneficent aspects of the unknown have from the first been captured and formalised by conventional religious rituals, it has fallen to the lot of the darker and more maleficent side of cosmic mystery to figure chiefly in our popular supernatural folklore. This tendency, too, is naturally enhanced by the fact that uncertainty and danger are always closely allied; thus making any kind of an unknown world a world of peril and evil possibilities. (Lovecraft 2008: 1042)

The result is the appearance of special emotions and challenges:

When to this sense of fear and evil the inevitable fascination of wonder and curiosity is superadded, there is born a composite body of keen emotion and imaginative provocation whose vitality must of necessity endure as long as the human race itself. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

Human beings are and will always be afraid of the dark and the unknown world existing both on Earth and on other stars or galaxies:

Children will always be afraid of the dark, and men with minds sensitive to hereditary impulse will always tremble at the thought of the hidden and fathomless worlds of strange life which may pulsate in the gulfs beyond the stars, or press hideously upon our own globe in unholy dimensions which only the dead and the moon-struck can glimpse. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

Thus, no one can doubt the existence of a literature of "cosmic fear" which

has always existed, and always will exist; and no better evidence of its tenacious vigour can be cited than the impulse which now and then drives writers of totally opposite learnings to try their hands at it in isolated tales, as if to discharge from their minds certain phantasmal shapes which would otherwise haunt them. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

However, such literature of fear is not to be mistaken for

a type externally similar but psychologically widely different; the literature of mere physical fear and the mundanely gruesome. Such writing, to be sure, has its place, as has the conventional or even whimsical or humorous ghost story where formalism or the author's knowing wink removes the true sense of the morbidly unnatural; but these things are not the literature of cosmic fear in its purest sense. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

That is why any true weird tale is special and distinct:

The true weird tale has something more than secret murder, bloody bones, or a sheeted form clanking chains according to rule. A certain atmosfere of breathless and unexplainable dread of outer, unknown forces must be present; and there must be a hint, expressed with a seriousness and portentousness becoming its subject, of that most terrible conception of the human brain--a malign and particular suspension or defeat of those fixed laws of Nature which are our only safeguard against the assaults of chaos and the daemons of unplumbed space. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

As with any good work of fiction, one essential feature must be present:

The crux of a weird tale is something which could not possibly happen. If any unexpected advance of physics, chemistry, or biology were to indicate the possibility of any phenomena related by the weird tale, that particular set of phenomena would cease to be weird in the ultimate sense because it would become surrounded by a different set of emotions. It would no longer represent imaginative liberation, because it would no longer indicate a suspension or violation of the natural laws against whose universal dominance our fancies rebel. (Lovecraft 1971: 434)

As one creative mind is different from another, weird tales cannot be similar and cannot obey any theoretical model because

much of the choicest weird work is unconscious; appearing in memorable fragments scattered through material whose massed effect may be of a very different cast. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

That is why the most important element in a horror tale has to be the atmosphere:

Atmosphere is the all-important thing, for the final criterion of authenticity is not the dovetailing of a plot but the creation of a given sensation. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043)

Weird stories are not always similar and cannot be thought as such because

a weird story whose intent is to teach or produce a social effect, or one in which the horrors are finally explained away by natural means, is not a genuine tale of cosmic fear; but it remains a fact that such narratives often posses, in isolated sections, atmospheric touches which fulfil evry condition of true supernatural horror-literature. (Lovecraft 2008: 1043-1044)

Therefore, any weird tale must be judged according to the emotions anybody may feel after reading it:

We must judge a weird tale not by the author's intent, or by the mere mechanics of the plot; but by the emotional level which it attains at its least mundane point. If the proper sensations are excited, such a 'high spot' must be admitted on its own merits as weird literature, no matter how prosaically it is later dragged down. (Lovecraft 2008: 1044)

The importance of any weird tale is very easily found out if one thinks of the way the readers feel about it:

The one test of the really weird is simply this--whether or not there be excited in the reader a profound sense of dread, and of contact with unknown spheres and powers; a subtle attitude of awed listening, as if for the beating of black wings or the scratching of outside shapes and entities on the known universe's utmost rim. And of course, the more completely and unifiedly a story conveys this atmosphere, the better it is as a work of art in the given medium. (Lovecraft 2008: 1044)

In Lovecraft's conception, any supernatural horror tale is and will be always interesting because although

combated by a mounting wave of plodding realism, cynical flippancy, and sophisticated disillusionment (Lovecraft 2008: 1098)

it is

encouraged by a parallel tide of growing mysticism, as developed both through the fatigued reaction of 'occultists' and religious fundamentalists against materialistic discovery and through the stimulation of wonder and fancy by such enlarged vistas and broken barriers as modern science has given us with its intra-atomic chemistry, advancing astrophysics, doctrines of relativity, and probings into biology and human thought. (Lovecraft 2008: 1098)

The horror tale is

a narrow though essential branch of human expression, and will chiefly appeal as always to a limited audience with keen special sensibilities. Whatever universal masterpiece of tomorrow may be wrought from phantasm or terror will own its acceptance rather to a supreme workmanship than to a sympathetic theme. (Lovecraft 2008: 1098)

Lovecraft's essay has been both favourably and unfavourably received by specialists. For instance, the American critic Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) wrote in the mid-1940s that

Lovecraft himself, however, is a little more interesting than his stories ... his long essay on the fiction of supernatural horror is a really able piece of work. He shows his lack of sound literary taste in his enthusiasm for Machen and Dunsany, whom he more or less acknowledged as models, but he had read comprehensively in this field--he was strong on the Gothic novelists--and writes about it with much intelligence. (apud Jones 1994: 450)

Lovecraft's essay

gains its greatest originality as an historical study in its final six chapters. His lengthy chapter on Poe is, I think, one of the most perceptive short analyses ever written, in spite of a certain flamboyancy in its diction. Lovecraft could not summon up much enthusiasm for the later Victorians in England, but his lengthy discussions of Hawthorne and Bierce in Chapter VIII are illuminating. And his greatest achievement, perhaps, was to designate Machen, Dunsany, Blackwood, and M. R. James as the four 'modern masters' of the weird tale; a judgment that has been justified by subsequent scholarship. Indeed, the only 'master' lacking from this list is Lovecraft himself. (Joshi 2001: 230)

Editions (selected titles): A History of the Necronomicon, 1938; The Notes and Commonplace Book, R. H. Barlow, editor, 1938; The Outsider and Others, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1939; Beyond the Wall of Sleep, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1943; The Weird Shadow over Innsmouth and Other Stories of the Supernatural, 1944; Marginalia, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1944; The Dunwich Horror and Other Weird Tales, 1945; Best Supernatural Stories of H. P. Lovecraft, August Derleth, editor, 1945, reprinted 1963; The Lurker at the Threshold (with August Derleth), August Derleth, editor, 1945; The Lurking Fear and Other Stories, 1947, reprinted 1964, 1971, 1973 / Cry Horror!, 1958; Something about Cats and Other Pieces, August Derleth, editor, 1949; The Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales of Horror, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1951, reprinted 1966, 1969, 1971, 1977; The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1951; The Lovecraft Collectors Library, George Wetzel, editor, 7 vols, 1952-1955; The Challenge from Beyond (with C. L. Moore, Abraham Merritt, Robert E. Howard, Frank Belknap Long), William Evans, editor, 1954; The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, introduction by George T. Wetzel, 1955, reprinted. 1970; The Survivor and Others (with August Derleth), 1957; The Shuttered Room and Other Pieces (with others), August Derleth, editor, 1959; Some Notes on a Nonentity, August Derleth, editor, 1959; The Shunned House, foreword by Frank Belknap Long, 1961; Dreams and Fancies, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1962; The Dunwich Horror and Others, August Derleth, editor, 1963; Autobiography of a Nonentity, August Derleth, editor, 1963; The Colour out of Space, August Derleth, editor, 1964; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, August Derleth, editor, 1964; Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, August Derleth, editor, 1965, reprinted 1969; The Dark Brotherhood and Other Pieces (with others), August Derleth, editor, 1966; Three Tales of Horror, August Derleth, editor, illustrations by Lee Brown Coye, 1967; The Shadow out of Time and Other Tales of Horror (with August Derleth), 1968; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terror, 1968, reprinted 1971; The Tomb and Other Tales, 1970; The Shuttered Room and Other Tales of Horror (with August Derleth), 1970; The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions, August Derleth, editor, 1970; The Doom that Came to Sarnath and Other Stories, introduction by Lin Carter, 1971; Nine Chilling Tales from the Horror in the Museum and Other Collaborations, 1971; The Shadow over Innsmouth and Other Stories of Horror, 1971; The Shuttered Room and Other Tales of Horror (with August Derleth), 1971; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Tales of Terrors, 1971; Ec'h-Pi-El Speaks. An Autobiographical Sketch, Gerry De La Ree, editor, illustrations by Virgil Finlay, 1972; The Watchers Out of Time and Others (with August Derleth), 1974; Lovecraft at Last (with Willis Conover), introduction by Harold Taylor, 1975; The Horror in the Museum and Other Tales (with August Derleth, Hazel Heald, Elizabeth Berkeley, Sonia Green), illustrations by Bob Fowke, 1975; The Horror in the Burying Ground and Other Tales (with Hazel Heald, Elizabeth Berkeley, Sonia Green, C. M. Eddy Jr., Robert H. Barlow, Adolphe de Castro, Zealia Bishop, Wilfred Blanch Talman), introduction by August Derleth, 1975; To Quebec and the Stars, L. Sprague de Camp, editor, 1976; Writings in the United Amateur: 1915-1925, Marc A. Michaud, editor, 1976; The Statement of Randolph Carter, 1976; The Californian: 1934-1938, Marc A. Michaud, editor, 1977; Writings in The Tryout, Marc A. Michaud, editor, introduction by S. T. Joshi, 1977; Uncollected Prose and Poetry, S. T. Joshi, Marc A. Michaud, editor, 3 vols, 1978-1983; The Young Folk's Ulysses, 1982; The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre, introduction by Robert Bloch, 1982, reprinted 1987; The Conservative, S. T. Joshi, editor, 1983; The Dunwich Horror and Others, S. T. Joshi, editor, introduction by Robert Bloch, 1984; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels, S. T. Joshi, editor, introduction by James Turner, 1985; The H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus 1: At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror, introduction by August Derleth, 1985; The H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus 2: Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, S. T. Joshi, T. E. Klein, editors, 1985; The H. P. Lovecraft Omnibus 3: The Haunter of the Dark and Other Tales, introduction by August Derleth, 1985; Dagon and Other Macabre Tales, S. T. Joshi, editor, introduction by T. E. D. Klein, 1987; The Horror in the Museum and Other Revisions, S. T. Joshi, editor, introduction by August Derleth, 1989; At the Mountains of Madness, Donald M. Grant, editor, illustrations by Fernando Duval, 1990; The Crawling Chaos: Selected Works 1920-1935, James Havoc, editor, 1993; Miscellaneous Writings, S. T. Joshi, editor, 1995; The Dream Cycle of H. P. Lovecraft: Dreams of Terror and Death, introduction by Neil Gaiman, 1995; The Transition of H. P. Lovecraft: The Road to Madness, introduction by Barbara Hambly, 1996; Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, Joyce Carol Oates, editor, 1997; The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories, S. T. Joshi, editor, 1999, reprinted 2002; Black Seas of Infinity: The Best of H. P. Lovecraft, Andrew Wheeler, editor, 2001; The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2001; Lovecraft at Last: The Master of Horror in His Own Words (with Willis Conover), introduction by S. T. Joshi, 2002; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Novels of Terror, E. Hoffmann Price, editor, introduction by August Derleth, 2002; The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Tales, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2002; Waking Up Screaming, introduction by Poppy Z. Brite, 2003; From the Pest Zone: The New York Stories, S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, editors, 2003; The Dreams in the Witch House and Other Weird Stories, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2004; Shadows of Death, introduction by Harlan Ellison, 2005; At the Mountains of Madness: The Definitive Edition, introduction by China Mieville, 2005; The Horror in the Museum, Stephen Jones, editor, 2007; Necronomicon: The Best Weird Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, Stephen Jones, editor, introduction by Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, illustrations by Les Edwards, 2008; H. P. Lovecraft: The Fiction, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2008; The Call of Cthulhu and Other Dark Tales, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, editor, 2009; At the Mountains of Madness and Other Weird Tales, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, editor, 2009; The Other Gods and More Unearthly Tales, Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock, editor, 2010; The Weird Writings of H. P. Lovecraft, Neil Mechem, Leigh Mechem, editors, 2 vols, 2010; Eldritch Tales: A Miscellany of the Macabre, Stephen Jones, editor, illustrations by Lee Edwards, 2011; H. P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2011; H. P. Lovecraft Goes to the Movies: Classic Stories that Inspired the Classic Horror Films, Michael Kelahan, editor, 2011; The Lovecraft Library, Volume 1: Horror Out of Arkham, Robert Weinberg, editor, 2011; The Best of H. P. Lovecraft: Tales that Truly Terrify from the Master of Horror, 2012; H. P. Lovecraft: Great Tales of Horror, S. T. Joshi, editor, introduction by Stefan Dziemianowicz, 2012; H. P. Lovecraft: The Classic Horror Stories, Roger Luckhurst, editor, 2013.

Critical editions (selected titles): The Shadow over Innsmouth, S. T. Joshi, David E. Schulz, editors, illustrations by Jason Eckhardt, 1994, reprinted 1997; The Annotated H P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi, editor, 1997; More Annotated H. P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi, Peter Cannon, editors, introduction by Peter Cannon, 1999; The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Stories, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2001; Lovecraft: Tales, Peter Straub, editor, 2005.

Critical studies (selected titles): Supernatural Horror in Literature, August Derleth, editor, introduction by August Derleth, 1945; Supernatural Horror in Literature, E. F. Bleiler, editor, 1973; Supernatural Horror in Literature as Revised in 1936, introduction by Willis Conover, 1974; Supernatural Horror in Literature and Other Literary Essays, introduction by Darrell Schweitzer, 2011.

Critical studies (critical editions): The Annotated Supernatural Horror in Literature, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2000; The Supernatural Horror in Literature, Revised and Updated Edition, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2012.

Essays (critical editions): Collected Essays of Howard P. Lovecraft, Volume 1: Amateur Journalism, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2004; Collected Essays of Howard P. Lovecraft, Volume 2: Literary Criticism, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2004; Collected Essays of Howard P. Lovecraft, Volume 3: Science, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2005; Collected Essays of Howard P. Lovecraft, Volume 4: Travel, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2005.

Correspondence (selected titles): Selected Letters: Volume 1: 1911-1915, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1965; Selected Letters: Volume 2: 1925-1929, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1968; Selected Letters: Volume 3:1929-1931, August Derleth, Donald Wandrei, editors, 1971; Selected Letters: Volume 4: 1932-1934, August Derleth, James Turner, editors, 1976; Selected Letters: Volume 5: 1934-1937, August Derleth, James Turner, editors, 1976; Uncollected Letters, S. T. Joshi, editor, 1986; H. P. Lovecraft Letters to Robert Bloch, David E. Schultz, S. T. Joshi, editors, 1993.

Correspondence (critical editions): Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of Howard P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei, The Lovecraft Letters, Volume 1, S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, editors, 2002; The Lovecraft Letters, Volume 2. Letters from New York, S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, editors, 2004; The Lovecraft Letters, Volume 3 Letters to Rheinhart Kleiner, S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, editors, 2005.

Poetry (selected editions): Collected Poems, August Derleth, editor, 1963; A Winter Wish and Other Poems, Tom Collins, editor, 1977; The Ancient Track: The Complete Poetical Works of H. P. Lovecraft, S. T. Joshi, editor, 2001.

Novels (sequel, adaptation, Cthulhu mythos, selected titles): Donald Wandrei, The Web of Easter Island, 1948; Colin Wilson, The Mind Parasites, 1967; Fred Chappell, Dagon, 1968; Colin Wilson, The Philosopher's Stone, 1969; Brian Lumley, Titus Crow series (The Burrowers Beneath, 1974; The Transition of Titus Crow, 1975; The Clock of Dreams, 1978; Spawn of the Winds, 1978; In the Moons of Borea, 1979; Elysia: The Coming of Cthulhu, 1989); Robert Shea, Robert Anton Wilson, Illuminatus! series (The Eye in the Pyramid, 1975; The Golden Apple, 1975; Leviathan, 1975); Robert Bloch, Strange Eons, 1978; Alan Dean Foster, The Horror on the Beach: A Tale in the Cthulhu Mythos, 1978; Richard Lupoff, Lovecraft's Book, 1985; Graham Masterton, Prey, 1992; David Barbour, Richard Raleigh, Shadows Bend, 2000; Gary Lee, The Old Ones, 2003; Donald Tyson, Necronomicon series (Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred, 2004; Alhazred, 2006; Necronomicon Tarot, 2007); David Conyers, John Sunseri, The Spiraling Worm, 2007; S. T. Joshi, The Assaults of Chaos: A Novel about S. T. Lovecraft, 2013; Ramsey Campbell, The Last Revelation of Gla'aki, 2013.

Short story Cthulhu collections (sequel, adaptation, selected titles): Frank Belknap Long, The Hounds of Tindalos, 1946; August Derleth, The Mask of Cthulhu, 1962; Ramsey Campbell, The Inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants, 19 64; Brian Lumley, The Caller of the Black, 1971; Robert Bloch, Mysteries of the Worm: All the Cthulhu Mythos of Robert Bloch, 1981, revised edition, Robert M. Price, editor, 2009; Brian Lumley, The House of Cthulhu, and Other Tales of the Primal Land, 1984; Ramsey Campbell, Cold Print, 1985, revised edition 1993; Brian Lumley, Return of the Deep Ones, and Other Mythos Tales, 1994; Brian Lumley, The Second Wish and Other Exhalations, 1995; Richard L. Tierney, The Scroll of Thoth. Simon Magus and the Great Old Ones: Thirteen Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, Robert M. Price, editor, 1996; Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, Dreams of Lovecraftian Horror, 1999; Robert E. Howard, Nameless Cults: The Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E. Howard, Robert M. Price, editor, 2002; Wilum Hopfrog Pugmire, The Fungal Stain: And Other Dreams, 2006; William Jones, The Strange Cases of Rudolph Pearson: Horripilating Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 2008; Lois H. Gresh, Eldritch Evolutions, 2011.

Cthulhu anthologies (selected titles): August Derleth, editor, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1969; Lin Carter, editor, The Spawn of Cthulhu, 1971; Edward P. Berglund, editor, The Disciples of Cthulhu, 1976, revised edition 1996; Ramsey Campbell, editor, New Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1980; James Turner, editor, Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos, 1990; Robert M. Price, editor, Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, 1992; Robert M. Price, editor, The Hastur Cycle, 1993; Robert M. Price, editor, The Shub-Niggurath Cycle, 1994; Lewis Spence, Robert M. Price, editors, The Shub-Niggurath Cycle: Tales of the Black Goat with a Thousand Young, 1994; Thomas M. K. Stratman, editor, Cthulhu's Heirs: New Cthulhu Mythos Fiction, 1994; Stephen Jones, editor, Shadows over Innsmouth, 1994; Jim Turner, editor, Cthulhu 2000: A Lovecraftian Anthology, 1995; Robert M. Price, editor, The Azathoth Cycle, 1995; Robert M. Price, editor, The Dunwich Cycle: Where the Old Gods Wait, 1995; Robert M. Price, editor, The New Lovecraft Circle, 1996; Robert M. Price, editor, The Cthulhu Cycle: Thirteen Tentacles of Terror, 1996; Edward P. Berglund, editor, The Disciples of Cthulhu, 1996; Robert M. Price, editor, The Innsmouth Cycle: The Taint of the Deep Ones, 1998; Robert M. Price, editor, The Nyarlathotep Cycle, 1998; Robert M. Price, editor, Tales Out of Innsmouth: New Stories of the Children of Dagon, 1999; Robert M. Price, editor, Acolytes of Cthulhu, 2001; Stephen Mark Rainey, editor, Song of Cthulhu: Tales of the Spheres Beyond Sound, 2001; John Pelan, Benjamin Adams, editors, The Children of Cthulhu: Chilling New Tales Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft, 2002; Edward P. Berglund, editor, The Disciples of Cthulhu 2: Blasphemous Tales of the Followers, 2003; Michael Reaves, John Pelan, editors, Shadows over Baker Street: New Tales of Terror!, 2003; Robert M. Price, editor, The Tsathoggua Cycle: Terror Tales of the Toad God, 2005; Robert M. Price, editor, The Hastur Cycle, 2006; William Jones, editor, Frontier Cthulhu: Ancient Horrors in the New World, 2007; William Jones, editor, High Seas Cthulhu: Swashbuckling Adventure Meets the Mythos, 2007; William Jones, editor, Horrors Beyond: Tales of Terrifying Realities, 2007; Robert M. Price, editor, The Klarkash-Ton Cycle: Clark Ashton Smith's Cthulhu Myhos Fiction, 2008; Thomas Brannan, John Sunseri, editors, Cthulhu Unbound, Volume 1, 2009; Thomas Brannan, John Sunseri, editors, Cthulhu Unbound, Volume 2, 2009; Darrell Schweitzer, editor, Cthulhu's Reign, 2010; David Conyers, editor, Cthulhu's Dark Cults, 2010; John Taine, Duane W. Rimel, editors, The Yith Circle: Lovecraftian Tales of the Great Race and Time Travel, 2010; S. T. Joshi, editor, Black Wings: New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, 2010; Ross E. Lockhart, editor, The Book of Cthulhu, 2011; Paula Guran, editor, New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, 2011; Ross E. Lockhart, editor, The Book of Cthulhu 2, 2012; S. T. Joshi, editor, Black Wings of Cthulhu: Twenty-One New Tales of Lovecraftian Horror, Volume 1, 2012.

Filmography (selected titles): The Haunted Palace, United States, 1963, producers: Roger Corman, Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson, Ronald Sinclair, director: Roger Corman, writing credits: Charles Beaumont, poem The Haunted Palace Edgar Allan Poe, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, cinematography: Floyd Crosby, film editing: Ronald Sinclair, make-up: Ted Coodley, Verne Langdon, art director: Daniel Haller, music: Ronald Stein, cast: Vincent Price, Debra Paget, Lon Chaney Jr., Frank Maxwell, Leo Gordon, Elisha Cook Jr., John Dierkies, Milton Parson, Cathie Merchant, Guy Wilkerson, Barboura Morris, Bruno Ve Sota; Die, Monster, Die / Monster of Terror, United Kingdom, United States, 1965, producers: Pat Green, Samuel Z. Arkoff, James H. Nicholson, director: Daniel Haller, writing credits: Jerry Sohn, The Colour out of Space, cinematography: Paul Beeson, film editing: Alfred Cox, special effects: Ernie Sullivan, Wally Weevers, make-up: Jimmy Evans, art director: Colin Southcott, music: Don Banks, cast: Boris Karloff, Nick Adams, Susan Farmer, Freda Jackson, Patrick Magee, Terence de Marney, Paul Farrell, Leslie Dwyer, Sydney Bromley; The Shuttered Room / Blood Island, United Kingdom, 1967, producers: Phillip Hazelton, Alexander Jacobs, Bernard Schwartz, director: David Greene, writing credits: Nathaniel Tanchuck, D. B. Ledrov, cinematography: Kenneth Hodges, film editing: Brian Smedley-Aston, make-up: Harry Frampton, art director: Brian Eatwell, music: Basil Kirchin, cast: Gig Young, Carol Lynley, Oliver Reed, Flora Robson, Judith Arthy, Rick Jones, Ann Bell, William Devlin, Charles Lloyd Pack, Bernard Kay, Celia Hewitt; Curse of the Crimson Altar / The Crimson Cult / Spirit of the Dead / The Reincarnation / Witch House, United Kingdom, 1968, producers: Louis M. Heyward, Gerry Levy, Tony Tenser, director: Vernon Sewell, writing credits: Mervyn Haisman, Henry Lincoln, Gerry Levy, Louis M. Heyward, story Jerry Sohl, The Dreams in the Witch House, cinematography: John Coquillon, film editing: Howard Lanning, make-up: Elizabeth Blattner, Pauline Worden, art director: Derek Barrington, music: Peter Knight, cast: Boris Karloff, Christopher Lee, Mark Eden, Barbara Steel, Michael Gough, Virginia Wetherell, Rosemarie Reede, Derek Tansley, Michael Warren, Denys Peek; The Dunwich Horror / Dunwich Horror / Voodoo Child, United States, 1970, producers: James A. Nicholson, Samuel Z. Arkoff, Roger Corman, Jack Bohrer, director: Daniel Haller, writing credits: Curtis Lee Hanson, Henry Rosenbaum, Ronald Silkosky, cinematography: Richard C. Glouner, film editing: Christopher Holmes, special effects: Roger George, make-up: Jack Obringer, art director: Paul Sylos, set decoration: Ray Boltz, music: Les Baxter, cast: Sandra Dee, Dean Stockwell, Ed Begley, Sam Jaffe, Lloyd Bochner, Joanna Moore Jordan, Donna Baccala, Talia Coppola, Michael Fox, Jason Wingreen, Barboura Morris; The Music of Erich Zahn, United States, 1980, short, producers: Robert Rothman, John Strysik, director: John Strysik, writing credits: John Strysik, cinematography: Michael K. Goi, film editing: John Strysik, music: Juan Fava, cast: Robert Ruevain, Robert Alexander, Darryl Warren, Barbara Snapp; Pickman's Model, United States, 1981, short, producers: Cathy Welch, Kevin Wilson, director: Cathy Welch, writing credits: Steve Blackburn, Kelly Greene, Cathy Welch, cinematography: David Dewitt, music: Jim Hillin, cast: Mac Williams, Marc Mahan, Nancy Griffith, Virginia Houston, Martin Boozer; Reanimator, United States, 1985, producers: Brian Yuzna, Michael Avery, Charles Band, Bruce William Curtis, Bob Greenberg, Charles Donald Storey, director: Stuart Gordon, writing credits: Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, William J. Norris, Herbert West, Reanimator, cinematography: Mac Ahlberg, film editing: Lee Percy, special effects: Bret Culpepper, Richard N. McGuire, make-up: Everett Burrell, John Naulin, Anthony Doublin, Gerald Quist, John Carl Buechler, Drex Reed, art director: Robert A. Burns, music: Richard Band, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson, Gerry Black, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Peter Kent, Barbara Pieters, Ian Patrick Williams, Al Berry; From Beyond / H. P. Lovecraft's From Beyond, United States, 1986, producers: Brian Yuzna, Michael Avery, Charles Band, Bruce William Curtis, Roberto Bessi, director: Stuart Gordon, writing credits: Dennis Paoli, Stuart Gordon, Brian Yuzna, cinematography: Mac Ahlberg, film editing: Lee Percy, special effects: John Naulin, Anthony Doublin, John Carl Buechler, Mark Shostrom, Robert Kurtzman, William Butler, David Zen Mansley, make-up: Giancarlo Del Brocco, Mark Shostrom, Bill Forsche, art director: Giovanni Natalucci, set decoration: Robert Burns, music: Richard Band, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Ted Sorel, Ken Foree, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Bunny Summers, Bruce McGuire, Del Russel, Dale Wyatt; The Curse / The Farm, United States, Italy, 1987, producers: Ovidio G. Assonitis, Lucio Fulci, Moshe Diamant, Michael Parrinello, director: David Keith, writing credits: David Chaskin, The Colour out of Space, cinematography: Robert D. Forges, film editing: Claude Kutry, special effects: Bob Glaser, Kevin Ehrman, Ron Petruccione, Lucio Fulci, Burt Spiegel, Mark Moller, make-up: Frank Russell, art director: Frank Vanorio, music: Frank Micalizzi, cast: Will Wheaton, Claude Akins, Malcolm Danare, Cooper Huckabee, John Schneider, Amy Wheaton, Steve Carlisle, Kathleen Jordon Gregory, Hoe North, Steve Davis; The Unnamable, United States, 1988, producers: Dean Ramsel, Jean-Paul Ouellette, Michael Haley, Paul White, Terry Benedict, director: Jean-Paul Ouellette, writing credits: Jean-Paul Ouellette, The Statement of Randolph Carter, The Unnamable, cinematographer: Tom Fraser, film editing: Wendy J. Plump, special effects: R. Christopher Biggs, make-up: Camille Calvet, R. Christopher Biggs, art director: Tim Keating, set decoration: Gene Abel, music: David Bergeaud, cast: Charles King, Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Laura Albert, Alexandra Durrell, Eben Ham, Blane Wheatley, Mark Parra, Delbert Spain, Colin Cox, Paul Farmer, Katrin Alexandre; Dark Heritage / Dark Heritage: The Final Descendant, United States, 1989, producers: David McCormick, Tom Brewer, director: David McCormick, writing credits: David McCormick, The Lurking Fear, film editing: David Wayne, special effects: Richard Johnstone, make-up: Catherine Campbell, Susann Lofton, cast: Mark LaCour, Tim Verkaik, Eddie Moore, Joan Parmelee, David Hatcher, Todd Leger, Joe Jennings, Bonnie Darensbourg, Jessie Carnes; Bride of Reanimator / Reanimator 2, United States, 1989, producers: Brian Yuzna, Michael Muscal, Paul White, Keith Walley, Hidetaka Konno, director: Brian Yuzna, writing credits: Woody Keith, Rick Fry, Brian Yuzna, Herbert West, Reanimator, cinematographer: Rick Fichter, film editing; Peter Teschner, special effects: Howard Berger, Screaming Mad George, John Carl Buechler, Robert Kurtzman, Anthony Doublin, Jim Davidson, David Allen, Magical Media Industries, K.N.B. EFX Group, Screaming Mad George Inc., make-up: Howard Berger, John Carl Buechler, Anthony Doublin, Robert Kurtzman, Gregory Nicotero, Brian Wade, Kathleen M. Hagan, art director: Joseph Ressa, set decoration: Philip Duffin, music: Richard Band, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones, David Gale, Fabiana Udenio, Kathleen Kinmont, Mel Stewart, Irene Forrest, Michael Strasser, Mary Sheldon, Marge Turner; The Resurrected / Shatterbrain, United States, Canada, 1991, producers: Kenneth Raich, Mark Borde, Tom Bradshaw, Shayne Sawyer, Tony Scotti, director: Dan O'Bannon writing credits: Brent V. Friedman, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, cinematography: Irv Goodnoff, film editing: Russell Livingstone, special effects: Jason Barnett, David P. Barton, Jeffrey Butterworth, Kevin Flemming, Dave Gregory, Todd Masters, Ted Rae, Scott Wheeler, Marc Tyler, make-up: Fern Levin, art director: Doug Byggdin, set decoration: Christine MacLean, music: Richard Band, cast: John Terry, Jane Sibbett, Chris Sarandon, Robert Romanus, Laurie Briscoe, Ken Camroux, Patrick Pon, Bernard Cuffling, Des Smiley, Eric Newton, Judith Maxie, Charles Kristian; La Mansion de los Cthulhu / Cthulhu Mansion / Black Magic Mansion, Spain, United Kingdom, 1992, producers: Juan Piquer Simon, Jose G. Maesso, Bob Baker, Roger Crago, director: Juan Piquer Simon, writing credits: Juan Piquer Simon, David Coleman, Linda Moore, cinematography: Julio Bragado, film editing: Paul Aviles, special effects: Basilio Cortijo, Steve Humphrey, Sergio Hernandez, Carlos Rojo, Emilio Ruiz del Rio, make-up: Colin Arthur, Pedro Camacho, art director: Eduardo Hidalgo, set decoration: Pablo Alonso, music: Tim Souster, cast: Frank Finlay, Marcia Layton, Luis Fernando Alves, Brad Fisher, Melanie Shatner, Kaethe Cherney, Paul Birchard, Frank Brana, Ronald Faval, Pascal Mudazi, Emilio Linder; The Unnamable II: The Statement of Randolph Carter / The Unnamable Returns, United States, 1992, producers: Jean-Paul Ouellette, David Blake, Ron Gale, Alexandra Durrell, Phil Crace, Russell D. Markowitz, director: Jean-Paul Ouellette, writing credits: Jean-Paul Ouellette, The Statement of Randolph Carter, cinematography: Greg Gardiner, Roger Olkowski, film editing: William C. Williams, Bill Wilner, special effects: R. Christopher Biggs, Mark Sisson, Ken Speed, Andy Gauvreau, Victor Flores, Hector Gallardo, Bruno Staefel, make-up: Diana Brown, Shashana Kaplan, art director: Tim Keating, set decoration: Charles Duane, music: David Bergeaud, cast: Mark Kinsey Stephenson, Charles Klausmeyer, Maria Ford, Julie Strain, John Rhys-Davies, Peter Breck, David Warner, Shawn T. Lim, Brad Blaisdell, Kevin Alber, August West, Kit Fredericks; Necronomicon / H. P. Lovecraft's Necronomicon: Book of the Dead, United States 1993, producers: Brian Yuzna, Samuel Hadida, Aki Komine, Taka Ichise, Gary Schmoeller, directors: Christopher Gans (segment The Drawned), Shusuke Kaneko (segment The Cold), Brian Yuzna (segment Whispers, wraparound The Library), writing credits: Brent V. Friedman, Christopher Gans, Brian Yuzna, Kazunori Ito, The Rats in the Walls, Cool Air, The Whisperer in Darkness, cinematography: Russ Brandt, Gerry Lively, film editing: Christopher Roth, Keith H. Sauter, special effects: Steve Johnson, Thomas C. Rainone, Tom Savini, Screaming Mad George, Anthony C. Ferrante, Todd Masters, Bart Mixon, Larry Arpin, David B. Sharp, Dave Gregory, Magical Media Industries, Screaming Mad George Inc., make-up: Tom Savini, David P. Barton, Everett Burrell, Scott Patton, Sam Greenmun, art director: Anthony Tremblay, music: Joseph LoDuca, Daniel Licht, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Tony Azito, Juan Fernandez, Brian Yuzna (wraparound), Bruce Payne, Belinda Bauer, Richard Lynch, Maria Ford, Denice D. Lewis (segment The Drawned), David Warner, Bess Meyer, Millie Perkins, Dennis Christopher, Gary Graham, Curt Lowens (segment The Cold), Signy Coleman, Obba Babatunde, Don Calfa, Judith Grake (segment Whispers); Lurking Fear, United States, 1994, producers: Vlad Paunescu, Dana Paunescu, Charles Band, director: C. Courtney Joyner, writing credits: C. Courtney Joyner, cinematography: Adolfo Bartoli, film editing: Charles Simmons, special effects: Kenneth J. Hall, David Perteet, Al Magliochetti, make-up: Michael Deak, Wayne Toth, Jason Matthews, Daniela Busoiu, art director: Valentin Calinescu, Dan Toader, music: Jim Manzie, cast: Jon Finch, Blake Bailey, Ashley Laurence, Jeffrey Combs, Allison Mackie, Paul Mantee, Vincent Schiavelli, Joe Leavengood, Michael Todd, Adrian Pintea, Cristina Stoica, Luana Stoica; The Outsider, United States, 1994, short, producer: Aaron J. Vanek, director: Aaron J. Vanek, writing credits: Aaron J. Vanek, cinematography: David Howard, special effects & make-up: Harvey Allen Dickson, Tyler Killor, music: Damon Gallagher, cast: Herb Lichtenstein, Kathryn Grady, David Katzman, Rebecca Masternak; Castle Freak, United States, 1995, producers: Albert Band, Charles Band, Maurizio Maggi, Michael J. Mahoney, director: Stuart Gordon, writing credits: Dennis Paoli, The Outsider, story Stuart Gordon, story Dennis Paoli, cinematography: Mario Vulpiani, film editing: Bert Glatstein, special effects: Hiroshi Katagiri, Davide Trani, make-up: Everett Burrell, Mike Measimer, John Vulich, Pietro Tenoglio, art director: Frank Vanorio, music: Richard Band, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Jonathan Fuller, Jessica Dollarhide, Massimo Sarchielli, Elizabeth Kaza, Luca Zingaretti, Helen Stirling, Alessandro Sebastian Satta, Raffaella Offidani; Bleeders / The Descendant / Hemoglobin, Canada, United States, 1997, producers: Julie Allan, Pieter Kroonenburg, John Buchanan, Gary Howsam, director: Peter Svatek, writing credits: Charles Adair, Dan O'Bannon, Ronald Shusett, The Lurking Fear, cinematography: Barry Gravelle, film editing: Heidi Haines, special effects: Adrien Morot, Damian Fisher, Pierre Rivard, make-up: Ryan Nicholson, Henri Khouzam, art director: Isabelle Guay, set decoration: Michel Proulx, music: Alan Reeves, cast: Gillian Ferrabee, Pascal Gruselle, Roy Dupuis, Kristin Lehman, John Harold Cail, Joanna Noyes, Felicia Shulman, Janine Theriault, Michelle Brunet, David Deveau, Rutger Hauer, Carmen Ferlan; Return to Innsmouth, United States, 1999, short, producers: Andrew Migliore, Aaron Vanek, Jason Williams, Toren Atkinson, Erik Peterson, director Aaron Vanek, writing credits: Aaron Vanek, cinematography: David Howard, film editing: Ezra Hubbard, Aaron Vanek, Jerry A. Vasilatos, special effects: Ken Lobb, Larry Loc, Matt Pennington, make-up: Toren Atkinson, Yoko Tsukui, Nathan Jones, Fred Ritchie, Kevin Murnane, art director: Lisa Manning, music: Mark Fauver, cast: Ezra Hubbard, Larry Curwen, Edgar Reynolds, Paul Palazzolo, Harris Berg, Rick Crowell, Andrew Migliore; Cool Air, United States, 1999, short, producer: Ted Newsom, director: Bryan Moore, cinematography: Michael Bratkowski, music: Steve Yeaman, cast: Jack Donner, Ron Ford, Vera Lockwood, Bryan Moore; Chilean Gothic / Pickman's Model, Chile, 2000, producers: Gilberto Villarroel, Pepe Torres, director: Ricardo Harrington, writing credits: Gilberto Villarroel, Pickman's Model, film editing: Fernando Guariniello, make-up: Ingrid Fuentes, art director: Miguel Marino, set decoration: Juan Rojas, music: Fractal, cast: Rodrigo Sepulveda, Luis Alarcon, Fernando Gallardo, Cristian Campos; Cthulhu, Australia, 2000, producers: Damian Heffernan, Kevin Dunn, director: Damian Heffernan, writing credits: Damian Heffernan, The Shadow over Innsmouth, The Thing on the Doorstep, cinematography: Carl Looper, film editing: Andy Marriot, Sophia Platty, special effects: John Fox, music: Jason Sims, cast: Paul Douglas, Melissa Georgiou, Marcel Miller, James Payne, Adam Somes; Rough Magik, United Kingdom, 2000, short, producers: Stephen W. Parsons, Bob Lawrie, director: Jamie Payne, writing credits: Stephen W. Parsons, cinematography: Paul Wheeler, film editing: Peter Beston, art director: Sinead Thibault, cast: Paul Darrow, Gerrard McArthur, Tim Kirby, Justine Glenton, Michael Poole; Nyarlathotep, United States, 2001, short, director: Christian Matzke, writing credits: Christian Matzke, film editing: Christian Matzke, cast: Dan Harrod, Christian Matzke, Michael Kristan, James Cagney IV, Matt Little, Angela Staples; Dagon / Dagon: Sect of the Sea / Dagon, la secta del mar, Spain, United States, 2001, producers: Brian Yuzna, Julio Fernandez, Carlos Fernandez, Miguel Torrente, director: Stuart Gordon, writing credits: Dennis Paoli, Dagon, The Shadow over Innsmouth, cinematography: Carlos Suarez, film editing: Jaume Vilalta, special effects: David Marti, Montse Ribe, Xavi Bastida, Carlos Montosa, Jaume Vilaseca, make-up: David Marti, Montserrat Boqueras, art director: Llorenc Miquel, set decoration: Deborah Chambers, music: Carlos Cases, cast: Ezra Godden, Francisco Rabal, Raquel Merono, Macarena Gomez, Brendan Price, Birgit Bofarull, Uxia Blanco, Ferran Lahoz, Joan Minguell, Alfredo Villa; Le peuple ancien, France, 2001, short, producers: Julien Lacombe, Pascal Sid, directors: Julien Lacombe, Pascal Sid, writing credits: Julien Lacombe, The Very Old Folk, cinematography: Nicolas Loir, Julien Meurice, film editing: Richard Riffaud, Pascal Sid, music: Xavier Desfeuillet, cast: Romain Chesnel, Henri Debeurne, Axel Drhey, Didier Gallon, Nicolas Kolesnikoff, Olivier Pages, Julien Lacombe; The Evil Clergyman, United States, 2002, short, producer: Bill Kelley, director: Bill Kelley, writing credits: Bill Kelley, cinematography: Bill Kelley, film editing: Bill Kelley, make-up: Matthew Stedman, music: Phil Anderson, cast: Victoria Allen, Phil Cole, Bill Kelley, David Jackson, Jason Brassfield, Craig Johnson, Sigifried Siliger; An Imperfect Solution: A Tale of the Re-Animator, United States, 2003, short, producer: Michelle Soulier, director: Christian Matzke, writing credits: Christian Matzke, Herbert West, Reanimator, film editing: Allen Baldwin, make-up: Tristan Gallagher, cast: Bob Poirier, Jason Waron, Amanda Houtari, James Noel Hoban, Dan Harrod, Laree Love, Christian Matzke; Beyond Re-Animator / Reanimator 3, United States, Spain, 2003, producers: Brian Yuzna, Julio Fernandez, Carlos Fernandez, Teresa Gefaell, director: Brian Yuzna, writing credits: Jose Manuel Gomez, Xavier Berraondo, Brian Yuzna, Herbert West, Reanimator, story Miguel Tejada-Flores, cinematography: Andreu Rebes, film editing: Bernat Vilaplana, special effects: Oscar Aparicio, Screaming Mad George, Michael McGee, Jordi Costa, Laura Maynade, Jaume Vilaseca, make-up: Karol Tornaria, Maite Tuset, art director: Llorenc Miguel, set decoration: Deborah Chambers, music: Xavier Capellas, cast: Jeffrey Combs, Toomy Dean Musset, Jason Barry, Barbara Elorrieta, Elsa Pataky, Angel Plana, Lolo Herrero, Enrique Arce, Nico Baixas; The Thing on the Doorstep, United States, 2003, producers: Eric Morgret, Parker Whittle, K. L. Young, director: Eric Morgret, writing credits: K. L. Young, cinematography: Angelo Comeaux, film editing: Eric Morgret, music: Parker Whittle, cast: J. D. Lloyd, Jerry Lloyd, Jamie Morgan, Erick Robertson, Oliver Spencer, Beth Zumann; Pickman's Model, United States, 2003, short, producer: Rick Tillman, director: Rick Tillman, writing credits: Rick Tillman, Pickman's Model, film editing: Rick Tillman, make-up: John Williams Lynch, Alan Wilkie, art directors: Dave Hiney, Don Lapora, John Williams Lynch, Rick Tillman, Bryan Sammons, Jennifer Shepherd, music: Jeff Carrell, Howard Chilcott, Rick Tillman, cast: John Williams Lynch, Rick Tillman, Don Lapora, Mary J. Hiney, Alan Wilkie, Jim Serfling, Dave Hiney, Ariana Nicoli, Bryan Sammons, Ray Nicoli; La casa sfuggita / The Shunned House, Italy, 2003, producer: Valerio Zuccon, director: Ivan Zuccon, writing credits: Enrico Saletti, Ivan Zuccon, The Shunned House, cinematography: Ivan Zuccon, film editing: Ivan Zuccon, special effects: Massimo Storari, make-up: Massimo Storari, art director: Roberta Romagnoli, music: AcidVacuum, cast: Giuseppe Lorusso, Federica Quaglieri, Emanuele Cerman, Silvia Ferreri, Michael Segal, Cristiana Vaccaro, Nicoletta Verri, Claudio Viganelli, Roberta Marrelli, Enrico Saletti, Valerio Zuccon; Strange Aeons: The Thing on the Doorstep, United States, 2005, producers: Eric Morgret, Rick Tillman, K. L. Young, Marth Christensen, director: Eric Morgret, writing credits: K. L. Young, cinematography: Michael Welty, film editing: Eric Morgret, make-up: Christina Schock, music: Richard Temple, cast: Melanie Calderwood, Doug Cartwright, Angelica DiMico, Angela M. Grillo, Nolan Harvey, Peter Holden, Grayson F. Kellmer, J. D. Lloyd, Jerry Lloyd, Emily Oliver, Erick Robertson, Kathleen Schroeder; The Call of Cthulhu, United States, 2005, producers: Sean Branney, Andrew Leman, Chris Lackey, director: Andrew Leman, writing credits: Sean Branney, cinematography: David Robertson, film editing: David Robertson, special effects: Dan Novy, Terry Sandin, make-up: Andra Carlson, music: Troy Sterling Nies, Ben Holbrook, Nicholas Pavkovic, Chad Fifer, cast: Matt Foyer, John Bolen, Ralph Lucas, Chad Fifer, Susan Zucker, Kalafatic Poole, John Klemantaski, Jason Owens, D. Grigsby Poland, David Mersault, Barry Lynch, John Joly, Jennifer Knighton; Dreams in the Witch House, United States, 2005, producers: Lisa Richardson, Tom Rowe, Stephen R. Brown, Ben Browning, Adam Goldworm, Morris Berger, director: Stuart Gordon, writing credits: Stuart Gordon, Dennis Paoli, cinematography: Jon Joffin, film editing: Marshall Harvey, special effects: Wayne Szybunka, Derek Heselton, Lee Wilson, Lisa Sepp-Wilson, Anthem Visual Effects, make-up: Howard Berger, Gregory Nicotero, Mike Fields, Sarah Graham, Dana Hamel, Veronica Torres, KNB EFX Group, art director: Don Macaulay, set decoration: David Fischer, Ide Foyle, music: Richard Band, cast: Ezra Godden, Campbell Lane, Jay Brazeau, Chelah Horsdal, David Racz, Nicholas Racz, Yevgen Voronin, Susanna Uchatius, Donna White, Susan Bain, Terry Howson, Anthony Harrison; Beyond the Wall of Sleep, United States, 2006, producers: Koko Polosajian, Richard A. Strom, Jim Bolden, Khano Ajemian, directors: Barrett J. Leigh, Thom Maurer, writing credits: Barrett J. Leigh, Thom Maurer, cinematography: Bill Burton, film editing: Dan Gutman, special effects: Wes Campbell, Matt Green, Andrew Soria, art director: Julie Costner, music: Kaveh Cohen, cast: George Peroulas, Fountain Yount, Greg Fawcett, William Sanderson, Kurt Hargan, Frank Schuler, Marco St. John, Rick Dial, Tom Savini, Robert Jayne, Rachel Mellendorf, Emily Cochran, Jason Patty; Cool Air, United States, 2006, producers: Rob Ladesich, Norbert Weisser, Christopher Curnan, Tricia Gray, director: Albert Pyun, writing credits: Cynthia Curnan, cinematography: Jim Hagopian, film editing: Glen Berry, make-up: Jennifer Mirabile, cast: Morgan Weisser, Crystal Green, Jenny Dare Paulin, Norbert Weisser, Wendy Phillips; Dunwich, United States, 2006, short, producer: Andrew Migliore, directors: Christian Matzke, Sarah Tarling, writing credits: Christian Matzke, Sarah Tarling, cinematography: Jon Dearnley, film editing: Christian Matzke, male-up: Sarah Tarling, art director: Christian Matzke, music: Justin Maxwell, cast: Keith Anctil, Leo Lunser, Kathryn Morrison, Matty Marcinuk, Craig Ela, Christian Matzke, Chill, United States, 2007, producers: Serge Rodnunsky, Justin W. Hill, David A. Hoffman, Shaun Kurtz, director: Serge Rodnunsky, writing credits: Serge Rodnunsky, Cool Air, cinematography: Serge Rodnunsky, film editing: Serge Rodnunsky, make-up: Misa Aikawa, Ruben Davila, Erik Porn, set decoration: Shareen Pena, music: Nigel Holton, Kurt Oldman, Jeffrey Walton, cast: Thomas Calabro, Ashley Laurence, Shaun Kurtz, James Russo, Victor Grant, Clark Moore, Barbara Gruen, Adam Vincent, Chad Nadolski, Drew Nye, Andrew Mia, Heidi Holland, Rich Finley; Cthulhu, United States, 2007, producers: Jeffrey Brown, Grant Cogswell, Alexis Ferris, Laurie Hicks, Garr Godfrey, Anne Rosellini, director: Dan Gildark, writing credits: Grant Cogswell, Douglas Light, The Shadow over Innsmouth; story Dan Gildark, story Jason Cottle, cinematography: Sean Kirby, film editing: Tony Fulgham, special effects: H. M. Gandy, Deborah Ristic, John Gera, Chris Baer, make-up: Dawn Tunnell, Michelle Ahern, Jennifer Popochock, Erik Porn, art directors: Etta Lilienthal, Liz Cawthon, set decoration: Etta Lilienthal, music: Willy Greer, cast: Jason Cottle, Casey Curran, Ethan Atkinson, Patrick McKnight, Cara Buono, Dennis Kleinsmith, Joe Shapiro, Ruby Wood, Hunter Stroud, Kiefer Grimm, Rob Hamm, Nancy Stark, Tori Spelling, Richard Garfield; The Tomb / H. P. Lovecraft's The Tomb, United States, 2007, producers: Ulli Lommel, Jeff Frentzen, Nola Roeper, director: Ulli Lommel, writing credits: Ulli Lommel, cinematography: Bianco Pacelli [Ulli Lommel], film editing: Christian Behm, special effects: Aimee Torres, make-up: Aimee Torres, John M. Ferguson, set decoration: Patricia Devereaux [Ulli Lommel], music: Robert J. Walsh, cast: Victoria Ullmann, Christian Behm, Gerard Griesbaum, Michael Barbour, Shawn Smith, Naidra Dawn Thomson, Jillian Swanson, Shannon Leade, Janelle Dote, Mathew Shively, The Statement, United Kingdom, 2007, short, producers: Kurt Dudley, Robin Anson, director: Kurt Dudley, writing credits: Kurt Dudley, The Statement of Randolph Carter, film editing: Robin Anson, make-up: Robin Anson, art director: Cy Dudley, music: Kurt Dudley, David Marjoribanks, cast: Adam Fozard, Charles Hunt, Ewan Main, Hugh Wright, Amy Fallon; The Statement of Randolph Carter, United States, 2008, short, producer: Jason E. Norred, director: John Morehead, writing credits: Bill Smith, Andrew Kemp, cinematography: Trish Chappell, film editing: Jason E. Norred, set decoration: Erik Ellickson, music: Joseph Rhodes, cast: Richard Blair, Roki Edwards, Khalid Robinson; Pickman's Model, United States, 2008, short, producers: Gary Fierro, Justin Tacchi, Conor Timmis, director: Gary Fierro, writing credits: Gary Fierro, Justin Tacchi, cinematography: Gary Fierro, film editing: Gary Fierro, make-up: Norman Bryn, art director: Gary Fierro, set decoration: Justin Tacchi, music: Gary Fierro, cast: Conor Timmis, Jesse Murphy, Derek Meinecke, Cory Joyce; Beyond the Dunwich Horror, United States, 2008, producer: Ted Marr, director: Richard Griffin, writing credits: Richard Griffin, cinematography: Ricardo Rebelo, film editing: Richard Griffin, special effects: John Dusek, make-up: Heather Hill, Topher Matthews, set decoration: Margaret Wolf, music: Daniel Hildreth, Tony Milano, cast: Lynn Lowry, Jason McCormick, Jeff Dylan Graham, Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed, Ruth Sullivan, Carlos Brum, Christopher Calcagni, David Fine, Greg Scott; The Book, United Kingdom, 2008, short, producer: Nicola Ford, director: James Raynor, writing credits: Richard Ellis, James Raynor, The Book, The Descendant, cinematography: Nick Everett, film editing: Sam Gale, special effects: James Raynor, make-up: Emma Armitage, Katie Fordham, Gaynor Joyce, Amy Purt, Rachel Saunders, Jessica Ann Sobieralski, set decoration: Sam Grant, Amy Wortley, music: Damian McDonald, James Raynor, cast: Matthew Jay France, Eryl Lloyd Parry, Nick Thompson, Oliver Jones, Sam Grant; Colour from the Dark, Italy, 2008, producers: Ivan Zuccon, Valerio Zuccon, Roberta Marrelli, director: Ivan Zuccon, writing credits: Ivo Gazzarrini, The Colour out of Space, cinematography: Ivan Zuccon, film editing: Ivan Zuccon, special effects: Francesco Malaspina, Fiona Walsh, Massimo Storari, makeup: Mauro Fabriczky, set decoration: Valerio Zuccon, music: Marco Werba, cast: Debbie Rochon, Michael Segal, Marysia Kay, Gerry Shanahan, Eleanor James, Matteo Tosi, Alessandra Guerzoni, Emmett Scanlan; The Picture in the House, United States, 2009, producers: Christopher James Jordan, Gary Lobstein, directors: Christopher James Jordan, Gary Lobstein, writing credits: Gary Lobstein, cinematography: Christopher James Jordan, film editing: Gary Lobstein, music: Johnny Xeno, cast: John Dedeke, Mike Jordan; The Music of Erich Zann, United States, 2009, short, producer: Christopher Spaide, director: Jared Skolnick, writing credits: Jared Skolnick, film editing: Jared Skolnick, special effects: Derek Curley, Jared Skolnick, make-up: Anthony Pepe, art director: Kat Reilly, set decoration: Kat Reilly, music: Derek Curley, cast: Bob Diamond, Christopher Shelton, Francesca Genovesi, Ronald E. Giles, Jared Skolnick, Christopher Spaide; The Dunwich Horror / Witches: The Darkest Evil, United States, 2009, producers: Leigh Scott, Justin Jones, Andre Finkenwirth, Kenneth M. Badish, Rhett Giles, director: Leigh Scott, writing credits: Leigh Scott, cinematography: Steven Parker, Bill Posley, film editing: Kristen Quintrall, special effects: Ross Edgar, Michael F. Hoover, Troy Dugas, Brock Jolet, Chase Martin, make-up: Tara Lang, Hailey Authement, art director: John Mansfield Finley, set decoration: Aaron Raymond, Lydia Griffith, music: Eliza Swenson, cast: Griff Furst, Sarah Lieving, Dean Stockwell, Jeffrey Combs, Natacha Itzel, Lauren Michele, Shirly Brener, M. Steven Felty, Collin Galyean, Jeffrey Alan Pilars, Richard Zeringue, Lacey Minchew; The Silver Key, United States, 2010, short, producers: Gary Fierro, Conor Timmis, Matthew Giovannucci, directors: Gary Fierro, Conor Timmis, writing credits: Conor Timmis, cinematography: Gary Fierro, film editing: Gary Fierro, special effects: Gary Fierro, cast: Garrett Birdsey, Kris Keyes, Linda Luong, Ian MacDonald, Conor Timmis, Dave Tonucci; Pickman's Muse, United States, 2010, producers: Robert Cappelletto, Eddie Morillon, director: Robert Cappelletto, writing credits: Robert Cappelletto, Pickman's Model, The Haunter of the Dark, cinematography: Robert Cappelletto, special effects: Clare Martin, Terrance E. Ward, set decoration: Kevin Loudner, music: Willy Greer, cast: Barret Walz, Maurice McNicholas, Tom Lodewyck, Joyce Porter, Mike Dobray, Edy Cullen, Steve Leamy, Jeff Christian, Fredrick Stone, Lisa Marie Jelinek, Ben Sexton; The Picture in the House, Canada, 2010, short, producer: Miles Finlayson, director: Miles Finlayson, writing credits: Maggie Newton, cinematography: Miles Finlayson, film editing: Miles Finlayson, make-up: Anna Finlayson, set decoration: Lisa Soper, music: Delusions of Grandeur, cast: Mark Slacke, Ron Tarrant; Die Farbe / The Colour out of Space, Germany, 2010, producers: Huan Vu, Peter Tillisch, Jan Roth, director: Huan Vu, writing credits: Huan Vu, The Colour out of Space, cinematography: Martin Kolbert, film editing: Huan Vu, special effects: Huan Vu, cast: Ingo Heise, Philipp Jacobs, Olaf Kratke, Jurgen Heimuller, Friedrich Schilha, Marah Schneider, Leon Schroder, Jonas von Lingen; Hunters of the Dark, United States, 2011, short, producers: Ansel Faraj, Rosa Taylor-Faraj, director: Ansel Faraj, writing credits: Ansel Faraj, The Shadow out of Time, The Dunwich Horror, At the Mountains of Madness, The Colour out of Space, The Whisperer in Darkness, cinematography: Ansel Faraj, film editing: Ansel Faraj, set decoration: Aurick Michaels, music: Firuz Yumul, cast: Linden Chiles, Mayra Gonzalez, Luke Hollman, Mihran Konanyan, Kevin Shayer; The Silver Key, United States, 2011, short, producers: Philip Tolin, Dann Kriss, David Tolin, Tresa Tolin, director: Philip Tolin, writing credits: Philip Tolin, Dann Kriss, cinematography: Philip Tolin, film editing: Dann Kriss, Philip Tolin, special effects: Dann Kriss, set decoration: Cody Cooper, Dann Kriss, cast: David Tolin, Dann Kriss, Nathan Hoffmeyer, Eric Riley, Brandon Tolin, Crystal Kriss, Joseph Tolin; The Whisperer in Darkness, United States, 2011, producers: David Robertson, Sean Branney, Chris Lackey, Andrew Leman, Sandy Petersen, Darrell Tutchton, director: Sean Branney, writing credits: Sean Branney, Andrew Leman, cinematography: David Robertson, film editing: David Robertson, special effects: P. J. Foley, Jon Gourley, Chris E. Peterson, Jason Shulman, make-up: Glen Alfonso, Andra Carlson, Dave Snyder, set decoration: Andrew Leman, music: Troy Sterling Nies, cast: Stephen Blackehart, Matt Lagan, Conor Timmis, Barry Lynch, Mike Dalager, Autumn Wendel, Matt Foyer, Andrew Leman, Joe Sofranko, Lance J. Holt, Don Yanan, Daniel Kaemon, David Pavao, Caspar Marsh; The Curse of Yig, United States, 2011, short, producers: Tim Uren, Paul von Stoetzel, Brett Tompkins, James Vallo, director: Paul von Stoetzel, writing credits: Tim Uren, Paul von Stoetzel, story Zealia Bishop, play Tim Uren, cinematography: Joe Johnson, film editing: Paul-Michael Carr, Joe Johnson, Jason P. Schumacher, special effects: Nate Courteau, Joe Johnson, make-up: Chris Ballas, Jamie Lecuyer, Andrea Seidenkranz, Kylah Armstrong, art director: Cheri Anderson, music: Scott Keever, cast: Amy Schweickhardt, Tim Uren, Dawn Krosnowski, Conor Timmis, Kurt Schweickhardt, M. Allen LaFleur, Jean Wolff, Scott Keever, Amber Barnett, Derek Meyer, Melissa Schmitz; The Whisperer in Darkness, United States, 2011, producers: Matt Hundley, Mike W. Sexton, director: Matt Hundley, writing credits: Matt Hundley, cinematography: Matt Hundley, film editing: Matt Hundley, music: Grant Sexton, cast: Alan Carroll, Matt Hundley, Ken MacGregor, Mike W. Sexton, Nathan C. Sexton; Pickman's Model, United Kingdom, 2012, short, producer: Zoe Samuel, director: Mark Philip Lichtenstein, writing credits: Zoe Samuel, cinematography: Mark Philip Lichtenstein, film editing: Mark Philip Lichtenstein, special effects: Mark Philip Lichtenstein, art director: Mick Cantone, set decoration: Mark Philip Lichtenstein, Mick Cantone, cast: Pippa Bennett-Warner, Richard David-Caine, Joseph Elliott; The Terrible Old Man, United States, 2012, short, director: Stuart Linver, writing credits: Stuart Linver, cinematography: Stuart Linver, cast: Lucas Barber, Gary Betsworth, Paul Jude Letersky.

Critical studies (selected titles): W. Paul Cook, In Memoriam: H. P. Lovecraft: Recollections, Appreciations, Estimates, 1941; Leland Sapiro, editor, H. P. Lovecraft: A Symposium, 1964; Jack Chalker, editor, Mirage on Lovecraft, 1965; W. Paul Cook, H. P. Lovecraft: A Portrait, 1968; Maurice Levy, Lovecraft ou du fantastique, 1972; Meade Frierson, Penny Frierson, editors, H. P. Lovecraft, 1972; Lin Carter, Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos, 1972; Wilfrid Talman, The Normal Lovecraft, 1973; Robert E. Weinberg, Edward P. Berglund, A Reader's Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos, 1973; Mark Owings, Jack Chalker, The Revised H. P. Lovecraft Bibliography, 1973; Mark Owings, Irving Binkin, A Catalogue of Lovecraftiana, 1975; Anthony Raven, The Occult Lovecraft, 1975; Frank Belknap Long, H. P. Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Nightside, 1975; L. Sprague de Camp, Lovecraft: A Biography, 1975; Darrell Schweitzer, Lovecraft in the Cinema, 1975; Darrell Schweitzer, editor, Essays Lovecraftian, 1976 / Discovering H. P. Lovecraft, 1987; Barton Levi St. Armand, The Roots of Horror in the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, 1977; Darrell Schweitzer, The Dream Quest of Howard P. Lovecraft, 1978; George T. Wetzel, The Lovecraft Collectors Library, 1979; Kenneth W. Faig, H. P. Lovecraft: His Life, His Work, 1979; Henry L. P. Beckwith, Lovecraft's Providence and Adjacent Parts, 1979; S. T. Joshi, editor, H. P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism, 1980; S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography, 1981; Joe Bell, Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Books 1915-1981, 1981; S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft, 1982; Donald R. Burleson, H. P. Lovecraft, A Critical Study, 1983; Joe Bell, Howard Phillips Lovecraft: The Books--Addenda and Auxiliary, 1983; Francois Truchaud, Pierre Versins, Gerard Klein, H. P. Lovecraft, 1984; S. T. Joshi, L. D. Blackmore, H. P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography, Supplement 1980-1984, 1981; Maurice Levy, Lovecraft: A Study in the Fantastic, 1988; S. T. Joshi, editor, Selected Papers on Lovecraft, 1989; Peter Cannon, H. P. Lovecraft, 1989; Robert M. Price, H. P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos, 1990; S. T. Joshi, Howard P. Lovecraft: The Decline of the West, 1990; Donald R. Burleson, Lovecraft: Disturbing the Universe, 1990; S. T. Joshi, The Weird Tale, 1990; Stefano Piselli, Federico de Zigno, Riccardo Morrochi, editors, The Cosmical Horror of H. P. Lovecraft: A Pictorial Anthology, 1991; Michel Houellebecq, H. P. Lovecraft: Contre le monde, contre la vie, 1991 / Howard P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life, 1999, revised edition 2005; David E. Schultz, S. T. Joshi, editors, An Epicure in the Terrible: A Centennial Anthology of Essays in Honor of H. P. Lovecraft, 1991; S. T. Joshi, An Index to the Selected Letters of Howard P. Lovecraft, 1991; S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: An Annotated Bibliography, 1991; S. T. Joshi, An Index to the Fiction and Poetry of H. P. Lovecraft, 1992; Michel Meuger, Lovecraft et la SF, 1994; Philip A. Shreffler, L'universe de Lovecraft, 1994; Daniel Harms, editor, The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror, 1994, revised edition 1998; S. T. Joshi, H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, 1996; S. T. Joshi, A Subtler Magick: The Writings and Philosophy of Howard P. Lovecraft, 1996; Yozan Dirk W. Mosig, Mosig at Last: A Psychologist Looks at H. P. Lovecraft, 1997; James Van Hise, editor, The Fantastic Worlds of H. P. Lovecraft, 1999; Tina Jens, editor, Cthulhu and the Coeds: Kids and Squids, 1999; Chris Jarochha-Ernst, A Cthulhu Mythos: Bibliography and Concordance, 1999; S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, editors, H. P. Lovecraft, Lord of the Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters, 2000; John Strysik, Andrew Migliore, The Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of Howard P. Lovecraft, 2000; David A. Oakes, Science and Destabilization in the Modern American Gothic: Lovecraft, Matheson and King, 2000; S. T. Joshi, David E. Schultz, An Howard P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia, 2001, revised edition 2004; Darrell Schweitzer, editor, Discovering H. P. Lovecraft, 2001; Charles P. Mitchell, The Complete Howard P. Lovecraft Filmography, 2001; S. T. Joshi, Lovecraft's Library: A Catalogue, 2002; Frederik Pohl, John Brunner, Robert A. Silverberg, editors, The Necronomicon: Selected Stories and Essays Concerning the Blasphemous Tome of the Mad Arab, 2002; Scott Connors, editor, A Century Less a Dream: Selected Criticism on H. P. Lovecraft, 2002; Daniel Harms, John Wisdom Gonce III, The Necronomicon Files: The Truth Behind the Legend, 2003; William Schoell, Howard P. Lovecraft: Master of the Weird Fiction, 2003; S. T. Joshi, editor, Primal Sources. Essays on Howard P. Lovecraft, 2003; S. T. Joshi, Ben J. S. Szumskyi, editors, Fritz Leiber and H. P. Lovecraft: Writers of the Dark, 2003; Anthony Brainard Pearsall, The Lovecraft Lexicon: A Reader's Guide to Persons, Places and Things in the Tales of H. P. Lovecraft, 2004; Jason Colavito, The Cult of Alien Gods: H. P. Lovecraft and Extraterrestrial Pop Culture, 2005; Don A. Smith, H. P. Lovecraft in Popular Culture: The Works and Their Adaptations in Film, Television, Comics, Music and Games, 2006; Daniel Harms, editor, The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana: A Guide to Lovecraftian Horror, 2006; Andrew Migliore, John Strysik, Lurker in the Lobby: The Guide to Lovecraftian Cinema, 2006; Robert H. Waugh, The Monster in the Mirror: Looking for H. P. Lovecraft, 2006; Daniel Harms, editor, The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia, 2008; S. T. Joshi, The Rise and Fall of the Cthulhu Mythos, 2008; Kenneth Hite, Tour de Lovecraft: The Tales, 2008; S. T. Joshi, Classics and Contemporaries: Some Notes on Horror Fiction, 2009; Kenneth W. Faig, The Unknown Lovecraft, 2009; Donald Tyson, The Dream World of H. P. Lovecraft: His Life, His Demons, His Universe, 2010; S. T. Joshi, I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H. P Lovecraft, 2 vols, 2010; S. T. Joshi, editor, A Weird Writer in Our Midst: Early Criticism of H. P. Lovecraft, 2010; S. T. Joshi, editor, Dissecting Cthulhu: Essays on the Cthulhu Mythos, 2011; Robert H. Waugh, A Monster of Voices: Speaking for H. P. Lovecraft, 2011; Graham Harman, Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosophy, 2012; David Goudsward, H. P. Lovecraft in the Merrimack Valley, 2013; Gavin Callaghan, H. P. Lovecraft's Dark Arcadia: The Satire, Symbology and Contradiction, 2013; Robert H. Waugh, editor, Lovecraft and Influence: His Predecessors and Successors, 2013; David Simmons, editor, New Critical Essays on H. P. Lovecraft, 2013.

Acknowledgment This paper has been financially supported within the project entitled Doctorate: an Attractive Research Career, contract number POSDRU/ 107/1.5/S/77946, co-financed by European Social Fund through Sectoral Operational Programme for Human Resources Development 2007-2013. Investing in people!


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Lucia-Alexandra Tudor

Stefan cel Mare University

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