1924 The Shunned House

Weird Tales 1937.10, Virgil Finlay
Written 1924.10, published in "The Shunned House", The Recluse Press, 1928 (limited pressing of 6), Weird Tales 37.10.

Opening Statement:
     From even the greatest of horrors irony is seldom absent. Some times it enters directly into the composition of the events, while sometimes it relates only to their fortuitous position among persons and places. The latter sort is splendidly exemplified by a case in the ancient city of Providence, where in the late forties Edgar Allan Poe used to sojourn often during his unsuccessful wooing of the gifted poetess, Mrs. Whitman. 
What in Brown Jenkin's Name..?
     A house in Providence is known for two centuries of creepy weirdness. The narrator and his uncle decide to get to the truth, but some larger force "elbows" its way into their work.
  1. The narrator describes a house in Providence which is partly embedded into the side of a hill. The forbidding house has a reputation of its occupants dying of some strange form of consumption. The cellar contains glowing fungi and tree roots, which create a strange floor pattern in the shape of a "crouching man".
  2. The narrator describes two centuries of death and madness surrounding the house.
  3. There are suspicions of a vampire living in the house cellar. The narrator learns that the old, French "Roulet" family had buried their dead near the house, and that one of the Roulets was a werewolf. One night he stays in the cellar and sees a strange mist rise from the huddled-man floor image.
  4. The narrator and his uncle spend the night, armed with radiation and flame weapons. His uncle has restless dreams of the past and of "multi-dimensional space". The narrator sleeps, but his bad dreams are interrupted by his uncle’s scream.
  5. Amidst a yellow light, he sees an eye-riddled yellow mass rising from the fungous area, going up the chimney. The mass begins to "melt" his uncle.The victim's roiling face eventually takes on the appearance of several strangers from the past, before his original face surfaces at the end. The radiation weapon has no effect on the mass and the narrator escapes out into the street. Returning later, he sees that the "crouching man" is gone (as well as the remains of his uncle). The next day he digs a huge hole in the cellar where the “thing” had erupted from. After bringing up an oozing yellow ichor, he hits a fishy, glassy barrier. After more digging he realizes that he has uncovered the two-foot wide elbow of a much more immense being. After dumping barrels of acid on the exposed creature a horrible smell and roaring ensues. The narrator refills the now inert hole and the house is soon rented out without further strange happenings.
Essential Saltes:
     Suddenly my spade struck something softer than earth. I shuddered and made a motion as if to climb out of the hole, which was now as deep as my neck. Then courage returned, and I scraped away more dirt in the light of the electric torch I had provided. The surface I uncovered was fishy and glassy - a kind of semi-putrid congealed jelly with suggestions of translucency. I scraped further, and saw that it had form. There was a rift where a part of the substance was folded over. The exposed area was huge and roughly cylindrical; like a mammoth soft blue-white stovepipe doubled in two, its largest part some two feet in diameter. Still more I scraped, and then abruptly I leaped out of the hole and away from the filthy thing; frantically unstopping and tilting the heavy carboys, and precipitating their corrosive contents one after another down that charnel gulf and upon this unthinkable abnormality whose titan elbow I had seen.
From Dr. Armitage's Notes:

The Horrible Conclusion:
     The next spring no more pale grass and strange weeds came up in the shunned house's terraced garden, and shortly afterward Carrington Harris rented the place. It is still spectral, but its strangeness fascinates me, and I shall find mixed with my relief a queer regret when it is torn down to make way for a tawdry shop or vulgar apartment building. The barren old trees in the yard have begun to bear small, sweet apples, and last year the birds nested in their gnarled boughs.
Read it here.

Follow'd by "The Horror at Red Hook"