Essays, Poems, Collaborations

(Hannes Bok for Robert Bloch's "Hell on Earth", 1942)
Besides the 66 stories H.P. Lovecraft published under his own name (described in the main site), he also "ghost-wrote" or collaborated on an almost equal number of other published works. In general these are not as "essential" as his more famous works, but many of them still contribute to (or at least mention characters from) the Lovecraft Mythos - and many are just as enjoyable to read. The list below includes all of these stories as well as a few select Lovecraft essays and poems ("Fungi From Yuggoth"), as well as a select list of Mythos-related yarns written by his friends in the "Lovecraft circle" (including most notably Clark Ashton Smith, Robert Bloch and Robert E. Howard). The alphabetical list is followed by a chronological list including a synopsis of each work.

A History of the Necronomicon
Collapsing Cosmoses
Deaf, Dumb, and Blind
Fungi From Yuggoth
In the Walls of Eryx
Lair of the Star-Spawn
Medusa’s Coil
Out Of The Eons
Poetry and the Gods
The Battle that Ended the Century
The Black Stone
The Challenge From Beyond
The Children of the Night
The Crawling Chaos
The Curse of Yig
The Diary of Alonzo Typer
The Disinterment
The Door To Saturn
The Electric Executioner
The Faceless God
The Fire Vampires
The Ghost-Eater
The Grinning Ghoul
The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast
The Holiness of Azedarac
The Horror at Martin’s Beach
The Horror from the Hills
The Horror in the Burying-Ground
The Horror in the Museum
The Hounds of Tindalos
The Hunters from Beyond
The Isle of Dark Magic
The Lady in Gray
The Last Test
The Loved Dead
The Man of Stone
The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune
The Mound
The Nameless Offspring
The Night Ocean
The Return of the Sorceror
The Sealed Casket
The Secret of the Tomb
The Seven Geases
The Shadow Kingdom
The Shambler from the Stars
The Slaying of the Monster
The Space Eaters
The Suicide in the Study
The Tale of Satampra Zeiros
The Thing in the Moonlight
The Thing On The Roof
The Thing That Walked On The Wind
The Trap
The Tree on the Hill
The Tree-Men of M'Bwa
Through the Gates of the Silver Key
Till A’the Seas
Two Black Bottles
When Chaugnar Wakes
Winged Death
Worms of the Earth

Synopses presented in chronological order (with some Mythos-related notes).

Poetry and the Gods (1920)
HPL with Anna Helen Crofts, United Amateur
One of the earliest use of “dreamlands” as device (possibly preceded by “The White Ship”). This is Lovecraft’s only real collaboration with Crofts.

A woman named Marcia is entranced by poetry related to Japan and China. In a dream (?) she is visited by the god Hermes, who takes her to Olympus to speak with Zeus, who explains to her that poems are the gods’ messages to humanity. Zeus also prophesizes that a messenger will soon arrive on Earth to proclaim the gods’ return. Years later, a man reads poetry to her and she recognizes from his words that he is the messenger that Zeus had promised in her dream.

The Crawling Chaos (1920-21)
HPL, based on a dream by Winifred V. Jackson, United Co-operative
Opium use, apocalypse, aliens. Lovecraft also collaborated with Jackson on “The Green Meadow” (also Lovecraft’s text based on a Jackson dream).

During an opium overdose, the narrator finds himself transported to a cottage on a high cliff during a raging storm. However, there is calm climate on the opposite side of the cliff. He goes towards the calm beach area but detects danger. Godlike aliens appear, who describe strange scenes in outer space. Drawn into the air with a crowd of other chosen youths, the narrator sees the storm swallowing the island below. The sea flows into an abyss revealing the exposed ruins of cities (Paris, London). Steam rises from the abyss, hiding the scene. An explosion occurs and the Earth is no more.

The Horror at Martin’s Beach (1922.06)
Sonia H. Greene, revised and edited by HPL. WT 1923 published (as "The Invisible Monster")
Giant monster.

In late spring, a giant fish-lizard is caught and its remains put on exhibit by the ship’s captain. It is assessed to be an infant of some much larger creature. In late summer, the entire exhibit is washed out to sea. One night a strange scream is heard offshore. A life preserver is flung out towards the sound. The preserver is pulled out towards the sea and the sailors associated with the monster exhibit try to pull the rope back in, but the pull is too strong. When they try to let go, they find that their hands are stuck fast to the rope. All of the men are then dragged into the sea and down into a whirlpool.

Ashes (1923)
C. M. Eddy, Jr., revised by HPL, WT 1924

Malcolm Bruce finds works under a strange scientist and eventually falls in love with the scientist’s lovely assistant Marjorie. One day, the scientist uses a liquid on a rabbit, which immediately turns the rabbit to ashes. This upsets Malcolm and Marjorie. Days later, Malcolm is unable to find Marjorie. Bursting in upon the scientist’s lab, he sees a casket of ashes with Marjorie’s coat nearby, and deduces that the scientist had disintegrated her. Malcolm proceeds to disintegrate the scientist in a struggle. Later, he and his friend Prague return to the lab and find Marjorie alive in a back room. She describes the scientist’s plan to disintegrate Malcolm and use Marjorie as a witness.

The Ghost-Eater (1923)
C. M. Eddy, Jr., revised by HPL, WT 1924

Despite strange forebodings from the villagers, a man decides to cross the intervening forest on foot. Bad weather and wine cause him to fall asleep on the way and he is caught in a storm. He finds refuge in the house of a slightly odd-smelling man, who invites him to sleep overnight. That night, a large, intangible, bearded man appears in his room, who is then attacked by a wolf (having the same eyes and smell as the house owner). The narrator’s bullets pass through the wolf and he flees the house. Reaching the next village, the narrator hears the 60-years old account of a Russian werewolf and how he killed another Russian count in his house in forest.

The Loved Dead (1923)
C. M. Eddy, Jr., revised by HPL, WT 1924

The narrator describes a very introverted childhood. One day, the funeral of his grandfather stirs in him a twisted fascination with the deceased. This obsession grows until he becomes a mortician, and he soon ends up killing people in order to get close to more dead bodies. Eventually the serial killings begin to catch up with him, forcing him to flee from city to city. After leaving fingerprints by accident, he knows he is about to be captured and put in prison. He decides to slit his own wrists rather than be incarcerated.

Deaf, Dumb, and Blind (1924?)
C. M. Eddy, Jr., revised by HPL, WT 1925

Dr. Morehouse arrives at a haunted house where a writer, struck deaf, dumb and blind from war injuries, has been staying. He hears typing as he approaches, but when he enters he finds the writer’s dead form, already a half-hour old. He reads some of the writer’s typed manuscript, gathers the papers and later reads them at home. This causes him to faint. The manuscript turns out to be a testimony from the writer, who describes strange vibrations and feelings of a presence in the room. The air becomes increasingly cold but the writer refuses to give in to what he feels is an evil force. Eventually the tone of the manuscript becomes foreign and foreboding (implying that the invading demonical force had typed the final passages after the writer had already died).

Two Black Bottles (1926.07-10)
HPL with Wilfred Blanch Talman, WT 1927.

The narrator arrives at his recently-deceased uncle’s church and encounters a diabolical sexton, originally hired by his uncle. The sexton confesses that he has trapped the now-buried pastor’s soul in a black bottle, preventing it from going to Heaven or Hell. However, he fears that the dead pastor will rise up from the grave and punish him. The narrator sees two black bottles on the table and smashes one of the them, which turns out to have contained the sexton’s soul. With his soul released, the sexton crumbles to dust. The narrator notices that his uncle’s grave is newly disturbed and flees. Looking back, he sees the figure of his deceased uncle against the church landscape. Returning later, he discovers the second bottle gone and footprints stamped over the sexton’s dusty remains. Rumors surface of a strange figure lurking about, holding a black bottle it does not seem know what to do with.

A History of the Necronomicon (1927.11)
HPL, The Rebel Press 1938

This essay traces the origins of the Necronomicon from the time of 730 A.D. at Damascus (by Abdul Alhazred) through its multiple translations and reprintings (and discloses locations of extant copies at Miskatonic University and the estate of R. U. Pickman).

The Thing in the Moonlight (1927.11)
J. Chapman Miske, based on a letter that Lovecraft wrote to Donald Wandrei in 1927, Bizarre 1941

The narrator reads a note from a man named Morgan, describing a dream from which he cannot awaken. In the dream, Morgan goes through a passageway leading to a swamp. Emerging from the swamp he comes across train tracks and a enters a train car. He soon sees freakish train operators approaching his train car, with one having a cone-shaped tentacle head. He flees and wishes to wake up but finds that he cannot.

The Last Test (1927)
HPL with Adolphe de Castro (orig written 1893 as "A Sacrifice to Science", rev 1927 by HPL)
Mentions Yog-Sothoth, Nyarlathotep, Necronomicon (Azif), Irem, Iä, Shub-Niggurath.
  • I.    Dr. Clarendon, a medical researcher specializing in fevers, moves to San Francisco and, through his friendship with Dalton (the Governor), gets appointed director at the state penitentiary. He works on a super drug to cure all fevers.
  • II.    An outbreak of black fever keeps Clarendon and his mysteriously-forbidding foreign assistant Surama busy. At the same time, Dalton falls in love with Clarendon’s sister Georgina. However, when Clarendon learns of the affair he banishes Dalton.
  • III.    Clarendon’s penitentiary assistant Jones works to steal the lab away from the dismissive director. When a law is passed taking away Clarendon’s position, he is confronted by the new chairman and Jones. Clarendon knocks them down and goes home.
  • IV.    Without facilities or test subjects, Clarendon falls into a depression, but some kind of ritual on Surama’s part reenergizes him. He continues his experiments in his own home clinic and uses up all of his live animal specimens. Eventually he begins using his servants as guinea pigs, as well as Georgina’s pet dog. Georgina decides to appeal to Dalton for help.
  • V.    Before for Dalton can react, Georgina is targeted as Clarendon’s next test subject. Dalton arrives and confronts Clarendon with news that another doctor has beaten Clarendon to the cure for black fever. Clarendon has a breakdown and confesses to Dalton that Surama is some kind of ancient vampire-like being whom he’d found in Asia, who has been teaching him occult secrets of life and death. Through Surama he became entranced by the process of death, and had himself been spreading an extraterrestrial form of the black fever to the local townspeople and prisoners. With his madness broken, he injects himself with the toxin he was about to administer to Georgina, after which he sets his lab on fire, trapping himself and Surama within it. After the fire, Surama’s bones are found to be inhuman. Dalton and Georgina live happily ever after.

The Curse of Yig (1928)
HPL with Zealia Bishop (story idea and some notes), WT 1929
1st Yig, "The Father of Serpents". Yig is mentioned again in “The Whisperer in Darkness”.

A researcher in Indian folk legends arrives in town and is shown a bizarre snake-like humanoid creature, held in captivity. The local doctor tells him a tale in which a settler couple arrive in the frontier to set up a new home. On the way, the husband is frightened by local folk stories of the snake-god Yig, who punishes those who harm his snakes (children). One day, his wife Audrey kills a family of baby snakes in order to spare her husband Walker’s nerves. Walker warns Audrey that she will turn into a spotted snake as per the curse of Yig. One night they hear snakes in their home. Walker screams and goes silent, and Audrey believes that Yig’s snakes have killed him. With her fear mounting, she sees a figure in the moonlight, and thinking it is Yig, kills it with an axe. The next morning it is discovered that Walker had only fainted, and that Audrey had killed him by accident as he woke up. Audrey’s sanity fractures, and 9 months later she gives birth to 4 serpentine creatures, with one of them still living in captivity.

Ibid (1928)
HPL, O-Wash-Ta-Nong 1938

This academic history satire describes the fictional writer “Ibid” (born 486) and the various exploits of his skull after his death, leading up to its rediscovery in Milwaukee.

The Space Eaters (1928.01)
Frank Belknap Long Jr.
Opening quote attributed to John Dee’s translation of the Necronomicon.
  • I. Frank and his horror-writer friend Howard are interrupted one foggy night by a neighbor named Wells, who reports that a hole has been punched into his head while riding in Mulligan’s Wood. He believes that something has invaded his brain. A doctor examines Wells and is horrified to find something unspeakable in Wells’ brain. The men flee in horror and Mulligan’s Wood turns into a flaming inferno, with a malevolent shape rising above it in the sky. Frank and Howard cross themselves with flaming torches.
  • II. Three weeks later, Frank visits Howard, who is working on a story explaining the events that occurred prior with Wells. He believes that an ancient force had sucked out Wells’ brains in the Wood. Nothing further has occurred since that night, so he believes that the crosses that he and Frank had made while escaping might have driven it away. When Frank reads Howard’s final draft he is horrified.
  • III. Frank gets a phone call from Howard claiming that the evil has returned. Frank hurriedly taxis to Howard’s apartment in Brooklyn, crossing himself before he enters. Inside, he sees the evil “Master” conjuring a whirlwind with the pages from Howard’s manuscript, and funnels it into Frank’s head. Suddenly the Master is repelled (from Frank’s crossing himself and the arrival of the Savior) but Howard is dead.

The Hounds of Tindalos (1929)
Frank Belknap Long Jr.
Doels and the Hounds of Tindalos are mentioned again in HPL’s “The Whisperer in Darkness”.

I-II. The narrator visits his friend Chalmers, who asks that the narrator take notes as Chalmers travels through time with the help of a mysterious Asian drug. On the “trip”, Chalmers discovers beings on pre-life Earth who live in “the angles” of time. Chalmers begins acting like a dog and when he is brought out he claims that he was spotted by the Hounds of Tindalos. Chalmers has the narrator bring over plaster so that he can cover up all of the edges and angles in his apartment, creating a “sphere”.

III-V. An earthquake strikes. Chalmers is found murdered, with fragments of plaster arranged into a triangle around his body. A nearby note claims that the earthquake had knocked off pieces of plaster, allowing the unearthly Doels, creations of the Hounds of Tindalos, to gain access to him. A blue fluid found near Chalmers’ corpse is found to have unearthly, “undying” properties.

The Shadow Kingdom (Kull)
Robert E Howard (WT 29.08)
When Brule confronts Kull with the mystical words “Ka nama kaa lajerama”, Kull has a racial memory flashback of the Elder Universe and other horrors.
  • I. A King Comes Riding: After arriving at his Valusian palace, Kull greets an emissary of the Picts. He is invited to meet with their leader, Ka-nu, but he must come alone. As an Atlantean-born, the Picts are his ancestral enemy, but as the new king of Valusia, he must accept the Picts as his allies.
  • II. Thus Spake the Silent Halls of Valusia: Kull is impressed by the worldliness of Ka-Nu. Ka-Nu allows Kull to know one of his vulnerabilities in order to gain Kull’s trust. Kull is informed that he will be visited by the warrior Brule. As Kull returns to his palace he imagines the ancient structures mocking him.
  • III. They That Walk the Night: The next night, the Pictish emissary returns and reveals that he is Brule. Brule shows Kull that his guardsmen have been replaced by serpent-men. A serpent-man disguised as Kull’s advisor Tu tries to kill Kull, but Kull kills him instead. After foiling another disguised serpent-man attack, they are witness to an appearance of the ghost of Eallal, a former king killed and enslaved by the serpent-men.
  • IV. Masks: The next day, when Kull and Brule are led to a (false) council room, they are suddenly attacked by serpent-men disguised as his councilmen. After a savage battle, the creatures are killed and Kull makes his way to the real council room. There, Kull sees a serpent-man disguised as himself, addressing the real councilmen. Kull kills the imposter and vows to hunt down the remaining serpent-men.

The Mirrors of Tuzun Thune (Kull)
Robert E Howard (WT29.09)
Brule claims that the slave girl is a member of the Elder Race.

A slave girl recommends a bored Kull to visit the wizard Tuzun Thune. At Thune’s house, Kull is invited to look for secrets of wisdom in the many mirrors of his chamber. Kull is mesmerized by the strange vistas he sees in the reflections, and after several visits becomes completely entranced. He is about to “give” in to the mirror’s powers when Kull’s Pictish friend Brule suddenly arrives and kills Thule. He reveals that one of Kull’s court competitors had hired Tuzun Thune to eliminate Kull. Relieved to escape the mirror’s embrace, Kull is nonetheless haunted by the images he had seen in the mirror and wonders about his own reality.

The Tale of Satampra Zeiros (1929)
Clark Ashton Smith
Tsathoggua statue and creature appears.

Satampra Zeiros and a friend, Tirouv Ompallios, decide to loot the temple of Tsathoggua in the abandoned city of Commorium. Inside, they find the toad-like statue of Tsathoggua and a large basin of some vile fluid. The fluid congeals into some kind of monster and chases the two thieves outside and through the surrounding forest. Eventually circling back to the temple, the thieves try to barricade themselves with the monster outside. However, it oozes through the holes in the wall and consumes Ompallios (who had tried to hide in the empty basin). Satampra Zeiros moves to escape and a tentacle grabs his arm, although he is able to break free. He survives to tell the tale but his hand has been lost to the creature of Tsathoggua.

Fungi From Yuggoth (1929.12)
  • I.         The Book: The narrator finds a book in a mysterious shop.
  • II.         Pursuit: The narrator steals the book and flees, but hears footsteps following him.
  • III.         The Key: The narrator is ecstatic at now having access to secret transports, but he hears the window pane shake.
  • IV.         Recognition: The narrator has a vision of the planet Yuggoth, and sees himself being feasted upon by creatures.
  • V.         Homecoming: A demon takes the narrator to a strange city and taunts him after he is made blind.
  • VI.         The Lamp: Inside a cliffside cave a bowl of oil is found and lit. Strange shapes appear.
  • VII.    Zaman’s Hill: A small hill disappears overnight but the neighbors do not recall its existence afterwards.
  • VIII.    The Port: The narrator waves at a ship off Innsmouth, but has feelings of doom.
  • IX.         The Courtyard: The narrator has a vision of a town where headless and handless men dance.
  • X.         The Pigeon-Flyers: Birds from the planet Thog carry riders up into the sky.
  • XI.         The Well: A farmer and his son dig a well. The farmer goes mad and the son kills himself. The townspeople find that the well has no bottom.
  • XII.    The Howler: Warned away from a house, the narrator nonetheless approaches it and hears howling. At the window is a four-pawed beast with a human face.
  • XIII.    Hesperia: A dreamtown, untrammeled by man, is described.
  • XIV.    Star-Winds: Alien winds bring strange phenomena and take men away from Earth.
  • XV.    Antarktos:  A dream is related of the dark cone-like structures of the Elder Things in the Antarctic (see “At the Mountains of Madness”).
  • XVI.    The Window: When a bricked up window is opened up, the narrator sees strange dream vistas.
  • XVII.    A Memory: Strange herds of creatures populate a plain. The narrator understands a hopeless truth when he sees under the hood of a cloaked form (“The Festival”?).
  • XVIII.    The Gardens of Yin: A beautiful paradise city is seen beyond a wall, but when approached, the gate disappears.
  • XIX.    The Bells: Tolling bells are heard from Innsmouth. However, it turns out that the tolling comes from the sea floor.
  • XX.    Night-Gaunts: Bat-like, faceless night gaunts carry the narrator over the grey mountains of Thok, where shoggoths dwell in lakes.
  • XXI.    Nyarlathotep: A stranger comes from Egypt, drawing crowds. He eventually brings chaos from the sea.
  • XXII.    Azathoth: The narrator is borne by a rebellious demon messenger to Azathoth in a strange dimension, and hears flutes.
  • XXIII.    Mirage: A dreamlike city by the sea is described.
  • XXIV.    The Canal: An abandoned city with oily rivers flowing in its streets is described.
  • XXV.    St. Toad’s: A tourist is warned of St. Toad’s but winds up there anyways. 
  • XXVI.    The Familiars: Townspeople are spooked by John Whately and his alien, winged compatriots (see “The Whisperer in Darkness”). 
  • XXVII.    The Elder Pharos: In Leng, an Elder One converses with Chaos about an alien Thing in Yellow (see “Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath”). 
  • XXVIII.    Expectancy: The narrator explains that his visions make life worth living, but he does not trust them.
  • XXIX.    Nostalgia: Birds fly across the sea in search of a lost city beneath the waves.
  • XXX.    Background: Fond memories of old towns in childhood are described..
  • XXXI.    The Dweller: A dig site leads to an ancient crypt. The diggers flee when they hear clumping feet.
  • XXXII.    Alienation: After a particular dream, a dream voyager wakes up aged and forever changed, making his previous associates distant. 
  • XXXIII.    Harbour Whistles: A chorus of alien whistles from many worlds converge into a drone.
  • XXXIV.    Recapture: A man approaches a strange, giant mound with ascending stairs and is horrified by its familiarity (see “The Mound”).
  • XXXV.    Evening Star: The last rays of sunset cause memories of a strange landscape to resurface, based on buried memories of an alien home.
  • XXXVI.    Continuity: Late-afternoon sun beams fall on farm buildings, revealing hidden, centuries-old qualities.

The Electric Executioner (1929?)
HPL with Adolphe de Castro
Some of the religious banter includes calls to Iä, “Cthulhutl”, “Ya-R’lyeh”, etc.

The narrator is sent to Mexico City to track down a missing mine administrator named Feldon. On the overnight train, he finds himself trapped with a giant, crazed man, who keeps staring at him strangely. Eventually, the stranger threatens to use the electric headgear he’d devised to “execute” his new travelling companion (as a “demonstration” of his invention). The narrator buys time and play into the man’s religious fervor by calling out the names of Mexican gods (as well as Iä and Cthulhu). The crazed inventor accidentally uses the “electric executioner” on himself and seems to disappear, with no trace remaining of his ever being there. Later Feldon is found dead, killed by some kind of electrical headgear device. The narrator sees the body and confirms that it was indeed the crazed stranger on the train car.

The Mound (1929.12-30.a)
HPL with Zealia Bishop
Tsathoggua, K’n-Yan, Old Ones, Yig and Tulu
  • I. The narrator explains his desire to visit a “mound” in Oklahoma which is haunted by an ancient Indian ghost and a headless squaw. Ghostly “battles” are sometimes witnessed there as well. He describes the many disappearances and horrible effects the mound has had on explorers in decades past, including some who have returned describing ageless horrors older than the dinosaurs.
  • II. The narrator sees the Indian ghost from afar and decides to visit the mound. He visits an elderly local (and living) Indian and receives a strange medallion for protection. At the mound, he discovers a canister containing a testimonial from 1545, written by a Spanish Conquistador named Zamacona (The canister has images of Cthulhu and Yig on it).
  • III. Zamacona describes a story told by his native Indian guide about telepathic Old Ones brought from the stars by “Tulu” and sequestered in underground complexes, with the mounds being stopped-up exits. Worshipping Yig and Tulu, they have frightful beasts and reanimated corpses at their disposal. Zamacona nonetheless proceeds into a hidden tunnel in search of gold, and after days of travel arrives at an underground village lit by a lighted blue sky. Inside one temple he is amazed to find gold furnishings. When he hears a herd of “beasts” approaching, he hides inside the temple until they pass.
  • IV. The next day, Zamacona is visited by a troupe of ancient Indians, who communicate telepathically and refer to the underground world as “Xinaián”, or K’n-yan. They tell him that they were brought to Earth by Tulu and once had outposts in the Antarctic near Kadath, but were driven underground by an invasion of “space-devils”. They are immortal, have the ability to change their age, can dematerialize themselves and other objects, and sometimes visit the surface world in dream journeys to relive ancient battles. Their city is called Tsath, and they long ago absorbed an older underground race from Yoth. After centuries, the people have abandoned advanced technology and concentrate on more hedonistic activities.
  • V. Zamacona is led to riding beasts (gyaa-yothn) which are white, horned humanoid mutations, originally engineered by the now-absorbed reptilian race of Yoth. They visit a pedestal once holding a statue of Tsathoggua, and Zamacona’s guide explains that ancient Yoth records describe a black realm called N’kai from which these black toad statues originally came from. The Yoth had adopted worship of Tsathoggua and brought their beliefs to the surface at Olathoë in Lomar near the North Pole (later destroyed by the Gnophkehs). Later, the K’n-yan further explored the black realms of N’kai beyond Yoth, and encountered frightening black oozing beasts (shoggoths?), after which they fled N’kai and destroyed all images of Tsathoggua. Zamacona eventually arrives at Tsath, and sees reanimated slaves working the fields, some with missing body parts. He is assigned an apartment in which he is to stay forever (to keep K’n-yan’s existence secret).
  • VI. Witnessing the decadence of the people of K‘n-yan and fearing their possible interest in surface conquest, Zamacona writes his testimonial and stores it in a Tulu-metal cylinder. With the help of his “mate”, T’la-yub, he plans an escape. After a long journey, they nearly reach the exit (the mound), but are arrested at the last minute. T’la-yub is beheaded in the arena and turned into the nightly mound guard as an undead slave. Zamacona is given a warning and returns to his apartment. At the end, Zamacona writes that, now that he has learned how to dematerialize himself for longer and longer periods, he will try to invisibly escape once again, but is not sure if he can maintain his dematerialized state long enough to reach the surface.
  • VII. The narrator believes the whole account to be a hoax. He returns to the mound to find his tools missing. He seems to feel invisible hands trying to pluck off his Tulu-metal talisman, but eventually digs out the stairs and entrance to the underground tunnel. He senses dematerialized K’n-yan and their slaves trying to touch him but either their powers have fallen into decrepitude after so many centuries or the talisman protects him. He finally encounters a more physical horror and flees to the surface. He later reveals that what he saw was the animated remains of Zamacona’s torso and upper legs with a warning carved into his chest.

Medusa’s Coil (1930.05)
HPL with Zealia Bishop
R’lyeh, Yuggoth and Kadath
  • I.  While driving through the south, the narrator becomes lost and comes across a seemingly-abandoned plantation house. Inside, he meets the elderly occupant and is allowed to spend the night.
  • II.  The old man tells the narrator the story of his son Denis: Many years ago Denis finds and marries a mysterious cult priestess named Marceline in Paris, and subsequently brings her back home to Missouri. The woman forswears her cultish background, but many people feel uneasy around her, except for one black servant woman.
  • III. Denis’ friend from Paris, Marsh, visits and shows an intense interest in reigniting the more cultish elements of Marceline’s past. He insists on making a portrait of Marceline, which causes some tension with Denis. Marceline is wary of the old rituals (citing R’lyeh, Yuggoth and Kadath). Denis is called away on business and Marsh continues to finish his cryptic painting.
  • IV. Marsh nearly completes his painting but a suspicious Denis comes back and surprises them together. While Denis and Marsh struggle, Marceline sees the painting and shrieks. Denis sees the painting and realizes that the painting is some kind of warning to Denis, showing some kind of unholy element of Marceline. Denis kills Marceline but even after her death her hair-braid comes alive and attacks him. The braid of hair then kills Marsh by strangulation. Denis kills himself after relating these events to his father.
  • V.  The father buries all three bodies in the cellar (with Marsh still in the grip of the hair braid). A week later he views the painting which shows Marceline in what appears to be a portrait of life in underwater R’lyeh. The father is horrified when the hair in the painting tries to grab at him. Later, the slaves report sightings of a “black snake” prowling about, and a black servant worships the grave of Marceline. The father tells his visitor that Marceline was the original Medusa and that he has been rooted (frozen) to the house in order to protect the world from its secrets.
  • VI. The elderly man shows the narrator the painting. When it is revealed, the hair on the painting begins to reach out to the Denis’ father. The narrator shoots the painting in horror, destroying it. The old man screams and exclaims that with the painting destroyed, Marceline will now be able to resurrect herself. The narrator escapes but sees in the distance the corpse of Marceline dragging the old man back into the now-burning house. When the narrator reaches a nearby farmer, he is told that the house had burnt down several years ago. The narrator in the end relates that the black servant woman must have been particularly drawn to Marceline since Marceline was also part-“Negress” (to his distaste).

The Horror from the Hills
Frank Belknap Long Jr. (WT 31.01-03)
Chapter 5 is based on a dream related to Long by HPL, also written as “The Very Old Folk”.
  • 1. The Coming of the Stone Beast: A museum curator named Algernon greets the return of one of his explorers, Ulman. Ulman arrives with a bizarre elephant-like statue which he names Chaugnar Faugn. He claims that he is convinced by the natives that Chaugnar Faugn will take over the world. He reveals his mutilated face and maintains that the statue had come to life and attacked him. Algernon is skeptical.
  • 2. The Atrocity at the Museum: Ulman shortly dies, and his body is described as having elephantine features on his face. Algernon and a museum official named Scollard arrive at the museum to learn that the man guarding the statue of Chaugnar Faugn has been murdered, with all of the blood drained from his body. Also the statue’s bloody trunk has changed position. The police try to blame local migrants, but Algernon believes it is something else. He decides to visit Imbert, an American ethnologist.
  • 3. An Archeological Digression: Imbert believes that most bizarre idols have an evolutionary aspect which derives from much more commonplace sources, but the photograph of Chaugnar Faugn has him stumped. After Algernon tells Imbert his theories, Imbert recommends the psychic detective Roger Little.
  •  4. The Horror On the Hills: In Spain, fourteen peasants are found dead and drained of blood, with gigantic footprints nearby.
  • 5. Little's Dream: Little is skeptical of the urgency of Algernon’s claims until he hears the name Chaugnar Faugn. Little then relates a past-life dream in which he and a Roman army in Spain are obliterated by elephantine creatures. Algernon receives a call telling him that the statue of Chaugnar Faugn has disappeared. With the creature loose in the city, Little offers to show them a solution.
  •  6. The Time-Space Machine: Little explains the entropic nature of the universe and shows Algernon and Imbert a device of his own invention which induces rapid entropy (disintegration). He recommends using it on Chaugnar Faugn. Little goes off to retrieve his car.
  •  7. A Cure for Skepticism: Imbert believes that the machine is a fake and only a hypnotist’s trick. In order to convince him, Algernon turns on the machine.
  • 8. What Happened in the Laboratory: The wall disintegrates and Little returns to turn it off. They receive news that Chaugnar Faugn has left the city and prepare to pursue it.
  • 9. The Horror Moves: The three men pursue Chaugnar Faugn to the Jersey shore and use Little’s machine on it. The creature devolves, disgorging ancient pre-human creatures it had consumed in eons past. At the very last it expands into the sky and tries to grab at its enemies but it fades away before any harm occurs.
  • 10. Little’s Explanation: Days later Little explains to Algernon his theories about the interdimensional aspects of Chaugnar Faugn, and theorizes that he may return thousands of years in the future.

The Children of the Night
REH (WT 31.04-05)
The writer praises Lovecraft's “Call of Cthulhu” (next to Poe's “Fall of the House of Usher” and Machen's “Black Seal”). Also cites Von Junzt's “Nameless Cults”, Necronomicon, etc.

Several academics discuss books of legend. One man mentions the great Pict king, Bran Mak Morn. The narrator is suddenly struck on the head by one of his companions, who is named Ketrick and has a somewhat ethnic look to him. The narrator wakes up in a previous life as the survivor of a camp of Sword People who have been massacred by the serpentine Children of the Night. In this past-life flashback, he pursues and attacks a camp of the Children of the Night. Killed by insurmountable numbers, the narrator wakes up in the modern world surrounded by his worried friends. He recognizes Ketrick as a descendent of the Children of the Night and attacks him. Separated from Ketrick by the other academics, the narrator vows vengeance.

The Return of the Sorceror
Clark Ashton Smith (Strange Tales 31.09)
Necronomicon passage read.

The narrator is hired by the odd scholar John Carnby to translate certain incantations from his copy of the Necronomicon in Arabic. While spending time in Carnby’s room, he hears strange noises beyond the door, which Carnby explains is due to the rats. Later, the narrator glimpses a strange creature nearby when he goes back to his room. The next day the noises continue and become louder. Carnby is forced to admit that he had killed his twin brother and buried the dismembered parts around the house, but the brother’s dark sorcery is so powerful that he can still command his limbs to act on his behalf even after death. The narrator decides to quit and while packing hears crashing noises from Carnby’s room. He soon discovers that Carnby’s brother’s limbs have worked together to kill and dismember Carnby himself.

The Black Stone
REH (WT 31.11)
Von Junzt “Nameless Cults”, 1st Justin Geoffrey

The narrator expresses curiosity about the Black Stone in Hungary, which Von Junzt wrote about in his book of Nameless Cults. He travels to Stregoicavar and locates the black monolith. Sleeping nearby on Midsummers Eve, he has a dream/vision in which a pagan ritual of human sacrifice calls forth a giant toad-like creature. In the morning he finds no sign of the ritual. After further research he finds the testimony of a soldier from the past, contemporaneous to the time of pagan rituals. The testimony reveals that the Turkish soldiers had chased a toad creature to a cave and killed it, but first removing an idolatrous  necklace from its neck (which the narrator also inspects). He also surmises with horror that the black monolith is only the upper spire of a much larger structure buried underneath.

The Trap (1931.d)
HPL with Henry S. Whitehead

During a class held in a teacher named Canevin’s office, one student, Robert, notices a strange sucking sensation from the teacher’s mysterious mirror. Later the boy returns and is sucked entirely into the mirror. Canevin senses Robert in a dream, and realizes what has happened to him, that he has been drawn into a reversed mirror world. Speaking to Robert in dreams, he discovers that the mirror was ensorcelled centuries ago by a German occultist, who, from time to time, had people from the outside world drawn into the mirror dimension for company. Canevin helps Robert to escape when he cuts out the part of the mirror which holds the enchantment. Robert returns and the other denizens of the mirror disintegrate.

The Door To Saturn (1931.01)
Clark Ashton Smith (Strange Tales 32.01)
1st Book of Eibon

In the land of Mhu Thulan in Hyperborea, Eibon, a priest-sorceror follower of Zhothaqquah (Tsathoggua), is sought for arrest by Morghli, a servant of the goddess Yhoundeh. Eibon makes use of an escape route provided by his patron god and passes through a strange metallic panel to be instantly transported to Cykranosh (also known as Saturn). Morghli discovers the escape panel and follows Eibon to Saturn. On the strange planet they discover several primitive alien races, who they try to impress, presenting themselves as religious figures of sorts. After escaping a near-fatal betrothal to a female alien Bhlemphroims, they run into the Ydheems, with whom they reluctantly settle with to live out the rest of their now-primitive lives as best they can. Meanwhile, in Hyperborea, the cult of Yhoundeh declines, as Morghi’s disappearance is regarded as a victory of Zhothaqquah over Yhoundeh.

Ubbo-Sathla (1932.02)
Clark Ashton Smith (Strange Tales 33.07)
Book of Eibon

Paul Tregardis, a student of the occult, comes across a strange egg-like crystal in a curio shop, which reminds him of a story in the Book of Eibon. When he gets home, he stares at it and finds himself living in the long ago past body of Zon Mezzamalech in Mhu Thulan. As Zon Mezzamalech, he plans to use the crystal to search for the secret lore of the elder gods, left behind in primordial times on stone tablets. The Hyperborean sorcerer is entranced by the crystal and sees images of time and space going backwards. At first fearful of falling into some kind of psychic abyss, the wizard eventually gets the nerve to leap fully into the vision. He travels backwards in time, each time reincarnated as an earlier form of life, going back past early man, dinosaurs, a serpentine race and finally to primordial slime. During this ancient era of Earth, the headless, organ-less creature Ubbo-Sathla sheds amoebic life cells into the slime. Nearby floats the secret tablets of the departed space gods which Zon Mezzamalech had originally searched for (although in his form as an amoeba they are ignored). Neither Zon Mezzamalech nor Paul Tregardis are ever heard from again.

The Man of Stone (1932)
HPL with Hazel Heald
Mentions the Black man, the Book of Eibon, Mad Dan cites Iä!, Shub-Niggurath, etc.

Two friends go into the Adirondacks to look for some strangely-realistic statues of a dog and a man. They find them and it turns out that the man had been their friend Wheeler, a sculptor. Upon hearing rumors of a strange old man named “Mad Dan”, they locate Dan’s cabin. Inside they find the now-stonelike bodies of Mad Dan and his young wife. They find a the young woman’s notebook which describes a bizarre tale. Dan had been an occultist and had become angry after learning of an affair between Wheeler and his young wife. Using formulas from the Book of Eibon, he concocts a formula which turns Wheeler into stone after luring him out to the cave. He locks his wife in an upper room and feeds her the same concoction mixed with water in order to “freeze” her as well, but she resists after detecting something odd about the drink. Eventually the wife sneaks out of her room and ties Dan up while he sleeps. She force feeds the concoction to Dan (freezing him) and, with herself already partially paralyzed, takes the remaining formula, asking only to be buried near Wheeler and the dog.

The Thing On The Roof
REH (WT 32.02)
Idol represents Tsathoggua?

The narrator’s rival, an explorer named Tussman, asks to see the 1st “Black Book” edition of Von Junzt’s “Nameless Cults”. After consulting a few pages about a mummy in the Honduras he departs to search for hidden gold. Months later, the narrator is called to Tussman’s house where Tussman explains that he had only found a crimson, glass toad-like amulet, which he used to open a secret room in a temple. No gold was found, but he fears that something has followed him back to America. Tussman goes upstairs to his room but soon screams are heard. After hearing some strange noises, the narrator finds Tussman with his head crushed by hooves, and slime over the windowsill.

The Tree-Men of M'Bwa
Donald Wandrei (WT 32.02)
Ancient creature from space, preying on humans for centuries.

An geologist goes deep into a territory forbidden by the Congo natives (past the Mountains of the Moon). He eventually comes across a valley consisting of gray sand, a giant red, transforming obelisk and several man-shaped trees. When he approaches the trees an undead man captures him and forces a drug down his throat. He later wakes up and finds that his legs have been planted into the ground next to the other trees, and that he can barely move. He speaks to the tree next to him and discovers that the undead man (M’Bwa) is the ancient slave of an alien being residing in the dimension of the red obelisk. Days later, the geologist’s partner arrives and uses his machete to decapitate M’Bwa. He hacks off the geologist’s legs in order to carry him away to safety. A black tentacled creature comes out of the red obelisk and places M’Bwa’s head back on his body. M’Bwa begins pursuing the two men but they manage to escape. The geologist warns away a visitor and shows the stumps on his legs, which have small plant-feelers growing out of them, testifying that these “buds” must be cut off every month.

The Nameless Offspring
Clark Ashton Smith Strange Tales 32.06
Opens with a quote from the Necronomicon.

The narrator is forced to lodge at Sir John Tremoth’s remote and mysterious manor. Tremoth recalls an old story, in which his wife was once thought dead and placed in a mausoleum. However, her screams are heard, alerting Tremont to her still living state. Rushing to the mausoleum, he sees a ghoulish form hovering over her as she wakes. Nine months later she gives birth to some kind of monster and dies. In the present, Tremont tells he narrator that he wishes to be cremated when he dies. Next to Tremont’s bedroom is a barred room, from which howling can be heard. That night Tremont dies, and eventually the creature in the next room breaks through the wall to violate Tremont’s corpse. The narrator tracks the creature back to the mausoleum it was apparently conceived in, after which it disappears without a trace.

Lair of the Star-Spawn
August Derleth/Mark Schorer (WT 32.08)
Tcho-Tchos, Lloigor, Zhar, Great Old Ones battle Elder Gods, Hastur, Cthulhu, R’Lyeh, etc.
  • 1. Eric Marsh and his team of explorers approach the Plateau of Sung in Burma, searching for the lost city of Alaozar. While Marsh is on an errand his entire team is massacred by 4-foot men which are locally named “Tcho-tchos”. Marsh continues on and sights the lost city Alaozar in the distance. Camping for the night, he wakes to see a white line shooting into space from the vicinity of the city. He is suddenly knocked out by the Tcho-Tchos.
  • 2.  Marsh wakes up in the city and meets Dr. Fo-Lan, who had long ago had been reported murdered. Fo-Lan explains that he also is a prisoner of the Tcho-Tcho people. He relates that Elder Ones from Rigel and Betelgeuse landed on Earth eons ago, but they were followed by former slaves who worshipped Cthulhu, Hastur the Unspeakable, Lloigor and Zhar, the Obscenities, etc. Eventually the Elder Ones were able to drive Hastur back into space. Cthulhu was imprisoned beneath the waves in R’lyeh. Lloigor and Zhar were buried beneath the Plateau of Sung. The Old Ones (Elder Gods) then returned to Orion. The Tcho-Tcho people are the remaining disciples of the evil Lloigor and Zhar, worshipped at the Lake of Dread. Fo-Lan explains that he wants to telepathically contact the Elder Gods to ask them for help to destroy the evil forces they had left behind on Earth. Fo-Lan takes Marsh into a secret underground tunnel to spy on a Tcho-Tcho ritual led by their 7,000-year old leader E’Poh. Behind E’Poh he sees a giant tentacled creature, which Fo-Lan identifies as Lloigor.
  • 3.  As Marsh watches over Fo-Lan’s corporeal form, Fo-Lan makes a telepathic journey to Rigel to request aid from the Elder Gods. When he reawakens, he calls E’Poh and tells the Tcho-Tcho leader that Zhar has requested that Fo-Lan and Marsh go to the Plateau of Sung to prepare the people beyond Sung for Lloigor and Zhar’s return to. E’Poh agrees and gives them four escort Tcho-Tchos. Marsh and Fo-Lan later kill their escorts,while the Tcho-Tchos summon Lloigor and Zhar from below. Suddenly a light from space brings the glowing Star Warriors, representatives of the Elder Gods of Orion. They destroy the city of Alaozar with weird tube-weapons. Gigantic pillars of fire then appear and destroy the gigantic beings beneath the city. Marsh and Fo-Lan are transported outside of the region by one of the pillars of light.
  • 4.  Newspaper clippings describe the reappearance of Marsh and Fo-Lan, as well as eyewitness reports of the pillars of lights. Due to a strange odor in the region, an aviator later investigates the area and finds the remains of some gigantic unknown creatures (Lloigor and Zhar).

Arkham (poem)
REH (WT 32.08)
A strange dark alley at night is described (poem).

When Chaugnar Wakes
Frank Belknap Long (WT 32.09)
Related to “The Horror from the Hills”.

Chaugnar dwells in deep space, sleeping and dreaming in a cone. When he wakes, bad things will happen, possibly to a planet like Earth. (poem)

The Horror in the Museum (1932.10)
HPL with Hazel Heald
  • 1.  Jones often visits the underground “wax” museum of Rogers, a strange, disturbed scholar of things like the Necronomicon, the Book of Eibon, Nameless Cults, etc… One day Jones hears the whining of a dog coming from the back room. He asks Rogers about it and Rogers relates that he had made a trip to the deep north, and based on notes from the eighth Pnakotic fragment, had found the frozen form of “It”. He had brought It back to his London museum and let it consume a dog as a sacrifice to bring it back to life. Jones is skeptical and believes that a photograph of the tentacled, many-eyed “It” is only a wax sculpture out of Rogers’ imagination. Rogers challenges Jones to stay the night in his museum.
  • 2.  That night Jones stays in the museum and is eventually ambushed by Rogers, wearing some kind of bizarre costume. Rogers tells Jones that he is to be a sacrifice to It. In a second struggle Jones overcomes Rogers and creates a gash in Rogers’ cheek. Rogers starts banging his head on the locked door leading to It and they hear splashing noises. A tentacled claw breaks through the wooden door and Jones flees. Weeks later, Jones returns and the museum assistant shows Jones a horrifying new wax exhibit, which turns out to be the immobile It (Rhan-Tegoth) holding a mangled body in its claws. Jones sees the gash on the victim’s cheek and realizes that it is the body of Rogers. 

The Hunters from Beyond
Clark Ashton Smith (Strange Tales 31.10)

The narrator (Philip) visits a bookstore where, while perusing a book of Goya prints, he sees a hideous gargoyle staring at him and then approaching. The phantasm suddenly disappears. Philip goes to his cousin Cyprien’s house. Cyprien is a sculptor, but his recent work is based on surprisingly horrible imagery. His latest piece shows a girl menaced by a group of hideous gargoyles, exactly like the one Philip had glimpsed in the bookstore. Philip is unnerved and leaves the studio. Cyprien’s female model intercepts him outside and asks for Philip’s help to dissuade Cyprien from the ghoulish direction his art recently taken. Later, Philip is called by a distressed Cyprien. The girl has disappeared, taken away by the hideous creatures who Cyprien had actually conjured up to act as live models. Eventually the girl reappears but she is now catatonic and mute. Philip sees an image of the horrible world of the gargoyles in the background behind her, fading away.

Worms of the Earth
REH (WT 32.11)
Cites the “Black gods of R'lyeh”.
  • 1. The Pict king Bran Mak Morn, under disguise as the emissary Partha Mac Othna, and his dwarf companion Grom, witness the Roman crucifixion of a fellow Pict, unfairly condemned by the Roman ruler of Eboracum, Titus Sulla. When the bound Pict spits at a guard, the centurion kills him with his sword.
  • 2. Bran is visited in a dream by Gonar, the priest of the Moon, warning him against the unnatural actions he is planning against the Romans. After he wakes he departs Eboracum, but only after first executing the centurion who had killed his crucified countryman.
  • 3.  Bran journeys west to the vicinity of the Tower of Trajan, where he knows Sulla will eventually come. He finds Atla, the witch-woman of Dagon-moor. He asks her to help him contact forbidden underground forces (“worms of the earth”, even older than the Picts) to help him fight the Romans. Atla asks for a night of passion as her price.
  • 4.   Atla tells Bran to seek the Black Stone in Dagon’s Barrow, but warns that They may hold grudges against him since it was the Picts who had banished Them underground in the first place. Bran descends a crevice in a cave and retrieves the mysterious Black Stone. When he emerges and reaches a lake, he throws the object into the lake.
  • 5.  Bran returns to Atla and has her take him to see the underground reptilian exiles. Inside a cave, they descend down a tunnel and are eventually surrounded by glowing, threatening eyes in the shadows. Bran promises to return the Black Stone to them if they capture Sulla for him. They agree to the bargain.
  • 6.   Bran returns to the lake and retrieves the Black Stone, evading the mysterious gigantic guardian of the lake. He rides to the Tower of Trajan and finds it collapsed from within. A survivor tells him that Sulla had been taken down a hole just before the castle collapsed. Bran rides to the Ring of Dagon and offers up the Black Stone. The shadowy figures present a now-insane Sulla, who Bran quickly puts out of his misery. Bran throws the Black Stone to the serpentine underground creatures and rides off in horror with Atla’s laughter in his ears.

Through the Gates of the Silver Key (1932.10/33.04)
HPL w E. Hoffmann Price (WT 34.07)
  • 1.  A group of four men gather to dispense with the estate of Randolph Carter, who, having disappeared four years earlier with a strange Silver Key, is now considered deceased. One of the attendees, a Hindu Swami reveals that he has found out through dreams what really happened to Carter after his disappearance and proceeds to tell the tale.
  • 2.  Randolph Carter uses his grandfather’s mystical Silver Key to reawaken in his childhood (as described in “The Silver Key”). There, he forgets his adult past, but still has the Silver Key. He decides to visit a cave, in which stands a strange pylon rumored to have been used by his wizard grandfather Edmund Carter, and uses the Silver Key before it.
  • 3.  Randolph is transported to a timeless place where he is greeted by the Guide and Guardian of the Gate—‘Umr at-Tawil. Surrounded and greeted by cowled Ancient Ones on pedestals, he is witness to a ritual in which the Guide instructs the Ancient Ones to open the portal to the Ultimate Gate.
  • 4.  Beyond the Ultimate Gate, Carter is struck with the realization that his being is only one incarnation out of many “Randolph Carters” who have existed in many times in many bodies of different alien races. He is greeted by an even more immense consciousness called Yog-Sothoth, who had given up its secrets to the Ancient Ones Carter had met earlier. Yog-Sothoth states that it knows that Carter had initially wanted to use the Silver key to return to the Dream Lands, but now having passed beyond the two Veiled gates, now desires more profound truths. Yog-Sothoth gives Carter a final chance to turn back.
  • 5.  Carter decides to continue. Yog-Sothoth reveals that it itself is an archetype from which the Randolph Carter consciousness had sprung. Yog-Sothoth explains that each of Carter’s incarnations is like a horizontal disc sliced from a cone at different tilted angles. Carter desires to have the ability to visit all of these various incarnations so Yog-Sothoth chooses an alien clawed and snouted race for Carter to incarnate in, since they apparently have greater access to all of the other incarnations.
  • 6.  Carter’s consciousness becomes part of Zkauba, a native of the planet Yaddith, thousands of years in the past. The people of Yaddith are constantly at war with the underground bholes/Dholes, but they are science-wizards with access to time and space. Eventually after visiting many incarnations of himself, Carter desires to return to Yog-Sothoth or find his way back to his human incarnation on Earth. He soon finds out that, although he can use the Hyperborean-made Silver Key to transport him back to Earth of 1928, he is missing a spell which will return him to human form (this spell was written on a parchment, but Carter had left the parchment behind in Arkham back in 1928). Carter formulates a plan to use Yaddith technology to physically get back to Earth in a timeship, after which he plans to search for the spell disguised as a human. He flies a Yaddith timeship (“light-wave envelope) into the future, when the bholes/Dholes rule the entire planet of Yaddith. While in suspended animation, the ship spends the next thousand years traveling to Earth of 1928.
  • 7.  Carter passes Knarth and Yuggoth on the rim of the Solar System and lands on Earth in 1930. Disguised as a human, he establishes himself in Boston and contacts the Hindu Swami to gain aid in translating the spell on a copy of the parchment (which is written in the language of R’lyeh). The Swami explains to the men gathered in the room that Carter had sent him to this meeting to prevent the liquidation of his assets.
  • 8.   Carter’s more skeptical in-law Aspinwall does not believe the Swami’s story and believes that the Swami is wearing a disguise. The Swami confesses that he is actually Carter in disguise. Aspinwall is still skeptical and pulls off the Swami’s face – and immediately dies from horrified shock. The other two men do not get to see the true face behind the Swami mask before Carter has escaped through a strange coffin-shaped clock against the wall (possibly the timeship). Carter’s estate remains unsettled, although no one is able to locate the Swami ever again.

The Hoard of the Wizard-Beast (1933)
HPL with R. H. Barlow

In this tongue-in-cheek story, Yalden, a keeper of the treasury of Zeth discovers that the treasury has been robbed (or exhausted by corruption). He obtains an audience with their mysterious god-advisor Oorn and is instructed to seek treasure from the wizard-beast Anathas at the Cave of Three Winds. After taking many precautions, Yalden penetrates Anathas’ cave to find the treasure unguarded. However he is soon trapped and Anathas feeds Yalden to his salamanders.

The Slaying of the Monster (1933)
HPL with R. H. Barlow
Satire in the form of Lord Dunsany or Arthur Machen

Smoke is seen coming from the Hills of the Dragon. The nearby villagers believe that the dragon will come out and destroy them so they enter the legendary region to attack it in its den. They do not find any dragon, but after they return they claim to have slain it on a sign. This sign is found amongst the remains of a lava flow.

Winged Death (1933)
HPL with Hazel Heald
Mentions evil gods Tsadogwa and Clulu.

1.  A scientist, Slauenwite, is angry at a fellow scientist named Moore for discrediting his work. He arranges to have poisonous African blue flies sent to him in order to secretly assassinate him. Strangely, a myth exists that the fly’s victim will live on in the fly itself after the human has died. Slauenwite successfully disguises the poisonous flies and sends them to his victim. Eventually the man dies and a blue fly acts in an unusually controlled manner.

2.  Slauenwite flees and creates a new identity, but a blue fly keeps bothering him. It starts using an inkwell and its own body to trace a 5-day countdown clock on his ceiling. Slauenwite suspects it must be Moore’s consciousness inside the fly. Eventually Slauenwite is found dead, apparently from heart failure brought on by fright, although he also has a fly bite. On the ceiling is a message from Slauenwite stating that he had been sucked into the fly’s consciousness and subsequently plans to drown itself. A dead blue fly is found in a beaker of ammonia.

The Holiness of Azedarac
Clark Ashton Smith WT 33.11
Book of Eibon.
  • 1.  Bishop Azédarac asks his friend Mauvaissoir to stop Brother Ambrose from reporting Azédarac’s dealings in the black arts to the Archbishop. Ambrose has absconded with Azédarac’s copy of the Book of Eibon which contains the lore of “Iog-Sotôt and Sodagui” (Yog-Sothoth and Tsathoggua).
  • 2.  At the Inn of Bonne Jouissance, Ambrose meets the mysterious Sieur des Émaux (actually Mauvaissoir) and is poisoned.
  • 3.  Ambrose wakes up on a Druidic altar and is saved from a ritual sacrifice by the mysterious Moriamis. Moriamis takes him to her castle and they discover that Azédarac’s formula had transported Ambrose back in time 700 years, to when Azédarac had originally escaped from. The lonely Moriamis seduces Ambrose.
  • 4. A month later Moriamis bids farewell to Ambrose as the monk drinks a formula which will take him back to the future in order that he can complete his mission. However, when he wakes up, he finds that he has overshot his native year by 75 years. Azédarac has disappeared and the Archbishop is dead. Ambrose drinks another formula hoping to return to Moriamis.
  • 5.  Moriamis happily greets Ambrose’s return. However, it turns out that Moriamis had secretly modified Ambrose’s time traveling formula to keep him by her side by over-strengthening the formula.

The Lady in Gray
Donald Wandrei WT 33.12

The narrator has had terrible, horrifying dreams for many years, some of them involving Cthulhu. His fiancée Miriam dies in an airplane crash and he has weird dreams in which her gray-clad form leads him to slimy oceans and white worms. Eventually he dreams that she leads him to an underground vault where he retrieves her body. He wakes to find her rotting corpse nest to him, but now twirling a flower and staring at him.

The Thing That Walked On The Wind
August W. Derleth (Strange Tales 33.01)

The narrator describes the field report of Norris, a Constable in Manitoba. While walking in the snow, Norris had seen two men gently fall to the ground, and then one woman as well, although she hits with greater force. He learns from one survivor, Wentworth, that Wentworth and his friend had tried to save the girl from becoming a burnt sacrifice to an air elemental, worshipped in the remote village of Stillwater. Unfortunately, Ithaqua, the elemental “wind-walker”, captures them and for a year they are carried around to various secret locations such as R’lyeh and the Plateau of Leng (places mentioned in certain stories written by an Algernon Blackwood and an H. P. Lovecraft). Wentworth dies from unaccustomed warmth, and Norris reports that he spots webbed footprints, described earlier by Wentworth as those of Ithaqua. Norris himself is then reported missing for 4 months, after which he is found dead in the snow. The narrator ends by describing giant webbed footprints near the location of Norris’ body. He also discovers souvenirs of his travels with Ithaqua in his pockets.

The Fire Vampires
Donald Wandrei (WT 33.02)

A strange comet approaches the Earth and when it arrives thousands of lightning creatures incinerate thousands of people, after which the comet departs on its orbit, only to return several years later. On a later visit, Earth receives an ultimatum from the blue flamed Fthaggua, Lord of Ktynga, promising destruction and asking for the sacrifice of Professor Norby and several other scientists. Norby evades Fthaggua and its visits, and the Earth is punished for this by the deaths of thousands of people. Finally Norby reasons that Fthaggua is only one being and all of the other lightning entities are merely “appendages” of it. Norby and his team bait Fthaggua and overload the distinctive blue flame, thereby defeating all of the other lightning creatures.

Out Of The Eons (1933)
HPL with Hazel Heald
  • 1.  The curator of a museum relates the exploits of the Eridanus, a ship which, in 1878, had come across and explored a previously-submerged ruin. There they found a mummy in a frightened pose, holding a scroll before a trap door. Brought to the curator’s Cabot Museum, the scroll is discovered to have indecipherable markings similar to those found in the Book of Eibon, the Necronomicon and Von Junzt’s Nameless Cults.
  • 2. In 1932, the discovery of inexplicably-preserved bodies found in crypts beneath the almost vanished and evilly famous ruins of Château Faussesflammes, in Averoigne, France reignites interest in the Cabot Museum’s forgotten mummy. Even Randolph Carter (in the guise of ‘Swami Chandraputra’ visits out of curiosity. The famous New Orleans mystic Etienne-Laurent de Marigny writes an article about the exhibit drawing parallels with the suppressed Black Book or Nameless Cults of von Junzt, drawing international attention to the Cabot Museum’s mummy.
  • 3.  The curator reads from von Junzt’s Black Book. He describes the ancient, 200,000 year old civilization of Mu, active in the old days when Tsathoggua was worshipped in Hyperborea. In a province called K’naa sits Mount Yaddith-Gho, a Cyclopean stone fortress built by aliens from Yuggoth, who had colonized the earth before the birth of terrestrial life. Inside the fortress dwells a remainder of the creatures of Yuggoth, a demon-god named Ghatanothoa. A gaze upon Ghatanothoa seals the viewer in a petrified (seemingly-mummified) body, but keeps the victim conscious through eternity. The local citizens are forced to make human sacrifices to prevent Ghatanothoa from emerging and terrorizing them. Around 173,148 BC, the priest T’yog discovers a spell which would supposedly protect him from the demon’s gaze. However, jealous competitors exchange his spell scroll with a fake and T’yog never returns from his journey to confront Ghatanothoa. Eventually, Mu sinks below the waves, but cultists are able to pass the true spell down the generations.
  • 4. The renewed interest in the Cabot Museum mummy brings many exotic visitors, and some of them believe that the mummy is T’yog, frozen by Ghatanothoa and holding the wrong spell scroll. Some people report that the mummy’s eyes briefly remain open.
  • 5.  Two dead zealots are found one night in front of the mummy exhibit. One holds a scroll (apparently the “correct” scroll for repelling Ghatanothon’s gaze), and has apparently died of fright. The other intruder has become petrified like the mummy. The eyes of the mummy are found fully open and stare towards the dead thief holding the scroll. The curator looks closely into the pupils of the mummy and sees a reflection of what the mummy saw just before death. He sees the chamber of Ghatanothoa and a tentacled monstrosity emerge from the trap door. The image soon fades away. Later, the curator and several consultants cut into the mummy and find living tissue (and a still-pulsing brain).

The Horror in the Burying-Ground (1933-35)
HPL with Hazel Heald

Old-timers in the rustic village of Stillwater tell a tale of the macabre and mysterious past. Dr. Thorndyke, the city-bred undertaker is known for performing experiments with embalming fluid, which apparently renders people and animals into a death-like state for short periods of time. He is fond of a girl named Sophie, but Sophie’s brutish brother Tom hates Thorndyke. One day Tom is found dead (apparently from a heart attack), with Sophie and Thorndyke nearby. Thorndyke proceeds to inject Tom’s “dead” body with a fluid which supposedly helps the embalming process. However, in a fit, Tom somehow wakes up and injects Thorndyke with the fluid, before falling “dead” again. On the day of Tom’s funeral, Thorndyke suddenly dies, but begs the townspeople to not bury him. Nonetheless, the doctor pronounces him dead and both men are buried. The village idiot tells Sophie that the dead men will haunt her for not preventing the burial of the two men. Now, Sophie is a recluse, and apparently is visited by ghosts of Tom and Thorndyke, while the village-idiot has nightly conversations with the buried bodies at the cemetery.

The Isle of Dark Magic
Hugh B. Cave (WT 34.08)
Ritual cites Nyarlathotep, Yuggoth.

A mysterious young man named Peter Mace lands at a remote island and begins occult experiments at his compound which scare the natives. The island’s only other Caucasian occupant, Father Jason, visits and discovers that Peter has been trying to animate a marble statue of his dead lover, using chants and chemicals. Eventually, a mysterious, veiled woman arrives on the island, searching for Peter. The Father Jason brings her to Peter’s house just as Peter completes his ritual to give the marble statue life. Peter recognizes the mysterious woman as the reanimated corpse of his dead lover and goes to embrace her. The now-living marble copy becomes jealous and kills both the undead woman and Peter. The missionary flees.

The Seven Geases
Clark Ashton Smith WT 34.10
Cites Tsathoggua as coming from Saturn

A warrior named Ralibar Vooz interrupts a wizard in the middle of a complicated and valuable spell. The angry wizard places a “geas” on the warrior (hypnotic command) and has Vooz travel to and offer himself up to Tsathoggua. Reaching Tsathoggua, the toad-god relates that it is not hungry and so puts a second geas on Vooz to offer himself to the spider god, Atlach-Nacha. Atlach-Nocha and several other gods and demons are approached and Vooz is rejected in turn by each entity as being inappropriate for consumption. Finally the satanic Abhoth exiles Vooz to the surface in a seventh geas. Unfortunately, while traversing the spider web of Atlach-Nacha towards freedom, he falls to his death.

The Tree on the Hill (1934.05)
HPL with Duane W. Rimel
  • 1.  In the barren Hell’s Acres, a man named Single comes across an unusual, indescribable tree, and then during a dream has a vision of a foreboding temple under a sky with three suns. He flees in terror and then wakes up to find that he has crawled several miles away from the tree while apparently in a trance.
  • 2.  Back at his scholarly friend Theunis’ house, they look over photos which Single had taken of the tree, and discover that it has three shadows, and that the surrounding landscape has a strange alien quality to it that was not visible to Single when he took the photos. Theunis consults an old book and learns that those who can gaze on the darkness and survive will be able to drive the evil force away. They decide to obtain a specific Gem cited in the book which will supposedly explain more of the myth and allow them to more clearly see the photos.
  • 3.  Single learns that Theunis has obtained and used the Gem to view the photos, successfully exorcising the dread horror from the Earth for now. With Theunis recovering in the hospital, Single goes to Theunis’ home and discovers a sketch which Theunis had made of what he’d seen: the old tree is revealed as a giant hand with its gnarly and twisted roots reaching toward a space where a man (Single) had just lain.

The Battle that Ended the Century (1934.06)
HPL with R. H. Barlow

In this satire, HPL uses the names of friends and associates as characters in this macabre and fanciful tale: In the far future of 2001, a fighting match is held between Two-Gun Bob (the Terror of the Plains) and Knockout Bernie (the Wild Wolf of West Shokan). After the fight and subsequent burial, it is reported in the Windy City Grab-Bag.

The Secret of the Tomb (1934.08)
Robert Bloch WT 35.05
Necronomicon, Book of Eibon, Mysteries of the Worm, etc

The narrator, a descendent of five generations of wizards/occultists is drawn to his ancestral tomb. He relates that each of his predecessors was promised the secret to eternal life, but ended up not returning from the tomb when they were drawn to it. The narrator enters to discover a golden casket with decayed bodies lying around it. He opens the casket and the corpse-like still living occupant entrances him, threatening to feast on the young man in order to continue its ghoulish existence (as it did his more recent relatives). The narrator closes his eyes and smashes the ghoul to pieces, breaking the fiend’s curse.

The Shambler from the Stars
Robert Bloch WT 35.04
Necronomicon, the evil Book of Eibon, or the disquieting Cultes des Goules, a friend obviously based on HPL.

The narrator finds a lost copy of Ludvig Prinn’s “Mysteries of the Worm.” He brings it to his friend in Providence (Lovecraft) and the scholar begins translating the Latin, reading an invocation from the book. An invisible (tentacled) creature is summoned, which breaks Lovecraft in half, drinks his blood, gains visibility and escapes out the window.

The Sealed Casket
Richard F. Searight, WT 35.03
Opening fragment from the Eltdown Shards edited out before publication.

A man named Clark is gifted with a mysterious casket by a dead man he had betrayed. When he opens the casket an invisible tentacled monster attacks him. He sees flames and then the abyss. Later, reports surface that Clark’s house’s fire was an accident. Clark’s charred body is found, but with all of his bones shattered and his body drained of blood.

The Grinning Ghoul (1934.11)
Robert Bloch
1st mention of Cultes des Goules by Comte d’Erlette

A psychiatrist meets a patient who claims to have discovered underground chambers filled with ghouls, living beneath a cemetery. The patient (Professor Chaupin) convinces the skeptical psychiatrist to go with him to this underground complex as proof. Once there, the psychiatrist realizes that Professor Chaupin was telling the truth. Professor Chaupin goes on ahead, leaving the doctor alone. Later, when he hears a scream in the darkness, the psychiatrist flees to the surface. Just before he closes the gate to the underground passage, he sees Professor Chaupin’s grinning face among his pursuers.

Till A’the Seas (1935.0)
HPL with Robert H. Barlow
(title comes from Robert Burns’s “Red Red Rose” (1794): “Till a’the seas gang dry, my dear, and the rocks melt wi’the sun.”)

Millennia in the future, the Earth slowly orbits closer and closer to the Sun, making life unbearably hot in the equatorial regions, and then spreading north and south to the poles. The last remnants of mankind slowly fade over the centuries. The last man, Ull, searches the plains for other men, but only finds skeletons. Reaching a well, he falls in and dies, thus ending man’s existence on earth.

Collapsing Cosmoses (1935.06)
HPL with Robert H. Barlow (Leaves no. 2 (1938))

An humorously bizarre alien race rallies its fleet to meet a mysterious approaching entity. (unfinished?)

The Challenge From Beyond (1935.08)
HPL with C. L. Moore; A. Merritt; Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long
Eltdown Shards, Yithians
  • C. L. Moore: A camper named Campbell comes across an ancient cube with mysterious hieroglyphs inside it.
  • Merritt: The cube glows and the mesmerized camper seems to be swallowed by the strange lights.
  • HPL: Campbell finds that he cannot feel his body in any “normal” way. He recalls reading a report on the Eltdown Shards, in which is described an interstellar race of wormlike creatures which, millennia ago, sent out mind-transferal cubes to all areas of space. One cube had reached Earth in the ancient days, where it was discovered by the cone-shaped Yithians. The Yithians however left it behind when they traveled into the future. Campbell feels his memories being absorbed by an outside entity and is greeted by a centipede-like creature. He sees that he now occupies the body of one of the aliens.
  • Howard: Campbell becomes comfortable in his new alien body and, using a nearby piece of equipment, eviscerates an approaching Yekub scientist. He heads to the Yekubs’ altar to take possession of their god-object.
  • Long: Campbell’s body on Earth is occupied by a Yekub consciousness. However, Campbell’s primitive human nature causes his body and mind to devolve, eventually killing itself in an effort to return to primordial slime. A lost trapper finds his dead, drowned body. Meanwhile, Campbell’s consciousness on Yekub forges a relationship with the super-intelligence in the Yekub god’s altar object. He becomes ruler over the entire planet.

The Disinterment (1935.09)
HPL with Duane W. Rimel

When the narrator contracts leprosy, he is approached by doctor Andrews with a plan to help him avoid deportation. A potion which induces a deathlike state will be given to the narrator, after which he will be buried. Later his body will be transferred to Andrews’ laboratory for revival. When the narrator wakes up after the plan is executed, he finds he cannot move his body and Andrews’ attitude becomes more and more clinical. Eventually he escapes from Andrews’ lab and decides to reopen the grave from which he was supposedly retrieved from. There, he discovers his body is still there – although without a head. He realizes that Andrews had transplanted his head onto the body of an ape-man from Haiti. He resolves to end his life rather than go on in this horrible vessel.

The Diary of Alonzo Typer (1935.10)
HPL with William Lumley

The diary of Alonzo Typer is found after the sudden collapse of an ancient haunted house. Near a stopped-up vault are seemingly-fresh stains. The diary describes Typer’s occult investigation of the house and its strange-seeming familiarity. Typer also describes a circle of standing stones connected to the house by a strange path. Finally, near Halloween, Typer realizes that the previous owners’ somewhat animalistic line is related to his own. His last entry describes clawed paws dragging him towards the cellar.

The Suicide in the Study (1935)
Robert Bloch, WT 1935 June
Necronomicon, Cultes des Goules, etc

An unassuming wizard (with many occult books in his library) uses auto-hypnosis in an attempt to separate the good and evil sides of his personality into two physical manifestations. He wakes up in a small frail body, while his “evil” self-manifests as an apelike creature. The evil creature stabs the “good” side manifestation with a paper-knife. The next day the dead wizard is found alone with the knife stuck in his breast, with only apelike fingerprints to be found on the knife.

Vulthoom (1935)
Clark Ashton Smith
(no direct HPL mythology, but later connected by others)

Mars is populated by a race of primitive but intelligent natives. Two visiting men, Chanler and Haines, are approached by an unusually large Martian and taken deep underground to an audience with Vulthoom, a being from Martian myth, with a reputation similar to that of Satan’s on Earth. Vulthoom asks the two men to act as his ambassadors to prepare for his migration to earth, a richer planet than dying Mars (his ship’s departure would also result in the destruction of the Martian city above). Chanler and Haines attempt to escape, but Vulthoom’s superior and maleficent forces manage to catch them and bring them back. Finally, while Chanler is being tortured, Haines smashes some containers which contain a hibernation gas, which will cause Vulthoom and his followers to sleep for another thousand years. Unfortunately, Haines and Chandler also succumb. Vulthoom (revealed as a small figure inside a gigantic plant-like complex) notes that he will return in a thousand years but the two men will have long turned into dust.

The Faceless God (1936)
Robert Bloch

Stugatche is a ruthless opportunist in Egypt, looking to exploit (steal) its buried treasure to gain fame and fortune. He hears of a local caravan which has stumbled across a strange faceless statue, which is whispered to be that of Nyarlathotep. Members of the caravan fear to speak of it, but Stugatche tortures of them in order to extract its exact location. Stugatche then organizes his own expedition and reaches the site. His party of locals are horrified when they realize that Stugatche is hoping to take back an idol of Nyarlathotep. In the night, they desert him to die in the desert. Stugatche tries to find his way out of the desert by himself. He has a vision of being burned alive on the hot desert sands, but wakes unharmed. Then he senses a shadowy figure hounding him, whom he gradually believes to be the evil Nyarlathotep. The shadow eventually drives him in a circle back to his original campsite near the idol. The idol rises from the sand and Stugatche is buried up to his neck in the shifting sands. The next day his brain is boiled by the hot sun and vultures eat the remains. His final word is “Nyarlathotep”. Nyarlathotep smiles under the sands.

In the Walls of Eryx (1936)
HPL with Kenneth Sterling, WT 1939

Prospecting for valuable crystals on Venus (and stealing them from their native worshippers), an arrogant Earth explorer named Stansfield is led by his sensor gear to the plain of Eryx, where nears the dead body of a prior explorer with a large crystal in his hand. Stansfield approaches the body but finds that it is surrounded by an invisible wall. By using touch, he finds his way through an invisible corridor to reach the body and the prized crystal. However, when he tries to leave, he finds that he has become lost in an invisible maze. Some of the Venusian natives gesture and mock him. Eventually he dies of exposure and depression, although in his last journal entries the now repentant Stansfield states that he now believes that Man should leave the Venusians and their sacred crystals alone. A search party finds the two bodies and makes plans to eliminate the native population in retaliation for their trap. A final report notes that Stansfield was only a couple dozen feet away from the exit before he died.

The Night Ocean (1936)
HPL with Robert H. Barlow

An artist retires to a secluded bungalow near a deserted beach. At first he is very pleased to enjoy this vacation, but as time passes he becomes more and more morose. He hears reports of swimmers being chewed up by unknown forces. One night during a torrential downpour he thinks he sees shadowy figures in the mist. The next morning he finds what appears to be a desiccated hand in the surf. Finally, near his date of departure, he sees a manlike creature swimming near the shore. In the end, he is relieved to know no more than he has already seen and respectfully keeps his distance from the awesome and mysterious sea.