The Lovecraft Necronomicon Primer
Meet the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos, denizens of the dark but brilliant imagination of H. P. Lovecraft. The collection of occult horror and fantasy he penned during his short lifetime is a legacy that has terrified and inspired generations of fans. Lovecraft's tales reveal the horror of seeing what has been hidden from humanity for good reason. Written for those curious about Lovecraft and his work, this illustrated guide presents detailed descriptions of twenty-nine of the monsters, creatures, and gods that inhabit Lovecraft's macabre fictional universe, without any spoilers that could ruin a future read of his stories. It also includes an introduction to the man regarded as the father of American horror.
Body, Mind, Spirit / Occultism Elder things. Ghasts. Night-gaunts. Meet the creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos, denizens of the dark but brilliant imagination of H. P. Lovecraft. The collection of horror and fantasy he penned during his short lifetime is a legacy that has terrifIed and inspired generations of fans. Lovecraft's tales reveal the horror of seeing what has been hidden from humanity for good reason. Written for those curious about Lovecraft and his work, this illustrated guide presents detailed descriptions of twenty-nine of the monsters, creatures, and gods that inhabit Lovecraft's macabre FIctional universe, without any spoilers that could ruin a future read of his stories. It ALSO includes an introduction to the man regarded as the father of American horror. ar and critically acT. Allan Bilstad edited the popul books Necronomicon, Alhazred, and claimed Donald Tyson as the Necronomicon Grimoire of the Necronomicon as well the Midwest. Tarot. He lives in $11.95 US $13.95 CAN ISBN 978-0-7387-1379-3 Llewellyn Worldwide www.llewellyn.com the Lovecraft Necronomicon primer the Lovecraft Necronomicon primer About the Author T. Allan Blstad has been a Cthulhu Mythos enthusast snce frst readng H. P. Lovecraft's The Outsider and Others collecton as a youngster. Ths was unfortunate, because, possessng a morbdly dynamc magnaton, the author afterward became easly frghtened by the nocturnal beastes lurkng under hs shadow-wreathed bed. A quck scan wth a decrept flashlght beam under the bed was the mnmum reassurance he requred before bedtme, knowng that nght-gaunts, ghouls, or any other unspeakable enttes would retreat before the feeble ncandescent glow, allowng hm to burrow unscathed nto the safety of the blankets. Years later, as a sagacous and ratonally mnded adult, the author gggles quetly when remnscng about those nocturnal fends and how they terrfed hm n hs youth as he wrtes to add hs puzzle pece to the Cthulhu Mythos. However, he stll carres a xenon flashlght just n case of unexplaned noses under the bed . . . Lovecraft Necronomicon the primer A Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos T. Allan Bilstad Llewellyn Publcatons Woodbury, Mnnesota The Lovecraft Necronomicon Primer: A Guide to the Cthulhu Mythos � 2009 by T. Allan Blstad. All rghts reserved. No part of ths book may be used or reproduced n any manner whatsoever, ncludng Internet usage, wthout wrtten permsson from Llewellyn Publcatons, except n the case of bref quotatons emboded n crtcal artcles and revews. Frst Edton Frst Prntng, 2009 Book desgn and format by Donna Burch Cover desgn by Kevn R. Brown Edtng by Brett Fechhemer Interor llustratons on pages 12, 42, 56, 62, 76, 84, 96, 110, 126, 144, 150, 164, 176, 194, 206, 214, 230, 242, 248 and portrat ncorporated nto front and back nteror covers � Patrck McEvoy. All other nteror llustratons by Kevn R. Brown. Llewellyn s a regstered trademark of Llewellyn Worldwde, Ltd. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Blstad, T. Allan The Lovecraft necronomcon prmer : a gude to the Cthulhu mythos / T. Allan Blstad. --1st ed. p. cm. Includes bblographcal references. ISBN 978-0-7387-1379-3 1. Lovecraft, H. P. (Howard Phllps), 1890�1937--Characters--Monsters--Handbooks, manuals, etc. 2. Monsters n lterature--Handbooks, manuals, etc. 3. Cthulhu (Fcttous character)--Handbooks, manuals, etc. 4. Horror tales, Amercan--Hstory and crtcsm. I. Ttle. II. Ttle: Gude to the Cthulhu mythos. PS3523.O833Z562 2009 813'.52--dc22 2009017866 Llewellyn Worldwde does not partcpate n, endorse, or have any authorty or responsblty concernng prvate busness transactons between our authors and the publc. All mal addressed to the author s forwarded but the publsher cannot, unless specfcally nstructed by the author, gve out an address or phone number. Any Internet references contaned n ths work are current at publcaton tme, but the publsher cannot guarantee that a specfc locaton wll contnue to be mantaned. Please refer to the publsher's webste for lnks to authors' webstes and other sources. Llewellyn Publcatons A Dvson of Llewellyn Worldwde, Ltd. 2143 Wooddale Drve, Dept. 978-0-7387-1379-3 Woodbury, Mnnesota 55125-2989, U.S.A. www.llewellyn.com Prnted n the Unted States of Amerca Contents Introducton to the Prmer 1 H. P. Lovecraft: The Father of Amercan Horror 13 A Bref Background of the Cthulhu Mythos 31 The Creatures of the Cthulhu Mythos 37 � Abdul Alhazred: The Mad Poet 43 � � � � � � � � Azathoth: Idot Flutst or Idot Genus? 53 Corpse Steeds: Decomposng Nght-mares 57 Cthulhu: The Bg C 63 Cthulhu's Spawn: The "Lttle" C 73 Dagon: God of the Deep? 77 Deep Ones: They Fsh for Men, and Women . . . 85 Dunwch Horror: I Shall Speak No More . . . 95 Elder Thngs: Reslent Barrels of Inhuman Intellect 97 Felnes: Man's Best Frend. No, Really, They Are! 101 Ghasts: Leapng Loathsomeness, Batman! 111 Ghouls: Rubbery Graveyard "Dogs" 119 Gugs: Gant, Slent, but Deadly 127 � � � � � � Hypnos: Say Yes to REM Sleep! 141 Leng Hounds wth Wngs: They Wll Hound You . . . to Death! 145 Leng Almost-Humans: And You Thought the Hounds Were Terrble . . . 151 Leng Spders: Extreme Arachnophoba 159 M-Goes: Pluto's Nasty Secret 165 Moon's Toad-Thngs: Toades of Torture 177 � � � � � � � � � � � � Necronomicon: Do Not Open . . . Except n Case of Emergency! 183 Nght-Gaunts: Tcklsh Terrors for Travelers 195 Nodens: Just Say No to Slumber . . . 203 Nyarlathotep: The Orgnal "Man n Black" 207 Shantak-Brds: Slppery Excursons, Inc. 215 Shoggoths: Mr. Bubbles Cleans Down to the Bone 223 Shub-Nggurath: Fecund Spawn of Unholy Horrors 231 Town of Arkham: Nce Place to Vst, but . . . 237 v � � Yog-Sothoth: An Open Doorway to . . . ? 243 Zoogs: Cute, Cuddly, but . . . 249 Fn 255 A Selected H. P. Lovecraft Bblography 257 x Dedcated to the late Dr. Woodrow Feanb, who unwttngly dscovered, durng hs short-lved horror, that ghouls can clmb trees. Introduction to the Primer Hello. I thank you for your nterest n the monsters, creatures, and gods found n the stores of H. P. Lovecraft. What you are gazng upon now s a prmer, wrtten wth help of my edtor, Dallas N. Labtt, to ad the nterested but unntated nto the horrfc creatons of H. P. Lovecraft. When I say horrific, I mean that word to encompass the horror genre of Lovecraft's lterary works, and not nfer that hs works are atrocous scrawlngs and scrbblngs. Who am I? I am but a smple narrator, a character f you wll, humbly payng homage to the legacy of Lovecraft. My name s not mportant. My state of mnd s, and so also s ths prmer. As you who embark upon the lterary journey, boldly gong forth across the uncharted seas of Lovecraft's worlds, I 1 shall be your captan, navgator, cartographer, steward, and klaxon. As I am an avd reader of fcton, specfcally horror fcton, Lovecraft has been a part of my horzons for many decades. And as the years do pass, stealthly as a gug (whch see n ths prmer), the admraton for Lovecraft grows, hs fans now renewng and rekndlng that flame of fear, addng and expandng upon Lovecraft's small collecton of stores wth ther very own supplementatons and nspratons. Ths lore of nformaton and wrtngs has been termed the Cthulhu Mythos, named so after the most famous of Lovecraft's creatons, the dread god Cthulhu. As we fans were once neophytes and novces n the ways of H. P. Lovecraft, most of us started along ths journey wth no gudes or ads. Just our wts and our dog-eared paperbacks accompaned our travels and travals nto the worlds opened up by Lovecraft. As a chld, I sorely lacked a gude to the terrfyng creatures that nhabt those well-worn pages, and spent many a nght cowerng n fear under my blankets, awatng the return of the dawn and the santy of daylght. For many thngs lve n the dark, n our magnatons, and n Lovecraft's books: thngs that walk. Thngs that stalk. 2 Thngs that talk. Thngs that talk back. But I shall correct ths want of enlghtenment wth ths book, wrtten as a prelmnary gude for those who are not wzened n the ways of Lovecraft's monsters. Ths prmer wll act as your tour gude to the varous denzens found n the lterary creatons of Lovecraft. You can safely experence and know these creatures wthout the dangers that have befallen other readers. Ths prmer s much akn to the Necronomicon, a tome that lsts and detals the monsters of Lovecraft; but unlke the Necronomicon, ths book hopefully wll not cause you to seek the asylum of a santarum. Excuse my tone f I am scarng or alarmng you, knd reader. H. P. Lovecraft was a horror wrter of the top magntude, and, as such, you should be aware of the terrors that can awat, hdden wthn the wrtten word upon a paper page or electronc screen. I merely wsh to nform, not alarm. I shall leave the dsquetng exhortatons for those of you who contnue readng ths, my collecton of data, or those who dare to venture on and peruse some dreadful tale of Lovecraft. Er, I mean "causng dread and despar" when I refer to Lovecraft's stores as dreadful, not that 3 the actual stores are poorly crafted or hastly wrtten n such a way to nspre a loathng of the actual tale. I must nsst you contnue to read. Everythng you shall be readng from here on out s true and accurate. Well, mostly true. My frend and edtor, Dallas N. Labtt, n preparng my manuscrpt for publcaton, has merely gracously rearranged some of my orgnal text to clarfy several elements n the entres, and provded the usual spellng and unformly stylstc composton assstance. However, I have taken lbertes n expressng my own opnons about some of these creatures of the Mythos (over the objectons of my edtor), whch I hope shall not be taken as gospel or have the semblance of axoms. I am certfably not nsane. Ths prmer assumes that you have not read the tales of H. P. Lovecraft, nor are you famlar wth hs horror lterary talents. (But I assume you have some sort of nterest, as you are readng ths book . . .) Worry not, novce reader, as I wll not reveal any plots, nor endngs, nor any other spolers from hs terrfyng tales. It s far from my goal to n any way dscard or dstract from the words Lovecraft used n creatng an 4 atmosphere of supernatural awareness. In fact, I am to lay some of my own red herrngs, as to provoke the curosty of you, the reader, so that whle delvng nto a story you may remember my words from ths prmer. Nor do I am to cover every creature Lovecraft has penned, nor do I choose to be complete n my narratves concernng the selected beasts or denzens. Some detals are better left unsad, as they are truly terrfyng, and Lovecraft wrote most of hs stores to nstll a sense of dread, gloom, and fear nto hs audence usng words better left unsad. As you wll see, ths prmer gves background nformaton and crtcal tps on how you, the reader, can avod and (hopefully) survve when encounterng such creatures n Lovecraft's tales. Why do I say ths? Well, as I prevously stated, ths prmer s a collecton of observatons, notes, and facts collected by myself over the course of the years whle venturng forth nto the worlds of Lovecraft and the monsters that thrve there. What I have dscovered s that these creatures and monsters are very nghtmarsh and terrfyng n ther own rght, for a varety of reasons. I repeat, I am certfably NOT nsane. (More on ths account later.) 5 Hangng on the wall of the room that I call my lbrary s a dploma I receved n medeval metaphyscal studes from an reputable unversty of hgher educaton on the Amercan east coast, from whch I earned ths degree as an undergraduate. Ths embossed sheet of parchment, coupled wth my years of experence, qualfes me to wrte ths book as an authorty on the denzens of the dark, the basement of the haunted house, the wld lonely open wastes, and the black corrdors of nghtmares--on these hdeous enttes that lve n the stores of the master of Amercan horror, Howard Phllps Lovecraft. Please excuse me f I have startled your sensbltes wth my erratc monologue. It's just that when I thnk about the mages that Lovecraft has conjured up n hs stores, my mnd goes away for a bt to another world--the Dreamlands, n fact. What s the Dreamlands? you may ask. You may. Ask, that s. And I wll tell you. The Dreamlands s the realm created by Lovecraft, where many of hs monsters and detes hold sway. I may refer to the Dreamlands n ths text as a seemngly real, possble, world, but t s, n fact, a creaton of Lovecraft. Remember, I am certfably NOT nsane. 6 Lovecraft's tales revolve around the horror of a narrator seeng what was unknown or hdden for good reason. The Dreamlands are an example of ths. If many people started to see werewolves or vampres every day, panc and outrght pandemonum would ensue, as those beasts of mythology can only be the products of magnaton, rght? They couldn't possbly be real, rght? Rght? Such s the case wth the Dreamlands. If people knew that when they dreamed, t was n a real place and that what happened there affected "real lfe," the wakng world, do you thnk they would ever sleep agan? Do you thnk the fear of that place would drve people to nsanty n ther desre to avod t at all costs, even at the expense of ther own mental health? "Maybe," you mght say. But what happens when you read a good horror tale about, say, a vampre? Do you not get frghtened by the antcs of that "monster," physcally so frghtened that you dread the nght and all ts shadows, thnkng that a vampre wats n them to drnk your blood? Slly to thnk about, but that s what a good story can do: take you nto another realm of realty, where you react and act n. Who among you, my dear 7 readers, has not put yourself nto the lterary realm that a favorte author has created, becomng so much a part of the tale that you actually have a physcal reacton to the mental mage you have created n your head from the collecton of words on the page? Is that not "real," your feelngs and emotons for the lterary work you have just read? Or s t? After all, fcton s fcton, and although t can resemble realty, t s but a shadow of that realty. Horror stores, such as the ones Lovecraft created, are just that: shadows of thngs that appear n real lfe. The words on that pece or paper or electroncally amplfed on that computer screen are not monsters, nor could they do anythng to you; they're just a collecton of symbols representng sounds quantfed and qualfed to a partcular culture. If you could not read a partcular foregn language, would not a horror book prnted n that language be unterrfyng and unscary? But by readng that tale and understandng that language, allowng yourself the "suspenson of dsbelef" and havng the wrtng sklls of the author evoke and mtate the feelng of realty n your head, are you not creatng a "real world," a realty that t s "just n your head"? Or s t just n your head? 8 When someone s scared, you can usually see the reactons of that fear presented n ther body language or even ther spoken language. A typcal response would be a shakng of the lmbs, eyes alert and open, and mouth open, ether screamng or about to scream, or even chokng out the words "Oh, no! Noooo!!!!" The person's fear s real; ther reacton s real. But what f what they are reactng to s not real? How many tmes have you been terrfed by some unknown sound, one you could not dentfy but that has regstered as somethng that would not be healthy or sane for you to see, much less comprehend? Thnk about the last tme you heard a nose n a darkened room or when you where alone outsde at nght. Was your fear real? Justfed? Unreal? Was t not a product of your overactve (or even actve) magnaton? But once you have dentfed that sound as beng made by somethng bengn, harmless, or even slly, ddn't you laugh, releasng the tenson bult from the expected fear? Readng horror stores s just lke that scenaro. You are not actually attacked by a werewolf; you let your magnaton create the realty n your head from the collecton of mages on the page. Words are just that: mages of sounds and nothng 9 more. On a pece of paper or on a screen, letters are smply cultural representatons of sounds produced by the lmts of the human vocal cords. These "mages" are peced together usng rules and commonly held cultural gudelnes. But f you allow that fear to buld n your head--the fear caused by strngng together those letters, strngng together those words, then pecng those words together nto sentences, and followng those sentences nto makng a story (a make-beleve story, mnd you!) to whch you have a physcal reacton to the smple strngng together of some seemngly random scrbbles or electrons--you have just sampled the "nsanty" of enjoyng horror stores. You have been frghtened by nothng more than your own magnaton. Is t not nsane to be scared of somethng that does not exst at all? And that s what makes Lovecraft a master of the Amercan horror story: he can make you shake n fear f you let hm. Lovecraft wrtes about the nsanty and horror of comprehendng the world as t mght be, a world that f t exsted would be so terrfyng that one would be rendered clncally nsane wthn a blnk of an eye. 10 Now follow me as I gude you through ths "magnary" world of Lovecraft, as I ntroduce you to the "monsters" that he created. Remember, the beasts n the prmer are all magnary. All the creatures detaled here are the fgments of one man's actve magnaton, and that hs magnaton cannot harm you. That's why I am certfably not nsane. Lovecraft's magnaton cannot hurt me. Hs monsters cannot hurt me. They may have hurt my frends, those characters n Lovecraft's stores, but they cannot touch me. Tee hee. 11