The Horrors of Lovecraft and what makes them Intriguing


Gage Landauer , Staff Writer

H.P. Lovecraft was one of the most unique writers of his time. His idea of horror was dark and focused on targeting peoples deep-seated fears. “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents… some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.” this quote by Lovecraft describes his idea of horror. His stories are about creatures that are unexplainable and powerful, and merely looking at them can drive a man insane. These themes have culminated into an entire genre named after this man… Lovecraftian.

One of the themes presented by Lovecraft is ‘what we think we know’. Do we really know our body, our minds, our homes, our world, our reality? The base of this is showing how much we don’t know. An example of this in use is the Outsider. This novel is about a man who exiles himself from others only to find that he is a horror. He purposely ignores the things around him until a mirror shows him how disgustingly inhuman he is. 

He also wrote about the ancient and unknown. Ancient Gods make common appearance in Lovecraft’s novels. One of His most famous stories is The Call of Cthulhu. It is a short story about a god older than the universe living under the ocean, he has an influence over people that drives them to do awful things.

The most unique thing about Lovecraft’s work in that these common themes are what has created the genre Lovecraftian. It stems from how he connected his stories through Necronomicon, a book of evil spells and awful things, and the town of Arkham a fictional town in Massachusetts. Furthermore when Lovecraft was alive he had pen pals which he gave full permission to use elements of his stories, if he could use some of theirs. The result was an expansive fictional mythology deemed the Cthulhu mythos are by himself, his colleagues, and still to this day expanded on by fans of his work. 

What’s more impressive is the influence he has in other people’s work. For example, Stephen King has said he is inspired by Lovecraft; “Lovecraft. . . opened the way for me, as he had done for others before me…. it is his shadow, so long and gaunt, and his eyes, so dark and puritanical, which overlie almost all of the important horror fiction that has come since.” One of Kings most popular stories, IT, was strongly influence by lovecraftian. The clown is an ancient entity that feeds on children’s fear. 

Cinema has also taken many elements of the lovecraftian genre. An example of a movie adaptation is The Void. The Void presents human regrets personified in bodily horrors through a horrifying cult of people that worship an ancient god that resides within a void. The characters are trapped within a hospital ripe with dead bodies that the cult can resurrect in horrifying ways.

H.P. Lovecraft has had more of an impact on entertainment than any other writer, he well deserves an entire genre named after him and his work.