The "Necronomicon" in
H. P. Lovecraft's Fiction
Selected Passages of Reference
AT THE MOUNTAINS OF MADNESS
FROM PAGE 5 -
In reference to the cold wastes of Antarctica with its lofty snow mountains
and terrible winds, the author notes: "Something about the scene
reminded me of the strange and disturbing Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich,
and of the still stranger and more disturbing descriptions of the evilly
fabled plateau of Leng which occur in the dreaded Necronomicon of
the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. I was rather sorry, later on, that I
had ever looked into that monstrous book at the college library."
FROM PAGE 19 -
Lake states that the strange frozen corpses he found, based on their
bizarre and alien shape: "reminds one of certain monsters of primal myth,
especially fabled Elder Things in Necronomicon." And, "Complete
specimens have such uncanny resemblance to certain creatures of primal
myth that suggestion of ancient existence outside antarctic becomes inevitable.
Bryer and Pabodie have read Necronomicon and seen Clark Ashton Smith's
nightmare paintings based on text, and will understand when I speak of
Elder Things supposed to have created all earth life as jest or mistake.
Students have always thought conception formed from morbid imaginative
treatment of very ancient tropical radiata. Also like prehistoric
folklore things Wilmarth has spoken of - Cthulhu cult appendages, etc.
FROM PAGE 30 -
The author states: "Mythologists have placed [the evilly fabled
plateau of] Leng in Central Asia; but the racial memory of man - or of
his predecessors - is long and it may well be that certain tales have come
down from lands and mountains and temples of horror earlier than Asia and
earlier than any human world we know. A few daring mystics have hinted
at a pre-Pleistocene origin for the fragmentary Pnakotic Manuscripts, and
have suggested that the devotees of Tsathoggua were as alien to mankind
as Tsathoggua itself. Leng, whatever in space or time it might brood,
was not a region I would care to be in or near, nor did I relish the proximity
of a world that had ever bred such ambiguous and Archaean monstrosities
as those Lake had just mentioned. At the moment I felt sorry that
I had ever read the abhorred Necronomicon, or talked so much with
that unpleasantly erudite folklorist Wilmarth at the university.
FROM PAGE 46 -
Only the incredible, unhuman massiveness of these vast stone towers
and ramparts had saved the frightful thing from utter annihilation in the
hundreds of thousands - perhaps millions - of years it had brooded there
amidst the blasts of a bleak upland. "Corona Mundi - Roof of the
World -" All sorts of fantastic phrases sprang to our lips as we
looked dizzily down at the unbelievable spectacle. I thought again
of the eldritch primal myths that had so persistently haunted me since
my first sight of this dead antarctic world - of the demonic plateau of
Leng, of the Mi-Go, or abominable Snow Men of the Himalayas, of the Pnakotic
Manuscripts with their pre-human implications, of the Cthulhu cult, of
the Necronomicon, and of the Hyperborean legends of formless Tsathoggua
and the worse than formless star spawn associated with that semientity.
FROM PAGE 61 -
The author refered to the Old Ones: "They were the makers and
enslavers of that life, and above all doubt the originals of the fiendish
elder myths which things like the Pnakotic Manuscripts and the Necronomicon
affrightedly hint about. They were the great "Old Ones" that had
filtered down from the stars when earth was young--the beings whose substance
an alien evolution had shaped, and whose powers were such as this planet
had never bred. And to think that only the day before Danforth and I had
actually looked upon fragments of their millennially fossilized substance
- and that poor Lake and his party had seen their complete outlines--"
FROM PAGE 64 -
Of the Old Ones biological experiments to produce the Shoggoths, the
author states: "These viscous masses were without a doubt what Abdul
Alhazred whispered about as the "Shoggoths" in his frightful Necronomicon,
though even that mad Arab had not hinted that any existed on earth except
in the dreams of those who had chewed a certain alkaloidal herb."
FROM PAGE 98 -
Again of the Old Ones creation of the Shoggoths: "The mad author
of the Necronomicon had nervously tried to swear that none had been
bred on this planet, and that only drugged dreamers had even conceived
FROM PAGE 109 -
As Danforth wandered into madness back in New England, the author states:
"Danforth, indeed, is known to be among the few who have ever dared to
go completely through that worm-riddled copy of the Necronomicon
kept under lock and key in the college library."
THE CALL OF CTHULHU:
FROM PAGE 61 -
In questioning old Castro about the Cthulhu cult: "Of the cult,
he said that he thought the center lay amid the pathless deserts of Arabia,
where Irem, the City of Pillars, dreams hidden and untouched. It
was not allied to the european witch-cult, and was virtually unknown beyond
its members. No book had ever really hinted of it, though the deathless
Chinamen said that there were double meanings in the Necronomicon
of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred which the initiated might read as they chose,
especially the much-discussed couplet:
"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange eons even death may die."
THE CASE OF CHARLES DEXTER
FROM PAGE 18 -
Mr. Merritt, upon visiting the farmhouse laboratory of Joseph Curwen
to see his library there: "Mr. Merritt turned pale when upon taking
down a fine volume conspicuously labelled as the Qanoon-e-Islam,
he found it was in truth the forbidden Necronomicon of the mad Arab
Abdul Alhazred, of which he had heard such monstrous things whispered some
years previously after the exposure of nameless rites at the strange little
fishing village of Kingsport, in the Province of the Massachusetts-Bay."
FROM PAGE 34 -
From a letter by Jedediah Orne of Salem to Joseph Curwen intercepted
by the citizens on the post road shortly before the incident of the naked
body, copied and preserved in the private archives of the Ward family:
"I delight that you continue in ye getting at Olde Matters
in your Way, and doe not thing better was donw at Mr. Hutchinson's in Salem-Village.
Certainely, there was Noth'g butt ye liveliest Awfulness in that which
H. rais'd upp from what we cou'd gather onlie a part of. What you
sente did not Worke, whether because Any Thing miss'g, or because ye Wordes
were not Righte from my Speak'g or yr copy'g. Alone am at a Loss.
I have not ye Chymicall art to followe Borellus, and owne my Self confounded
by ye VII. Booke of ye Necronomicon that you recommende. But
I wou'd have you Observe what was told to us aboute tak'g Care of Whom
to calle up, for you are Sensible what Mr. Mather writ in ye Marignalia
of ------, and can judge how truly that Horrendous thing is reported.
I say to you againe, doe not call upp Any that you can not put downe; by
the Which I meane, Any that can in Turne call up somewhat against you,
whereby your Powerfullest Devices may not be of use. As of the Lesser,
lest the greater shall not wish to Answer, and shall commande more than
you. I was frighted when I read of your know'g what Ben Saristnatmik
hadde in his Ebony Boxe, for I was conscious who must have tolde you.
And againe, I ask that you shalle write me as Jedediah and not Simon.
In this Community a Man may not live too long, and you knowe my Plan by
which I came back as my Son. I am desirous you will Acquant me with
what ye Blacke Man learnt from Sylvanus Codidius in ye Vault, under ye
roman wall, and will be oblig'd for ye Lend'g of ye MS. you speak of."
FROM PAGE 40 -
On the night of the raid on Jospeh Curwen's farmhouse laboratory, a
chill wind blew up, the air became suffused with an intolerable stench,
and an awful voice thundered out in an unknown tongue. Luke Fenner
set this down to portray the
demoniac intonations: DEESMEES -- JESHET -- BONEDOSEFEDUVEMA
FROM PAGE 47 -
Providence, 1 May
FROM PAGE 65 - THOUGH NOT FROM THE NECRONOMICON IT SHOULD BE INCLUDED:
My honour'd Antient
friende, due Respects and earnest Wishes to Him whom we serve for yr eternall
Power. I am just come upon that which you ought to knowe, concern'g
the matter of the Laste Extremitie and what to doe regard'g yt. I
am no dispos'd to followe you in go'g Away on acct. of my yeares, for Providence
hath not ye Sharpness of ye Bay in hunt'g oute uncommon Things and bringinge
to Tryall. I am ty'd up in Shippes and Goodes, and cou'd not doe
as you did, besides the whiche my farme at Patuxet hat under it That you
knowe, that wou'd not waite for my com'g Backe as an Other.
But I am not
unreadie for harde fortunes, as I have tolde you, and have long work'd
upon ye way to get'g Backe after ye Loste. I laste Nighte strucke
on ye Wordes that bringe up YOGGE-SOTHOTHE, and sawe for ye firste Time
that face spoke of by Ibn Schacabac in ye------------------. And
IT said, that ye III Psalme in ye Liber-Damnatus holdes y Clavicle.
With Sunne in V House, Saturne in Trine, drawe ye Pentagram of Fire, and
saye ye ninth Verse thrice. this Verse repeate eache Roodemasand
Hallow's Eve, and ye thing will breede in ye Outside Spheres.
And of ye
Seede of Olde shal One be borne who shal looke Backe, tho' know'g not what
Yett will this
awaite Nothing if there be no Heir, and if the Saltes, or the Way to make
the Saltes bee no Readie for his Hands. And here I will onwne, I
have not taken needed Stepps nor found Much. Ye Process is playing
harde to come neare, and it uses up such a Store of Specimens, I am harde
putte to it to get Enough, notwithstand'g the Sailors I have from the Indies.
Ye People aboute are become curious, but I can stade them off. Ye
gentry are worse than the Populace, be'g more Circumstantiall in their
Accts. and more believ'd in what they tell. that Parson and Mr. Merritt
have talk'd some, I am fearfull, but no Thing soe far is Dangerous.
Ye Chymical substance are easie of get'g, there be'g II. goode Chymists
in towne, Dr. Bowen and Sam Carew. I am foll'g oute whot Borellus
saith, and have Helpe in Abdool Al-Hazred his VII. Booke. Whatever
I gette, you shal have. And inye meane while, do not neglect to make
use of ye Wordes I have here given. I have them righte, but if you
Desire to see HIM, imploy the Writinge on ye Piece of ----------, that
I am putt'g in this Packet. Saye ye Verses every Roodemas and Hallow's
Eve; and if yr Line runn not out, one shall bee in yeares to come that
shal looke backe and use what Saltes or Stuff for Saltes you shal leave
him. Job XIV, XIV.
I rejoice you
are again at Salem, and hope I may see you not longe hence. I have
a goode Stallion, and am think'g of get'g a Coach, there be'g one (Mr.
Merritt's) in Providence alreadie, tho', ye Rhoades are bad. If you
are dispos'd to travel, doe not pass me bye. From Boston take ye
Poste Rd. thro' Dedham, Wrentham, and Attleborough, goode Taverns be'g
at all these Townes. Stop at Mr. Bolcom's in Wrentham, where ye Beddes
are finer than Mr. Hatch's, but eate at ye other House for their cooke
is better. Turne into Providence by Pawtuxet falls, and ye rd. past
Mr. Sayles's Tavern. My House opp, Mr. Epenetus Olney's Tavern off
ye Towne Street, ist on ye N. side of Olney's Court, Distance from Boston
abt. XLIV miles.
Sir, I am yr
olde and true friend and Servt. in Almonsin-Metraton.
To Mr. Simon Orne,
William's Lane, in Salem.
...Late in the afternoon young Ward began repeating a certain formula...
...It ran as follows, and experts have told Dr. Willett that its very close
analogue can be found in the mystic writings of "Eliphas Levi", that cryptic
soul who crept through a crack in the forbidden door and glimpsed the frightful
vistas of the void beyond:
"Per Adonai Eloim, Adonai Jehova,
...a pandemonia howling of dogs set in. ...it was overshadowed by
the odour which instantly followed it; a hideous all-pervasive odour which
none of them had ever smelt before or have ever smelt since. In the
midst of this mephitic flood there came a very perceptible flash like that
of lightning, which would have been blinding and impressive but for the
daylight around; and then was heard the voice that no listener can ever
forget because of its thunderous remoteness, its incredible depth, and
its eldritch dissimilarity to Charles Ward's voice. It shook the
house, and was clearly heard by at least two neighbors above the howling
of the dogs.... ...There was no mistaking that nightmare phrase,
for Charles had described it too vividly in the old days when he had talked
frankly of his Curwen investigations. And yet it was only this fragment
of an archaic and forgotten language: "DIES MIES JESCHET BOENE DOESEF DOUVEMA
Adonai Saboath, Metraton Ou Agla Methon,
verbum pythonicum, mysterium salamandrae,
cenventus sylvorum, antra gnomorum,
daemonia Coeli God, Almonsin, Gibor,
Jehosua, Evam, Sariathnatmik, Veni, veni, veni."
Close upon this thundering there came a monentary darknening of the daylight,
though sunset was still an hour distant, though sunset was still an hour
distant, and then a puff of added odour, different from the first but equally
unknown and intolerable. Charles was chanting again now and his mother
could hear syllables that sounded like "Yi-nash-Yog-Sothoth-he-lglb-fi-throdag"--ending
with a "Yah!" whose maniacal force mounted in an ear-splitting crescendo.
A second later all previous memories were effaced by the wailing scream
which burst out with frantic explosiveness and gradually changed form to
a paroxysm of diabolic and hysterical laughter.
FROM PAGE 98 - THOUGH NOT STRICTLY FROM THE NECRONOMICON IT SHOULD
In this new material one mystic formula, or rather pair of formulae,
recurred so often that Willett had it by hear before he had half finished
his quest. It consisted of two parallel columns, the left-hand one
surmounted by the archaic symbol called "Dragon's Head" and used in almanacks
to indicate the ascending node, and the right-hand one headed by a corresponding
sign of "Dragon's Tail" or descending node. The appearance of the
whole was something like this, and almost unconsciously the doctor realised
that the second half was no more than the first written syllabically backward
with the exception of
|Y'AI 'NG'NGAH, YOG-SOTHOTH H'EE--L'GEB F'AI THRODOG
FROM PAGE 110 - THOUGH NOT STRICTLY FROM THE NECRONOMONICON IT
SHOULD BE INCLUDED:
The right-hand wall was no less thickly inscribed, and Willet felt
a start of recognition as he came upon the pair of formulae so frequently
ocurring in the rectn notes in the library. They were, roughly speaking,
the same: with the ancient symbols of "Dragon's Head" and "Dragon's
Tail" heading them as in Ward's scribblings. But the spelling differed
quite widely from that of the modern versions, as if old Curwen had had
a different way of recording sound, or as if later study had evloved more
powerful and perfected variants of the invocations in question. The doctor
tried to reconcile the chiselled version with the one which still ran persistently
in his head, and found it hard to do. Where the script he had memorised
began "Y'ai 'ng'ngah, Yog-Sothoth", this epigraph started out as
engengah, Yogge-Sothotha"; which to his mind would seriously interfere
with the syllabification of the second word.
FROM PAGE 359 -
So matters went till that night when Williams brought home the infamous
of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. He had known of the dreaded volume
since his sixteenth year, when his dawning love of the bizarre led him
to ask queer questions of a bent old bookseller in Chandos Street; and
he had always wondered why men paled when they spoke of it. The old
bookseller had told him that only five copies were known to have survived
shocked edicts of the priests and lawgivers against it and that all of
these were locked up with frightful care by custodians who had ventured
to begins a reading of the hateful black-letter. But now, at last,
he had not only found an accessible copy but had made it his own at a ludicrously
low figure. It was at a Jew's shop in the squalid precincts of Clare
Market, where he had often brought strange things before, and he almost
fancied the gnarled old Levite smiled amidst the tangles of beard as the
great discovery was made. The bulky leather cover with the brass
clasp had been so prominently visible, and the price so absurdly low.
DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE
FROM PAGE 139 -
Possibly Gilman ought not to have studied so hard. Mon-Euclidean
calculus and quantum physics are enough to stretch any brain; and when
one mixes them with folklore, and tries to trace a strange background of
behind the ghoulish hints of Gothic tales and the wild whispers of
the chimney-corner, one can hardly expect to be wholly free from mental
tension. Gilman came from Haverhill, but it was only after he had
entered college in Arkham that he began to connect his mathematics with
the fantastic legends of elder magic. Something in the air of the
hoary town worked obscurely on his imagination. The professors at
Miskatonic had urged him to slacken up, and had voluntarily cut down his
course at several points. Moreover, they had stopped him from consulting
the dubious old books on forbidden secrets that were kept under lock and
key in a vault at the university library. But all these precautions
came late in the day, so that Gilman had some terrible hints from the dreaded
of Abdul Alhazred, the fragmentary Book of Eibon, and the suppressed
Kulten of von Junzt to correlate with his abstract formulae on the
properties of space and the linkage of dimensions known and
FROM PAGE 150 -
The dreams were meanwhile getting to be atrocious. In the lighter
preliminary phase the evil old woman was now of fiendish distinctness,
and Gilman knew she was the one who had frightened him in the slums.
Her bent back, long nose,
and shrivelled chin were unmistakable, and her shapeless brown garments
were like those he remembered. The expression on her face was one
of hideous malevolence and exultation, and when he awaked he could recall
a croaking voice that persuaded and threatened. He must meet the
Black Man and go with them all to the throne of Azathoth at the center
of ultimate chaos. That was what she said. he must sign the
book of Azathoth in his own blood and take a new secret name no that his
independent delvings had gone so far. What kept him from going with
her and Brown Jenkin and the other to the throne of Chaos where the tin
flutes pipe mindlessly was the fact that he had seen the name "Azathoth"
in the Necronomicon, and knew it stood for a primal evil too horrible
FROM PAGE 159 -
As he bathed and changed clothes he tried to recall what he had dreamed
after the scene in the violet-litten space, but nothing definite would
crystalize in his mind. That scene itself must have corresponded
to the sealed loft overhead, which had begun to attack his imagination
so violently, but later impressions were faint and hazy. There were
suggestions of the vague, twilight abysses, and of still vaster, blacker
abysses beyond them--abysses in which all fixed suggestions were absent.
He had been taken there by the bubble-congeries and the little polyhedron
which always dogged him; but they, like himself, had changed to wisps of
mist in this farther void of ultimate blackness. Something else had
gone on ahead--a larger wisp which now and then condensed into nameless
approximations of forms--and he thought that their progress had not been
in a straight line, but rather along the alien curves and spirals of some
ethereal vortex which obeyed laws unknown to the physics and mathematics
of any conceivable cosmos. Eventually there had been a hint of vast,
leaping shadows, of a monstrous, half-acoustic pulsing, and of the thin,
monotonous piping of an unseen flute--but that was all. Gilman decided
he had picked up that last conception from what he had read in the Necronomicon
about the mind-less entity Azathoth, which rules all time and space from
a black throne at the center of Chaos.
FROM PAGE 164 -
Whether anybody had ever managed to do this, one could hardly conjecture
with any degree of authority. Old legends are hazy and ambiguous,
and in historic times all attempts at crossing forbidden gaps seem complicated
by strange and terrible alliances with beings and messengers from outside.
There was the immemorial figure of the deputy or messenger of hidden and
terrible powers--the "Black Man" of the witch-cult, and the "Nyarlathotep"
of the Necronomicon. There was, too, the baffling problem
of the lesser messengers or intermediaries -- the quasi-animals and queer
hybrids which legend depicts as witches' familiars. As Gilman and
Elwood retired, too sleepy to argue further, they heard Joe Mazurewicz
reel into the house half drunk, and shuddered at the desperate wildness
of his whining prayers.
FROM PAGE 168 -
Late at night the two youths sat drowsing in their chairs, lulled by
the praying of the loom-fixer on the floor below. Gilman listened
as he nodded, his preternaturally sharpened hearing seeming to strain for
some subtle, dreaded murmur beyond the noises in the ancient house.
Unwholesome recollections of things in the Necronomicon and the
Black Book welled up, and he found himself swaying to infandous rhythms
said to pertain to the blackest ceremonies of the Sabbat and to have an
origin outside the time and space we comprehend.
FROM PAGE 169 -
But all this vanished in a second. He was again in the cramped,
violet-litten peaked space with the slanting floor, the low cases of ancient
books, the bench and table, the queer objects, and the triangular gulf
at one side. On the table lay a small white figure--an infant boy,
unclothed and unconscious--while on the other side stood the monstrous,
leering old woman with a gleaming, grotesque-hafted knife in her right
hand, and a queerly proportioned pale metal bowl covered with curiously
chased designs and having delicate lateral handles in her left. She
was intoning some croaking ritual in a language which Gilman could
not understand, but which seemed like something guardedly quoted in the
THE DUNWICH HORROR
Nor is it to be thought that man is either
the oldest or the last of earth's masters,
or that the common bulk of life and substance
The Old Ones were,
the Old Ones are,
and the Old Ones shall be.
Not in the spaces we know, but between them,
they walk serene and primal, undimensioned
and to us unseen.
Yog-Sothoth knows the gate.
Yog-Sothoth is the gate.
Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.
Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.
He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old,
and where They shall break through again.
He knows where They had trod earth's fields,
and where They still tread them,
and why no one can behold Them as They
By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near,
but of Their semblance can no man know,
saving only in the features of those
They have begotten on mankind;
and of those are there many sorts,
differing in likeness from man's truest
to that shape without sight or substance
which is Them.
They walk unseen and foul in lonely places
where the Words have been spoken
and the Rites howled through at their Seasons.
The wind gibbers with Their voices,
and the earth mutters with Their consciousness.
They bend the forest and crush the city,
yet may not forest or city behold the hand
Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them,
and what man knows Kadath?
The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean
hold stones whereon Their seal is engraver,
but who bath seen the deep frozen city
or the sealed tower long garlanded with
seaweed and barnacles?
Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly.
As a foulness shall ye know Them.
Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not;
and Their habitation is even one with your
Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet.
Man rules now where They ruled once;
They shall soon rule where man rules now.
After summer is winter, after winter summer.
They wait patient and potent,
for here shall They reign again.
--A quote from the Necronomicon,
cited in "The Dunwich Horror."
FROM PAGE 167 -
"More space, Willy, more space soon. Yew grows--an' that
grows faster. It'll be ready to sarve ye soon, boy. Open up
the gates to Yog-Sothoth with the long chant that ye'll find on page 751
the complete edition, an' then put a match to the prison. Fire
from airth can't burn it nohaow."
FROM PAGE 169 -
The following winter brought an event no less strange than Wilbur's
first trip outside the Dunwich region. Correspondence with the Widener
Library at Harvard, the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, the British Museum,
the University of Buenos Ayres, and the Library of Miskatonic University
of Arkham had failed to get him the loan of a book he separately wanted;
so at length he set out in person, shabby, dirty, bearded, and uncouth
of dialect, to consult the copy at Miskatonic, which was the nearest to
him geographically. Almost eight feet tall, and carrying a cheap
new valise from Osborn's general store, this dark and goatish gargoyle
appeared one day in Arkham in quest of the dreaded volume kept under lock
and key at the college library--the hideous Necronomicon of the
mad Arab Abdul Alhazred in Olaus Wormius's Latin version, as printed in
Spain in the seventeenth century. He had never seen a city before,
but had no thought save to find his way to the university grounds; where,
indeed, he passed heedlessly by the great white-fanged watchdog that barked
with unnatural fury and enmity, and tugged frantically at its stout chain.
Wilbur had with
him the priceless but imperfect copy of Dr. Dee's English version which
his grandfather had bequeathed him, and upon receiving access to the Latin
copy he at once began to collate the two texts with the aim of discovering
a certain passage which would have come on the 751st page of his own defective
volume. This much he could not civilly refrain from telling the librarian--the
same erudite Henry Armitage (A.M. Miskatonic, Ph. D. Princeton, Litt. D.
Johns Hopkins) who had once called at the farm, and who know politely plied
him with questions. He was looking, he had to admit, for a kind of
formula or incantation containing the frightful name Yog-Sothoth,
and it puzzled him to find discrepancies, duplications, and ambiguities
which made the matter of determination far from easy. As he copied
the formula he finally chose, Dr. Armitage looked involuntarily over his
shoulder at the open pages; the left-hand one of which, in the Latin version,
contained such monstrous threats to the peace and sanity of the world.
"Nor is it to be thought," ran the text as Armitage mentally
translated it, "that man is either the oldest or the last of earth's masters,
or that the common bulk of life and substance walks alone. The Old
Ones were, the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but
between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen.
is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.
Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again.
He knows where They have trod earth's fields, and where They still tread
them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell
can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know,
saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind;
and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man's truest
eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them.
They walk unseen and foul in the lonely places where the Words have been
spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers
with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness.
they bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest and city behold
the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and
what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken
isles of Ocean hold stones whereon Their seal is engraven, but who hath
seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed
and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them
only dimly. Ia! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall
ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not;
and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth
is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where
They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After
summer is winter, and after winter summer. they wait patient and
potent, for here shall They reign again."
FROM PAGE 171 -
Armitage heard the savage yelping of the great watch-dog, and studied
Whateley's gorilla-like lope as he crossed the bit of campus visible from
the window. He thought of the wild tales he had heard, and recalled
the old Sunday stories in the Advertiser; these things and the lore he
had picked up from the Dunwich rustics and villagers during his one visit
there. Unseen things not of earth--or at least not of tri-dimensional
earth--rushed foetid and horrible through New England's glens, and brooded
obscnely on the mountin-tops. Of this he had long felt certain.
Now he semed to sense the close presence of some terrible part of the intruding
horror, and to glimpse a hellish advance in the black dominion of the ancient
passive nightmare. He locked away the Necronomicon with a shudder
of disgust, but the room still reeked with an unholy and unidentifiable
stench. "As a foulness shall ye know them," he quoted. Yes--the
odour was the same as that which had sickened him at the Whateley farmhouse
less then three years before. He thought of Wilbur, goatish and ominous,
once again, and laughed mockingly at the village rumours of his parentage.
Armitage muttered half-aloud to himself. "Great God, what simpletons!
Shew them Arthur Machen's Great God Pan and they'll think it a common Dunwich
scandal! But what things--what cursed shapeless influence on or off
this three-dimensioned earth--was Wilbur Whateley's father? Born
on Candlemas--nine months after May-eve of 1912, when the talk about the
queer earth noises reached clear to Arkham-- What walked on the mountains
that May-Night? What Roodmas horror fastened itself on the world
in half-human flesh and blood?"
During the endsuing
weeks Dr. Armitage set about to collect all possbiel data on Wilbur Whateley
and the formless prescences around Dunwich. He got in communication
with Dr. Houghton of Aylesbury, who had attended Old Whateley in his last
illness, and found much to ponder over in the grandfather's last words
as quoted by the physician. A visit to Dunwich Village failed to
brings out much that was new; but a close survey of the Necronomicon, in
those parts which Wilbur had sought so avidly, seemed to supply new and
terrible clues to the nature, methods, and desires of the strange evil
so vaguely threatening this planet. Talks with several students of
archaic lore in Bonston, and letters to many others elesewhere, gave him
a growning amazement which passed slowly through varied degrees of alarm
to a state of really acute spiritual fear. As the summer drew on
he felt dimly that something outght to be done about the lurking terrors
of the upper Miskatonic valley, and about the monstrous being know to the
human world as Wilbur Whateley.
The Dunwich horror
itself came between Lammas and the equinox in 1928, and Dr. Armiatge was
among those who witnessed its monstrous prologue. He had heard, meanwhile,
of Whateley's gortesque trip to Cambridge, and of his frantic efforts to
borrow or copy from the Necronomicon at the Widener Library. Those
efforts had been in vain, since Armitage had issued warnings of the keenest
itensity to all librarians having charge of the dreaded volume. Wilbur
had been shockingly nervous at Cambridge; anxious for the book, yet almost
equally anxious to get home agin, as if he feared the results of being
FROM PAGE 188 -
A cold shudder ran though natives and visitors alike, and every ear
seemed trained in a kind of instinctive, unconscious listening. Armitage,
now that he had actually come upon the horror and its mosntrous work, trembled
with the responsibility he felt to be his. Night would soon fall,
and it was then that the mountainous blasphemy lumbered upon its eldrich
course. Negotium perambulans in tenebris. . . . The old librarian
rehearsed the farmulae he had memorised, and clutched
the paper containing the alternative one he had not memorised.
He saw that his electric flahslight was in working order. Rice, beside
him, took from a valise a metal sprayer of the sort used in combating insects;
whilst Morgan uncased the big-game rifle on which he relied despite his
colleague's warnings that no material weapon would be of help.
The nethermost caverns, are not for the fathoming of eyes that see;
for their marvels are strange and terrific.
Cursed the ground where dead thoughts live new and oddly bodied,
and evil the mind that is held by no head.
Wisely did Ibn Schacabao say, that happy is the tomb where no wizard
and happy the town at night whose wizards are
For it is of old rumour that the soul of the devil-bought
hastes not from his charnel clay,
but fats and instructs the very worm that
till out of corruption horrid life psrings
monstrous to plague it.
Great holes secretly are digged where earth's pores ought to suffice,
and things have learnt to walk that ought
--A quote from the Necronomicon,
cited in "The Festival."
FROM PAGE 213 -
Pointing to a chair, table, and pile of books, the old man now left
the room; and when I sat down to read I saw that the books were hoary and
moldy, and that they included old Morryster's wild Marvells of Science,
the terrible Saducismus Triumphatus of Joseph Glanvil, published in 1681,
the shocking Daemonolatreia of Remigius, printed in 1595 at Lyons, and
worst of all, the unmentionable Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred,
in Olaus Wormius's forbidden Latin translation; a book which I had never
seen, but of which I had heard monstrous things whispered. No one
spoke to me, but I wcould hear the creaking of signs in the wind outside,
and the whir of the wheel as the bonneted old woman continued her silent
spinning, spinning. I thought the room and the books and the people
very morbid and disquieting, but because an old tradition of my fathers
had summoned me to strange feastings, I resolved to expect queer things.
So I tried to read, and soon became tramblingly absorbed by something I
found in that accursed Necronomicon; a thought and a legend too hideous
for sanity or consciousness. But I dislike it when I fancied I heard
the closing of one of the windows that the settled faced, as if it had
been stealthily opened. It had seemed to follow a whirring that was
not of the old woman's spinning-wheel. This was not much, though,
for the aged clock had been striking. After that I lost the feeling
that there were persons on the settle, and was reading intently and shudderingly
when the old man came back booted and dresssed in a loose antique costume,
and sat down on that very bench, so that I could not see him. It
was certainly nervous waiting, and the blasphemous book in my hands made
FROM PAGE 214 -
The man who had brought me now squirmed to a point directly beside
the hideous flame, and made stiff ceremonial motions to the semicircle
he faced. At certain stages of the ritual they did grovelling obeisance,
especially when he held above his head that abhorrent Necronomicon he had
taken with him; and I shared all the obeisances because I had been summoned
to this festival by the writings of my forefathers. Then the old
man made a signal to the half-seen flute-layer in the darkness, which player
there upon changed its feelbe drone to a scarce louder drone in another
key; precipitating as it did so a horror unthinkable and unexpected.
At this horror I sank nearly to the lichened earth, transfixed with a dread
not of this nor any world, but only of the mad spaces between the stars.
Out of the unimagainable
blackness beyond the gangrenous glare of that cold flame, out of the Tartarean
leagues through which that oily river rolled uncanny, unheard, and unsuspected,
there flopped rhythmically a horde of tame, trained hybrid winged things
that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember.
They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor
vampire bats, nor decomposing human beings; but somethng I cannot and must
not reacall. They flopped limply along, half with their webbed feet
and half with their membranous wings; and as they reached the throng of
celebrants the cowled figures seized and mounted them, and rode off one
by one along the reaches of that unlighted river, into pits and galleries
of panic where poison springs feed frightful and undescoverable cataracts.
FROM PAGE 216 -
I liked it there (St. Mary's Hospital in Arkham), for the doctors were
broad-minded, and even lent me their influence in obtaining the carefully
sheltered copy of Alhazred's objectionable Necronomicon from the library
University. They said something about a "psychosis", and agreed
I had better get any harassing obsessions off my mind.
So I read again
that hideous chapter, and shuddered doubly because it was indeed not new
to me. I had seen it before, let footprints tell what they might;
and where it was I had seen it were forgotten. There was no one--in
waking hours--who could remind me of it; but my dreams are filled with
terror, because of phrases I dare not quote. I dare quote only one paragraph,
put into such english as I can make from the awkward Low Latin.
"The nethermost caverns," wrote the mad Arab, "are not for
the fathoming of eyes that see; for their marvels are strange and terrific.
Cursed the ground where dead thoughts live new and oddly bodied, and evil
the mind that is held by no head. Wisely did Ibn Schacabao say, that
happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night
whose wizards are all ashes. For it is of old runour that the soul
of the devil-bought hastes not from his charnel clay, but fats and instructs
the very worm that gnaws; till out of corruption horrid life psrings monstrous
to plague it. Great holes secretly are digged where earth's pores
ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl."
THE HAUNTER OF THE DARK
FROM PAGE 100 -
In the rear of the vestry room beside the apse Blake found a rotting
desk and ceiling-high shelves of mildewed, disintegrating books.
Here for the first time he received a postiibe shock of objective horror,
for the titles of those books told him much. They were the BREAKPOINT
(???) lck, forbidden things which most sane people have never even heard
of, or have heard of only in furtive, timorous whispers; the banned and
dreaded repositories of equivocl secrets and immemorial formulae which
have trickled down the stream of time from the days of man's youth, and
the dim, fabulous days before man was. He had himself read many of
them--a latin version of the abhorred Necronomicon, the sinister Liber
Ivoris, the infamous Cultes des Goules of Comte d'Erlette, the Unaussprechlichen
Kulten of von Junzt, and old Ludvig Prinn's hellish De Vermis Mysteriis.
But there were other he had known merely by reputation or not at all--the
Pnakotic Manuscripts, the Book of Dzyan, and a crumbling volume in wholly
unidentifiable characters characters yet with certain symbols and diagrams
shudderingly recognisable to the occult student. Clearly, the lingering
lcoal rumours had not lied. This place had once been the seat of an evil
older than mankind and wider than the known universe.
FROM PAGE 174 -
immediately upon beholding this amulet we knew that we must possess
it; that this treasure alone was our logical pelf from the centuried grave.
even had its outines been unfamiliar we would have desire it, but as we
looked more closely we saw that it was not wholly unfamiliar. Alien
it indeed was to all art and literature which same and balanced readers
know, but we recognised it as the thing hinted of in the forbidden Necronomicon
of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred; the ghastly soul-symbol of the corpse eating
cult of inaccessible Leng, in Central Asia. All too well did we trace
the sinister lineaments described by the old Arab daemonologist; lineaments,
he wrote, drawn from sone obscure supernatural manifestation of the souls
of those who vexed and gnawed at the dead.
FROM PAGE 175 -
Less than a week after our return to England, stange things began to
happen. We lived as recluses' devoid of friends, alone, and without
servants in a few rooms of an ancient manor-house on a bleak and unfrequented
moor; so that our doors were seldom disturbed by the knock of the visitor.
Now, however, we were troubled by what seemed to be frequent fumblings
in the night, not only around the doors but around the windows also, upper
as welll as lower. Once we fancied that a large, opaque body darkened
the library window when the moon was shinging against it, and another time
we thought weheard a whirring or flapping sound not far off. On each
occasion investigation revealed nothing, and we begn to ascrbie the occurrences
to imagination alone--that same curiously disturbng imagination which still
prolonged in our ears the faint far baying we thought we had heard in the
Holland churchyard. The jade amulet no reposed in a niche in our
museum, and sometimes we burned strangely scented candles before it.
We read much in Alhazred's Necronomicon about its properties, and about
the relation of ghoul's souls to the objects it symbolised; and were disturbed
by what we read. Then terror came.
THE NAMELESS CITY
FROM PAGE 106 - Remote in the desert of Araby lies the nameless
city, crumbling and inarticualte, its low walls nearly hidden by the sands
of uncounted ages. It must have been thus before the tirst stones
of Memphis were laid, and while the bricks of Babylon were yet unbaked.
There is no legend so old as to give it a name, or to recall that it was
ever alive; but it is told of in whispers around campfires and muttered
about by grandams in the tents of sheiks so that all the tribes shun it
without wholly knowing why. It was of this place that Abdul Alhazred
the mad poet dreamed of the night before he sang his unexplained couplet:
That is not dead which can eteral lie,
I should have know that the Arabs had good reason for shunning the namless
city, the city told of in strange tales but seen by no living man, yet
I defied them and went into the untrodden waste with my camel. I
alone have seen it, and that is why no other face bears such hideous lines
of fear as mine; why no other man shivers so horribly when the night wind
rattles the windows. When I came upon it in the ghastly stillness
of unending sleep it looked at me, chilly from the rays of a cold moon
amidst the desert's heat. And as I returned its look I forgot my
triumph at fiding it, and stopped still with my camel to wait for the dawn.
And with strange aeons death may die.
FROM PAGE 118 - More and more madly poured the shrieking, moaning
night wind into the gulf of the inner earth. I dropped prone again
and clutched vainly at the floor for fear of being swept bodily through
the open gate into the phophorescent abyss. Such fury I had not expected,
and as I grew aware of an actual slipping of my form toward the abyss I
was beset by a thousand new terrors of apprehension and imagination.
The malignancy of the blast awakened incredible fancies; once more I compared
myself shudderingly to the only human image in tht frightful corridor,
the man who was torn to pieces by the nameless race, for in the fiendish
clawing of the swirling currents there seemed to abide a vindictive rage
all the stronger because it was largeley impotent. I think I screamed
frantically near the last--I was almost mad--of the howling wind-wraiths.
I tried to crawl against the murderous invisible torent, but I could not
even hold my own as I was pushed slowly and inexorably toward the unknown
world. Finally reason must have wholly snapped; for I fell babbling
over and over that unexplainable couplet of the mad Arab Alhazred, who
dreamed of the nameless city:
That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.
THE SHADOW OUT OF TIME
FROM PAGE 161 -
Other ugly reports concenring my intimacy with leaders of occultist
groupds, and scholars suspected of connection with nameless bands of abhorrent
elder-world hierophants. These rumors, though never proved at the
time, were doubtless
stimulated by the known tenor of some of my reading--for the consultation
of rare books at libraries cannot be effected secretly.
There is tangible
proof--in the form or marginal notes--that I went minutely through such
things as the Comte d'Erlette's Cultes des Goules, Ludwig Prinn's De Vermis
Mysteriis, the Unasussprechlichen Kulten of von Junzt, the surviving fragments
of the puzzling Book of Eibon, and the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad
Arab Abdul Alhazred. Then, too, it is undeiable that a fresh and
evil wave of underground cult activity set in about the time of my odd
FROM PAGE 176 - Of all things surviving physically and directly
from that aeon-distant world, there remained only certain ruins of great
stones in far places and under the sea, and parts of the text of the frightful
Thus the returning
mind reached its own age with only the faintest and most fragmentary vision
of what it had undergone since its seizure. All memories that could
be eradicated were eradicated, so that in most cases only a dream-shadowed
black stretched back to the time of the first exchange. Some minds
recalled more than others, and the chance joining of memories had at rare
times brought hints of forbidden past and future ages.
never was a time when groups or cults did not secretly cherish certin of
these hints. In the Necronomicon the presence of such a cult among
human beings was suggested--a cult that sometimes gave aid to minds voyaging
down the aeons from the days of the Great Race.
THE THING ON THE DOORSTEP
FROM PAGE 279 -
What he did do was to become an almost fanatical devotee of subrerranean
magical lore, for which Miskatonic's library ws and is famous. Always
a dweller on the surface of phantasy and strangeness, he now delved deep
into the actual runes and riddles left by a fabulous past for the guidance
or puzzlement of posterity. He read things like the frightful Book
of Eibon, and the Unaussprechlichen Kulten of von Junzt, and the forbidden
Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred, though he did not tell his
parents he had seen them. Edward was twenty when my son and only
child was born, and seemed pleased when I named the newcomer Edward Derby
Upton, after him.
FROM PAGE 289 -
"Dan, Dan, don't you remember him--the wild eyes and the unkempt beard
that never turned white? He glared at me one, and I never forgot
it. Now she glares that way. And I know why! He found
it in the Necronomicon--the formula. I
don't dare tell you the page yet, but when I do you can read and understand.
Then you will what had engulfed me. On, on, on, on--body to body
to body--he means neer to die. The life-glow--he knows how to break
the link. . . it can flicker on a while even when the body is dead.
I'll give you hints, and maybe you'll guess. Listen, Dan--do you
know why my wife always takes such pains with that silly backhand writing?
Have you ever seen a manuscript of old Ephraim's? Do you want to
know why I shivered when I saw some hasty notes Asenath had jotted down?
THROUGH THE GATES
OF THE SILVER KEY
FROM PAGE 181 -
By the time the rite was over, Carter knew that he was in no region
whose place could be told by Earth's geographers, and in no age whose date
history coudl fix; for the nature of what was happening was not wholly
unfamiliar to him. There were hints of it in the cryptical Pnakotic
fragments, and a whole chapter in the fordibben Necronomicon of the mad
Arab Abdul Alhazred, had taken on significance when he had deciphered the
designs graven on the silver key. A gate had been unlocked--not,
indeed, the Ultimate Gate, but one leading from Earth and time to that
extension of Earth which outside time, and from which in turn the Ultimate
Gate leads fearsomely and perilously to the Last Void which is outside
all earths, all universes, and all matter.
There would a Guide--and
a very terrible one; a Guide who had been an intity on Earth millions of
years before, when man was undreamed of, and when forgotten shapes moved
on a steaming planet building strange cities among those last, crumbling
ruins BREAKPOINT (ED. MISSING WORDS?) the first mammals were to play.
Carter remembered what the monstrous Necronmicon had vaguely and disconcertingy
adumbrated concerning that Guide:
"And while there are those," the mad Arab had written, "who
have dared to seek glimpses beyond the Veil, and to accept HIM as guide,
they would have been more prudent had they avoided commerce with HIM; for
it is written in the Book of Thoth how terrific is the price of a single
glimpse. Mor may those who pass ever return, for in the vastness
transcending our world are shapes of darkness that seize and bind.
The Affair that shambleth about in the night, the evil that defieth the
Elder Sign, the Herd that stand watch at the secret portal each tomb is
known to have and that thrive on that which groweth out of the tenants
thereof:--all these Blacknesses are lesser than HE WHO guardeth the Gateway:
HE WHO will guide the rash one beyond all the world into the Abyss of unnamable
devourers. For He is 'UMR AT-TAWIL, the Most Ancient One, which the
scribe rendereth as THE PROLONGED OF LIFE."
FROM PAGE 183 - A moment later Carter knew that this was so,
for the Shape had spoken to his mind without sound or language. And
though the name it uttered was a dreaded and terrible one, Randolph Carter
did not flinch in fear. Instead, he spoke back, equally without sound
or language, and made those obeisances which the hideous Necronomicon had
taught him to make. For this shape was nothing less than that which
all the world has feared since Lomar rose out of the sea, and the Children
of the Fire Mist came to Earth to each the Elder Lore to man. It
was indeed the frightful Guide and Guardian of the Gate--'UMR AT-TAWIL,
the ancient one, which the scribe rendereth the PROLONGED OF LIFE.
WHISPERER IN DARKNESS
by Zealia Bishop and H.P. Lovecraft
"Denis might have whispered more, but a fresh burst of distant
wailing cut us short. For the first time we knew what it was, for
a westerly veering wind brought articulate words at last. We ought
to have known long before, since sounds much like it had often come from
the same source. It was wrinkled Sophonisba, the ancient Zulu witch-woman
who had fawned on Marceline, keening from her cabin in a way which crowned
the horros of this nightmare tragedy. We could both hear some of
the things she howled, and knew that secret and primordial bonds linked
this savage sorceress with that other inheritor of elder secrets who had
just been extirpated. Some of the words she used betrayed her closeness
to daemonic and palaeogean traditions.
Shub-Niggurath! Ya-R'lyeh! N'gagi n'bulu bwana n'lolo!
Ya, yo, pore Missy Tanit, pore Missy Isis! Marse Clooloo, come up
outen de water an' git yo chile--she sone daid! She done daid!
De hair ain' got no missus no mo', Marse Clooloo. Ol' Sophy, she
know! Ol' Sophy, she done got de black stone outen Big Zimbabwe in
ol' Affriky! Ol' Sophy, she done dance in de moonshine roun' de crocodile-stone
befo' de N'bangus corch her and sell her to de ship folks! No mo'
Tanit! No mo' Isis! No mo' witch-woman to keep de fire a-goin'
in de big stone place! Ya, yo! N'gagi n'bulu bwana n'lolo!
Iä! Shub-Niggurath! She daid! Ol' Sophy know!"
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