“The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft
I’m still not a fan of the cosmicism of Cthulhu mythos, but I’m slowly gaining some appreciation for Lovecraft. Partly, this might be because I’ve been reading some of Lovecraft’s influences. His tales make more sense to me in the context of Ambrose Bierce and Arthur Machen—I just read The Great God Pan not too long ago!
The tale is slowly told, but less dry than some of Lovecraft’s stories. It’s told from an aspect of history. Within the story the events are the Dunwich Horror of 1928, as though a few years past…and seemingly leaving room for the Dunwich Horror of 1929…1930… And indeed the horror lives on. The horror genre is filled with mystical books, tentacled beasts, and backwater towns filled with inbred families. But the Horror also brought to mind a scene from one of my favorite science fiction movies:
Even the odd sound track evokes Lovecraft’s whippoorwills.
“The Ghost to His Ladye Love” by W.S. Gilbert
Card picked: Three of Spades
From: Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown, edited by Marvin Kaye
Not a story this week, but a poem. W.S. is the Gilbert of Gilbert & Sullivan fame. Published in 1869, this poem is full of Halloween trappings:
Fair Phantom, come! The moon’s awake.
The owl hoots gaily from its brake.
The blithesome bat’s a-wing.
Come, soar to yonder silent clouds;
The ether teems with peoples shrouds:
We’ll fly the lightsome spectre crowds,
Thou cloudy, clammy thing!
It’s a fun, rather sweet poem; the type of thing I would expect Gomez Addams to send to Morticia as a Valentine.*
As with many poems written by Gilbert, “The Ghost to His Ladye Love” found a second life in one of Gilbert & Sullivan’s musicals:
* Fun fact: My first date with Eric was on Halloween. We’ll be celebrating our 19th anniversary this year!