H.P. Lovecraft is considered to have crafted a horror genre of his own. With cosmic monstrosities like Yog-Sothoth and Azathoth, Lovecraft created a mythos typically known as the Cthulu mythos; a term that encompasses the short stories he wrote about his eldritch creations. His stories also reveal an inherent fear and distrust of anyone who was different from him.
While this list most definitely has some stories from the Cthulu mythos, there are also tales outside of that category that Lovecraft wrote which should be given some consideration.
Here are five Lovecraftian short stories to read during this Halloween season.
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The Thing on The Doorstep begins with our narrator explaining to us why he had to kill his best friend, and from then on he recounts how his friend, Edward Derby, fell in love with a strange woman named Asenath. However, Asenath’s father has an interest in the darker dealings of magic, and it is only a matter of time before the cast of this tale are all wrapped up in the unfortunate events that unfold. If you want a chilling read, take a look at this short story!
2. The shadow over innsmouth
This story follows a young investigator as he travels to Innsmouth, a run down town that is rapidly falling into decay. He busies himself with gathering information from the locals, whom he describes as looking very, very strange. He soon learns about the Deep Ones, beings who the residents think live in the waters off of the town. It’s only a matter of time before he learns how the townsfolk and the Deep Ones are connected, and he finds that his own involvement in this tale goes beyond just investigating it.
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The Colour Out of Space centers around the Gardner family. When a meteorite lands in their well, the events of this story are set into motion. Strange colors begin to appear, and the Gardners and the vegetation on their property begins to alter drastically. Zenas Gardner disappears and Thaddeus Gardner is locked away in the attic due to the effects that the tainted land had on him. To find out the full breadth of what takes place, give this story a read!
The Dreams in the Witch House follows Walter Gilman, a student who rents an attic bedroom in a cursed house. Gilman starts to have horrific dreams, and among those dreams are ones in which he encounters the elder ones–Azathoth being among those elder beings. Along with that, he also dreams of the witch and her familiar, who appear to have insidious plans for the children of Arkham. It should be noted that this is one of Lovecraft’s more racially insensitive stories, so please be aware of that if you read this story.
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The Other Gods is most definitely an existential horror story. This tale follows Barzai the Wise as he learns about the deities of the earth… only to then find out that the deities of the earth aren’t the most powerful beings in existence.
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