The Mathematics of the Witch House, Part 4 – How to Travel Through Hyperspace

Magic is any sufficiently advanced technology – Arthur C. Clarke

Lithograph of a fictionalized version of the Salem Witch Trails from 1892 (from

Now a days, the idea that advance science and technology would look like magic to us, or that our technology would look like magic to ancient civilizations is a common theme in science fiction stories.  However, in 1932 when Lovecraft wrote The Dreams in the Witch House, such ideas were more innovative and his established connection between New England witchcraft and quantum mechanics was unique.  Essentially, in the story, a witch can draw symbols and shapes to slip out of time and space and a graduate student in the 20th century is figuring out how to accomplish the same goal through mathematics.  But how is this done?  What is the mechanism behind it?

From what is currently known about hyperspace travel (and its not a lot) a rip or tear in space-time is created, opening the universe to hyperspace.  This opening, tube or tunnel is called a “wormhole” which allows one to travel through space and time.  An illustration of this is shown below.

Theoretical diagram of traveling through hyperspace with a wormhole (from

Using hyperspace theory it is actually possible to calculate the amount of energy needed to twist, tear or alter space-time to create wormholes.  Unfortunately, the estimated amount of energy needed to create a wormhole is astronomical.  It is estimated that the energy needed to create a wormhole is a quadrillion times larger than the energy of our largest particle accelerators (Kaku, 1994).  Needless to say we won’t be creating wormholes any time soon.

So how could a witch or a graduate student generate that much energy through mathematics and geometry to create a tear in time and space and slip through?  I hypothesize that they don’t.  Instead, I hypothesize that when Keziah Mason or Walter Gilman draw their symbols or run their calculations this results in shooting a “flare” or message into the void beyond our reality saying “Here I am.”

More than likely it was either Brown Jenkin or  “the Black Man” (Nyarlathotep) who folds or tears space-time to allow travel through hyperspace.  Remember, it was Brown Jenkin who whispered into Gilman’s ear about Azathoth and Nyarlathotep and not the witch.  In addition to knowing how to signal Brown Jenkin or the Black Man, with symbols or math, the Witch House or possibly the Town of Arkham itself may be a “power point” or “weak spot” in our space-time that allows for residents in our reality to signal others.  But why?  Why would an extra-dimensional entity want to help creatures in our space-time to travel through hyperspace?  Why would they want to give such power to others?  We may never know the answer to this but I would guess they are not doing it for altruistic reasons; Brown Jenkin or the Black Man must get something out of the arrangement.  Maybe it’s a two way street; maybe they need such curious creatures to stick a light out into the audient void to enter our reality.

Nyarlathotep – the Black Man (by Jens Heimdahl)

Next time we will talk about Brown Jenkin and what exactly he is – Thank you.  Fred.


7 thoughts on “The Mathematics of the Witch House, Part 4 – How to Travel Through Hyperspace

    1. Hey Brian – not at all. Please feel free to put on Twitter and please cite the source. I am glad you like the article. Thanks again! Fred

      1. I’m making a film based on this story. On the film’s official site (, I would like to put a link to this entire site, with a special set of links to these articles. If you’re okay with that, I’ll do it immediately.

      2. Sounds great! I have no problem with that. Thanks Brian – I look forward to your movie as well!

  1. Here is a good old-fashioned rationalization that might work.

    If Kezia’s magic is to be understood as representative of higher maths, maybe in Lovecraft’s universe certain equations can directly warp space. This would allow witches, and Dune’s Space Navigators to travel without moving, which demonstrably happens in this story. Maybe as you say humans are not able to do this directly, but at least understand the theory sufficiently to contact entities that can do so. Beings “not in our spaces, but between them” as I believe Al-Hazred wrote.

    Young Gilman’s abilities with calculus were sufficiently prodigious that he could see the dim outlines of an new science of warping Euclidean space into non-Euclidian dimensions according to the theorems he was just beginning to develop in his Calculus work. Was it really a coincidence that he wound up at the Mason house? Maybe his timeline was manipulated by forces beyond human ken to draw him in.

    Or maybe some other brilliant Miskatonic Savant, after reading certain passages in the Necronomicon, conceived the notion, and Gilman, hearing of it, jumped at the chance to be there at the development of a new field of science. Unnamed, this science might came to be called “Non-euclidean Calculus,” by insiders, after the mathematical tool they were using, and the goal after which they were striving.

    Come to think of it, such formulae might be used to describe multidimensional solids, such as the hypercube. Maybe such solids, if somehow constructed, would serve to warp an area of space, just by filling that space. Such constructs could manifest the infamous “TARDIS Effect” of seeming bigger on the inside than on the outside, because the space inside a hollow Non-euclidain solid would be warped relative to the space outside it.

    A creature like a human looking on such a structure with senses that only work well in three dimensions would probably see the solid as a three dimensional object, the shape of which shifted as the angle with which one looks at it changes. Time as such a dimension, so that the shape, or a city of such shapes would seem to be in constant flux. Non-Euclidean Architecture!

    1. I think you just blew my mind.





      So do you mind if I use some of your theories in a “Dreams in the Witch House” movie I’m working on?


    2. Thanks for the comments Chuck – very interesting ideas! One thing that comes to mind, particularly when reading some of the works of Michio Kaku, is that while entities in our universe may be able to orient / position ourselves to opening space-time to the “outside” (via worm holes or other mechanisms), we do not have the accessibility or technology to the amount of energy needed to actually open such “doors.” Thus, I think some outside forces or entities need to come into play -such as in The Dreams in the Witch House. Also, Cthulhu and the Mi-Go represent entities from the “outside” that have access to such technologies.


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