The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 4 The Invisibility of Wilbur’s Brother


The Dunwich Horror by Doug Dougmann (

As previously mentioned, Wilbur’s twin appeared to have more of his father’s traits manifested phenotypically than Wilbur.  However, one of the most interesting of these traits was the fact that Wilbur’s twin was invisible.  How can a living entity be invisible?  This is the subject of discussion for this article.

Not until the very end of “The Dunwich Horror” is Wilbur’s twin actually visible by humans and this was accomplished by Dr. Armitage spraying it with some powder that he produced in the laboratory.  So how can something be invisible?  To answer this we need to talk a little bit about light.  When light hits an object, it can be reflected, refracted, diffracted or absorbed.

Reflection is changing the direction of the light wave once it hits a surface.


Reflection of light off of a surface (


Refraction is when the light wave changes direction as it passes from one medium to another.  For example light moving from air into water.

Refraction of light as it passes from air into water (


Diffraction is when the light waves change direction as they pass through an opening or around an object.


Diffraction of light or sound waves

Absorption is when the light wave (and its associated photons) is collected and its energy is converted into something else like heat.  In the case of plants, they contain chlorophyll, which is a photoreceptor molecule.  The energy from the light is absorbed by the chlorophyll and excites its electrons from ground level to an excited energy level, cascading into a series of biochemical reactions that eventually leads to the production of sugars and the release of oxygen.

Chlorophyll does not absorb all light equally.  For example, chlorophyll absorbs the blue light portion of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum strongest, followed by the red section of the spectrum.  In contrast, chlorophyll is not very good at absorbing in the green portion of the EM spectrum, which is why most plants look green.  Since the greens are not absorbed by the chlorophyll that section of the light spectrum is reflected back to our eyes and absorbed by a specialized set of photo-sensing cells (called cone cells) in our retina.  That is why plants are generally green and not red or blue.

Absorption of various colors of light (  Note when all colors are absorbed darkness is the result.

So is Wilbur’s twin absorbing all light that hit it?  Very unlikely since the absorption of all light would not result in invisibility but instead the absence of light, which is darkness.  This is why a black hole is black – it is absorbing all light.  Thus, if the twin was absorbing all light, it would look like a large, black silhouette of a shape.  Some other mechanism must be in play.

Essentially, there two ways to produce invisibility.  The first is to bend light (or any electromagnetic radiation) around the object, giving it the appearance that it’s not present.  Researchers are working on creating objects that are invisible with the use of metamaterials, which are materials that are designed and created to have properties typically not found naturally.  Many metamaterials are composed of plastics or metals and are arranged in a specific order on a microscopic basis, allowing them to influence waves of the EM spectrum or of sound.


A series of 3D drawings of various metamaterials, composed of block copolymers (

Researchers have recently announced that they have made small objects invisible to near-infrared radiation.  Others claim to have created a cloak invisible to radiation in the section of the EM spectrum between infrared and radio wavelengths.  Since light just another part of the EM spectrum, it may be feasible to create a metamaterials that is invisible to light.  While it is possible that Wilbur’s twin was composed of a skin or exoskeleton that behaves similar to these metamaterials, such material may not be conducive to allow the twin to move in a fluid or organic way.  Thus, I hypothesize that Wilbur’s twin is invisible through another means – that is through transparency.

We are movie familiar with transparent materials than we are of metamaterials in our everyday lives.  Transparency is the physical property of allowing light to pass through a material without it being scattered.  Glass and distilled water are examples of materials that are transparent.  Since glass is transparent it allows photons of light pass through and they are not absorbed by its atoms.  Essentially, the refraction of light in glass is very uniform, which allows the light wavelength to pass right through, making it transparent.

Water (for this sake of this discussion think of pure, distilled water) is very effective at strongly absorbing the majority of the EM spectrum.  However, the exception to this is the narrow band of the visible spectrum, which results in light essentially moving through water, making it transparent.  More than likely the extra-dimensional atomic structure of Wilbur’s twin has a similar physical property, allowing light to pass through it.  An interesting experiment would have been to expose Wilbur’s twin to various types of radiation (radio, microwave, infrared, UV, X-rays, etc.) to determine what types of energy are absorbed by it and what types are transparent.

The EM spectrum in water.  Note how almost all of the wavelengths are absorbed except for the portion representing visible light, which passed through.  Thus, pure water is transparent.

Unlike Wilbur who was composed primarily of matter from our space-time, the twin was probably composed mostly of matter from outside of our space-time.  Such matter has been cited elsewhere.  In “The Whisperer in Darkness” it was stated that the Mi-Go were composed of matter with electrons having a different vibration-rate.  Was Wilbur’s twin composed of extra-dimensional matter that behaved, at least partially, as water when exposed to the natural range of the EM spectrum found on Earth?

Finally, to conclude this conversation, the twin was made visible when Dr. Armitage and Dr. Rice exposed it to a powder.  The material had a very specific chemical composition – Dr. Armitage knew how to make the material through his investigations into the Necronomicon and Wilbur’s diary. It is unlikely that any material (talcum powder, coal ash) would have had the same effect.  The powder that Dr. Armitage made was very specific in making Wilbur’s twin visible.  Unfortunately, we know nothing of the chemical composition or nature of this compound.  However, some research into Dr. Armitage’s notes at Miskatonic University may shed light on this subject (pardon the pun).

Next time we will discuss the actual appearance and biological nature of Wilbur’s twin once it was made visible.  Thank you – Fred.

The Dunwich Horror (


11 thoughts on “The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 4 The Invisibility of Wilbur’s Brother

  1. Excellent article! That graph of light absorption by water is fascinating for the simple reason that it’s so suspiciously convenient. I’m surprised the Intelligent Design crowd haven’t pounced on it (of course I don’t read their stuff, so maybe they have and I’ve just missed it.)

    I’m glad you brought up the Mi-Go in this connection. Have you any theories as to how they could be perfectly visible to human sight and yet not show up at all on a conventional photograph? It’s stated that they could be photographed on a plate treated with the proper emulsion.

    1. The easy answer I always went with for Their being visible to the human eye is that it’s actually Their telepathy. They either voluntarily or involuntarily project an image of Themselves into our heads. That bit about the emulsion kinda throws that explanation under the bus, though.

      1. While I have seen references to telepathy by the Mi-Go in “The Whisperer in Darkness” I have found no data to indicate that Wilbur or his brother were telekinetic. If they were to use telepathy, then why would Wilbur need to cover the lower part of his body? Why not project the image of a “perfect” human to avoid interference? However, it is an interesting idea. It reminds me of a tale by Algernon Blackwood “The Centaur” – I read it years ago but from what I can recall it was about a centaur who used telepathy to look like a human so he could travel the world. Thank you for the comments!

    2. Thanks for the input! I think Lovecraft gave us a bit of information that help to develop a hypothesis on the matter. Specifically, the vibrational rate of the electrons are different of the matter of the Mi-Go relative to the matter of our space-time. Recently scientists have speculated about other universes where the natural laws are slightly off relative to ours with variations such as the absence of the weak nuclear force or the vibrational frequency of electrons being slightly different. I must admit I need to look into this in more detail; however, this explaination maybe one associated with quantum mechanics. We look at the Mi-Go and our eyes taken in an image of what the photos hitting them is delivering. Thus, it is a composition of billions of photons. In contrast, a photo is a “quick slice” of the Mi-Go matter and the camera may not obtain enough photos to generate a picture (sort of like taking a picture in the dark without a flash). An alternative hypothesis may be associated with the EM spectrum – like trying to use an infra-red camera like a normal camera. Again, i need to do a little more rearch on this matter.

      Thank you for the comment!


  2. Hi Fred, I’m a big fan of the blog, look forward to every update!
    I’ve always imagined the Horror as a more incorporeal, perhaps pan-dimensional entity, that is “phase shifted” out of our reality rather than a creature of transparent matter. Similar to how the creatures in “From Beyond” exist all around us but are thankfully unseen.
    Is there any science to the notion of overlapping realities due to “electron vibration rates” or the such?

    All the best, will be joining you on Facebook.

    1. Thank you for the comments! yes, I agree that Wilbur and his brother are hybrids of this and another dimension or universe. The part of them that is from the “outside” is only a partial image of their true appearance – at least that is my hypothesis. Again,thank you for the comments!

    1. Absolutely! That is the whole point of the site. I am over-analyzing and hypothesizing on many of the themes and concepts presented by H.P. Lovecraft in this tales. While we was a literary man he was also a scientist at heart and I do enjoy interpreting his stories from the point of view of current scientific understanding. Thank you for the comment. Fred.

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