The Dunwich Horror by SammaeL89
Before we wrap up the discussion on “The Dunwich Horror,” I did want to note that there was another description of Wilbur’s brother prior to the conclusion of the tale. Immediately after the professors from Miskatonic University hit Wilbur’s brother with the strange powder, Curtis Whateley did get a glimpse and describes the entity shaped like a large egg, the size of a barn, with dozens of legs. He also said it appeared to be made of jelly with serpent like, wriggling ropes on top, covered with eyes. Curtis also mentioned the large face on top, which later he would describe as looking like old Wizard Whateley. The sight of Wilbur’s brother caused Curtis to faint.
When Dr. Armitage read Wilbur Whateley’s diary he was struck by a particular passage that he found startling and disquieting. I will spend the majority of this article focusing on this passage since it provides valuable information on what Wilbur and his grandfather were trying to achieve.
The first thing I want to note is that Wilbur clearly understood how different he and his brother were and that this difference was critical in accomplishing their goal. Wilbur states that his brother “…is not like to have much earth brain.” Thus, Wilbur’s brother looked more like one of their fathers, Yog-Sothoth. However, some of their other father’s genes, old Wizard Whateley, are manifested in Wilbur’s brother as his large head, yards across. Yet the point made here is that Wilbur recognizes that his brother is more alien than he and is the keyhole to opening the way for Yog-Sothoth.
Yog-Sothoth and the Dunwich Horror by Graf Gunther
Wilbur refers to the two magnetic poles and seeing them through the use of the Dho formula. He then mentions that he would like to visit the poles once “the earth is cleared off.” The two magnetic poles obviously refer to the North and South Poles, which are the geographic areas on the Earth. The North and South Poles are where the Earth’s imaginary axis passes through; the Earth spins on this imaginary axis at a tilt of 23.5 degrees relative to the plan of the ecliptic. The North Magnetic Pole and South Magnetic Pole are somewhat near, but not exactly on top of, the geographic Poles. The molten metal in the Earth’s outer core is what generates our planet’s magnetic field (www.windows2universe.org). The Earth’s magnetic field extends thousands of miles beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and protects it from the charged particles of the solar wind as well as cosmic radiation. Without the protection of the Earth’s magnetic field it would be very difficult for life (at least life as we know it) to exist. Was this the plan of the Whateleys and Yog-Sothoth? To somehow eliminate the Earth’s magnetic field and allow cosmic rays and UV-radiation to slowly kill all or most life on Earth? Wilbur does mention that it will take years to clear the Earth.
Earth’s geomagnetic field (www.nasa.gov)
It is interesting to note that Wilbur was told it would take years to clear off the Earth by “they from the air.” Additionally, they from the outside “…cannot take body without human blood.” What are these entities of the air, from outside? Are these the Old Ones, waiting for the gate to be opened by Yog-Sothoth in order to enter our reality? As I have cited a number of times, the Old Ones may have the ability to enter our reality but in order to do so they need assistance from entities within our space-time. Maybe we serve as beacons or guide points in the inter-dimensional flotsam and jetsam. Additionally it also appears that Yog-Sothoth must open the way for the Old Ones to enter.
Another interesting point is that they of the outside need human blood. This again may provide support for my hypothesis on the weakness of the Old Ones. While they are immensely powerfully beings they come from outside and thus come from a universe, dimension or reality very different from ours. They may have a difficult time adapting to the natural laws of our space-time. The utilization of human blood, indeed the hybridized creation of Wilbur and his brother, may be strategies used by the Old Ones to establish more stable forms of matter in our space-time. Thus, the need for human blood may not necessarily be for sustenance but for utilization and incorporation of human DNA into their molecular make-up. It is not known if the biology of the Old Ones is based on a DNA / RNA replication system or if their genetic structure is too alien for us to understand.
Wilbur Whateley in the library of Miskatonic University by Santiago Caruso
Wilbur also mentions in the passage that he must “…learn all the angles of the planes and all the formulas between the Yr and the Nhhngr.” This may be in reference to obtaining the ability to travel through hyperspace similar to Keziah Mason and Walter Gilman in “The Dreams in the Witch-House.” I can find no other reference to the formulas between the Yr and the Nhhngr, except for one by Lin Carter from his translation of the Second Narrative from the Necronomicon in a passage named “The Thing Under Memphis (1984). According to the Carter translation the formulas are used to travel back and forth between Kadath and Earth but there is no indication of this in Wilbur’s diary. More than likely it is a set of formulas, similar to those studied by Walter Gilman in the non-Euclidean calculus and quantum mechanics and serves as a means of traveling through space-time and beyond through hyperspace.
Wilbur also mentions making the Voorish sign and blowing the powder of Ibn Ghazi onto his brother to make him more visible. The Voorish sign may be a gesture or hand motion frequently used by ancient civilizations to reflect power, while the powder of Iben Ghazi was probably the same material Dr. Armitage used to reveal the appearance of Wilbur’s brother at the end of the tale. Iben Ghazi may have been an Arabic sorcerer (S.T. Joshi, 2001). Obviously, the chemical make-up of the powder has a very specific reaction with entities from outside, making them visible within the slice of the EM spectrum we use for vision.
The Dunwich Horror by Onychuk
Finally, the passage concludes with Wilbur wondering what he will look like when the Earth beings are cleared from the planet. Remember, similar to Wilbur’s brother, Wilbur is a hybrid of life from our space-time and from “outside.” Thus, the extra-dimensional part of Wilbur may be only a shadow of what he really looks like, similar to how a tesseract is a representation or analog of a 4th dimensional cube. Many of the Old Ones, such as Cthulhu, are extensions of themselves in our own space-time and what we see is only a crude presentation of what they really look like in their own reality, something we cannot even begin to perceive with our limited five senses. Thus, based on this statement of Wilbur’s if the Old Ones are successful and Yog-Sothoth opens the gate, the very fabric of our space-time may be altered to make it more conducive for their existence. In turn, Wilbur’s true appearance would be revealed.
A representation of a 4th dimensional shape in three dimensions called a tesseract
More evidence of this ultimate goal of the Old Ones is found in one of Dr. Armitage’s concluding statements at the end of the tale where he says, “…the beings they [the Whateleys] were going to let in tangibly to wipe out the human race and drag the earth off to some nameless place for some nameless purpose.” While the ultimate purpose of why the Old Ones want Earth is not known, more than likely dragging the Earth of to some nameless place is more of a reference of opening some type of portal or wormhole and allow either the Earth to enter their reality or have their reality spill into ours. This would allow to Old Ones to become more stable on a quantum and sub-atomic level. Thus, it is not necessarily physically moving of Earth to another place in space, but rather creating an opening to allow the two dimensions or realities to merge. The key to this is Yog-Sothoth, described as “the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet.” Yog-Sothoth is the key and the spheres represent the two realities. However, a key needs a keyhole and that was Wilbur and his brother. Fortunately for us Dr. Armitage destroyed the keyhole. However, another keyhole could certainly pop up somewhere else in our space-time and maybe next time an Armitage won’t be around to destroy it!
Next time we will re-focus on the Lovecraftian Solar System. Last year we discussed the planets and this year we will discuss other components of the solar system such as planetoids, asteroids, comets, our moon and the sun. Thank you – Fred.
Dr. Henry Armitage and a posse from Miskatonic University in the Roger Corman film “The Dunwich Horror”