As previously discussed, it appears that the protagonist in H.P. Lovecraft’s tale “The Festival” may have somehow entered a parallel or alternative universe where Kingsport was populated with strange beings that enter our space-time through some underground caverns and would attempt to mimic or pose as humans through the use of gloves and wax masks. Thus, these entities may frequently pose as humans in their universe and in ours as well.
The Festival by Martnez (also known by Baghoul on http://www.deviantart.com)
The protagonist in “The Festival” was called to Kingsport to visit during the Yuletide by relatives. Specifically, he states his “…fathers had called me to the old town beyond.” The phrase “old town beyond” may be another reference to this town of Kingsport being in a parallel universe. Additionally, while the protagonist is supposed to be related to some of these Kingsport residents there is very little evidence to support this. In sharp contrast to the protagonist in “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” where there was some morphological evidence to support the idea that he was related to the hybrid Deep Ones, in “The Festival” there is no morphological or genetic connection revealed between that protagonist and the Kingsport residents.
One of the Kingsport residents tries to convince the protagonist that they are related and to join them as they mount the strange flying steeds and enter the deep underground caverns (into the other parallel universe?). As proof, the Kingsport resident give the protagonist a seal ring and watch with the family arms; the protagonist knows that the ring and watch were buried with his great-great-great-grandfather. However, if anything this provides evidence that the Kingsport residents were opening the tombs and crypts of the death in our universe.
Kingsport Celebrant by King Ovrats (www.deivantart.com)
So why were the Kingsport residents trying to convince the protagonist to join then in the underground caverns? These strange residents may be similar to Lovecraft’s ghouls in that they may be detritivores or scavengers, feeding off the bodies of people who have been buried in the Kingsport in our universe. However, the strange Kingsport residents may be running low on cadavers and so they needed to attract others to the town. Additionally, feeding off Kingsport ancestors of people now living may have provided the strange residents with the means of finding and reaching out to these people throughout the world. Perhaps some fragments of DNA left in the decomposing corpses provided the genetic information the strange Kingsport residents needed to track the descendants of the dead they would feed on; it should also be pointed out that the residents may not be feeding on the dead at all. However, this hypothesis is being proposed based on their general appearance of the strange residents.
In Lovecraft’s investigations the strange residents of Kingsport are rare; they are only documented in the tale “The Festival” and are not identified in another other story. However, according to Lovecraft’s investigations, the Kingsport residents would disguise themselves as humans, wearing gloves to cover their flabby hands and waxen masks with fake eyes to cover their faces. Overall, the bodies were abnormally pulpy according to the protagonist and when one of their masks was accidentally dislodged, it was quite a hideous experience for him.
Worm Person from The Festival by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)
An idea of what the strange residents from Kingsport look like can be obtained from the concluding paragraph of the story, which is a passage in the Necronomicon written by the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred:
“The nethermost caverns are not for the fathoming of eyes that see; for their marvels are strange and terrific. Cursed the ground where dead thoughts live new and oddly bodied, and evil the mind that is held by no head. Wisely did Ibn Schacabao say, that happy is the tomb where no wizard hath lain, and happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes. For it is of old rumor that the soul of the devil-bought hastes not from his charnel clay, but fats and instructs the very worm that gnaws; till out of corruption horrid life springs, and the dull scavengers of earth wax crafty to vex it and swell monstrous to plague it. Great holes secretly are digged where earth’s pores ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl.”
Most people take this passage to mean that the strange residents of Kingsport are highly evolved, complex forms of Annelida (ringed or segmented works that include earthworms and leeches). They are even described as scavengers so the idea of them feasting on the dead seems to be a plausible hypothesis. The text also alludes to the creation of these beings through some type of wizardry with the use of fats. However, based on the information we have reviewed in this, and in particular the previous, article, it is more than likely that a gateway, portal or bridge was somehow created to allow these beings to enter our universe from a parallel one, possibly the Dreamlands. Thus, the portal or nexus between our universe and theirs may be deep underneath the town of Kingsport and one of the early settlers of the town may have aided these beings to enter our universe.
Are the residents of Kingsport a highly evolved form of segmented worm? (from http://www.eattheweeds.com)
Next time we will talk about the strange, winged steeds the residents of Kingsport use to travel between our two universes. Thank you – Fred.