Tag Archives: Necronomicon

The Strange Residents of Kingsport

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.

Abdul Alhazred, on the Forefront of Medieval Science in the Middle East


Abdul Alhazred by Mark Foster (www.hplovecraftart.blogspot.com)

Abdul Alhazred is well known to be the author of the Necronomicon and is sometimes described as the “mad Arab” as he is first mentioned in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Nameless City.” The Necronomicon (also known as Al Azif) was also first cited in this tale but not specifically by name (The New Annotated Lovecraft by Leslie Kessler, 2014). By name, the Necronomicon was first identified in Lovecraft’s tale “The Hound” (The Call of Cthulhu and Other Weird Stories by H.P. Lovecraft, edited and notes by S.T. Joshi, 1999).

A lot has been written about Abdul Alhazred and yet he still remains a mystery. He has been portrayed as the “mad poet” or “mad Arab,” as a monster opening the way to dimensions or entities bent on our destruction, and as a tortured soul who uncovered the existence of the Great Old Ones. Like any person, historical or otherwise, Alhazred was more than likely a mix of these perspectives, which varied and alternated in dominance over his life. However, the one perspective you hear very little of in discussions of Alhazred was the man as a scientist.


Abdul Alhazred on the cover of Necronomicon Press’s History of the Necronomicon from 1980. Artwork by Jason Eckhardt

The exact year Alhazred was born is not known. Some say he was born as early as 655 CE (The Encyclopedia Cthulhiana, 2nd Edition by Daniel Harms, 1998), while other sources have the year as 675 CE (Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft and the Mad Scholars by Keith Taylor found on www.rehtwogunraconteur.com). In contrast, his death or disappearance is well documented to have occurred under very unusual circumstances in 738 CE. While Alhazred was thought of as a wizard or sorcerer, his place is Middle East history, in particular with the development of the sciences, is quite interesting.

In the 8th century AD after much strife and war, Arab Muslims established an empire, founded on the Islamic religion that stretched across the Middle East, from North Africa and into Spain. The capital of this empire was Baghdad (The Great Scientists: From Euclid to Stephen Hawking by John Farndon, 2007). This empire was run by a form of Islamic government called the caliphate where the leader (the Caliph) was considered to be the political and religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


Abdul Alhazred (www.rehtwogunraconteur.com)

Approximately 50 years after the death or disappearance of Alhazred the intellectual flowering of the Islamic world occurred. Thus, while most of Europe wallowed in the Dark Ages, intellectual scholarship and knowledge was highly valued in the Islamic World. This included all forms of intellectual thought – to the Arab scholars there was no distinction among varying branches of study, whether it was mathematics or poetry (Farndon, 2007).

While this intellectual scholarship of the early Arab scientists was unparalleled, a large component of their studies had very real world and practical applications. For example, they developed the astrolabe, which was essentially one of the first computers, used to measure the position of the stars and solving problems related to time and space (position of the Sun and the stars). In addition, during this Golden Age of Islamic science, Muslim scholars made major contributions in mathematics, medicine and chemistry. One of the most well-known of these Muslim scholars was Al-Khwarizmi.


An ancient astrolabe (www.hps.cam.ac.uk)

Al-Khwarizmi made several major contributions to science and mathematics, with one of the most well-known being the replacement of Roman numbers with Arabic numbers. Al-Khwarizmi developed a comprehensive system for the representation of numbers, based on a Hindu numbering system from around 500 AD. Replacing the cumbersome Roman numeral system with this Arabic system allowed mathematics to thrive as an intellectual discipline as well as expand its usefulness in solving applied and real-life problems. For example, it is much easier to write this number – 1,421, 369 – in the Arabic system as opposed to the Roman system where the number is represented as MCDXXMCCCLXIX. In addition to this replacement of the numbering system, Al-Khwarizmi created an entirely new type of mathematics called algebra.

Al-Khwarizmi created algebra not for abstract reasons but to provide people with a useful means of conducting relatively easy calculations for projects as varied as digging canals, delineating land ownership, and other various business and legal dealings. Again, like much of the science developed and perfected by the Arab Scientists, much of this focused on practical applications.


Statue of Al-Khwarizmi (www.famous-mathematicians.com)

Al-Khwarizmi had other interests beyond mathematics such as geography and astronomy. He contributed toward developing a map of the world including measuring the circumference of the Earth; Arab scholars did not believe the world was flat. Thus, Al-Khwarizmi’s contribution to modern society is significant, yet largely unknown. His promotion of the Arabic numeral system and invention of algebra alone have had a huge impact on the development of humans as a species, particularly over the last four hundred years.

Al Alhazred may have been one of the pioneering forces in the Middle East in the promotion of the value of knowledge and information and how a civilization can benefit from such endeavors. In Alhazred’s time he was considered a sorcerer but if his investigations occurred half a century later his work may have been revered as much as Al-Khwarizmi’s. Those on the forefront of science and engineering have always had an air of “magic” to them. For example, Thomas Edison was called the “Wizard of Light” and Sound or the “Wizard of Menio Park.” Thus, while the Arabic scientists were key in bridging the gap in science and knowledge between the Roman Empire and the Renaissance, Al Alhazred may have had a hand in initiating this process. Finally, I do want to mention, as many have, that the “madness” of Al Alhazred may have been a result of studying the Old Ones, similar to Marie Currie’s studies on the radium eventually resulted in her death through exposure to radiation. Sometimes there is a great cost in acquiring knowledge.

Next time we will discuss Lovecraft’s Holiday tale “The Festival” from a scientific perspective. Thank you – Fred.


The Madness of Abdul Alhazred by Graf Gunther (www.deviantart.com)

More on the Nature of Cthulhu and its Spawn


Cthulhu by Calavera (www.deviantart.com)

This short article will briefly discuss the expanded relationship between Cthulhu and Ghatanothoa and a little more on the origins of Cthulhu and its Spawn. Similar to Cthulhu, Ghatanothoa is trapped in a sunken island at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. While the legend of Ghatanothoa in von Junzt’s Black Book and the associated events in the Cabot Museum of Archaeology in Boston as outlined in “Out of the Aeons” are very similar to those documented in “The Call of Cthulhu,” there is no direct mention or identified connection between Ghatanothoa and Cthulhu in either tale. However, later text identified by Lin Carter has cited in a number of instances that Ghatanothoa is one of the three “sons” of Cthulhu, the other two being Ythogtha and Zoth-Ommgg.


Ythogtha (by Grumble Putty)


Zoth Ommgg (by Zach Geller)

In Lovecraft’s original “family tree of the Old Ones” the only cited offspring of Cthulhu is Shaurash-ho and based on the lineage, this offspring was created through asexual reproduction. However, according to Carter’s research into the Ponape Scriptures there was a sexual union, genetic or otherwise, between Cthulhu and an entity named Idh-Yaa. This sexual union occurred on, in or around Xoth, a green star located in the constellation of Taurus. In fact Cthulhu and its Spawn are said to have originated from Xoth. Again, this information is provided in the Ponape Scriptures as cited by Carter and not in the Black Book, which was cited by Lovecraft.


 Idh-Yaa (from http://www.lovecraft.wiki.com)

It is particularly interesting that the binary star system of Xoth is described as a green star since humans have never documented a truly green star. Any star that appears to be green is a result of an optical illusion.  For example, the multiple star system of the Antares has a particularly bright red star that makes some of other stars look green. While a truly green star is not impossible it is highly improbable in our universe. Thus, this provides evidence that Cthulhu and related entities are not residents of our space-time.  While Xoth may be in the Taurus constellation, this section of space-time may be an access point to another multiverse.

Another interesting point is that as mentioned in a previous article Cthulhu and its Spawn are composed of matter different than  what is found in our space-time and I hypothesize their matter may be somewhat plasma based (composed of ionized gas). While rare on Earth, plasma is the most common form of matter in our space-time with most of it found within stars. Thus, it may be that Cthulhu and its related spawn enter our space-time through the stars themselves and to remain in some stable, yet plastic, form draw energy from stars. However, as I previously mentioned, if Cthulhu and its Spawn are plasma-based and can exist in stars then they must be millions of degrees in temperature.  For example, the core of our sun can reach more than 27 million degrees Fahrenheit, which is 15 million degree Celsius, (www.space.com). Thus, how can Cthulhu and its Spawn exist on or in Earth, or at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, without burning it up? More on that in a future article.


Rays of Xoth by Astra888leddher (www.deviantart.com)

In addition to providing more information on the plasma-based nature of Cthulhu, next time I will also present evidence that many of the entities cited as being associated or related to Cthulhu, such Idh-Yaa and their associated offspring, are in fact members of the Spawn of Cthulhu.  However, this next article may not be posted until sometime toward the end of the month.

Next week I will be attending the NecronomiCon in Providence Rhode Island. I will be giving a talk on the “Lovecraftian Cosmos.” In addition I will be on a panel discussing Lovecraft and Science. If you are attending, I would love to meet you. If you cannot attend I place on posting short articles and photos while at the convention on both this WordPress page and the Facebook page “Lovecraftian Science.” Thank you – Fred.



Lovecraft’s Crater on Mercury

Before we move into the tour of the Lovecraftian solar system, I did want to briefly talk about a presentation that was given at last year’s NecronomiCon in Providence Rhode Island (August 22-25).  First, the conference was overseen and essentially the “child” of Niels Hobbs, Arch-Director, Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council, who was the host of the event.  I was fortunate to attend the conference and Niels did an absolutely incredible job; one of the best conferences I have ever been to and there are plans for another conference in 2015.  If you can, I highly recommend you plan to attend.  Please check out the Facebook page for the NecronomiCon Providence for more information as it becomes available.

In addition to attending the 2013 conference I was also fortunate enough to actually give a presentation on the biology of Lovecraftian entities.  Niels was planning to give a talk on similar subject matter but unfortunately his duties as host for the conference prevented him from giving such a talk.  Fortunately for me, Niels gave me the opportunity to give my talk and this blog site is the direct “offspring” of that talk.  For allowing me to talk at the 2013 conference and giving me the inspiration to start this site I profusely thank Niels! With that said, there were a number of other great talks on all things Lovecraftian at the conference.  One such talk was given by Rachel Klima who obtained her Ph.D. at Brown University and is currently a planetary geologist.  Her talk was about how she led the effort to name a crater in the south pole of Mercury after H.P. Lovecraft!

Images showing both the Lovecraft and Roerich Craters, located near Mercury’s south pole.  (Image from hermeology.blogspot.com; image credit: NASA/John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington)

As shown and described above, the Lovecraft Crater is the smaller of the two, however, that crater is permanently shrouded in darkness and contains radar-bright material.  Similar material has been identified at the north pole and is typically associated with water ice and unusually dark material.  Is there something lucking in the darkness of Lovecraft’s Crater?

The other, larger, brighter crater, just to the north of the Lovecraft Crater is the Roerich Crater.  Roerich was a Russian painter and artist whose work inspired Lovecraft in some of his writings, particularly in At the Mountains of Madness.  While living in New York HPL visited the Nicholas Roerich Museum and commented how his painting of the Himalayas were “spectacularly cosmic both in their suggestions of the vast bulk of the mountains and in the vivid and distinctive colours used” (I Am Providence:  The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft by S. T. Joshi; 2013).  indeed, looking at the piece of artwork shown below, it is understandable how Roerich’s work would have had an impact on HPL’s imagination while thinking of At the Mountains of Madness.  Thus, it is only fitting that the Lovecraft and Roerich craters be next to each other.

 Nicholas Roerich’s painting Tibet, Himalayas (1933; http://www.roeich.org)

On 26 March 2013, the NASA MESSENGER (the robotic spacecraft that began orbiting Mercury on 18 March 2011) Science Team was approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) to name nine craters on Mercury for a variety of renowned artists, musicians and authors and one of those was H.P. Lovecraft.  At the August 2013 NecronomiCon Dr. Rachel Klima gave a wonderful and informative presentation on the Lovecraft crater and on Mercury in general.  I’m sure HPL would have been pleasantly surprised, stunned, appreciative and a little embarrassed that such a unique and strange part of our solar system was named after him.

Next time we will focus on the planet Mercury itself, what HPL knew about it and how he incorporated it into his stories.  Thank you – Fred.

The Connection between the Necronomicon and Euclidean Geometry

This is a brief note on an interesting piece of information I found while conducting my studies on Lovecraft and mathematics.  In the paper in Mathematics I previously mentioned – H.P. Lovecraft: A Horror in Higher Dimensions (written by Thomas Hull of Merrimack College, North Andover, MA) – the author noted that John Dee translated Euclid’s The Elements into English.

John Dee by an unknown artist (from Wikipedia.org)

John Dee (1527 – 1609) was a mathematician, astronomer, astrologer and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I who had many other titles and varied interests.  Dee was one of those individuals who was born and lived through the  Renaissance and worked equally in science / mathematics as well as magic / alchemy.  However, Lovecraft fans may recognize the name of the man who translated Olaus Wormius’s Latin version of the Necronomicon into English.  This idea was first cited in a story by Frank Belknap Long called The Space Eaters.

Illustration from Frank Belknap Long’s story The Space Eaters (Weird Tales, July 1928)

It is mentioned in Joshi’s I am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft (2013), that HPL cited this Dee translation of the Necronomicon in later stories.  This would not be surprising since HPL would frequently incorporate the ideas or concepts other writers had into his stories to expand on the growing myth.  However, I can not find any Dee citations in either his own stories or revised tales.  If anyone can provide specific passages where HPL cited the Dee text it would be most appreciated.  My guess is that these references originate from letters, essays or other correspondences of HPL’s.  Mr. Long did provide a fragment of the Dee-translated Necronomicon and this has been published in Robert M. Price’s The Necronomicon (Chaosium, 1996).

In any event, it is interesting that John Dee translated both Euclid’s The Elements and Abdul Alhazred’s Necronomicon.  I wonder which one he translated first?  I am assuming Euclid’s was translated first because where to you go after you translate the Necronomicon?  Also, I’m sure he would have been laughing at all of the strict rules of Euclidean geometry after translating the Necronomicon.  Next time the discussion will be back on the Witch House and higher dimensions.  Thank you – Fred

The Necronomicon  by Marc Simonetti (from The Art of H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos)

Beginning of Lovecraftian Science


Hey everyone – I created this blog in response to the very positive experience I had at the Necronomicon just a few days ago in Providence, RI.  Everyone was wonderful, the experience was fantastic and Niels Hobbs, the coordinator of the convention, should be congratulated by everyone who attended and participated.  It was  a lot of fun and as a result of that experience, I feel like continuing to contribute to the Lovecraftian community as a whole.

At the convention, I gave a talk on the biology of some of the Old Ones and I received some positive input from the participates.  I would like to continue to investigate Lovecraftian Science as a whole (biology, astronomy, chemistry, etc.) and I thought doing it through a blog would be the best means.

I will be talking about Lovecraft’s love for science, how he incorporated a wide variety of scientific theories  into his fiction and pose questions on how science would operate in Lovecraft’s world.  Based on existing text and essays, I will also identify how Lovecraft was a strong advocate and defender of science.  Finally, I will also compare Lovecraft’s attribute toward science to more contemporary scientists and writers.

I hope this blog also serves as an avenue for others to communicate and participate in this discussion.  Thank you.