Tag Archives: Robert Bloch

The Shadow from the Steeple is Released

the_haunter_of_the_dark_by_gianmac The Haunter of the Dark by Gianmac (www.deivantart.com)

Toward the end of H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Haunter of the Dark,” it is casually mentioned that a Doctor Dexter threw the strange box and Shining Trapezohedron into the deepest channel of Narragansett Bay. Based on information provided by the University of Rhode Island and US EPA, the mean depth of the Bay is 26 feet, while the deepest part of it is in the East Passage where it is 184 feet. One might wonder why the Doctor threw the box and stone into the deepest part of Narragansett Bay if darkness summons the Haunter.  However, there are two things to keep in mind. First, as we discussed in previous articles, the Shining Trapezohedron appears to remain “dormant,” even in complete darkness, unless first observed by a sentient entity. This two-step progress involves someone looking into the Trapezohedron and then placing it in complete darkness, as Robert Blake did in the Haunter the Dark. Remember when Blake first discovered the Trapezohedron in the Church steeple it was in complete darkness and it was not until he looked into the stone and then closed the box that the Haunter was summoned.

Second, while the deepest part of Narragansett Bay is 184 feet, it is possible that enough photons of light could still reach the Shining Trapezohedron to prevent the Haunter from entering our Space-Time.  Light can actually be detected in the ocean as far down as 1,000 meters (3,300 feet), although significant amounts of light are only detected at depths of 200 meters (660 feet) or less (www.noaa.gov). In the case of the Bay, particularly in the early 20th century, water clarity was probably considerably less than the open ocean. Estuary ecosystems tend to be far more productive than the open ocean, meaning there is more phytoplankton in the water reducing water clarity.  Additionally, in the early 20th century there was minimal treatment of point or non-point source pollution, which also increased the amount of turbidity in the waters of the Bay. For the sake of this discussion, if we assume that due to natural turbidity and pollution, the water clarity of Narragansett Bay was only 10% of the open ocean, then significant amounts of light could only be detected down to a depth of about 20 meters (66 feet).  Thus, the Shining Trapezohedron may indeed have been in complete darkness at the bottom of the Bay.

bay-map-small                                                                                                                Narragansett Bay – not the East Passage is just south of Prudence Island (www.nbnerr.org)

Based on the end of “The Haunter of the Dark” it was assumed that the doctor did not stare into the Shining Trapezohedron before he threw the thing into the Bay. However, according to Robert Bloch’s “The Shadow from the Steeple,” which is the third in the “Haunter Trilogy,” this was not the case. According to that tale Doctor Ambrose Dexter did stare into the Shining Trapezohedron before depositing it into the depths of the Narragansett. More than likely once the stone was in complete darkness the Haunter once again had access to our Space-Time. In “The Haunter of the Dark” the creature attempted to somehow merge with Robert Blake and failed, possibly due to the light associated with a flash of lightning banishing it back to its own reality before it could complete this task. However, unfortunately the stress of actually seeing the Haunter coming after him was too much for Blake and he died or heart failure or some other associated cause. In the case of Dr. Dexter, it appears the transfer was successful.

Based on the investigations of Edmund Fiske, the protagonist of “The Shadow from the Steeple,” Dr. Dexter was a true avatar to Nyarlathotep. Comparing Dexter to the other documented instances or encounters with the Haunter, Robert Blake appeared to be a failed attempt to become an avatar. In this case the flash of lightning probably neutralized the Haunter before the “merging” could be completed. The case of Nephren-Ka is a little more complex.

In the case of the Black Pharaoh there appeared to be an exchange of some sort between Nephren-Ka and the Haunter but not a merging. Nephren-Ka would gain the power to foresee the future for the 100+ people sacrificed to the Haunter and Nyarlathotep. There is no evidence that Nephren-Ka became an avatar since he was trapped in his tomb, doomed to record the future history of humanity on the crypt walls. Maybe this was a failed experiment on Nyarlathotep’s part to become stable enough to exist in our Space-Time on a more permanent basis and the “discarded by-product” of this failed experiment was the half-crazed Nephren-Ka trapped in his own tomb documenting Earth’s future history.

cover-nile01 Nile – Amongst the Catacombs of Nephren-Ka (www.leastworstoption.com) 

In any event, in these last two cases the Haunter appears to be a “carrier” for Nyarlathotep, the way a mosquito is for a parasite such as the parasitic protist Plasmodium that is the cause of Malaria or the virus from the family Flaviviridae that is the cause of West Nile Disease. Thus, the Haunter is essentially the mosquito, while Nyarlathotep is the parasite that secures itself in its host. This may be an effective means of overcoming the problem of existing in our Space-Time. Indeed, in the “The Shadow from the Steeple” after years of investigation and finally confronting Dr. Dexter Fiske states that:

“There is no Dr. Dexter. There hasn’t been any such person for many years now. There only the outer shell, possessed by an entity older than the world…” and

“The Trapezohedron was thrown into the Bay, and soon from the sea came this noxious birth – your birth, or incarnation in the body of Dr. Dexter.”

Apparently, existing as some sort of inter-dimensional parasite was fairly successful for Nyarlathotep. Based on Fiske’s documentation, once Nyarlathotep occupied Dr. Dexter’s body his interests turned from medicine to high energy particle physics. Within a short amount of time the Dr. Dexter became a known expert in nuclear physics and directly involved in working with the team of scientists developing the H-bomb. The H-bomb or hydrogen bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that uses energy from a nuclear fission reaction (atoms are split into small parts, releasing high energy neutrons and gamma photos) to trigger nuclear fusion (two or more atomic nuclei come close enough to form different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles) reaction. Such two-stage nuclear weapons generate substantially larger amounts of explosive power.  Typically, isotopes of hydrogen are what is being fused, thus the name hydrogen bomb or H-bomb.

hbomb The hydrogen bomb that exploded as part of a test codenamed “Castle Bravo,” above, was the largest nuclear device ever detonated by the United States. Photograph courtesy U.S. Department of Energy. (wwwnatgeo.com).

It should be noted that nuclear fusion generates substantially larger amounts of energy relative to nuclear fission. In fact, nuclear fusion is the power the generates the energy, power and light in most stars. Thus, while man may have created atomic weapons, based on Fiske’s account, Nyarlathotep may have had a hand in guiding humanity toward the utilization of the power of the Cosmos – essentially the engine of the stars – in the creation of weapons of mass destruction.nucelar                                                                Difference between nuclear fusion and fission; note fusion generates more energy than fission (www.butane.chem.uiuc.edu).

Unfortunately, there is no account of Dr. Dexter since Fiske’s documentation, as recorded by Robert Bloch in “The Shadow from the Steeple.” Maybe the parasitic mode of life for Nyarlathotep was limited to a period of years and it eventually left the host. Or, maybe once the knowledge of the H-bomb was given to humanity, Nyarlathotep recognized its task was complete. However, why give such knowledge to humanity? Is it to “clear the Earth” as Wilbur Whateley once stated in “The Dunwich Horror?” Or is it to generate enough energy to open a stable door or “wormhole” to either allow the Earth to enter the Space-Time of the Old Ones or allow them to come to ours? Until any additional information is found on Dr. Dexter we may never know. Hopefully we as a species will not help Nyarlathotep accomplish his task whatever it is.

nyarlathotep1                                                      Marvel comics interpretation of Edmund Fiske confronting Dr. Dexter, avatar to Nyarlathotep (marvunapp.com)

For the next few weeks I will be posting smaller articles on-line so Steve and I can focus on and wrap up the Journal of Lovecraftian Science, Volume 2. For 2017 we will be discussing other Lovecraftian subjects with an emphasis on The Dreamlands. Thank you – Fred.

Nephren-Ka and the Shining Trapezohedron

nephren_ka_the_black_pharaoh_by_mrzarono-d4btotz Nephren-Ka, the Black Pharaoh by Mr. Zarono (www.deviantart.com)

As previously mentioned Nephren-Ka is a Pharaoh of ancient Khem who utilized the Shining Trapezohedron to see into the future. In order to obtain an understanding of how to use the Shining Trapezohedron, Nephren-Ka conducted large-scale and mass ritualistic sacrifices to Nyarlathotep and as a result, any recorded documentation of his life was largely expunged from the ancient history. Thus, it is not surprising that Lovecraft knew every little of him and actually mentioned him by name only twice in all of this recorded tales. The first time toward the end of “The Outsider” after the protagonist looks in a mirror realizes exact what he is and states, “Now I ride with the mocking and friendly ghouls on the night-wind, and play by day amongst the catacombs of Nephren-Ka in the sealed and unknown valley of Hadoth by the Nile.” A little more on what this may indicate later.

The second time Nephren-Ka is mentioned by Lovecraft is in “The Haunter of the Dark,” where, “The Pharaoh Nephren-Ka built around it [referring to the Shining Trapezohedron] a temple with a windowless crypt, and did that which caused his name to be stricken from all monuments and records.” There are instances where Lovecraft may have been referring to Nephren-Ka, such as toward the end of “The Haunter of the Dark” when Blake states, “Is it not an avatar of Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem even took the form of man?” In “The Dreams in the Witch-House” there is a reference to the “Black Man” of the witch-cult and the “Nyarlathotep” of the Necronomicon. While Nephren-Ka was obviously of African descent it is unlikely that the Black Man in “The Dreams in the Witch-House” was Nephren-Ka. So what is the relationship between Nephren-Ka and Nyarlathotep? To answer that, he need to re-examine Robert Bloch’s take “Fane of the Black Pharaoh” in a little more detail.

1204833256_f                                               Nephren-Ka

In the Bloch tale, Nephren-Ka renounces all religions except that of Nyarlathotep. It was stated that Nephren-Ka sought the “power of prophecy, and built temples to the Blind Ape of Truth.” Nephren-Ka then performed a series of large-scale sacrifices, killing over 100 of this subjects in favor of Nyarlathotep.” I can find no information on the temple or faith of the Blind Ape of Truth; however, my guess is that this concept is in reference to humans being “blind” to the true nature of reality and the multiverse. I hypothesize that Nephren-Ka incorporated this concept into the dark temple of Nyarlathotep, since he would be the enlightened ape while the rest of humanity would be blind to the truth. Again, since any reference to Nephren-Ka was largely stricken from the historical records little else is known on the temple of the Blind Ape of Truth.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                                                                    Temple of the Ape God by Mr. Zarono (www.deviantart.com)

However, what is known about Nephren-Ka is that in exchange for knowledge on how to use the Shining Trapezohedron he sacrificed 100 (if not more) of his subjects to Nyarlathotep. So, if Nyarlathotep is an all-powerful Old Ones who knows how to travel through time, space and beyond, as well as manipulate and utilize matter and energy in ways we can’t even begin to understand, why does he need blood sacrifices? I believe it is another piece of supporting evidence for my hypothesis of “The Weakness of the Old Ones.”

While the Old Ones are all-powerful beyond our understanding, they are not originally from our Space-Time, which puts them at a disadvantage. They can enter our Space-Time but they appear to need help from our side such as cultists performing rituals (Cthulhu in “The Call of Cthulhu”) or hybridization with the resident entities (Yog-Sothoth in “The Dunwich Horror”). In the case of Nyarlathotep, blood (possibly DNA?) is required for his manifestation.  This appears to be the case in both “The Dreams in the Witch-House” as well as in Bloch’s “Fane of the Black Pharaoh.”. Not being residents from our Space-Time means the Old Ones can be easily defeated; however, if one of them does succeed in establishing themselves in our reality the results will be devastating. In ancient Khem the sacrifice of 100 people for Nyarlathotep may have been a serious attempt for this Old One to permanently secure his physical manifestation in our Space Time.

avatars_of_nyarlathotep_by_clone_artist Avatars of Nyarlathotep by Clone Artist (www.deviantart.com)

An alternative hypothesis is that enough blood was provided to Nyarlathotep in ancient Khem to take the form of Nephren-Ka, or at least take a human form (the Black Man or Dark Man). I do not think Nephren-Ka was originally an avatar for Nyarlathotep.  I believe he was a man who wanted power, specifically of prophecy, and was willing to do anything to achieve that goal. However, once he had that power it appears he remained in his sealed tomb for his remaining days, painting the walls of his temple-crypt with his visions of the future. The ambiguous mention of Nephren-Ka at the end of “The Outsider,” playing in the catacombs of Nephren-Ka, may have been in reference to his doomed state of knowing the future of humanity but being trapped in his sealed tomb. He was no long a Blind Ape – he was now an ape who could see but he was also an ape who was trapped.

the_vault_of_nephren_ka_by_eldest20-d6w0mma The Vault of Nephren-Ka by Eldest20 (www.deivantart.com)

Nephren-Ka, Keziah Mason and Walter Gilman may have all been employing various methods, intentional or unintentional, to open the way for Nyarlathotep to enter and establish himself in our Space-Time. Fortunately for us, none of them have succeeded. However, who’s to say who will succeed in the future? Maybe this event is prophesied in drawings on the walls of the tomb of Nephren-Ka.

Next time we will discuss the journey of the Shining Trapezohedron from ancient Khem to Providence, Rhode Island and the sect who more than likely attempted to use it – The Church of the Starry Wisdom. Thank you – Fred.

A Brief History of the Shining Trapezohedron

As previously discussed there appears to be an established methodology in the operation of the Shining Trapezohedron in H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Haunter in the Dark.” First, the Haunter needs to get the attention of a sentient entity and this is conducted through the trapezohedron. When the Haunter detects the presence of a sentient entity recognizing or acknowledging the trapezohedron through some sensory method, some type of connection is made. In our case this sensory method is sight, with photons of light reaching the light sensitive cells in the retina of our eyes (rods and cones) and then sending neural impulses to our brain for recognition. For other entities, the sensory method may be associated with heat or sound or even X-rays. Once this inter-dimensional connection of perception is made, complete darkness is required. Thus, it behooves the Haunter to put fear and paranoia into the receiving entity, forcing them to close the box. This puts the trapezohedron into complete darkness, which is required for the Haunter to enter our Universe. More on this and the biology of the Haunter relative to light in a later article; this article will review some of the historical accounts that have involved the Shining Trapezohedron.

shiningtrapezohedron_pro                                                                       Shining Trapezohedron

In “The Haunter in the Dark” Lovecraft describes the Shining Trapezohedron as “…a window on all time and space…” Again, this supports the concept that the trapezohedron functions as both a mode of communication as well as transportation. Also, as previously mentioned, if the information or matter conveyed by the stone uses technology that is beyond that of our Space-Time, the limitations associated with the speed of light may not apply to its use. Thus, peering into the trapezohedron may not be the same as looking at a star or nebula in a telescope where we are also looking into the distance past. The trapezohedron may be a “real time” window through time, space and beyond.

The Shining Trapezohedron was fashioned on Yuggoth and according to S.T. Joshi this appears to establish some type of connection among the Haunter, Yuggoth and/or Nyarlathotep (Lovecraft and a World in Transition: Collected Essays on H.P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi; 2014). It is said that the Old Ones brought the Shining Trapezohedron to Earth; however, it is not known if the term “Old Ones” refers to the Fungi from Yuggoth – the Mi-Go – or some other species. As stated in “Out of the Aeons” by H.P. Lovecraft and Hazel Heald, the Yuggoth Spawn existed on the dwarf planet eons before the arrival of the Mi-Go. The Yuggoth Spawn brought and deposited their patron daemon Ghatanothoa into the deep crypts of the fortress Yaddith-Gho on Yuggoth. It is certainly possible that the Yuggoth Spawn also brought the Shining Trapezohedron to Yuggoth, which was subsequently discovered by the Mi-Go and then eventually taken to Earth. In fact, the Mi-Go may have attempted to utilize the Trapezohedron as a weapon in their war against the Elder Things.

yuggothwatchtower_chaberwood_dev Yuggoth Watchtower by Chaberwood (www.deviantart.com). Was the Shining Trapezohedron housed in a structure like this on Yuggoth?

Eventually, the Elder Things possessed the Shining Trapezohedron. Once the stone was on Earth it was treasured and placed in a curious box by the crinoid things of Antarctica. This is obviously a reference to the Elder Things from At the Mountains of Madness.

The Haunter of the Dark goes on to document that the Shining Trapezohedron was salvaged from the ruins of the Elder Things (presumably from the Elder Things’ ancient cities in Antarctica) by the serpent-mean of Valusia (more on them in a future article). The first humans to gaze into the trapezohedron were from Lemuria and later from Atlantis. After the fall of the Atlantean civilization a Minoan fisherman found the stone in one of his nets and sold it to a merchant from “nighted Khem.”

It is said that the Pharaoh Nephren-Ka, also known as the Black Pharaoh, constructed an entire temple around the Shining Trapezohedron, placing it in a windowless crypt. Robert Bloch provides more information on the “atrocious sacrifices” Nephren-Ka did in his worship of Nyarlathotep (see Bloch’s story “Fane of the Black Pharaoh” in his book Mysteries of the Worm). Indeed, it is thought that Nyarlathotep gave Nephren-Ka the gift of prophecy and many of these prophecies were painted on the walls of the temple. Was this gift of prophecy simply Nephren-Ka harnessing the powers of observation associated with the Shining Trapezohedron? If the stone is a window of time and space, it could have easily been utilized as a means of predicting the future.

nephren_ka_the_black_pharaoh_by_mrzarono-d4btotz Pharaoh Nephren-Ka the Black Pharaoh by Mr. Zarono (www.deviantart.com)

Toward the end of “The Haunter of the Dark” Blake does say, “Is it not an avatar of Nyarlathotep, who in antique and shadowy Khem even took the form of man?” (H.P. Lovecraft). An avatar is a manifestation or representation of a deity or other entity. Thus, this is the connection that was cited by Joshi earlier in this article. Khem is simply one of the many names that the ancient people of Egypt called their country (Stephen S. Mehler; www.bibiotecapleyades.net). Also, if the Haunter is an avatar of Nyarlathotep, was Nephren-Ka another avatar of Nyarlathotep in ancient Khem?

As a result of his sacrifices, at least 100 documented victims, and the inter-dimensional power Nephren-Ka received from his dealings with Nyarlathotep through the Shining Trapezohedron, he was driven out of Khem, his name was stricken from history and all monuments to Nephren-Ka were destroyed. Next time we will discuss in more detail the relationship between the Black Pharaoh and Nyarlathotep and how Nephren-Ka used the Shining Trapezohedron. Thank you – Fred.

steve_purcell_stufftoblowyourmind-23-2014-04-threelobedburningeye                     Three-Lobed Burning Eye by Steve Purcell

Specialized Mode of Feeding of the Star Vampire


Star Vampire illustrations by Christopher Burdett (2012 Fantasy Flight Games)

On Earth larger animals that are composed of millions of cells need a way to get nutrient and oxygen supplies to all of these cells, while at the same time transport waste products away from these cells.  This is the purpose of a circulation system.  Most multicellular animals have some sort of circulation system.  There are exceptions such as rotifers, which are freshwater microscopic animals that are composed of only a few thousand cells, but for the most part most animals – insects, mammals, reptiles, mollusks, echinoderms – all have some sort of circulation system.  Even the Elder Things (also known as the Q’Hrell), based on the anatomical investigations of the doomed Lake Party, have been confirmed to possess some type of circulation system.

For a circulation system to function, that is to supply cells with nutrients and oxygen and remove waste products and carbon dioxide, some type of conveyance system is required. That conveyance system is blood. Blood is a type of tissue (specialized collection of cells that performs a specific function) that performs these necessary physiology functions. Blood itself is composed of red and white blood cells suspended in blood plasma. Blood also contains proteins, glucose, mineral ion and hormones. Given how rich blood is in proteins and lipids, it’s not surprising that many animals have adapted to feeding on the blood of other animals as a form of predation or parasitism.

engorged%20females%20by%20day_www-tickapp-tamu-edu Ticks feed exclusively on blood as ectoparasites (www.tickapp.tamu.edu)

Some of the more commonly known haematophagic (that is, blood feeders) animals include lampreys (feeding on fish), leeches, mosquitoes, ticks and vampire bats. However, there are other blood-feeding animals that we normally do not think of as being haematophagic such as some birds (hood mockingbirds and oxpeckers) and insects (Gatekeeper butterflies). Given the nutritional value of blood, more animals probably feed on this fluid tissue that we realize. While some haematophagic animals pose a real and substantial threat to the health of humans, such as mosquitoes and ticks, this is not due to their feeding but as a result of them being vectors for microbial diseases such as the Zika virus, the West Nile virus and the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. Also the many of the haematophagic species are more parasitic in nature; quietly and carefully taking a blood meal before the victim realizes what is being done.

Mosquito Bite     

Mosquito before and after feeding on a blood meal (www.jcehrlich.com)

True predatory haematophagic species are somewhat rare in nature. If you are predator and want to consume your prey, why just go for the blood? There are plenty of other parts and organs that are highly nutritious as well. Thus, true vampires, species that feed exclusively on the blood in a predatory nature (resulting in the immediate death of the prey), are not well known in Terran biology. This certainly does not mean it is not possible to have a highly specialized predator that feeds exclusively on blood.  Probably the closest thing on Earth that functions in that capacity are spiders.

Spiders are a specialized group of terrestrial arthropods that inject venom to kill or incapacitate their prey and then inject digestive enzymes into their prey to liquefy their tissues. Thus, in this case, the spiders are feeding on all of the tissues and organs not just the blood. However, there are a few jumping spiders found in East Africa that specialize in hunting and feeding on mosquitoes filled with human blood (www.iflscience.com).

star_vampire_by_butttornado-tentaclesandteeth-d7eon44 Star Vampire by Butttornado (www.deivantart.com)

In the case of “The Shambler from the Stars,” the star vampires appear to feed exclusively on the blood of its victims. In this tale the unnamed victim is raised into the air and attacked, his neck torn and the blood was “…spraying like a ruby fountain.” However, as the blood fell it stopped and disappeared in mid-air, which was coupled with a sucking noise. The body of the victim was quickly drained of blood – it “became shrunken, wizened, lifeless” and then dropped to the floor.

14566243_10209683087407637_5634000613604804429_o Attack of the Start Vampire by Jb Lee

As the invisible star vampire was draining the blood of its victim, it started to become visible. It was described as “…red and dripping; an immensity of pulsing, moving jelly; a scarlet blob with myriad tentacular trunks that waved and waved. There were suckers on the tips of the appendages, and these were opening and closing with ghoulish lust…The thing was bloated and obscene; a headless, faceless, eyeless bulk with the ravenous maw and titanic talons of a star-born monster. The human blood on which it had fed revealed the hitherto invisible outlines of the feaster.”

Once filled with its blood meal the thing immediately departed, apparently with the book as well. Unlike Terran life the star vampire appears to feed exclusively on blood in a very aggressive manner. It did not appear to feed on another other part of the body. This may be an evolutionary advantage. If the star vampire is part of the inter-dimensional plankton (i.e. “From Beyond”) as previously hypothesized, summoning it with the book may only give it a short period of time to feed before it must return to its own dimension or Space-Time. This would explain its immediate appearance and disappearance and why did it not bother to attack the other person in the room. Digesting organs and bone takes time; even with the most powerful digestive enzymes. Thus, draining the blood would be the quickest way of obtaining sustenance before you had to return to your own Space-Time.

ShamblerFromTheStars watermark.jpg                  Star Vampire by Nick Gucker (www.nickthehat.com)

What is almost as scary as the star vampire’s extremely aggressive, predatory nature is that it appears to be sentient, cruel and malevolent. It could be heard cruelly laughing when it appeared and after it was done feeding. Additionally, taking the book indicates that while it may enjoy someone reading from the book and summoning it so it can feed, this tome was not meant for humans. So some unknown reason, in spite of getting a quick meal, the star vampire did not want humans to have access to Ludvig Prinn’s De Vermis Mysteriis.

de_vermis_mysteriis__mysteries_of_the_worm__2_by_herbertw-d6s8gjl.jpg De Vermis Mysteriis by Herbertw (www.deivantart.com)

Next time we dive into the second part of the Bloch – Lovecraft – Bloch trilogy, “The Haunter of the Dark.” Thank you – Fred.

Is the Shambler from the Stars another form of inter-dimensional plankton?

the_shambler_from_the_stars_by_leselwyn                     The mystic from Providence in “The Shambler from the Stars” by Leselwyn (www.deviantart.com)

Robert Bloch’s “The Shambler from the Stars” is the first of a trilogy of stories written by Bloch, Lovecraft and then Bloch again. Over the next month we will discuss the science associated with these three stories, starting with Bloch’s “The Shambler from the Stars.” In this tale the protagonist takes a book, the De Vermis Mysteriis – translated to be Mysteries of the Worm – written by Ludvig Prinn, to a friend in Providence, Rhode Island. While not explicitly stated, his friend “a mystic dreamer in New England” is supposed to be H.P. Lovecraft. While the friend is reading the book out loud, an entity appears and kills him by essentially draining all of his blood. When the entity first appears it is completely invisible to human eyes.

ludwigprinn_gregponychuk Ludvig Prinn by Greg P. Onychuk

Our perception of vision originates from light, which is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, hitting an object, being reflected off its surface and entering our eye.  The reason why most plants look green is that the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll absorbs the reds and blues and reflects the greens, which then enter our eye. However, if light is not absorbed or reflected an object may be invisible.  In nature near-invisibility can be achieved by allowing light to pass through an organism. Examples include moon jellies (see below). Their nearly invisible, more transparent, appearance makes it difficult for predators, which may include tunas, sharks, swordfish, sea turtles and other jellies, to see the moon jellies.  The transparent appearance of the jellies probably makes it easier for them to also capture zooplankton for food since these micro-animals are fairly light sensitive.

moonjelly A moon jelly

jellyfish_richardmodlin-com                                                                                       Moon jellies floating in the oceanic plankton; note how difficult they are to see (www.richardmodlin.com)

Similar to the moon jelly, the freshwater, predatory zooplankter Chaoborus (also known as the glassworm or the phantom midge) is almost transparent, making it difficult for fish to visually find and feed on them, as well as making it difficult for smaller zooplankton to evading this predator. Both of these planktonic examples show that being nearly invisible has an ecological advantage in both avoiding being captured and consumed by predators as well as being able to capture unsuspecting prey. Given this ecological value to near invisibility, more than likely these values also apply to the invisible entity the protagonist’s friend calls up by reading aloud from the De Vermis Mysteriis. While not given a specific name in the tale, there are references in Prinn’s tome of “invisible companions” and “Star-sent servants,” the entity is frequently referred to as a “star vampire.”

chaoborus_8687333746_6cca39451c                                               Freshwater predatory zooplankter Chaoborus, also known as the phantom midge.

In “The Shambler from the Stars” it is suggested a number of times that the summoned star vampire is from distance space. However, I propose the hypothesis that the star vampire is similar to the entities experienced in the tale “From Beyond” when the resonator is turned on. After the mystic from Providence was done reciting the passage the protagonist states that they hear thundering tones that seem to original from far away and yet was burning in his brain.  The room went cold with a sudden wind that shrieked through the house. These conditions are similar to what is experienced when the resonator is activated. Thus, the star vampire may be another planktonic denizen floating in the inter-dimensional plankton, where it cannot perceive us and we cannot perceive it. As we know, when the resonator is activated the inter-dimensional barriers are lowered and perception is achieved. Is it possible that some of the passages in the De Vermis Mysteriis lower these same inter-dimensional barriers? Perhaps the mystic from Providence did not summon the star vampire but instead lowered the barriers to allow a star vampire to see in our Space-Time.

star_vampire_by_clone_artist Star Vampire by Clone Artist (www.deviantart.com)

Unlike the inter-dimensional plankton in “From Beyond,” the star vampire remained invisible even when the inter-dimensional barriers were lowered. However, once it begins to feed it unfortunately becomes very visible. Thus, next time we will discuss the feeding habits of the star vampire and make additional comparisons between it and moon jellies. Thank you – Fred.