Tag Archives: The Dunwich Horror

“When the Earth is Cleared,” Wrapping up the Discussion of The Dunwich Horror

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dr. Henry Armitage and a posse from Miskatonic University in the Roger Corman film “The Dunwich Horror”

The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 5 a Discussion on the Biology of the Whateley Offspring

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Wilbur’s Twin by John Cherevka

Whether you are talking about single-cells organisms such as amoeba and Euglena or the Giant Squid, many Terran forms of life utilize extensions off their main body for a variety of reasons.  These extensions can be pseudopods, flagella, cilia, tongues or tentacles.  From the perspective of energy conservation, extending a small portion of one’s body into the environment to move, collect food, obtain information about your surroundings or communicate with others makes a lot of sense.  If that part of you is removed through predation or some other cause, vital organs and body mass are left intact and only small portion of the body has been sacrificed.  Additionally, such extensions tend to be extremely flexible with the muscles generating small forces but having very high strain rates, resulting in high velocity response times.  Studies on the tentacles of the squid and as well as the tongues of frogs, salamanders and chameleons have verified and quantified the evolutionary mechanics of such protuberances (Van Leeuwen, De Groot and Kier, 2000; Netherlands Journal of Zoology).  Thus, this extension of an organism’s self into the environment is an evolutionary trait that has been repeated throughout Terran life.

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H.P. Lovecraft by James Daly III

Given the biological value of tentacles and other extensions used by life on Earth, the external organs of Lovecraftian entities are probably used for similar functions such as feeding, obtaining information about their immediate surroundings, and communicating with others of their kind.  Lovecraft does provide some data to support this hypothesis.  For example, in describing the Elder Things in “At the Mountains of Madness” a number of passages identify body extensions and possible functions.

“Around equator, one at central apex of each of the five vertical, stave-like ridges are five systems of light gray flexible arms or tentacles found tightly folded to torso but expansible to maximum length of over three feet.  Like arms of primitive crinoid.  Single stalks three inches diameter branch after six inches into five substalks, each of which branches after eight inches into small tapering tentacles or tendrils, giving each stalk a total of twenty-five tentacles.” – “At the Mountains of Madness”

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Fossilized Crinoid (from http://www.wikipedia.com)

In the passage above the mid-body tentacles of the Elder Things are compared to the arms of a crinoid, which is an echinoderm, closely related to sea stars (both having a radial symmetry like the Elder Things).  Crinoid arms are covered in cilia and are used primarily to collect food and push it toward the mouth.  The Elder Thing’s tentacles can extend over three feet so it may be possible that these organs are used in a similar manner.  In addition, Elder Things may also use these tentacles the way we use our hands, to manipulate objects and make tools.

Other external protuberances were described on the Elder Things with various functions.  One example is the set of tubes at the top of their head that terminate with glassy, red-irised globes that look like eyes.  Another example is the set of long, reddish tubes that end with bell-shaped orifices that are lined with sharp, white teeth.

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Elder Thing by KingOvRats (www.deivantart.com)

The Elder Things are alien to Earth but they are still made of the same matter we are; they are native residents of our space-time.  However, what of entities from outside of our space-time?  Once again Lovecraft provides supporting evidence for one of these entities – the Mi-Go.  These creatures are known to be from beyond our space-time, yet they have protuberances on their head that rapidly change color, similar to the photophores in an octopus or squid.  These external organs are thought to serve as a means of communication, particularly in interstellar flight when individuals may be considerable distances away from each other.

Bringing this conversation back to “The Dunwich Horror,” the Whateley twins are truly unique entities, even by Lovecraft’s standards since they are hybrids but not hybrids of two closely related species.  Instead, they are extra-dimensional hybrids, a genetic fusion of two very different types of entities.  The closest thing we have in comparison is the “Brundle-fly” in David Cronenberg’s 1986 movie “The Fly,” where two distantly related species are genetically fused to create one unique organism.

As previously described Wilbur Whateley had a nearly-human appearance above his waist; below his waist was a strange conglomeration of alien organs.  Some of these included a set of long, greenish-grey tentacles with red sucking mouthparts.  These organs were obviously used for feeding and apparently Wilbur was feeding on both his grandfather and mother, based on the strange markings identified on both.  Wilbur’s brother obviously fed on the cattle that were constantly being purchased by Old Wizard Whateley.

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Wilbur Whateley by Verreaux (www.deivantart.com)

A large rudimentary eye was identified on each of Wilbur’s hips, each circled by a series of pink cilia.  It is hypothesized that the pink cilia somehow enhanced the vision of Wilbur.  Maybe the cilia allowed him to see beyond visible light; maybe he could “see” longer (infrared or radios) or shorter (UV or X-rays) wavelengths of the EM spectrum with the cilia.  Wilbur also had a large tail with annular markings and a large undeveloped mouth at the end.  This is particularly curious since Wilbur already had feeding organs.  While redundancy is very common on a genetic level, on a phenotypic level (manifestation of the genetic) redundancy, particularly of organs, is very rare – at least for Earth life.  Assuming the same can be applied to Wilbur, this second mode of feeding, tail in contrast to tentacles must have some specialized role or function that we are completely unfamiliar with; this can obviously be said about a about a number of biological issues associated with the Whateleys.

Unfortunately, the description we have of Wilbur’s brother, after he is exposed to the power made by Dr. Armitage, is not nearly as detailed as that of Wilbur’s.  Curtis Whateley was the individual who actually saw Wilbur’s brother from a distance when he was visible through the use of the powder.  Here is his testimony:

“Oh, oh, my Gawd, that haff face – that haff face on top of it…that face with the red eyes an’ crinkly albino hair, an’ no chin, like the Whateleys…It was a octopus, centipede, spider kind o’ thing, but they was a haff-shaped man’s face on top of it, an’it it looked like Wizard Whateley’s, only it was yards an’ yards acrost..”

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A strange version of Wilbur Whateley’s brother from the 1970 Roger Corman movie “The Dunwich Horror.”

Two items can be noted based on this brief description.  First, as was discussed in a previous article, the large face on the creature was that of Wizard Whateley’s, supporting the hypothesis that incest between Wizard Whateley and his daughter occurred.  Second, the body of Wilbur’s brother was a composite of a number of invertebrates.  Based on the animals identified in the description, octopus, centipede and spider, Wilbur’s brother was a living mass of tentacles, legs and insect-like mouthparts.  In addition, the marks or footprints left by this creature were similar to that of a large, semi-hooved animal.  Again, this collage of legs, protuberances and mouthparts indicates that this extra-dimensional hybrid has a number of means of sampling and interacting with its surroundings as well as multiple modes of feeding.  Yet, it still probably had possession of our five senses, based on its large human head.  However, without a more detailed account and description of the anatomy of Wilbur’s brother, it is difficult to even guess the function of its external organs.

Next time we will conclude our investigation into “The Dunwich Horror” by discussing what Wizard Whateley and his extra-dimensional hybrid offspring were trying to achieve by opening the way for Yog-Sothoth.  Thank you – Fred.

 

 

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

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The Dunwich Horror by Doug Dougmann (www.deviantart.org)

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.

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Reflection of light off of a surface (www.boundless.com)

 

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

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Refraction of light as it passes from air into water (www.mskfatima.weebly.com)

 

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

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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.

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Absorption of various colors of light (www.philschatz.com).  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.

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A series of 3D drawings of various metamaterials, composed of block copolymers (www.wiesner.mse.cornell.edu)

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.

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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.

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The Dunwich Horror (www.destructoid.com)

The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 3 Conception of the Twins

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With very little data even an educated guess, let alone a hypothesis, is very difficult to make on the hyper-dimensional cross breeding that occurred between the Whateleys and Yog-Sothoth.  However, based on the few pieces of information H.P. Lovecraft and Dr. Henry Armitage have provided, as well some knowledge on Terran biology, I will present a few potential hypotheses on the creation of the Whateley twins.

First, it should be noted that little is known about Lavinia’s mother.  She died under mysterious circumstances when Lavinia was 12 years old.  While Lavinia may or may not have been the product of inbreeding, she may have been a failed attempt to open the inter-dimensional gate for Yog-Sothoth.  In addition, the mysterious disappearance of Lavinia’s mother may have been a previous attempt by Old Wizard Whateley to open the gate, only this time the failure may have ended with the death of Lavinia’s mother.  With Lavinia’s mother gone, Old Wizard Whateley may have turned his interests toward Lavinia, attempting to use his daughter instead of his wife to open the gate for Yog-Sothoth with more success.

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The Dunwich Horror by Cthulhu Cultists

While I do believe the abhorrent act of incest occurred between Lavinia and her father, precisely with the goal of opening the way for Yog-Sothoth, the exact mechanism beyond the incest is largely unknown.  However two possible hypotheses, similar but slightly different, to explain he conception of the twins are presented in this article.

Again, little is known about the biological nature of Yog-Sothoth but it is extremely unlikely that it reproduces using DNA and RNA like the vast majority of life on Earth.  However, while we some idea how it reproduces, based on the incident described in “The Dunwich Horror,” is may be hypothesized that Yog-Sothoth may function as a virus.  Viruses are a unique form of life on Earth; so unique that some do not even consider them life (Microbes and Evolution: The Word that Darwin Never Saw by R. Kolter and S. Maloy [editors], 2012).  Virus are essentially a small amount of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encased in a protein coat (frequently called a capsid) with a surrounding layer of lipids.

What is particularly unique to viruses is that unlike all other forms of life on Earth, they can only replicate by taking advantage of the existing intra-cellular infrastructure founded within the cells of other organisms (plants, animals, fungi or bacteria).  Thus, viruses are frequently thought of as genetic parasites, infecting a host cell to take advantage of its cellular machinery in order to replicate itself (Symbiosis: An Introduction to Biological Associations by Surindar Paracer and Vernon Ahmadjian, 2000).  While some viruses are known to kill the host cell or trigger an immune response (such conditions associated with viral diseases), others are known to have symbiotic relationships with their host cells.  In addition, viruses are a lot more common throughout the biosphere than originally thought (Kolter and Maloy, 2012).

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A transmission electron micrograph of the influenva virus (www2.estrellamountain.edu)

While it is not being suggested here that Yog-Sothoth is a virus, the point is that it may have somewhat operated as a virus.  Once the Whateley twins were conceived, Yog-Sothoth may have infected the zygotes prior to cellular division and growth.  That would have been the easiest time to do so.  Immediately utilize the existing genetic machinery of the zygotes, before cellular division and differentiation occurs, to re-write their genetic codes so they develop into organisms are that are beyond human.  Thus, this hypothesis states that during or immediately after the moment of conception, Yog-Sothoth entered the zygotes and immediately began using the genetic and cellular infrastructure to re-write the genetic code of each zygote.  In addition, there was obviously some degree of variation in the re-writing of the genetic code for each zygote; Wilbur having a smaller degree of modifications relative to his twin.

Utilizing the existing genetic or cellular material of a host organism has been documented in other instances.  For example, the xenomorphs in ALIEN function primarily as parasitoids, which can be described as a cross between a predator and a parasite.  Eggs are laid either on or in the host, the larva hatches and feeds on the host while it’s still alive, eventually killing the host (A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics by R.J. Lincoln, G.A. Boxshall and P.F. Clark, 1988).  However, what is unique about the xenomorphs is that while they function as parasitoids, they also incorporate some of the host’s DNA into their genome thus exhibiting some of the phenotypic traits of their hosts.  Thus, a xenomorph incubated in a human walks upright, while a xenomorph incubated in say a dog runs on all fours.  In a sense, the xenomorph operates as a viral genetic parasite / parasitoid.  Again, I am not stating that Yog-Sothoth functions either as a virus or as a xenomorph; however, I am hypothesizing that a somewhat similar mechanism may have been used to infuse the extra-dimensional essence of Yog-Sothoth with the Whateley genome.

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Adult stage of the xenomorph from the movie ALIEN

An alternative to the viral / parasite hypothesis is one focusing more on symbiosis.  Endosymbiosis is the theory that complex eukaryotic cells (plants, animals, fungi) were the outcome of symbiotic relationships among various prokaryotic cells (bacteria).  There is quite a bit of data to support this idea.  For example, mitochondria are organelles that supply most of the chemical energy for eukaryotic cells and actually have their own genes – but only about 15 of them.  However, these few genes and their sequence of DNA are clearly similar to a group of existing bacteria that include soil and marine bacteria as well as some that are pathogenic (R. Kolter and S. Maloy [editors], 2012).  Additional evidence supports the hypothesis that the creation of eukaryotic cells was the result of bioengineering experiments conducted by the Elder Things sometime between 2.0 and 1.0 billion years ago.

Back to the mitochondria, it turns out these intra-cellular organelles are passed to offspring exclusively by the female.  In fact, almost any symbiotic bacteria, such as those found in our intestines that help us to breakdown and digest food, are passed from mother to offspring.  These beneficial bacteria infect the children before they are born (R. Kolter and S. Maloy [editors], 2012).  Yog-Sothoth may have functioned in this manner; not as a virus or a parasite but as a symbiotic entity infusing with the two Whateley zygotes.  In addition, this may provide evidence why sexual reproduction between a human male and female was required.

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The Dunwich Horror by Skullbeast (www.deviantart.com)

Of course since nothing is known about the biology and genetics of Yog-Sothoth, if such concepts even applicable, we do not know the exact mechanism on how it infused with the Whateley zygotes.  However, these two proposed hypotheses may help to understand these mechanisms.  What we do know is that the creation of the Whateley twins, fathered by both Old Wizard Whateley and Yog-Sothoth was necessary to open the way for the Old Ones.  Next time we will focus on a description and analysis of Wilbur’s twin.  Thank you – Fred.

The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 2, The Case for Incest in The Dunwich Horror

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Son of Yog-Sothoth by Burnay (www.deviantart.com)

There is have a fair amount of discussion regarding the role of incest in “The Dunwich Horror” and so I thought I would write a response on the WordPress page instead of in the comments.  First, I need to emphasis that my discussions are limited to a scientific perspective.  To paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, magic is essentially a science we don’t understand.  Where possible, I will try to form hypotheses or even make wild educated guesses but if I can’t even to that then I must state that I do not have enough information to form a reasonable hypothesis or idea on the subject.

Second, as I stated in a previous article, the fact that Lavinia Whateley was an albino does not immediately mean she was the product of inbreeding.  Albinism can easily be the outcome of non-related breeding as well as inbreeding since it’s a result of a dihybrid cross, involving only two specific traits.  However, early in the 20th century, just before the theory of modern heredity was synthesized using the re-discovered works of Mendel and Fisher’s work on genes and inheritance, albinism was typically associated with inbreeding.  Thus, my suggestion of inbreeding focuses solely on the birth of Wilbur and his twin.

Third, while I will get into this hypothesis in more detail in an upcoming article, I suggest, as several Lovecraftian scholars do such as Robert M. Price, that Old Wizard Whateley had to impregnate Lavinia in order to complete the ritual or process of Yog-Sothoth.  The “genetic” (if it is even considered genetic the way we think of it) material of Yog-Sothoth needed a fertilized zygote(s) to enter our space-time and become established in a stable form.  Similar to a parasitoid, Yog-Sothoth took advantage of the creation of the zygotes at the point of conception to enter into our space-time in a form of living matter, native to our reality.

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Whateley Family from hplovecraft.blogspot.com

The evidence used to support this, as has been mentioned in the comments, is when Curtis Whateley states that the large face on top of Wilbur’s twin looked just like Old Wizard Whateley.  He was very specific in his description; the face did not look like Wilbur and it did not look like a Whateley in general.  The face looked like Old Wizard Whateley.  This supports the idea of inbreeding.

However, Dr. Armitage’s quote, “Inbreeding?…Great God, what simpleton!  Shew them Arthur Machen’s Great God Pan and they’ll think it a common Dunwich scandal!” does seem to indicate that something more perverse and twisted than incest is occurring with the Whateleys.

A number of people have brought up a quote in the letters between Lovecraft and August Derleth (Essential Solitude) where it is said Lovecraft states incest has nothing to do with the creation of the Whateley twins.  In contrast, others say that the subject of incest in Essential Solitude is not directly in reference to the “The Dunwich Horror.”  If someone could provide the actual quote I would greatly appreciate it.

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Wilbur Whateley by Weatherduck (www.deviantart.com)

To conclude, while the case of incest is not explicit in “The Dunwich Horror” few abhorrent activities are explained in detail in Lovecraft’s stories.  I feel there is enough circumstantial evidence to support the idea that incest was involved in some capacity in the creation of the Whateley twins and this will be discussed further in the next article.  Also, the references to clearing the Earth and dragging it into another dimension will also be discussed in detail in an upcoming article.  Thank you – Fred.

The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Twins, Part 1 Wilbur Whateley

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The Dunwich Horror (Lavinia and one of the twins) by Viant-T (www.wilburwhateley.tumblr.com)

Lavinia Whateley may or may not have been the result of inbreeding among the Whateley’s, since albinism is not solely the outcome of inbreeding; more than likely such deviant activities were involved in the birth of the Whateley twins.  More specifically, there is evidence to suggest that Old Wizard Whateley “contributed” toward the conception of the twins.  This evidence is the fact that when the appearance of Wilbur’s brother is revealed, it is noted that it has “a half-shaped man’s face on top of it, an’ it looked like Wizard Whateley’s, only it was yards an’ yards acrost…” (Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror”).  Indeed, even before this revelation, it was suggested that Wilbur was the product of inbreeding (Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos by Bobby Derie).

Based on how the twins differed in appearance Wilbur and his brother were more than likely fraternal twins, meaning that they were from two different eggs, each fertilized by separate sperm cells (and something else; more on that in a future article).  This is in contrast to identical (also known as maternal) twins where the zygote (fertilized egg) will split and form two embryos.  Thus, Wilbur was more of a product of his human genes, while his twin was more of a product of the non-human traits of Yog-Sothoth.  This article focuses more on Wilbur.

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Dunwich Portraits: Wilbur Whateley by Sorrow King (www.deviantart.com)

From his birth Wilbur was an unusual looking being.  First off, Wilbur’s rate of growth was phenomenal when compared to that of a human.  He was walking on his own by seven months old and after eleven months he began to talk with an unusual accent.  His voice and the sounds he made had an alien quality as well.  As Wilbur continued to grow he was quite ugly; hairy with a goatish, even satyr-like appearance.  He had thick lips, yellowish skin, dark crinkly hair and long-pointed ears.  By ten Wilbur had the mind, voice and body of a fully grown man, continuing to grow in height.  At twelve years old Wilbur was six and three quarter feet tall.  In 1928, when Wilbur was 15 years old and attempted to steal the Olaus Wormius’ Latin translation of the Necronomicon from the Library of Miskatonic University, he was estimated to be almost nine feet tall.  Imagine what Wilbur’s final, mature height would have been if he lived beyond 15 years old.

When Wilbur was caught in the library by the University guard dog, he was attacked and eventually died from the injuries.  The dog tore off all of his clothes and some of his skin.  This is the first time we are exposed to the extra-dimensional, alien morphology of Wilbur Whateley.  The first unusual thing that was noticed was that Wilbur was in a pool of awful smelling, greenish-yellow ichor.  More than likely this fluid was Wilbur’s “blood.”  However, this blood was more analogous to haemolymph, which is the fluid that circulates through the body of an arthropod.  Arthropods are invertebrate animals that have exoskeletons, segmented bodies and jointed appendages.  Unlike vertebrates, which have a closed circulation system that pumps blood composed of red-colored hemoglobin, arthropods have greenish-yellow haemolymph that circulates throughout the interior of arthropod, washing over the organs in an open circulatory system.  Thus, Wilbur’s circulation system appears to be similar to that of a Terran arthropod.

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Comparison of an open and close circulatory system.  Wilbur’s circulation system is similar to an open system (www.studyblue.com)

According to Dr. Henry Armitage something from outside of our space-time fastened itself onto the developing zygotes of Lavinia’s and created beings only half composed of human flesh.  The following descriptions certainly appear to support this idea.  While above the torso Wilbur had a satyr-like but essentially human appearance, below the torso Wilbur had little resemblance to a human.  Above Wilbur’s waist his skin was reptilian in appearance colored yellow and black.  Below his waist his skin was covered with a thick fur and his abdomen was circled with a series of long, greenish-grey tentacles with red sucking mouthparts.  Over the years the people of Dunwich noticed strange markings on both Old Wizard Whateley and Lavinia.  Apparently these markings were similar in shape to the markings on Wilbur’s sucking mouthparts, which means that Wilbur was feeding of the blood of his grandfather and mother.

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Wilbur Whateley by King Ov Rats (www.deviantart.com)

Large rudimentary eyes were found on each of his hips, each circled by a series of pink cilia.  Wilbur also had a large tail with annular markings with a large undeveloped mouth.  His legs terminated in ridged and veined pads similar to what would be found on herbivorous dinosaurs.  As Wilbur struggled to breath as he died, his tentacles and tail rhythmically changed color similar to that of a squid or octopus.  Again, while separate, individual components of Wilbur’s morphology may have resembled certain Terran species, collectively his general appearance was unlike anything observed on Earth.

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Death of Wilbur Whateley by Paul Mudie (www.paulmudie.com)

Once Wilbur died, his body immediately started to shrink and dissolved in some type of hyper-dimensional decomposition.  As with many beings from outside of our space-time, the matter that composed Wilbur was not entirely from our reality and must have needed an extensive amount of energy to maintain.  Once Wilbur died the stream of extra-dimensional energy that maintained his form in our space-time ceased and his hyper-dimensional matter immediately started to dissipate.  Other Lovecraftian entities from outside of our space-time have exhibited such reactions.  For example, the bodies of dead Mi-Go go through the same type of hyper-accelerated decomposition, leaving little to no trace of biological material.  More than likely this extra-dimensional matter is not antimatter but is instead matter from another dimension or universe.

The creation of Wilbur must have been Yog-Sothoth’s way of attempting to create a stable form of life made of its own native energy and matter.  In turn, Wilbur and his twin were supposed to prepare the Earth for the Old Ones, making it stable for their unique physical properties and cosmological constants.  Yog-Sothoth is the gate and the key but Wilbur and his twin were the designed custodians who were responsible for getting the house in order prior to the arrival of the new masters.  Part of these preparations involved clearing out the vermin, which included humanity.  However, what exactly was Wilbur’s twin role in this process?  This will be the discussion for the next article.  Thank you – Fred.

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Wilbur Whateley by Sam Tremain

The Dunwich Horror: Meet the Whateleys

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Lovecraftian Gothic – The Whateleys by Will Beck (www.thelovecraftsman.com)

Noah Whateley, also known as Old Wizard Whateley lived in the rural backwoods of Dunwich with his albino daughter Lavinia who had a child, Wilbur, and a twin.  According to Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror” Lavinia gave birth to the twins as a result of a very strange and unique sexual union with Yog-Sothoth (more on that in a future article).    The subject for this article is a discussion of the Whateley family, focusing primarily on the Noah and Lavinia Whateley.

The families of Dunwich have been accused of forming…”a race by themselves, with the well-defined mental and physical stigmata of degeneracy and inbreeding.”  They have also been accused of…”half-hidden murders, incests and deeds of almost unnamable violence and perversity.”  However, these accusations may be just prejudism against members of rural communities.  With that said, the families of Dunwich did know to stay away from Old Wizard Whateley, who could be accused of dabbling in degenerate and perverted activities.

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Dunwich Portraits:  Noah “Old Wizard” Whateley by Sorrowking (www.deviantart.com)

Very little was known about Noah Whateley except that as a resident of Dunwich he was generally shunned for his reputation of dealing with black magic.  Another reason was the unexplained death of his wife when their daughter, Lavinia, was twelve years old.  Lavinia was described as being a “somewhat deformed, unattractive albino.”  Albinism is a recognized recessive human trait, such as color blindness, cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and Sickle-cell anemia.  In the case of albinism, a mutation involving a metabolic block associated with tyrosine, results in preventing the production of melanin pigments.  This mutation, which can be past to offspring but is a recessive genetic trait, results in the lack of pigment production and thus albinism (Concepts of Genetics by W. S. Klug & M.R. Cummings, 1983).

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Lavinia Whateley by Hokova (www.deviantart.org)

Although albinism has been associated with inbreeding, it does not necessarily indicate inbreeding.  It is true that inbreeding of any species increases the probability of recessive genes to be manifested phenotypically – that is, they show up as an observable or detectable trait.  However, the appearance of such recessive traits does not only appear in cases of inbreeding.  Two individuals within a population not closely related but heterozygous for a recessive trait (like color blindness) can still result in offspring with the manifested recessive trait.  For example, two individuals having the heterozygous genes for color blindness have a 25% chance of having offspring that are color blind.  The ability to predict the genetic outcome of offspring for a specific genetic trait was discovered by Reginald Crundall Punnett and William Bateson.  In the early 20th century Punnett developed the “Punnett Square” to depict the number and variety of genetic combinations, and had a role in shaping the Hardy-Weinberg law of genetics. Punnett and Bateson co-discovered this “coupling” or gene linkage, moving from genetic probabilities to phenotypic manifestations of observable traits (www.dnaftb.org). William Bateson brought Mendel’s laws of genetics to the attention of biologists in general by translating Mendel’s work into English.

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A dihybrid Punnett Square for a recessive genetic trait such as albinism (from http://www.00edu-cdn.com)

My understanding is that albinism is associated with a dihybrid cross, which involved two distinct traits (or phenotypes).  Specifically the two traits involved with albinisms is production of the pigment melanin and blood type.  Again, while the probability of the manifestation of many recessive traits can increase with inbreeding, the appearance of such traits does not necessarily indicate inbreeding.  Indeed, relative to Old Wizard Whateley and his daughter Lavinia there is no direct evidence that her albinism is the result of inbreeding.  Unfortunately, that is not necessarily the case with the birth of Lavinia’s twins and that is the focus of the next article.  Thank you – Fred.

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Dunwich Portraits:  Lavinia Whateley by Sorrowking (www.deviantart.com)

The Dunwich Horror and the Relationships Among Shub-Niggurath, Cthulhu and Yog-Sothoth

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Yog-Sothoth by Micheal Bukowski (yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

As identified the “Genealogy of the Elder Races,” Yog-Sothoth may be thought of as the “grandfather” of Cthulhu.  A “sexual” union or merging between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath, produced  Nug and Yeb, who in turn gave rise asexually to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua, respectively.  I feel very awkward using such human or even Terran terms such as grandfather and sexual when describing the relationships among these entities since their biology, and possibly their physical and chemical nature, is very different from ours.  Sexual implies, at least relative to life on Earth, a re-shuffling or recombination of genetic material from mother and father to produce offspring with a slightly different genome; not an exact copy of the mother or an exact copy of the father.  In turn, this increased genetic variation may be better adapted; this is one of the genetic engines that drive natural selection.  However, in the case of Old Ones, such Earth-definitions more than likely do not apply.

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Instead of grandfather, the relationship between Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu maybe better described as Cthulhu being the offspring of Yog-Sothoth on generation away.  The reason for this more nebulous description is the fact that Cthulhu was produced from Nug through a form of undocumented asexual reproduction.  Was this simply a case of Nug getting large enough and splitting into two distinct entities like an amoeba?  Or did Cthulhu “bud” off of Nug in a manner similar to that observed in bryozoans or coral?  Or was Cthulhu a fragment or piece of Nug that broke off to develop on its own, floating in the inter-dimensional foam?  Such growth through fragmentation commonly occurs in many invasive freshwater plants such as Eurasian watermilfoil or hydrilla.   However, none of these terms well represent the relationship between Nug and Cthulhu since all of these forms of asexual reproduction result in clones; the offspring are exact copies of the parent whether we are talking about amoebas, bryozoans or aquatic plants.  Based on what little information we have Cthulhu does not appear to be a clone of Nug.  Thus, our limited experience with Earth-based biology cannot be used to accurately describe this strange relationship.

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Illustrations of bryozoans by Ernst Haeckel (www.wikipedia.org)

So do we know any more about the relationship between Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu?  Yog-Sothoth is not mentioned in “The Call of Cthulhu” but Cthulhu is mentioned in “The Dunwich Horror.”  In “The Dunwich Horror” as Wilbur Whateley is reading the Necronomicon in the library of Miskatonic University, Dr. Henry Armitage looks over Wilbur’s shoulder to see what passage he is reading.  It is this passage where we hear about the Old Ones and that “Yog-Sothoth knows the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.  Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth.”  As mentioned in the previous article this passage indicates that Yog-Sothoth is somehow the source or connection between the Old Ones and our reality.  In addition, it also refers to the fact that the concept of time is very different to Yog-Sothoth.

Getting back to Cthulhu, the passage does briefly mentions other Old Ones including Great Cthulhu who is referred to as a cousin that can only dimly spy them (the other Old Ones) and Shub-Niggurath is also briefly mentioned.  While this passage may seem contradictory relative to the “Genealogy of the Elder Races,” it emphasizes the point that the typical genetic, family-based relationships we are so familiar with in describing many eukaryotic organisms on Earth do not apply to the Old Ones.  These descriptions are only feeble attempts for us to understanding the true nature of the Old Ones.

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Cthulhu by Damnengine (www.deviantart.com)

As mentioned earlier, Earth-based biology is obviously very limited in describing the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath.  In a previous article I hypothesized that the sexual union between these entities may not be a re-shuffling of genetic material.  Instead, it may represent the birth or creation of matter that is more stable in our existing space-time.  As previously hypothesized, the “Darkness” that directly created Shub-Niggurath maybe a manifestation of Dark Matter, which accounts for approximately 23-27% of the stuff in our Universe.  In turn, “The Nameless Mist” that created Yog-Sothoth may be a manifestation of Dark Energy, which accounts for another 68-73% of the stuff in our Universe.  This means that the matter we are familiar with, all life, all of the Earth, the planets, the sun and stars, the gases of the nebulae, everything are know and understand as matter only accounts for between 4-5% of the stuff in our Universe.

Dark matter and dark energy are not called “dark” because they are distant or invisible; they do not represent black holes or the deep vacuum of space.  They are described as dark simply because they are completely unknown to us (The 4% Universe by Richard Panek, 2011) and how we perceive reality.  Scientists have over the years begrudgingly recognized dark matter and dark energy primarily due to the fact that most information to date point to an expanding universe, which indicates something must have some type of anti-gravity property to overcome the natural gravitation attraction matter, in turn allowing for the expansion of the universe (www.nasa.gov).  Since the matter we are familiar with accounts for such as small portion of the stuff in the universe, some have called our known matter to be just a bit of pollution in our space-time and seem to be completely irrelevant to the cosmos (Richard Panek, 2011).  Yog-Sothoth as the gate and opener of the way may have channeled the alien energy from the Big Bang into the alien matter manifested as Shub-Niggurath.

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Yog-Sothoth by Hvergi (www.comicvine.com)

Thus, the sexual union between Yog-Sothoth and Shub-Niggurath may represent the creation of that 4-5% of known matter from the dark matter and dark energy of the proto-universe.  So Azathoth may have been the Big Bang (more on that later) giving rise to the proto-universe, which in turn cooled and expanded.  This then would have created The Nameless Mist (dark energy) which gave rise to Yog-Sothoth and the Darkness (dark matter) which gave rise to Shub-Niggurath.  In turn, the “sexual” union produced matter as we know it (Nug and Yeb).  Obviously, all of this is highly speculative, with hypotheses that will probably never be tested.  However, if we eventually develop the technology and understanding to actually detect or measure dark energy and dark matter, it may be possible to determine if sentience or a cognizant presence is associated with 95-96% of the universe.

All of the Old Ones appear to be limited in how they can exist in our space-time in a stable, physical form.  This explains their nebulous appearances; as previously described we are not observing their true nature, only a fraction of their forms squeezed into our three spatial and one temporal reality.  However, this does not prevent them from attempting to open the way into our reality.  For Cthulhu the attempted method is to enter the dreams of beings in our space-time to awaken him.  For Shub-Niggurath it is the creation of the Dark Young.  For Yog-Sothoth it is the attempted hybridization with Lavinia Whatley and next time we will discuss the Whateley family.  Thank you – Fred.

yog_sothoth_by_drhoz_davidjrodger.files.wordpress.com

Yog-Sothoth, the Lurker at the Threshold by Dr. Hoz (www.davidjrodger.files.wordpress.com)

The Dunwich Horror and Understanding the Nature of Yog-Sothoth

Magic is any sufficiently advanced technology.” – Arthur C. Clarke

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Yog-Sothoth by Chivohit (www.deviantart.com)

As one examines HPL’s stories in chronological fashion, there is a distinct pattern moving from themes and concepts associated with the occult and the supernatural to those of science.  This transition was gradual and a sub-set of these stories are transitional in themselves, where supernatural occurrences are rooted in scientific concepts that are either unknown to humanity or cannot be fully understood.  “The Call of Cthulhu” is one such story and so is “The Dunwich Horror.”

In “the Dunwich Horror” Wizard Whateley made some type of deal or arrangement to allow his daughter Livina to be impregnated by an extra-dimensional entity.  Apparently this entity is Yog-Sothoth.  In previous articles I identified the “Genealogy of the Elder Races,” which was originally drawn by Lovecraft and included in a letter to James F. Morton, dated 1933.  A copy of this genealogy can be found in Leslie S. Klinger’s The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (2014), Appendix 4.  In this genealogy it shows what entity gave rise to another entity, largely in an asexual nature.  However, two instances of sexual union are shown in the genealogy, one of which is between Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth.  The union between these two entities gave rise to Nug and Yeb, who in turn gave rise asexually to Cthulhu and Tsathoggua, respectively.

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From an evolutionary standpoint sex is basically referring to the production of new genomes by the recombination of preexisting genomes (Evolution: The First Four Billion Years, edited by Michael Ruse and Joseph Travis, 2009).  This increase in genetic variety is one of the driving resources for natural selection.  Additionally, as I have cited in previous articles on Shub-Niggurath, this unique sexual union may have been needed to generate manifestations of life that are more conducive to living in our space-time.  Thus, while Yog-Sothoth cannot be found residing in our reality, his “grand-spawn” of Cthulhu and Tsathoggua are present; Cthulhu deep in the Pacific Ocean in the sunken City of R’lyeh and Tsathoggua somewhere in the Saturnian system.  Additionally, the somewhat amorphous nature of both Yog-Sothoth (e.g. an iridescent collection of spheres or bubbles) and Shub-Niggurath (e.g. a cloud-like entity) indicates that it may be difficult for them to fully manifest in our space-time.

As alluded to in a previous article this “sexual” union between Shub-Niggurath and Yog-Sothoth may not necessarily be purely biological in nature.  This union may have given rise to the matter we are familiar with in our universe.  We already discussed that Shub-Niggurath may be the “mother” of matter in our reality and may continue in efforts to generate more life or matter in the form of the “thousand young.”  However, let’s now focus on Yog-Sothoth’s role in this union.

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Yog-Sothoth by Der Freischutz (www.deviantart.com)

Yog-Sothoth is frequently described, as with many of the other Old Ones, as not existing in the spaces we know but in between them, walking undimensioned and unseen by us.  Thus, Yog-Sothoth may exist in one of the higher dimensions.  It has been recognized that the laws of nature become simpler and more elegant when expressed in higher dimensions (Hyperspace: A Scientific Odyssey Through Parallel Universes, Time Warps, and the 10th Dimension by Michio Kaku, 1994).  For example, gravity and light obey different physical assumptions and mathematics.  However, if we include another dimension beyond the three spatial and one temporal, the equations that dictate and predict gravity and light merge together.  Light can be described as vibrations in the fifth dimension and the laws of gravity and light become simpler (Kaku, 1994).  The only reason why we always talk about three spatial dimensions and a temporal one is that they are the ones we move through and can perceive.  However, reality itself may be built on the foundation of additional dimensions, a hyperspace, which we cannot observe.  The mathematics used to describe our reality favor the existence of these higher but unseen dimensions and Yog-Sothoth may actually exist in these higher dimensions.

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Yog-Sothoth by Mysterious Karl (www.deviantart.com)

The higher dimensions of hyperspace may be beyond the edge of the known universe or a few millimeters away from us, folded, tucked away in our existing space-time.  Such a concept would explain how Yog-Sothoth exists in spaces we do not know, spaces that are in between those we know.  Additionally, manifestations of Yog-Sothoth are frequently described as being an iridescent collection of spheres or bubbles.  This may be an attempted manifestation of Yog-Sothoth, making an effort to squeeze into our space-time.  A similar scenario has been described as a higher dimensional creature attempts to pass through our three dimensional world.  A series of strange colors, images, shapes and textures would appear in front of us as then disappear.  As three dimensional creatures it is easier for us to image a two dimensional creature (like a square) encountering a three dimensional creature (like a sphere).  As a sphere passes through the square’s two dimensional reality, from the square’s perspective a point would appear out of thin air, turn into a line increasing in length to a maximum size and then decrease in length into another point and then disappear.  Thus, the shimmering globes and spheres of Yog-Sothoth may be this hyperspace entity passing through our three dimensional reality.

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A sphere passing through flatland (www.geom.uiuc.edu)

If Yog-Sothoth is a hyperspace entity, it may be a sentient form of vibrating wavelengths, like a living form of light or gravity that ripples through our space-time and hyperspace as well.  This would allow it to easily pass through our reality and possibly allow other forms of energy to travel back and forth through the various dimensions.  This unique ability for Yog-Sothoth to flow through and between dimensions (both ours and those in the higher, hyperspace) maybe what Lovecraft was trying to describe when citing the phrase from the Necronomicon, “Yog-Sothoth knows the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the gate.  Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate.”  Another passage from the Necronomicon that may describe the concept that Yog-Sothoth does not typically reside in a dimension(s) where time exists is, “Past, present and future all are one in Yog-Sothoth.”

So what does this all have to do with the Whateley family in Dunwich?  Well it provides some information that the “magic” of old Wizard Whateley may actually be a means of making contact with an inter-dimensional entity that exists in hyperspace.  Next time we will discuss both “The Dunwich Horror” and “The Call of Cthulhu” to assess what these entities want with our space-time.  Thank you – Fred.

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Yog-Sothoth by Xiegendariumx (www.deviantart.com)

The Weakness of the Old Ones

An excellent and entertaining resource on Lovecraft’s stories is the HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast hosted by Chris Lackey and Chad Fifer.  Over the years they have reviewed and analyzed all of HPL’s stories and currently are doing the same for stories that HPL has cited in his essay “Supernatural Horror in Literature.”  I highly recommend the Podcast.

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What is interesting about going through the Podcast episodes of HPL’s stories, particularly since the stories are presented in chronological order, is you can see themes or trends appear throughout his writings.  One of the ideas that periodically comes up and has been noted by Chris and Chad is that in some respects select entities of HPL’s seem to be easily defeated or relatively weak beings.  In this article I will be discussing this idea and presenting a hypothesis to explain it

First, it should be noted that some Lovecraftian entities seem to be very hardy if not downright immortal.  The Elder Ones (or Elder Things) were described a number of times as being extremely tough yet flexible.  These beings are known to have the capacity to travel interstellar space, live in the deep waters of the ocean or on dry land, which can include the steaming jungles near the equator or the Arctic / Antarctic regions of the poles.  Additionally, they can be put into some type of stasis or coma and can be revived millions of years later.  The Elder Ones are obviously well adapted to surviving a wide variety of environments and are well known to be residents of our universe.  The same can be said of their creations the shoggoths; well adapted and hearty organisms.

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Elder Ones by bioytic-9000 (www.deviantart.org)

However, in contrast to the Elder Things and shoggoths, other Lovecraftian entities do not appear to be as well adapted to our universe, let alone a Terran environment.  For example, in “The Whisperer in Darkness” the Mi-Go were described by Henry Akeley as being “clumsy in getting about” and having wings that “are not much use for short flights on earth.”  The Mi-Go are not of this Earth or of our universe, which is why they appear as clumsy in our atmosphere and gravity.

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Mi-Go by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

In “The Dunwich Horror,” which is a story I have yet to cover on this blog site, Wilbur Whateley was easily killed by a guard dog while he was attempting to steal a copy of the Necronomicon housed at the library at Miskatonic University.  Additionally, after he was killed Wilbur’s body rapidly decomposed so that by the time the medical examiner came to inspect the body nothing was left except a “sticky whitish mass.”  Two things come to mind on this.  First, while powerful from an inter-dimensional perspective, Wilbur was relatively weak in our reality; he was essentially killed by a dog (he obviously was right to be fearful over dogs).  Second, once dead, Wilbur’s hybridized inter-dimensional biomatter quickly dissolved.  This indicates that a considerable amount of energy was required to keep Wilbur’s body stable and intact while he was alive.

Similar to Wilbur, his twin was defeated by Dr. Armitage through an incantation.  According to Armitage, “The thing has gone forever.”  Thus, this large, invisible, inter-dimensional being was simply obliterated by some phrases from the Necronomicon.

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Wilbur Whateley by Michael Bukowski (www.yog-blogsoth.blogspot.com)

Finally, Cthulhu was presented as a god-like being who could influence people over the world through their own dreams.  In spite of Cthulhu’s god-like status compared to us puny humans, he appeared to be easily defeated.  Johansen drove the vessel the Alert head long onto Cthulhu.  The result of this was Cthulhu popped like an “exploding bladder” in an “acrid and blinding green cloud.”  However, while Cthulhu was defeated, it was not destroyed.  Johansen could see Cthulhu recombining in the water.  Thus, Cthulhu still lies deep in R’lyeh in a deep sleep.

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Cthulhu Rising by Spenzer777 (www.deviant.org)

In each of these examples, these apparently powerful, inter-dimensional entities appear to be have difficulty in our reality or can be easily destroyed or defeated.  How can this be?  Essentially I hypothesize that since their beings originate from other dimensions or are inter-dimensional hybrids, their powers are limited in our dimension or reality.  Thus, the inter-dimensional entities in our reality can be thought of as astronauts or deep sea divers.

Astronaut and deep sea diving suits allow humans to explore non-habitable environments such as space and the ocean.  However, the trade-off to exploring these unforgiving, inhospitable environments is limitations in movement and speed due to their specialized suits.  Additionally, we are entirely dependent on an artificial means of breathing.  Thus, we need to expend a high amount of energy to explorer these environments over short periods of time.  From the perspective of a shark or whale humans in the ocean may appear to be powerful beings, yet at the same time we are weak in that we are slow moving and dependent on exteneral forces / energies to keep up alive.  I believe the same can be said about the inter-dimensional Old Ones.
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An astronaut’s suit keeps them alive but limits mobility, and vision; the suit is both power and a limitation for humans (astronaut.com)

In each case, the Mi-Go, Wilbur Whateley and Cthulhu, are inter-dimensional, or semi-inter-dimensional entities probing or exploring our universe and reality.  For the Mi-Go, they may be a stable form of inter-dimensional life that can do quite well in our universe, however, they obviously are not adapted to many of our physical constants such as gravity.  Additionally, as HPL cites in “The Whisperer in Darkness” the Mi-Go are “composed of a form of matter totally alien to our part of space – with electrons having a wholly different vibration-rate.”  Thus, while possibly not residents of our universe, they appear to be moderately comfortable here.  Maybe they can be thought of as explorers (or miners?) with equipment and gear; although in their case their equipment are their biological modifications.

In contrast, Wilbur Whateley and Cthulhu are entities that appear to require an enormous amount of energy to maintain their status in this universe.  Upsetting this stream of energy killed Wilbur and temporarily defeated Cthulhu.  Thus, their respective forms in our reality may be their astronaut or diving suits – Cthulhu may look very different in its own residential universe.  Also, using the astronaut or diving suit analogy, this would explain the apparent weakness of these entities.  If Wilbur and Cthulhu were successful in opening the way from their universe to ours these circumstances would certainly change.

Next time the discussion will focus on Nyarlathotep.  Thank you – Fred.

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Cthulhu 1790 by Fiend Upon My Back (www.deivantart.org)