H.P. Lovecraft: 6 of his best stories for the Halloween season
As an avid fan of H.P. Lovecraft, I find October to be the perfect time to reread his classic stories of horror. I love many things about his tales, but perhaps my favorite is his choice of locales. His stories take place mostly in New England, from Providence, R.I. to the fictional Arkham, Mass. Arkham (believed to actually be based on Salem, Mass.) is home to the Miskatonic University that is featured in or referenced in many of his stories.
Second, and most important to me (and to his legion of fans), is the "Cthulhu Mythos" that most of his stories share. This myth holds that our planet was once ruled by the "Old Ones," evil, monstrous gods that, after ruling earth for eons, were driven away, back to their dark dimension deep within the sea. But these evil gods are constantly trying to reclaim our world, whether by a man or a cult that worships them or through some unknowing dupe who stumbles upon the evil spell book known as the Necronomicon. The word "Cthulhu" is the name of one of these "old ones." This concept has proven so popular that many authors have used it directly or "adapted" the idea for their own stories.
So for this spooky season, here are, in no particular order, my favorite H. P. Lovecraft stories.
1. 'The Call of Cthulhu'
Let me start off with one of Lovecraft’s most famous short stories. After the suspicious death of his great-uncle, Francis Wayland Thurston discovers his late relative was piecing together an occurrence that affected people around the globe – the (thankfully temporary) reemergence of the slumbering "Old One" Cthulhu. Through his great-uncle's notes, photos, and newspaper clippings, Thurston learns of the event and the Cult of Cthulhu, a secret society that worships the "dark god" in macabre rites and is working to assist Cthulhu in its return. Not only does this story delve deep into Lovecraft’s mythos, it actually features an appearance by one of the monstrous "Old Ones." An amazing horror story.