Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Legend Tripping Lovecraft Part 1

"Legend Tripping" is a recent term for someone seeking an adrenaline or endorphin rush by going to a haunted place - such as a cemetery - or a place where one's idol traversed. Many people go to Mercy Brown's [1] gravesite and many fans go to see HPL's gravestone. [2]

Lovecraft often sniffed around Poe's trails. Lovecraft wrote this letter: [3]

{Postmarked Richmond, Va. to Donald Wandrei, May 9, 1929}

"Don't you wish you were here? The Original Melmoth" [4]

1 c. 1890, Mercy Brown, the model for both Lovecraft's Mercy Dexter (she was from Exeter, R.I.) and Bram Stoker's Mina Westenra (one wonders if this was a subconscious allusion to 'western rhode island". She was believed by her family to be a vampire, her body exhumed and her heart burned. The Providence Journal exploded at the atrocity.

2 HPL is not buried under his gravestone on purpose. There was at least one happenstance of attempted amateur exhumation.

3 The Letters of HP Lovecraft to Donald Wandrei, p. 237. ST Joshi describes the postcard as "Front: The Edgar Allen [sic] Poe House in Richmond". The typographical mispelling of Poe's middle name persisted for a number of years and was finally corrected (apparently) in the late 1930's. This card (see photo, Legend Tripping Lovecraft Part 2) preserves the misspelling.

4 Melmoth the Wanderer (1820) by Charles Robert Maturin quickly became a touchstone and originated the pun "Melmoth the Wandrei". Joshi, footnote 9, p. 8 in Letters of HPL & DAW, op.cit.

PostCard similar to ST Joshi's description. For another view, see Lovecrfat Legend Tripping Part 2


cheesemeister said...

I love visiting Boot Hill when I go to Tucson to see my brother. That's some great legend tripping!

Michelle said...

HPL is not buried under his gravestone on purpose.

This makes me a little sad. For two reasons -- it kind of makes any visit I might do almost moot (DAMMIT! so where is he?), and boy, we can't really be trusted, can we? Too bad.

Julilla said...

His stone was placed many years later, wasn't it?

pheromone oil said...

thanks for the infomation

Chris Perridas said...

Yes, 1977 I believe to get his Mom and his stones in place. Online (I'll look later) there is a Halloween article of a few years back from the Prov Journal speaking of the attempted tomb raiding.

Thank each of you for reading.


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