Sunday, November 12, 2006

1911 Sea Beast

In 1911, Harry Houdini was manacled and slipped inside the carcass of a "sea monster" that had washed up on a beach near Boston (Cape Cod). The unidentified corpse was then sewn shut and chain was wrapped around it. Houdini escaped, although the fumes of the rotting beast mixed with arsenic (which was used to preserve it for the stunt) very nearly killed him. Fortunately, Houdini was able to stay conscious, and managed to escape from his organic prison.

Lovecraft was always on the watch for sea creature stories. I wonder if this deteriorated sea thing influenced the writing of Dagon? *

* It is generally recognized that HPL dreamed most of the story and that also Irving Cobb's story of 1913 "Fishhead" were primary influences. Still ... HPL often mulled over an idea for years before it came to fruition.

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