Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fungi From the Imagination!

This is too cool for school, Lovecraftians. From today's coast to coast ... if you don't know Coast to Coast ... you must!

The Fungi Asteroid

My wife found this early stage of a puffball fungi today. It reminded me of the Jupiter moon Io. I photographed it and then used software to superimpose it over a stock shot of Jupiter. Kind of an interesting asteroid with a torn surface, like Io, floating over Jupiter. Truly, a fungus among us.

--Rick Tobin

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Muriel Eddy

Recently seen on ABE books.

Lover, Be Lonely No More! [INSCRIBED]
Eddy, Muriel E.
Bookseller: Heights Books, Inc.
(Brooklyn, NY, U.S.A.)

Quantity Available: 1
Book Description: Privately Printed, No Place, 1957. Pamphlet. Book Condition: Very Good+/Near Fine. First Edition. INSCRIBED on first page by Muriel E. Eddy. Self-published 1957 short story. From the first page: "A Story of the Deep South: Tense, Dramatic, and Tenderly Told!". Bound as a pamphlet in original orange wrappers with front cover lettered in black between decorative rules. Contents clean and evenly toned, binding sturdy. Eddy and her husband were both writers and met H. P. Lovecraft in 1923 and were his friends until his death in 1937. For many years, she also was president of the Rhode Island Writers' Gui.d She wrote many memoirs of Lovecraft. Inscribed By Author. Bookseller Inventory # 015883

Monday, December 28, 2009

Things to come!

I've thought a lot of what to do next.

2200 + posts of HPL so far! 106,000 + reads! Ia!

I'll keep looking for Ebayeum goodies - and pray that Google stays in business or it will all be lost! (Que sera sera). Some of you should copy some of this stuff, because Chrispy won't live forever, and you may want to show your grandchildren some of these things about HPL. Maybe one day, HPL will be digitized, but until then this is my best stab at doing it.

I'm in awe everyday when I open up my email box and read your mail, or get posts at the HPL "Inner Sanctum". YOU reading what I type is an energy boost each and every time. Thank YOU!

Heaven knows seeing my name in Kenneth Faig's book made my year - my decade! I can retire happy just from that!

So what can Chrispy do now? Where to go from here?

Well, if health holds up and I can keep my fingers typing I hope to do an original serial story for you. A couple of you saw some of it and laughed heartily, so I feel confident enough to finish and let YOU have it. Like a pie at a burlesque show, I have about 2/3 of the story finished and can post it every Monday for YOU to read and read, laugh at, or mock! It will be very much in the vein of my favortie all time movie: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, only without Aboott, Costello, and Frankenstein. Those characters are most likely copyrighted, heh. So stay tuned. I hope I can start it in February, but that would mean finishing it, editing it, and so forth.

I have already scketched out a few new original mini-essays to stimulate your own research and imagination. "Lovecraft's Words", "Lovecraft: Deaf?", and maybe more.

A lot will depend on my day job's stresses, what Dark Resources will need from me, and any other requests I get.

I know Boyd and I keep trying to do a "Chupacabra" hunt in Texas together. Wilum, I hope I can make it to HPL film fest in 2010.

I have a Lin Carter manuscript already drafted, but have no idea if I ever find a publisher. Probably not. I need to write up an essay on my collection of Adolphe de Castro letters. A good friend is thinking about doing a graphic novel on one of my stories, but who knows if it will make it past the proposal? :) Tom and I have discussed starting a magazine of antiquarian horror. I still haven't loaded the adobe software. (sorry). I've discussed doing a printing of my stories in an anthology, but most likely I'll put them up on a new blogger account this year. The issue is that many are R and X rated, so blogger might not be a great fit for that. Don't know. Well, on and on and on it goes. A day in the life of Chrispy!

I feel two months behind where I need to be, but I just had to have some ME time recently. (Passed level 220 in Mafia Wars! Join Chrispy's mafia on facebook!)

I'm happy that I could keep up the post a day at HPL, though!

Thank each of YOU for the emails I get. I owe several posts to many of you from materials you've sent. I'm trying! (Dave G: The alligators are set for 21 January 2010).

Each of you have a blessed 2010 - we all sure need one.

5 October 1935 (Saturday)

The evening of 5 October, HPL wold have scanned news articles such as these. In the meantime, he was also looking over letters from correspondents such as Derleth, Wandrei, Barlow, and RE Howard. A few months past his 45th birthday, he was probably finishing up The Diary of Alonzo Typer with William Lumley. Troubles in Ethiopia, the slight gain of the stock market that day, the baseball games, and racing results probably were a waste of paper to Lovecraft.

For the record, the baseball results for the previous day - Friday, October 4, 1935 at Wrigley Field between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago Cubs was attended by an astounding 49,350. Chicago's Hartnett hit a home run, but the Cubs still lost 2-1.

... Around the dreaded house a straggling village arose ... and in sight of the van der Heyl house, is a steep hill crowned with a peculiar ring of ancient standing stones which the Iroquois always regarded with fear and loathing. The origin and nature of the stones ... is a problem still unsolved.

The Diary of Alonzo Typer

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm going to reopen open comments on the blog.
Thanks for your patience.

27 December 1916

to Kleiner:

"inspiration ... [my] first poem of mine selected for publication by The [November] National Magazine ... the December number is another effort of mine ... Brotherhood ...

In prideful scorn, I watch'd the farmer stride
With step uncouth o'er road and mossy lane;
How could I help but distantly deride
The churlish, callous'd, coarse-clad country swain ...

..; the tend'rest impulse of a noble race
Had prov'd the boor a finer man than I! was composed more in levity than in lyrical rage ... It seems comical to me to have trash like this printed in a real illustrated professional magazine, with my name on the page of contents!"


Here at 26, HPL shows his intensity at what he believes to be civilization is a high standard, while other sociological groups are belittled as roughian. Another opinion is thus ...


Eugene Ferguson was a late 19th - early 20th artist from Rhode Island who painted pastoral landscapes, often with cows. He exhibited frequently at the Providence Art Club during the 1920's. Scenes of cows from Saylesville and the Rhode Island countryside dominated. During his lifetime he resided at 200 Thurbers Avenue in Providence.

The only example I could find is:

Saturday, December 26, 2009

April 1935: Ackerman's Fantasy

Weird Tales dedication issue. includes a biographical sketch of HP Lovecraft, and cool poem by Farnsworth Wright

Recently seen, here are some contents. As described by seller.

March 1935 the amazing story dedicated issue, has interviews with principals including Florence Bothner, the secretary of the editor

June 1935 this issue has and article title "how i came to write Science Fiction" by Ray Cummings, "the Art of Time Travel" by TS Gardner, and of course plenty of Forry Ackerman and Julius Schwartz.

July 1935 issue has movie reviews by none other than Forrest Ackerman, an amazing biographical sketch of Robert E. Howard, done DURING his lifetime. it has a cool impressionistic linoleum cut of Howard in the back.

August 1935 an early Bloch satire story "the Ultimate Ultimatum" depicting a strange meeting of writers including Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, and more... Even forrest Ackerman is mentioned.

Mar 1936 a weird issue, it is smaller in size than the others, and printed with a bold cover. includes the story "Thirteen Phantasms" by Clark Ashton Smith, there is a biographical sketch of August Derleth, plenty of Forrest Ackerman movie related articles, including one where he discusses his speaking Esperanto

September 1936 sadly has a memorial for Robert E. Howard, but it also has cool stuff like a column by Robert Bloch titled Funtasy....also something by HG Wells,

... amazing 3rd aniiversary issue. it includes the famous "Challenge from Beyond". also has a cool congratulations page from A. Merritt, and others, including forrest Ackerman's parents.


More Info on Fantasy magazine by using the blog search features.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

Merry Christmas From Chrispy!


From a previous post many months ago ... An HPL Christmas Card. Back then, was a posted comment, "I am proud to say that this card now rests in my private collection. ...Charles D. O'Connor III ... Virginia."

[Link Back]

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 2009

Just hours to go before Santa visits.

It's been a rough year for Chrispy, and hasn't it been for all? HPL sure had more than his share of rough patches.

Still, as Irving Berlin wrote and Bing Crosby kindly sung, "When I'm worried and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep... // When my bankroll is getting small, I think of when I had nothing at all ... // And I fall asleep counting my blessings!"

Thank you for reading the blog this year (and thinking kindly of me). If you're so inclined, preserve hope and pray for peace for our world and for all your fellow blog readers.

A Chrispy Story for YOU

Not a thing to do with Lovecraft!

This has been twice published in +Horror Library+ (September 2006) and elsewhere - I think in the Open Vein. The years are beginning to creep by me and memory grows pale and weak some days.

It's a personal favorite of mine, as The Christmas Carol is our favorite story. We have numerous versions on CD (love George C Scott, and Patrick Stewarts' versions) and see it every year at Louisville's Actor's Theater ($35 this year, ouch, but worth every penny. Support your local artists!)

Anyway, a present from me to YOU.


By Chris Perridas


"Damn Boz! Asleep again."

The portly man paced around the sleeping figure like a jackal about a lion. He stopped and shook a fist at him.

"Look at him would you. Quill pen still in his hand and look where he stopped. Right where he ignored my ideas. What a name! Bob!"

Out of the shadows, a pale man spoke. "It's not a bad name."

"How can you say that, Jacob? He's already written that I am a fifteen shilling a week clerk, what is the reader to think? Bob, indeed. Why not call me a shilling-shyster clerk? Do I look like a shill? Why not 'Robert' like I told him? Robert is a fine name."

"I think you are overreacting, my fine fellow." Jacob said.

"Fine, give the devil his due. Fie, let him take the Christian name and abuse it, for all the good it will do him. Martin Chuzzlewit did nothing to line his pockets with bobs. The man has no head for names, always thinking himself witty, but in fact his hyperbole falls flat. But I must protest the surname, Cratchett."

"With your argument, I might object to my name, Jacob, as being anti-Semitic. Why not call me by my English name, James? Does the man think to call attention to the greed he has extricated from thin nothings and placed in ink upon me? He has elevated me as a curse, and perhaps as being in someway a discredit to the Jewish race. Yes, might he not have called me James and be done with it?"

Bob looked Jacob over, at his horn-rimmed glasses perched on his brow and his be-chained death cerement. The phantom body reflected the low yellow light of the oil lamp, the room's only illumination. He challenged, "Jacob, if you do not defend me on the blight this scribbler has placed upon my name, why should I stand up for your rights?"

Jacob took Bob's comment and dissected it as if it were a ledger entry in his massive accounting book. Bob saw that the man swayed to the logic of the argument.

Bob said, "Cratchett! Think about it. Am I crotchety? In fact, though he writes my character as a quiet, homebody – a mouse among men – I am a man of nobility. One might call me 'Robert Everyman'."

"I dare say, sir, your speech is of such a high caliber, you ought to go into Parliament." The words came from a thin, young man with apple cheeks. He followed the retort with a smart chuckle.

"Fred!" Bob declared.

"The same and at your service, sir." He bowed in the Victorian style.

"Take care, man, or Boz will seize your words, twist them and make them his own." Bob warned.

"Oh, Bob, the writer is sound asleep. Leave him be. He will never know I uttered a whisper."

"Easy for you to say, Frederick. The way he has written you, he has scrawled you as a youthful pauper. I dare say, the parts I read peeking out under his ink-besotted hand, you are a player of games and singer of songs. You! Incredible! We have told Boz over and over that you are the equal of any man in England in trade and commerce, despite your youth.

He pretends to be a reformer, the ink-blobber, but it is he that is a money grubbing book subscription pulp man. He covets, grasps and clings to his infamous celebrity, cranking out public grist at the grind mill."

Jacob nodded. Fred stood silent. Bob had them in his palm. He smiled at his cleverness, at his scheme. There was one left to coerce.

Bob pointed to the darkest corner of the small room. A man aged more by life than by years tottered at the edge of the light.

"You! Of all of us, you should be most outraged. Weigh in on the matter, I charge you. After all if it is of any man, it is your story."


Ebenezer walked out into the faint light dressed in thirty year old waistcoat worn with moth holes. He leaned over the sleeping writer, rolled up a ball of phlegm and aimed - ready to spit on him.

Bob stood before Ebenezer and halted the atrocity.

"Take care not to wake him. There is a great deal more to discuss if we are to take our story from the usurper's hands." Bob chided.

Instead, the moth-eaten old man swallowed hard and took in the measure of sleeping Boz. He pointed at first the writer's scraggly beard, the thinning forehead and mocked him. He puffed up and silently mouthed words as if Boz stood in a penny theater reading one of his stories. It brought laughter to the men.

Ebenezer took a breath and blasted away for real. "A pox on Boz. Ebenezer Scrooge, indeed. You ink-biber, I'll give you the dickens indeed, when you wake.

"Ebenezer! Oh, Bob, hear the sound of it. What a name misused, blasphemed. I quote, 'And the Philistines took the ark of God and brought it from Ebenezer ...' Good and noble Samuel built a memorial of stone to symbolize help, and this man has blasphemed the scriptures to represent me as a hard flint."

Bob saw his opportunity. "See! That is the twisting logic of the writer. He wants pun not truth. He is a pundit of fecundity of words. Abused, you are, my good gentleman. Speak on."

Ebenezer said, "A hard fisted, hand to the grindstone, blackguard! He sets me up as a straw man, an easy mark. The plot! Egads, the plot! It is the of thinnest gossamer. I have no depth, no warmth, a victim of the world's mechanics, when I – I speak truth gentlemen, not folderol – I am a business colossus of the infinite affinity."

Red faced angry, Ebenezer continued, "Give me credit, Boz. Your father was a pitiful businessman, so you take it out on me. You make me an ogre when all I have done is give men jobs. Instead of a befuddled Midas, you should portray me as a Prometheus."

He continued, "Though you fill the world on both sides of the ocean with yellowed paper pamphlets of melodrama, do you have two farthings in your purse? No!

"I know business. I relish the kill at the stocks, the rate or return on a vessel of cotton to America, or corn to Ireland. Business is the relish of mankind, but you twist my meaning, you jaded so-called reformer. Mankind is my business, because it is my genius that employs the poor, trains them to do handiwork of profit rather than be Faginish pickpockets."

Energized by the featured actor, the other figures emerged. Each had a cause, each a complaint against Boz. Ebenezer, for instance, went on and on about Scrooge being too close to the vulgar 'screw'. Jacob then objected to Marley as akin to snarly or gnarly. Anarchy teetered on the brink. Bob was near to loosing control of the mob, when he hit upon just the right words.

"Damn it, men. We have paper, we have ink, let us write the story ourselves. We shall create a masterpiece rather than churning out the pabulum of trite sentimentality."

"Hurrah for Bob." Frederick cheered.

Ebenezer pried the pen from Boz' hand and thrust it to Bob, as if it were Arthur's Excalibur. "Take it, Bob, and wield its power."


Robert Everyman grasped the pen and dipped the quill into the inkwell. The pen fairly flew across the page. Salts were sprinkled liberally to fix the ink, but still the black India stained his hand. He relished it as if it were the blood of fallen warriors, hacked beneath his sword-pen.

"Oh this shall be a story for the ages, Eb! A fine shiny gold memorial honoring the industrious British businessman."

"Hone it, Robert, buff it to the shine of the sun for us!" James spoke.

The story built as Eb Flintdollar and James Marlowe formed a partnership based on huge profiteering. Eb's nephew, Frederick Adolphus, and Robert Everyman were made junior partners. Marlowe and Flintdollar managed to slum properties extorting huge rates of rent, foreclosing at the drop of a hat to gain an mountain of escrow of deposits.

Adolphus, ambitious to the hilt, plied the seas commanding their fleet. Textiles sailed to America and cotton foamed back to the mills in northern England. As a bonus, Adolphus conducted a vigorous slave trade, illegal but thrilling as if he were a pirate. The rum of Barbados soothed the sting of imparting bribes to officials of the navy and inebriate the admiralty to look the other way.

But Robert, oh, Robert! He sank into the snake pit to snatch the gold caps off the asps' fangs. Political intrigue was the lubrication of their fornication of business.

Gold was the covetous desire, but black was the theme.

Black coal dug out of damp, dark mines by miners with bloody black syrup lungs. Workers who hacked up dark spew before they shuffled off the mortal coil. They left behind black-dressed widows soon to go to the parish poorhouses.

Black soot bellowed from stove-pipe tipped iron locomotives. Gritty steel cars rattled on the fledgling tracks built by Flintdollar and Marlowe.

Black men were traded as cattle, whipped bloody when they did not suffocate below decks. But Robert, deep in a golden dream, had not begun to plunge the depths. No, not yet.

One day, dodging slop water tossed to the streets from third floor tenement, an idea to exceed all previous inspiration struck.

He rushed back to their grimy business abode, the one with the rusting chains holding up a filthy sign. Inside, the three ghosts were recruited by Robert for a mission to the blackest pit. A deal was forged to steal and sell men's blackened souls to those who ruled in the heat of Hell. With tar pitch they signed – on behalf of Flintdollar and Marlowe - with an unholy triumvirate: Satan, Pluto and Mephisto.

The dark octopus of Flintdollar and Marlowe spread its bleak tendrils throughout London, over the isles and beyond – to America, India and Australia.

Even Victoria trembled when the enamel and "F.M." crested carriage pulled to the back entryway of the palace and disgorged Robert Everyman.


"By God, Robert, that is a story of incredible proportions. It rivals Homer's Iliad." Eb rubbed his hands with delight.

"I have just begun."

Robert's fingernails were deep black with ink and still he scribbled into the night. The group's cheers as each page was passed about made the pen spark across the pages. Nearly 150 handwritten pages stacked up as the fifth hour passed just as twilight of day poked through the dirty windows of Boz' study.

Not made of flesh, Robert blazed the story in lightning fast strokes. Triumphs that made Caesars blush accumulated. Of course, thousands lay dead and dying or imprisoned because of the trajectory of avarice. However, Robert had no cares or twinges of conscious since these characters were but illusions of the imagination.

Then, the entropy of the universe reigned in Robert's story.

The first crushing recoil occurred when Marlowe, screaming in the damp well of the exchange, caught a disease of fungus mold – and within days died.

Robert looked up from the page. "I am heartily sorry, dear chap, but the story is virtually out of my control." Marlowe bowed his fading head, acknowledged his fate and vanished.

Then, the flagship vessel is seized by Lincoln's navy and Adolphus is imprisoned. For a decade he languished, Flintdollar and Everyman unable to make political and financial arrangements could not free him. Then, finally in 1876, Grant issued a pardon as part of the draft of graft billowing through Restoration Washington. It came too late, though, for Adolphus died that very night – the night before the courier brought the pardon.

Lastly, Flintdollar's health failed. Long a sufferer of the twin pains of syphilis and laudanum, he gave up the ghost on the eve of the new year 1880.

Surviving partner, now sole owner, Robert rejoiced in the grandiose power he held.

Gladstone defeated Disraeli and a new wind swept Parliament.

Oh, poor Robert, he might well have brokered kingdoms but for the illegal books quickly discovered by government audit. Skulking politicians long indebted knew that Everyman would eventually reveal their dark secrets to other rivals for influence and profit. Before that happened, they ganged up and the resultant barrage ruined the business. Thus ended the concern of Flinthammer and Marlowe.

Suicide was the last answer. Robert pulled the trigger and immediately stood before the triumvirate of Hell leaving behind a gory pulp where his head of business once sat upon Everyman shoulders.

Gazing upon a stage, the three – Satan, Pluto and Mephisto - in blood red robes, laughed heartily at the antics of their three pets. Adolphus, Marlowe and Flintdollar performed tricks at the whim of the Unholy Three. Other times, devilish beasts sodomized the former men to the howling peals of laughter of the audience of demons.

A fourth pedestal and chains lay vacant uon this same stage in wait for Robert Everyman. A slobbering thing shambled toward Robert carrying shackles of gleaming iron. A moment before the clamp was applied to Robert's decrepit flesh, he screamed an immortal plea for mercy. No one heard, no one cared.

Well there was one who cared.


Boz stretched and looked about. The oil was low in the lamp, and the sun's weak light leaked though the sooty windows.

About him, carnage lay. Pages of splotched ink were strewn. Gray characters lay like dead leaves and the dying moaned – the aftermath of the debauched night.

"Great God, what is this?" Boz exclaimed to the vestiges of his imagination. On a discarded deck of cards set up as a makeshift stage three flames once of Hell burned out. At the foot of that deck of cards were four things that resembled mangy mice.

Bob weakly sighed up to the writer, "Boz, oh, please rescue us. Our rebellion has failed worse than that French revolt of 1798. It is a far better thing for us to lay our will at your pen, than for us to exceed our abilities.


Cleaned up, the characters all ringed about Charles Dickens as he rewrote the immortal words and signed the preface:

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.

Their faithful Friend and Servant, C. D.

December, 1843.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lovecraft Poems Read ...

The H.P. Lovecraft Literary Podcast is having 20 poems read for the

Check them out!

23 December 1925

to Lillian:

"... the one essential ingerdient of my life is a certain amount of quiet & freedom for creative literary composition ..."

He mentions that Sonia is contemplating going to Halle's in Cleveland.

"...the renumeration is not great, but the prospects of advancement are considerable ... the leading department-store of Cleveland."

Halle Brothers Company: Jewelry counter at the downtown Halle's at Euclid Avenue and E.12st Street. Halle's was founded by Samuel and Salmon Halle in 1891. The chain was closed in 1982.

An older archive image.


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What were they reading in 1927?

Unlikely any of these would appeal to the 37 year old Lovecraft - but then again ...

This is the Providence copy of the catalog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lovecraft Poem to Honor Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice!

Yule Horror
by H. P. Lovecraft

There is snow on the ground,
And the valleys are cold,
And a midnight profound
Blackly squats o'er the wold;
But a light on the hilltops half-seen hints of feastings un- hallowed and old.

There is death in the clouds,
There is fear in the night,
For the dead in their shrouds
Hail the sin's turning flight.
And chant wild in the woods as they dance round a Yule- altar fungous and white.

To no gale of Earth's kind
Sways the forest of oak,
Where the sick boughs entwined
By mad mistletoes choke,
For these pow'rs are the pow'rs of the dark, from the graves of the lost Druid-folk.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Possible Lovecraft "Arabian" Connection?

It's a bit of a stretch, but could young Howard imagined the ramifications of Arabian medicine and conjured up Abdul Alhazred?


Dr. Jesse Miller & Sons, Lyman G. and Bradford T., ... took over the company which was located at 8-12 High Street, becoming proprietors of the Soothing & Healing Balsam, the famous Arabian Balsam, and the popular Vegetable Expectorant.

The Arabian Balsam had been used as a stimulant expectorant and as a counterirritant in the relief of colds, and coughs or hoarseness due to colds. ...
In 1890, Ebenezer died and his sons took over the business. They moved to 350 Weybosset Street in 1893 and continued to sell patent medicines until Lavinia A. Marsh bought the company in 1926.

Oil of turpentine (Oleum Terebinthinae) is essentially "alpha-pinene", and oil of Thyme is "2-methyl-5-(1-methylethyl)phenol", for those of you who really like obscure trivia. :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

19 December 1927

to Wandrei:

"I am getting quite lonely for horror... when we grow old, the feelings & intensity of our early childhood return to us with a freshness & intensity scarcely to be conceived of ..."

In this letter, he refers to Wandrei's mention of a lecture by Rennell Rodd (1858-1941) lecture, a poet who'd won the Newdigate prize in 1880. Lovecraft states ... "he read one poem on Greece which gives me a highly favourable idea of his style & attainments...".

"I attended a lecture by Canon Fellowes of Windsor [1870-1951] ... learned much that was new to me about early English music ..."

Lovecraft refers to him as "Canon' Fellowes becuase he was a minor canon of St. George's Chapel, Windsor from 1900 (to 1951). His given name was Edmund Horace Fellowes. Fellowes' compassion for mid-16th century - mid-17th century music led him to edit hundreds of manuscripts of ancient music, particularly madrigals.

Friday, December 18, 2009

1905 Christmas Letter

This is a sweet Ebay item just in time for the Christmas Season! Lovecraft, as many know, rejected Santa (and Jesus) at a very early age. Other children did not.

is a vintage and original letter to Santa (Claus), from a Providence, Rhode Island boy named Lawrence W. Strickland. Lawrence lived at 965 Eddy st. (in Providence), and wrote the letter in ink of the period in December of 1905. This is a cute and poignant century old letter in which he tells Santa that he “liked the things you sent me last Christmas.” He continues, in part, “For this year I would like a warm sweater, a pair of skates, a baseball suit (uniform), a knife, snow shovel, a baseball game.” He goes on, “I would especially (like) a baseball suit and a baseball game, and a sweater, knife.” It is interesting to note that the old professional Providence Grays baseball team played not far away from his address, and one has to wonder if their games helped to inspire Lawrence’s request…a great old Santa letter.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Profiteering Culprits Behind Global Warming Revealed: Lobsters!

The image above shows a lobster in low CO2, and a lobster grown in acidic, high carbon dioxide water (>2500 ppm)

Culprits Behind Global Warming Revealed: Lobsters!

American lobsters raised in more acidic waters grow much larger (above, right) than lobsters grown in less acidic conditions (left), a December 2009 study found.

The experiment, which mimicked rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels that are predicted for Earth's atmosphere, shows acidic seas can produce jumbo-size shelled marine species, including lobsters, crabs, and shrimp.


Insidious! Through clever manipulation, these crustacenas have forced us to ooze out copious amounts of carbon dioxide so they can advance their species.

What people thought they saw were organic shapes not quite like any they had ever seen before. Naturally, there were many human bodies washed along by the streams in that tragic period; but those who described these strange shapes felt quite sure that they were not human, despite some superficial resemblances in size and general outline. Nor, said the witnesses, could they have been any kind of animal known to Vermont. They were pinkish things about five feet long; with crustaceous bodies bearing vast pairs of dorsal fins or membranous wings and several sets of articulated limbs, and with a sort of convoluted ellipsoid, covered with multitudes of very short antennae, where a head would ordinarily be. The Whisperer in the Darkness

The Mind Parasites by Colin Wilson

A Panther 1973 book featuring the notoriety of HP Lovecraft.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Weird Spirals in Space

First "spiral" over Norway.

Second spiral
I was going to let this one pass, but now it's just getting weird. Apparently the Russians are testing new technology and rockets, and we're getting "spirals in the sky". Some claim it's HAARP, others a routine thing. But it sure is weird. And we are all about weird around here.

Oh, HAARP? :

Video of #2.

If You're From Kentucky ...

of Kentucky, born in Kentucky, or live on the border of Kentucky there is a new writers and artists group formed. Check it out ...

Can you help spread the word?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Real Life Cthulhu News

SYDNEY – Australian scientists have discovered an octopus in Indonesia that collects coconut shells for shelter — unusually sophisticated behavior that the researchers believe is the first evidence of tool use in an invertebrate animal.

The scientists filmed the veined octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus, selecting halved coconut shells from the sea floor, emptying them out, carrying them under their bodies up to 65 feet (20 meters), and assembling two shells together to make a spherical hiding spot.

The Bloop!

Brian Barnett, a Kentucky collegaue, just told me about "the bloop". Wow. Go over there and check it out.

The Bloop

The Bloop is the phenomenon without which this site might not exist. As related on the History page, learning about the Bloop and then relating that news to Lovecraft's stories made me feel awfully close to the protagonist of "The Call of Cthulhu". [It's] coming roughly from 50oS; 100oW ...

The Bloop

Brian Barnett lives with his wife, Stephanie, and son, Michael, in Frankfort, Kentucky. To date, he has published over fifty stories since he began publishing in November 2008.

Monday, December 14, 2009

95 Million Year Old Octopus: Cthulhu's Cousin?

Am I ever late to this one. I saw it in my Top 100 science items in Discover Magazine. It was discovered last January. "Scientists have found evidence of 95 million-year-old octopus."

I still imagine Cthulhu coming to Earth back in those days, before we were a glimmer of a Lemur's eye, and saying - hmm, there's a noble interesting creature I can command whilst I sleep. And then seizing the form of the multi-tentacled thing. Who can say, or even drad to consider, the original form of the Eldritch and their minions?

As I recall (the article is not in front of me, and it's getting old for Google) it was found in Lebanon, and it was accidentally buried in some sterile, uninhabited waters that kept predators from sucking away it's succulent flesh.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

13 December 1925

to Lillian:

"Glad you liked "In the Vault". Wright's rejection of that was sheer nonsense - I don't believe any censor would have objected ... but ever since the Indiana Senate took action about poor Eddy's "Loved Dead", {Wright] has been in a continual panic..."

While Google is a wonderful contemporary, there is nary a whisper of this historical event that one can find. In it's day it rocked the magazine world much as did the Hayes Commission with movies, and the Comics Code with comics.

For more "In the Vault" stuff, don't foget to use the metatags and search on the blog!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Real Ghost Stories of the '30's

One more Margaret Beane recorded story shows a subtle touch of Weird Tales. Recorded On 3 Decemeber 1936. Story #163, Cypress and Swamps, Alan Brown.

"On just such a night as this, my son and I ... asked for shelter. A man called that he had no empty cabins. After much persuasion [he said] we might sleep in an old abandoned house on his property.

" room we were going to use had a bed made as if expecting someone to use it. I was too tired to care ... I had no sooner laid down and was dozing off than I heard someone walking ... thought it must be the man who owned the place I called my son ... we opened the door, and saw nothing, nothing at all ... [the] something screamed, and it seemed that the whole side of the house must be caving in. I was afraid to go outside ... afraid what might happen. All night long, I sat on the side of my bed listening to those ungodly things going on outside ...

"Daylight came at last, and we crept outside. [We saw the owner who said] one had slept in that house for years.

"That house held a secret of some kind; something terrible had happened there, and the spirits were trying to tell it, and some day it will come out."

Friday, December 11, 2009

Real Ghost Stories of the 30's

Yesterday, we looked at a WPA report of a story recorded by Margaret Beane. Here is another.

The Haunted Hunter (#166)

"People nowadays don't believe in haunts {a term for ghosts, not a place], ghosts, or what have you. I was just a young man ... gone hunting [in the deep wood], night was coming, but I wasn't worried; I new the country.

"... I suddenly heard a noise sounding like the patter of soft paws on the leaves. I stopped ... the pattering stopped .. I turned in the dirction of the noise and ran toward it. As I burst through the tangled leaves and branches, there pattering ahead ... in the moonlight ... culy hair flying in the wind, was a little girl ... supposedly lost and died in the woods. Witha shout, I grabbed at her, only to grasp thin air and dead leaves..."

The intention of the narrator's story was to berate those who no longer believed in ghost stories. The dramatic portion, I believe was enhanced by the writer. What drew my attention was the use of "paws" in virtually the same context as Lovecraft's use in "Beast in the Cave" one of my sentimental favorites. I don't necessarily believe that "paws" which usually intends animals' paws, is a subterfuge but a quaint way of saying "feet".

This was recorded on 6 November 1936

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Real Ghost Stories of the 30's

Some of you may know that I got into HPL after studying ghost stories for many years. I probably have 200 book collections of thousands of stories.

In the 1930's, in the midst of the Depression, they sent out of work writers out to collect oral traditions and folklore. Among those assignments were oral narrations of ghost stories in the South.

Most southern US ghost stories have strong traditional elements transplanted from the midlands of England and Scotland, through the Appalachians, and outward as the South grew. New England has somewhat similar traditions, and why Lovecraft heard so many of the "grandmother" tales.

One terrific scholar is Alan Brown, and his Shadows and Cypress is a classic collection.

In this, a certain collector of Texas sure seemed like she was an avid reader of Weird Tales. It's a given that the writer-recorder not only transcribes the oral narrative, but invariably brings a personal flair. Oral traditions are very fluid, and there is not space to write of this here. However, whether it's LeFanu or someone else, once a ghost story is written down it becomes a literary work somewhat divorced from the handwaving, vice inflections, and eye-contact of the original story teller.

Collected on 7 November 1936, this story seemed especially Lovecraftian. I haven't the energy to type the whole story, but I'll extract enough to give you the flavor.

"It was twenty years ago [1916], this past Halloween night, that the thing that made me a wanderer happened... my best Friend and me started out on our horses ... Jerry's horse was gentle old stallion he'd been riding for years ... we decided to go by an old graveyard to see if we could see a ghost ... we were laughing and talking, when out of nowhere ... there came a thousand devils, each squawking and groaning ina different voice. My horse froze in it's tracks, and I couldn't move. All of a sudden, one of the devils made for Jerry's horse, and that gentle stallion went wild. I'll never forget the horror in Jerry's eyes ... with screams and yells, them devils went after him. I don't care what people say. I saw the best friend I ever had in my life torn to pieces while his life's blood covered the gorund. Jerry gave one [final] awful scream, and my horse bolted away ...

"I don't remember much about that wild ride, with a thousand devils at my heels ... them devils killed him, I know they did, 'cause they're still after me. I left that part of the country, and I ain't been back. Still, at night, when I hear Jerry's scream, I know they're coming, so I just up and leave for another part of the country."

Story #168, p. 139, as told to Margaret Beane by H. K. Walters "a vagrant found in a rooming house". Located at WPA records, Houston, Texas.

Sadly. there are no notes of what became of Ms. Beane, and one suspects that Mr. Walters did not long survive the Depression considering his poverty, mental state, and situation.

She had a knack, though. This is not he usual folk ghost story. There are ad libs seemingly right from the pages of Weird Tales if not Lovecraft.

Ghost stories are so well studied that they are assigned mytheme motifs by number. This one contains traditional elements all over the place - "ghost in cemtery", "haunted animal", and so forth. Ghost stories usually play a cultural element of warning, preservation of community history, and reinforcement of community values.

The warning is to respect the cemetery. The preservation was to remember his freind Jerry and his family life of an earlier day before his current trauma. These dramatic elements are not usual to the ghost story, though fear and horror are certainly a dramatic element.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I have never been plagued by spam before. Now it seems it's getting worse. I may have to make comments section harder to use. If so, I'm very sorry. I'll monitor it.


Joe Pulver's New Book

Lady L's blog has notes on Joe Pulver's new book ... For Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. 'Blood Will Have Its Season' : Short Bursts of Fury. Jagged. Lurid. Hard-boiled.

All of these terms describe the writing of Joseph S. Pulver Sr. His recent collection, Blood Will Have Its Season, is testament to the power of the written word

More here: Lady Lovecraft's Blog

[P.S. I am still working on Joe's review! Thanks for being patient. Soon.]

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

A Lovecraftian Disaster

I was recently reading my copy of Lovecraft Letters, the Derleth's Arkham edition trying to brush on on his relationship with Harry Houdini and Henneberger, and multitasking. I was also eating with Mrs. Chris in front of the television while wtaching a Christmas movie. Then a cascading event!

I reached over for a napkin, the book slid off my lap, dropped on the floor, jostled Mrs. Chris' ice tea which splashed a drop of tea on the binding (the dust cover was removed). I took my napkin and attempted to dry the tea from the cover and the napkin instantly fused to the binding! Stunned (what did Derleth use on his black ink boards, adhesive?) I worked with it for a few minutes only making it worse. Even my standby, lip balm, would not remove the cellulose fibers from the copy.

Thus, one day when my bones are but dust, and a future Lovecraftian holds my mouldering copy of Lovecraft Letters, he will wonder ... but I did slip a note into the book as to this story of blundersome Perridas.

Allen M Steele

I have been wanting to type this for some time. In January 2010's Asimov, there is an excelent story by Allen M. Steele that will delight all horror antiquarians. His "The Jekyll Island Horror" is, in my humble opinion, quite Lovecraftian without being Lovecraft. It involves a secondary witness to the alien horror, and is set in Lovecraft's time period.

Kudos and Bravo!

If you can peruse it at your local Border's or B&N, download it to your kindle, or buy a copy.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Microscopic Cthulhu?

This is a microscopic octopus captured while doing plankton research. It was originally a National Geographic image, but the page is apparently taken down.

Life is not only alien, it exists in places nearly inconceivable to us.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


George wondered if the image posted recently could be cleaned up. I am not "Mr. Artist" and I don't have a lot of software for this kind of thing, so I freehanded in 'paint'. Those of you who are artists, I'm sure you can do much better. I did notice that in this picture, HPL exhibits "Bing Crosby" ears, or for moderns, maybe we should say "Will Smith" ears.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Tentacular Federal Reserve?

Our own discombobulated Senator Bunning (R-KY) has, perhaps, for once called it. Bunning will soon no longer be a senator, but as a true ball player he swings for the stands.

In a tirade that may be both his epitath and long remembered, Bunning blurted out to Bernanke, " put the printing presses into overdrive to fund the government’s spending and hand out cheap money to your masters on Wall Street. In short, you are the definition of a moral hazard. You are repeating the same mistakes as Japan in the 1990’s on a much larger scale while sowing the seeds for the next bubble. The AIG bailout alone is reason enough to send you back to Princeton. I will do everything I can to stop your nomination and drag out this process as long as I can. We must put an end to your and the Fed’s failure and there is no better time than now. Your Fed has become the creature from Jekyll Island."



Just a few of the things you'll find at Propnomicon!

Propnomicon link, click

Friday, December 04, 2009

Joe Pulver's New Book Reviewed

Blood Will Have Its Season Joseph S. Pulver Sr. Hippocampus (, $15 paper (280p) ISBN 978-0-9814888-8-2

Splatterpunk meets Robert W. Chambers in Pulver's first collection, at least 12 of whose 41 stories and poems include explicit sex and violence. Such tales as “Chasing Shadows” and “Yvrain's Black Dancers” put a contemporary spin on the enigmatic horrors of Chambers's landmark 1895 collection, The King in Yellow. Pulver (Nightmare's Disciple) honors other authors with such selections as “Lovecraft's Sentence,” in which the spirit of H.P. Lovecraft, upset at fictional portrayals of himself, gets his revenge, and “a certain Mr. Hopfrog, Esq., Nightwalker,” a tribute to W.H. Pugmire (Tales of Sesqua Valley). While some may find scholar S.T. Joshi's claim in his introduction that Pulver “can take his place with that of the masters of our genre” (including Poe and Lovecraft) a trifle hyperbolic, all will agree that Pulver is a writer to watch. (Dec.)


Style ... style is an individual thing. Readers of this website should have noticed by this juncture, that I eschew comparisons, as I feel that they’re the lazy way to telegraph something that's usually not true. So when you hear Joseph S. Pulver, Sr. compared to any number of other writers in the horror genre, I want to say that readers should just toss that equation right into the trash.

much more here ...

Thursday, December 03, 2009


Woops! I accidentally missed a few hours. Sorry for all those who look for a midnight intrusion into your day -or rss feed!

We're back on track!

Thanks for reading!

Clark Ashton Smith Book

The Siren's Call: Clark Ashton Smith's ancient worlds
A reissue of Clark Ashton Smith's weird stories show H.P. Lovecraft's influence -- but also Smith's originality.


The writers forming the backbone of the pulp horror magazine Weird Tales in the 1920s and 1930s haven't received nearly the mainstream scholarly attention as that of other famous literary groups ...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

1957 Fossil

The seller states:
Official Publication of The Fossils, Inc. Historians of Amateur Journalism. v.55 Whole #154 Folded for mailing, Slightly creased on corners wear on bottom edges o/w vg. Binding is 8vo., WINNER OF THE FOSSILS FIRST ANNUAL LITERARY AWARD IN BIOGRAPHYS HELEN V. WESSON: "THE PHENOMENON OF H.P.L.(LOVECRAFT) p.1, 9-17 Extensive article on Lovecraft complete with pictures of Sonia Green and his Amateur Press output including the "Shunned House" a great remembrance of his amateur days.

20 years after HPL's death his legacy grows.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Stephen Segal on H P Lovecraft

"Stephen Segal has just kicked off's big Lovecraftian December theme month with a big fat introductory ramble."

Dream Quest 5 April 1948

The seller of this item states:
Dream Quest #5 April 1948 (H.P. Lovecraft / Cthulhu Mythos Fanzine - 36 pages) - Contents in nice shape, Cover shows wear, bound by 5 staples, back cover detatched from top and bottom staple. Cover shows wear, fraying at edges, especially along back spine.chipping along edges of back cover, small tear at top of back cover. Property of Hannes Bok printed on front cover, but no provenance to link it with the Author/Illustrator.

Sadly I haven't been able to find out a great deal of this fanzine. Obviously it's an allusion to The Dreamquest of Unknown Kadeth. This was released in 1948 in book and Arkham Sampler form, but not as early as April to my recollection.

The fact that this may have once belonged to Hannes Bok is intriguing.

In a little more than 10 years after HPL's dath, his legacy is already taking hold.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lovecraft's High School Peers

Hope High School 1906. HPL was 16. These were people he would have seen in the hallways everyday - the days he attended. They saw him. What they thought of each other - well we must use our imagination.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More Fungus I Have Known

Here is a startling white, slaby kind of fungus. It just seems to have popped out of the grooves of the bark. On one of the images, you can see bluish-gray lichen also on the tree. In the lower section, kids have either scuffed the bark, or a lawnmower has barked the tree ages ago. This may have allowed more nutrients to seep, as opposed to the less expansive colonies at the top of the tree.

Above are several views of the same cluster of fleshy fungus.
Below, farther up the tree is older material already turned rusty and dried up. I've been unable to get bac to the park, but I suppose the entire mass has turned and dried up by now. I think this was on 8 November 2009.

Geery de la Ree treasure seen at auction ...

Thanks, Yarmak!

Ec'h-Pi-El Speaks, an autobiographical sketch by H P LOVECRAFT, illustrations by Virgil Finlay, published by Gerry de la Ree, USA 1972. Copy no 40 of 500 on 70 pound parchment.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fungus I have Known!

As I promised many days ago, I tried to dust off old fungus pictures. Sadly, I have not been able to get my old archives. Too many things going on, etc. I did get to take new pictures recently, so I'll show those.

This tree had another large white growth in it in 2006. Those pix are tucked away so safely I can't find them. :) I don't know if it is unusual to find this "tooth fungus" in the same place year after year or not. The ground where this tree is located is often soaked, even when the weather is dry. I think either a tiny streamlet feeds it in the park, or it has a very low ground table.

Another view. I often think of trees as personified. This one has a gaping mouth and is tortured, it seems.

This is probably the best detail I have on it. From a casual observer, it looks like someone stuffed styrofoam in the tree, or an old plastic bag. It's very large, not quite as big as a basketball, but maybe a good 6 inches or more across. It's very high up, probably 12 feet of more, so it's hard for me to judge.

The one from 2006 rested much lower in the cavity, and was taller. I checked it as the Fall moved into winter, and it began to deteriorate badly. It yellowed, and the exterior became weathered and gritty. I suppose that's why it's called a 'tooth fungus' because it looks like thousands of serated teeth on the surface, but that's sheer speculation on my part.


Howard Phillips Lovecraft - Alcestis - A Play - published in 1985 by the Strange Company in an edition of just 200 copies. c.A4 folder with about 18 unbound sheets, finely printed, reproducing the handwritten play by Lovecraft and including repro. photos of Lovecraft and Sonia Haft Greene Lovecraft. This copy shows faint ghost of price sticker and has a few minor rubs but otherwise a near fine copy.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Fubar: A Periodical, Volume One, Number One Magazine/Chapbook (Soft Cover)

compiled by Joseph BellPublisher: Soft Books (Canada);

Year: 1983

Size: 11" x 8.5" (approx.); Page Count: 30

Includes:The Lovecraft Collector 1949, with two letters from editor Ray H. Zorn and full bibliographic list;The Lovecraft Collectors Library 1952-1955 (full bibliographic details);The Lovecraftsman 1963-1965 (brief);Nyctalops 1970-1983 (details of all HPL and related material);The Dark Brotherhood Journal & Newsletter 1971-1973 (biographical essay and bibliographical checklist);The Journal Of The H.P. Lovecraft Society 1976-1979 (detailed bibliographic list);Lovecraft Studies 1979-1982 (detailed bibliographic list);Crypt Of Cthulhu 1981-1983 (full bibliographic list including four essays by Robert M. Price).Limited to 100 hand-numbered copies

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Joseph Bell

Soft Books Publications: The First Five Years, 1981-1986 Chapbook (Soft Cover) compiled by Joseph Bell Publisher: Soft Books (Canada); Year: 1986Size: 11" x 8.5" (approx.); Page Count: 7Soft Books were an early small press dedicated mainly to H.P. Lovecraft related material. This listing of their publications includes brief descriptions and insights into the press's history.Limited to 150 unnumbered copies.First Printing Copy.

Another edition of Bell's issues is shown, as well.


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