Saturday, July 16, 2011

HP Lovecraft's Commonplace Book: entries 161-200

161 Time and space—past event—150 yrs ago—unexplained. Modern period—person intensely homesick for past says or does something which is psychically transmitted back and actually causes the past event.
162 Ultimate horror—grandfather returns from strange trip—mystery in house—wind and darkness—grandf. and mother engulfed—questions forbidden—somnolence—investigation—cataclysm—screams overheard—
163 Man whose money was obscurely made loses it. Tells his family he must go again to THE PLACE (horrible and sinister and extra-dimensional) where he got his gold. Hints of possible pursuers—or of his possible non-return. He goes—record of what happens to him—or what happens at his home when he returns. Perhaps connect with preceding topic. Give fantastic, quasi-Dunsanian treatment.
164 Man observed in a publick place with features (or ring or jewel) identified with those of man long (perhaps generations) buried.
165 Terrible trip to an ancient and forgotten tomb.
166 Hideous family living in shadow in ancient castle by edge of wood near black cliffs and monstrous waterfall.
167 Boy rear’d in atmosphere of considerable mystery. Believes father dead. Suddenly is told that father is about to return. Strange preparations—consequences.
168 Lonely bleak islands off N.E. coast. Horrors they harbour—outpost of cosmic influences.
169 What hatches from primordial egg.
170 Strange man in shadowy quarter of ancient city possesses something of immemorial archaic horror.
171 Hideous old book discovered—directions for shocking evocation.
172 Pre-human idol found in desert.
173 Idol in museum moves in a certain way.
174 Migration of Lemmings—Atlantis.
175 Little green Celtic figures dug up in an ancient Irish bog.
176 Man blindfolded and taken in closed cab or car to some very ancient and secret place.
177 The dreams of one man actually create a strange half-mad world of quasi-material substance in another dimension. Another man, also a dreamer, blunders into this world in a dream. What he finds. Intelligence of denizens. Their dependence on the first dreamer. What happens at his death.
178 A very ancient tomb in the deep woods near where a 17th century Virginia manor-house used to be. The undecayed, bloated thing found within.
179 Appearance of an ancient god in a lonely and archaic place—prob. temple ruin. Atmosphere of beauty rather than horror. Subtle handling—presence revealed by faint sound or shadow. Landscape changes? Seen by child? Impossible to reach or identify locale again?
180 A general house of horror—nameless crime—sounds—later tenants—(Flammarion) (novel length?).
181 Inhabitant of another world—face masked, perhaps with human skin or surgically alter’d human shape, but body alien beneath robes. Having reached earth, tries to mix with mankind. Hideous revelation. [Suggested by CAS.]
182 In ancient buried city a man finds a mouldering prehistoric document in English and in his own handwriting, telling an incredible tale. Voyage from present into past implied. Possible actualisation of this.
183 Reference in Egyptian papyrus to a secret of secrets under tomb of high-priest Ka-Nefer. Tomb finally found and identified—trap door in stone floor—staircase, and the illimitable black abyss. [x]
184 Expedition lost in Antarctic or other weird place. Skeletons and effects found years later. Camera films used but undeveloped. Finders develop—and find strange horror.
185 Scene of an urban horror—Sous le Cap or Champlain Sts.—Quebec—rugged cliff-face—moss, mildew, dampness—houses half-burrowing into cliff.
186 Thing from sea—in dark house, man finds doorknobs etc. wet as from touch of something. He has been a sea-captain, and once found a strange temple on a volcanically risen island.
187 Dream of awaking in vast hall of strange architecture, with sheet-covered forms on slabs—in positions similar to one’s own. Suggestions of disturbingly non-human outlines under sheets. One of the objects moves and throws off sheet—non-terrestrial being revealed. Sugg. that oneself is also such a being—mind has become transferred to body on other planet.
188 Desert of rock—prehistoric door in cliff, in the valley around which lie the bones of uncounted billions of animals both modern and prehistoric—some of them puzzlingly gnawed.
189 Ancient necropolis—bronze door in hillside which opens as the moonlight strikes it—focussed by ancient lens in pylon opposite?
190 Primal mummy in museum—awakes and changes place with visitor.
191 An odd wound appears on a man’s hand suddenly and without apparent cause. Spreads. Consequences.
192 Thibetan ROLANG—Sorcerer (or NGAGSPA) reanimates a corpse by holding it in a dark room—lying on it mouth to mouth and repeating a magic formula with all else banished from his mind. Corpse slowly comes to life and stands up. Tries to escape—leaps, bounds, and struggles—but sorcerer holds it. Continues with magic formula. Corpse sticks out tongue and sorcerer bites it off. Corpse then collapses. Tongue become a valuable magic talisman. If corpse escapes—hideous results and death to sorcerer.
193 Strange book of horror discovered in ancient library. Paragraphs of terrible significance copies. Later unable to find and verify text. Perhaps discover body or image or charm under floor, in secret cupboard, or elsewhere. Idea that book was merely hypnotic delusion induced by dead brain or ancient magic.
194 Man enters (supposedly) own house in pitch dark. Feels way to room and shuts door behind him. Strange horrors—or turns on lights and finds alien place or presence. Or finds past restored or future indicated.
195 Pane of peculiar-looking glass from a ruined monastery reputed to have harboured devil-worship set up in modern house at edge of wild country. Landscape looks vaguely and unplaceably wrong through it. It has some unknown time-distorting quality, and comes from a primal, lost civilisation. Finally, hideous things in other world seen through it.
196 Daemons, when desiring an human form for evil purposes, take to themselves the bodies of hanged men.
197 Loss of memory and entry into a cloudy world of strange sights and experiences after shock, accident, reading of strange book, participation in strange rite, draught of strange brew, etc. Things seen have vague and disquieting familiarity. Emergence. Inability to retrace course.
198 Distant tower visible from hillside window. Bats cluster thickly around it at night. Observer fascinated. One night wakes to find self on unknown black circular staircase. In tower? Hideous goal.
199 Black winged thing flies into one’s house at night. Cannot be found or identified—but subtle developments ensue.
200 Invisible Thing felt—or seen to make prints—on mountain top or other height, inaccessible place.


  1. I think #190 would make a great comedy.

  2. You could call it Mummy Issues.

    PS If you had a comedy about an elf and a grumpy dwarf you could call it The OD&D Couple.


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