The Darkest Night written by M.A. Lachnicht as Thomas Monroe
What is the darkest night?-M. Lachnicht
Quis est caligo nox noctis?-M. Lachnicht
Writing is a marathon it is also a passion much like fire. A fire takes dried stick as a book needs words. Words become sentences, sentences become paragraph this is the fire
catching and that fire becomes a book. Without special skills of creation any book would not be created. It takes adequate skill with words to be a story teller. In this sense this book is
dedicated to all the writers but especially to H.P. Lovecraft and Stephen King for theirs alone is where my inspiration to write horror comes from. Ever page is a mile in this marathon of
writing. If as a writer I fail to reach my audience I have failed in my goal as a writer as well as failed myself. For writing is not just for the readers but also for the writers themselves.
I write for my family, friends and members of Booksie.com. I would like to thank my father, Gerald Lachnicht and my mother Lisa as well as my friend Benji Crow for their dedication to
expanding my writing. As well as the site www.Booksie.com where most of my writing up to date can be found. I am a poet, a writer of Sci-fi and Fantasy as well as Horror. It is with this
passion of spreading words to paper words that make sentences which make paragraphs that I set down to tell you the tale of “The Darkest Night.”
Included in Story is the poem “Doth Spake The Black Wizard.” by M. Lachnicht
December 6th, 1937
It was midnight when they finally came to haul me away. The voices kept whispering their deadly secrets. Blood as red as wine stained my hands it was as scarlet as any beautiful
rose. My name is Thomas Monroe of Concord, New Hampshire. The hills of my youth roll around me as I speak upon the bewitching in the House of the Darkest Night. I had inherited it from
my grandfather; a stubborn old man who I thought hated me. I know I hated him with the darkest hate anyone could muster. The old bastard disowned me when he found out I was
illegitimate. I never thought he would give me anything. He was cantankerous even near his end. I now know why he gave me that cursed house. I had grown up in a house in Windsor some twenty
seven miles from Concord. I had heard of an author named H.P. Lovecraft and sought to read his twisted stories. In reading these tales of horror I felt a possession forming over as if
some alien mind had possessed me. I didn’t know it then but the house was sealing my fate. Here is my tale:
December 10th, 1914
I feel it again, that alien tug as if I had become a character in Lovecraft’s tale. At first I didn’t hear the voices. It was around midnight while I lay in bed asleep when they first
started whispering. “We know who you are? Do you know who you are? Do you know the secrets we hold?” they asked of me. I tried to ignore them, oh how I tried. Their alien voice,
plaintive in their tone, kept calling for me. They whispered forbidden knowledge to me.
December 12th, 1914
I hadn’t slept for those damned whispering voices kept me awake. Those voice how I hate those voices. My soul crawls with every whisper. I feel ill and wish to vomit.
December 21st, 1914
Its closer that damn hour is drawing nigh. The clock struck eleven o’ clock at night. It is about the time those demonic whispers start. I can’t bear to hear them but I can’t turn away.
The house knows, I don’t know how but the house knows I can’t turn away.
December 25th, 1914
Merry Christmas, I still have not slept in this hell house. They whisper ever on about the “Great Old Ones” and their coming. I wish they would stop whispering all together. I wish I
could sleep, I am so exhausted. Mayhap I will nap.
January 1st, 1915
It’s been a whole year in this hell house. Gods damn that old man. A certain hell is in store for him me thinks. The blackest of hells I bet. I still hear those malicious voices calling
on me to do their demon work.
January 5th, 1915
The walls speak loudly. Oh the gods have forsaken me. Why that old man shall serve his time in hell. I went up into the bowels of hell today. In the basement a skeleton loomed on his
hook. His legs herky jerk and rattling as if a draft had hit him. In the corner a molding box sat filled with intriguing books. A quicker look revealed the horror. In the box sitting there as
if wishing me to open its cover sat the “Necronomicon.” One look chilled my bones. The hanging skeleton seemed to grin in a proprietary way. His decaying bones crumbling, his teeth
reminded me of gravestones.
January 9th, 1915
The damned voices wail in tinny voices telling me of evil deeds yet to be done to this earth. The Necronomicon sitting in the corner where I dropped it speaks to me at night. The voices
have reached a feverish pitch. I feel my sanity slipping. My few friends that still come to visit see me as a wild man. Some wish to put me away in Arkham Asylum.I see the
symbols of my decaying mind every day.
January 11th, 1915
I dreamt of demonic beasts last night when I finally slept; the voices where loud this morning. The screams of death echoed behind the facade voices. A dear friend Heath Bartholomew of
New York stopped by and found me in a stupors’ state. The lamp I had darkened now sputtered a hellish light. The voices receded from my mind as Heath stepped toward me. The voices were a
distant rumble in my mind so low as to be almost to be inaudible. The man Heath stood over me as I lay upon the floor looking up with fevered eyes. He saw nothing he liked in my eyes and I
shall barely summarize what he said to me: “Dear fellow why sit you on the floor raise me boy,” he said to me and I rose slowly to my feet. He stepped aside. He clapped me on the back like in
a companionable manner. My eyes began to focus on the man in my small room. My couch was pushed toward the wall and on the table the “Necronomicon” sat opened. On seeing the book Heath froze
in fear. Shortly afterward he said this “Abandon hope, all ye who enter” and walked out my door into the blackening night and the door clapped. The voices returned.
January 15th, 1915
The fire is a symbol. It symbolizes the Great Ones. The blaze is like the voices. My mind is in decay. I can feel those voices like a hot prod to my senses. Buzzing, screaming voices as
loud as ever, and screaming with voices of blood. I feel my rage building those damn bloody voices. This demonic house is killing me off. Faster and louder voices enter my soul and mind. That
fire inside me is growing bigger, its glow has tarnished my very soul my deeply Christian soul with its ashy smudges. I wish that God would send down his angles to slay this house and me in
it. My very soul ached for suicide. Christ receives me. The air seemed to buzz with those demon voices. My emotions were in a boil. I came too with blood on my head lying in my bed. Blood
soaked all the walls. The bed was drenched as well. On one wall a pentagram was drawn in blood. A face protruded from the wall. The face of the Devil spoke and this is what he said: “Doth
Spake the Black Wizard”
“Listen up kiddies it's time for the show
Don on your coat
And get ready to go
The Magic in my words
Hence ye back to time of flashing swords
The swirl of snow
Here we go
It's time of reaping, It’s time to sow
Land boiling. Time comes and goes
Aye Gunslinger listen awhile
Sit and listen to this song
It won't be long
Blood on hand, Blood on mind
Your fate has yet to unwind.”
Than the face disappeared, and the voices screamed so loud in my head. I stepped out of bed and onto a head dismembered to the point of un-recognition. The smell of salty blood was at its
worst and the need to vomit was intense. The vomit came as soon as I got to the window of the balcony. After I vomited I returned to the blood stain room and began to clean. The head was
buried in the walls of the house.
January 21st, 1915
Six days later as the full moon rose the voices once again rose to a fever pitch. The blood in me burned as hot as an oven. The voices spoke of the foul deeds that I had committed and I
had yet to commit. The Devil spoke to me again saying “Quis est caligo nox noctis?” Latin I knew well. The Necronomicon had called me to it as the voices chittered like will-o'-the-wisp in my
ears. Within seconds all thoughts left me. I opened the cursed book. A dream began to form. The Great Ones stood before me I saw Cthulu, the one who looked like an octopus and I saw Dagon,
the fish like God and in this dream they told me of their plan for mankind. I awoke shivering in the darkened room with the Necronomicon on my lap. A scream escaped my lips before I could
still it. The near future is a horror to me.
January 25th, 1915
It’s the future, a fog creeps up. Everyone I see looks odd to my eyes. I am in Innsmouth, Massachusetts. The funeral pyre is burning in the town center. I see wagons filled with human
bodies laid open at the guts. Some were still alive screaming for mercy. Fish like people, the people of Dagon walked around unloading the wagons. The fire roared as I watched the dead and
living mingling in the fire. The screams of the dying mingles with the crackling of the fire. The dead keep their silence, a silence of the grave. The stink of flesh burning brings the bile
up. I look and see the fish people of Innsmouth watching me with the blackest stare I have ever seen. I felt the scream coming and awoke in a cold sweat the scream came than, a scream as
shrill as a girl drowned out by the voices.
February 2nd, 1915
The fire is burning hot and I lay upon my couch watching it and not watching it at the same time, listening always, listening to those dreaded voices. Demons raise in the fire, a small
child with bloody tears rolling down her cheeks than a huge horned beast with bat-like wings and lastly Cthulu and Dagon watching me through the blackest eyes imaginable. The book sat not far
from my hand, calling me. It’s skin cover fluttering as if it had breath in it. After my dream I had lost a chunk of time. The fire sputtered and the images vanished in a flash,
replaced by a grinning skull. The skulls mouth opened and I saw gravestones, one of the gravestones had my name on it. I saw a young man fighting with sword against the great Old Ones. His
sword flicker flashed in the fires glowing embers. That bewitching fire took hold of me. I felt myself fall forward into the fire.
January 30th , 1915
Five days has it been that long since I last wrote. That wicked fire pulled me deep into an abyss where birds of prey, twisted looking birds, reached for me and Dagon whispered my name
“Come to us Thomas, throw away your humanity be one with the Great Old Ones,” that horrible sound burnt my ears. The Devil came back and his eyes burnt in to mine and he pulled out a
black flute made of the bones of some demon and played. I heard my dead wives voice in it, calling from beyond the grave. The voices shrieked in siren-like rage. The Devils eyes locked on
mine and I could see the anger and like a wall my fear surrounded me. The blazing eyes flickered as I curled into a ball and wept till sleep overcame me. My dreams echoed and fortold me of a
prophecy as old as time itself. Time froze in my dream and before me strode a twisted octupus like creature. Its head bowed before me and a behemoth tower slowly rose under me. A voice each
word implanted and echoing through my brain. “Son (Son) of (of) my (my) loins (loins) bow (bow) before (before) your (your) CREATOR (CREATOR)!!!! the last was a scream and a mouth opened wide
before me and in that mouth dagger like fangs extended towards me. I froze in my terror unable to wrench myself from the fevering dream. The octupus like creature backed up and a terrible
scream echoed through the grand hall. Below me was a round table full of hideous creatures twisted in hate and pain. A phantom floated before me an image of a demon walking toward the octupus
and they talked at depth in a foreign language I could not understand. Than as if by magic the words flashed in my head and I knew because that beast octupus wanted me to know I was being
The demon said.
“Cthulu your highness I have found the creature you asked of the one who has the book of death.” Then the octupus creature responded loudly.
“Nyarlathotep you have done me well you shall be rewarded.” Than the creatures turned and looked to me.
“What shall we do with this scrawny morsel Cthulu” said Nyarlathotep. The creature named Cthulu turned to Nyarlathotep.
“Leave him to me” he said. Nyarlathotep disappered and me and Cthulu stared at me those same black eyes as before but this time I saw the fires of hell in his eyes. Then I awoke to
thunder and cried tears of mixed emotions some part relief that the dream and another part terror. After I cried I instantly fell asleep.
Febuary 1, 1915
I awoke at dawn with a hopeless feeling. The terror from last night stole across my day. Tears fell at random and I was scared of this house and that book, that evil book, The
Necronomicon full of nasty gods and hideous creatures of all shapes and sizes haunting me. I had called a ordaned priest from the Lutheran Church. He came with a book called the Rituale
Romanum. He said he wanted to exorcise the place. He asked me to hold a crucifix and began reading the rites. The priest heard clear a growl of such loudness both me and the priest were
terrified. The priest continued to read the rites but finally the noise became deafening; turning into a buzz. The priest fled than and I was left in the house of the damned.
February 3, 1915
My mind is slipping I keep hearing my name called. Think something is in the house. I felt something hungry and evil a dark entity in this house full of evil gods and malicious spirits.
The book called to me impulsively with subliminal messages.
“Kill, Kill, Kill!” the messages screamed in garbled tones. Voices whispering, the sounds like that of the will-o’-the wisp. The house lurched on its side and righted again. Who could
sleep in such a house?
February 6, 1915
I have seen it all in this house. I have heard it all. In my soul I know I am Dying!! It is written in my fate and my heart beats ever weaker. My eyelids keep slipping ever down
and the fire burns low in the hearth. My hour is coming near me thinks. Perchance I will dream of happier times before I bought this house. Today on the radio I heard tell of some strange
events occurring in Dunwich.
9. The Pit (unfinished) (C) 2013-Copyright 2013
It was black in the Abyss of Fear, strange sights and even stranger sounds echoed from the unholy pit. The stink of hellfire and death surrounded the blasted wastelands around it. In the
very pit lay the dead and dying, spirits of ages of ravage by environments unlike their own. Horrible emanations of bodily fear came to this pit to die long deaths. It was the pit that
called them to their deaths. I had seen the pit in my nightmares, a mouth sucking souls into darkness that no light can penetrate. I failed to believe it existed in reality, but for
having seen it I would have continued with my ignorance. I saw both the abyss and those creations it made and unmade. It was some thirty years ago in the wasteland of R’lyeh, that
fearsome place we (humans) call Atlantis, the home of the foulest beast Cthulu, where I saw the pit and all its dreads. It was many years ago aboard the schooner Emma that
I first sighted R’lyeh.
10. All That Lies. When The Dead Rise. They The Bringer of Demise. Staring Into Hell Through Your Own Eyes. See The Many Flies. (Unfinished) (C) 2013-Copyright 2013
All That Lies. When The Dead Rise. They The Bringer of Demise. Staring Into Hell Through Your Own Eyes. See The Many Flies.
When the lie was told no one knew, but when all people faced the lies they told the lies stared back at them. The year was 20__ and I am one of the survivers that made it through the
Cataclysm that reduced humanity, that great lie. The Great Lie, the historians like to call it. Simply put it was a denial of the truth in the face of statistical facts. We were facing
devestation and the president failed and in the end turned into the very monster causing the great devestation. I am Simpson St. Clark from Texas. Though I was a skeptic when I heard the
news some new biological weapon had been used by our enemies into America, the news said it turned you into a Zombie and even those dead and in the grave were reanimated. I was not
surprised when our president J.C. Denied the allogation. The dead rising! Yeah that's believeable. The president claimed it was a hoax some ploy on our enemies part to create mass
hysteria. Little did he or anyone else know the truth of the matter. China faced similar circumstances at the same time. Mao Tzu-Tung's corpse rised in its grave and killed the Chinese
president and took over the government. His written speech was translated and broadcast to the Chinese people: “We the new ly founded government (The National Liberation Zombie Communist
Party of China (NLZPoC)) shall fight. We shall eat of our American Enemies and drink of their blood. We shall murder in mass. KILL IN THE NAME OF OUR FATHERS.” America's response from
president J.C. Was “You are a hoax, a liar and good actor. If China wants war America's Democracy and Foreign Legion Forces will fight back.” The denial would ultimately be his death. Let
When the dead first rised it was May, 14th 20__ in New York City. It was at the Attica State Prison Morgue. Dead criminals burst from the inside of the body bags and started.
11. The Key (unfinished) (C) 2013-Copyright 2013
The Key by M.A.L
The dank mausoleum smelled of the musk of a hundred dead men. Inside lied a key. Not a physical key but a key nonetheless. It sat inside the dank mausoleum and waited for its master.
The mausoleum lay in a wooded region in a rural land in North Carolina; it was surrounded by brush which obscured it from view. It was by happenstance that Kenny Walters, a junior
at the local high school stumbled on the defunct moldering crypt where the key waited. Kenny was a klutzy nerd, unpopular and severely bullied by his fellow students. This the key knew
for it had chosen Kenny long before Kenny stumbled on pass the lip of the entrance of that cesspool the key claimed as home. The first waft of breeze sent the wretched smell of the
damned, the dead and mold. Kenny felt like gagging but by force of will held it in. He saw many sights on the walk, all implanted by the key. On the dais strewn with detritus from the
ravages of the ages was where the key waited. Skulls lined the spirit haunted hallways which lead to the key. The same hallways Kenny now walked. They all grinned at Kenny with some
hidden secret of knowledge. Walking towards the room where the key waited on the ruins of the dais Kenny sensed a change in atmosphere. A presence that felt only malice towards him was
in this crypt with him.
North Carolina Star
Monday May 14, 1965
Secrets Buried In The Vaults: Reported Millionaire Kenny Walters III Hides Key Said To Hold Power.
Recently deceased millionaire Kenny Walters III, owner of the infamous Cthulu Club in North Carolina has been reported by credible
sources within his entourage as having buried a key of ultimate power underneath his families’ crypt where he was buried just yesterday. Kenny died yesterday in his sleep according to
Dr. Nestor Holmes of DeBusse’s Family Practice in Berryville, North Carolina reports the deceased had come into his office complaining of nightmares of torturous diabolical acts
unleashed by this key his forefather Nicholas Benji Walters born in 1750 and died 1810 also buried in the crypt the aforementioned key is reported to be buried. All grave robbers are
warned only family members of the Walters’ bloodline can possess the key.
So it was written of before Kenny Albert Walters, who had stumbled upon what history had written of, was born. It was
these chaotic circumstances and environs which Kenny found himself in as he felt the cold breeze hit his neck. He knew it wasn’t a natural breeze when he felt the hairs on his neck
stand up. A shudder wracked his body and he took an involuntary step forward. He didn’t hear the shuffling steps of the freshly dead rising in greeting of their sons. It was the first
cold breeze that made Kenny understood that his feelings of someone behind him were true. His blood chilled in his veins. He caught what he thought was a shuffling step but inside the
room on the dais the key sent out a psychic tug on Kenny’s mind. The key was reeling in the fat plump fish called Kenneth Albert Walters Jr. Somewhere inside his hypnotized
mind a small messenger warned Kenny that he should be weary of his surroundings. Kenny didn’t know that lurking within this moldy ill neglected crypt his forefathers where pulling
themselves out of their coffins in search of him and the key.
The thing that once was Nicholas Benji Walters, shambled and slithered down the hallways, using its nose to find its
great-great-great-great-great grandson. The key sensed the thing as it shambled down the long dank hallway. The walls where dripping sweat, Kenny’s hand came back black from mold. Many
albino spiders crept along the walls, stunted from long exposure to the dark, leaving trails of cobweb in their wake. Behind him lumbered Nicholas smelling the fresh rich blood of his
family line. Kenny was glistening with sweat, the atmosphere had intensified and humidity had done its work on him. Kenny fished into his backpack and fished out his water bottle and a
small pen light. Nicholas stumbled after Kenny his arms outstretched, his lips trying to form coherent words. The bloated white corpse shambled forward towards the key that would open
doors to inner dimensions. Black magic was in the air Kenny smelt the foul stench of aeon dead bodies escaped from the grave. He heard the shambling being behind him. He had read the
writing of Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith and others and felt the macabre in this hallway of his family mausoleum. It was the croak that finally made Kenny turn and face what
was Nicholas. Death filled his nostrils and he fought his gorge. The key event occurred in that meeting for Nicholas Henri Walters, grandsire of the very boy he faced, was a member of
an age old cult worshipping demonic forces and practicing the black magic of the time. He was a necromancer in corpse guise. He spoke in a language long dead marking this moment with
spell. He saw the distinguished markings of his family. The corpse was missing parts and his guts spilled from betwixt the gaping wound on his stomach. The stench reeked and Kenny’s
face blanched of color md yet some alien force pulled at his mind. In his head he heard an antiquated cultured voice say “My grandsire I mark thee as true blood I am the thing you seek
I am the Guardian of the Key and you must pass through me to get that which you where pre-destined to seek.” Thus said the molding skeleton-white being flung itself at Kenny to kill him
where he stood. Kenny felt along the ground and found a cracked bone and just as the being was upon him the bone burst the being like a balloon. The stench made Kenny gag.
After he gagged Kenny felt the keys tug strengthen. It was a frenzied tug on his psyche that made Kenny stumble into
the room beyond where the thing that once was Nicholas Benji Walters The room was in shambles but in the room a small lantern blazed. In the light of the room Kenny saw a skull lying
white against the shadow strewn room. It was deathly quiet after the encounter with Nicholas who now lay in piece in the doorway. Kenny saw the dais the key had shown him before and
under a dome lay a book entitled “The Necronomicon Notes” written by Sir Nicholas Benji Walters. The key lay within the Formulas within the notes. They called Kenny to open and
read the formulas, to seek that which is forbidden like Adam and Eve did in Eden. Other molding books lay around and Kenny took off his backpack and filled it with old books. Some he
had heard hints of from his Grandma who grew up in Arkham, Massachusetts, the fabled town Lovecraft once wrote of. These books Kenny heard of invited madness to those dark enough to
read them. As Kenny walked through the degraded halls of the crypt he snatched a glimpse of the Notes, his forefather and now recently re-animated dead body lying only a few feet away,
had wrote. The dead lay thinking black thoughts of this roamer of their halls. One fouler beast than Nicholas crept from out of the coffin he laid dead in minutes ago. This beast was
legless so slithered upon the floor pantomiming chase. Kenny didn’t hear the slithering until closer to the exit of the crypt. A creature whose head was so deformed with bloat and mold,
its skull popping out from festering worm-filled wounds, was repellent. The atmosphere of the crypt changed and more hostile forms formed out of the vast darkness all progenitors
of this man facing them. Backpack in hand Kenny opened the flap and read from the blasphemous notes of Nicholas the dark mage of the family. All zombiefied forms ceased to exist.
He walked out of the crypt with his findings.
“This is the testimony of all that I have seen, and all that I have learned....For this is the Book of the Dead, the Book of the Black Earth, that I have writ down at the peril
of my life,”- “Necronomicon”- Abdul Alhazred
“So saith Abdul Alhazred, prophet of Orient, Leader of the Cult of Black Earth. He who holds the key of his book shalt find the darkest of knowledge such that shalt blast thou’s
mind. Deep down in thy heart lieth the Old Ones whose message is doom…”- “ The Necronomicon Notes”- Sir Nicholas B. Walters.
So read Kenny in the room in his family home. The old books he found where various evil and black magic grimoires’ of ancient forgotten times. He had poured over these books searching
for ultimate power. Among the books he found two of intrest, “The Necronomicon” translated by Olaus Wormius with sections about the “Great Old Ones” underlined, and the
“Pkanotic Manuscript.” Of these ancient time-worn books Kenny read. His intrigue egged from long abandonment from his father who when he was around berated Kenny about delving
into the family tree. The family tree called at him and he read much history in Lovecraft and in the Notes his foresire wrote and in those old cursed books. He learned of another
foresire from his wizened old grandmother from near the Miskatonic River. She told him of Charles Le Sorcier, son of Michel Mauvais, both wizards in the blackest of cults like
recent era Nicholas recently risen and fallen from living dead to just dead. But Kenny saw a formula of raising the dead through sacrifice and in so learning devised a plan to
raise Michel and Charles Mauvais and in making a pact to enslave them to his deed and will.
“So to bringeth the dead back to live a sacrifice of one of pure blood to bringeth them to the realm of Cthulhu and he shalt judgeth them if they be
pure they shalt devour the soul and body of ye’s sacrifice once devoured sayeth Ia! Ia! Fhthagn R’lyeh Cthulu to invoke Cthulhu who shalt raise ye’s dead and bind him to thou’s will The
Old Ones Doth Watch Remember!!”-Nicholas B. Walters [pg, 12]
He had read in his studies in the notes. He had thus translated something from Lovecrafts fragment “The Book”
“There was a formula--- a sort of list of things to say and do----which I recognized
as something black and forbidden; something which I had read before in furtive paragraphs of mixed abhorrence and fascination penned by those strange ancient delvers into the universe
guarded secrets whose decaying texts I loved to absorb. It was a key---a guide----to certain gateways and transitions of which mystics have dreamed and whispered since the race was
young, and which lead to freedoms and discoveries beyond the three dimensions and realms of life and matter that we know.” Kenny knew now that the key Lovecraft wrote of was
the notes his grandsire wrote. He knew now to search for a formula to breach the realms Lovecraft wrote of. He slept for an hour then was back to studying. He read twenty pages until he
found the passage he wanted
“Of the realm of Dagon and Cthulu Innsmouth bound ye shalt be to find such realms of the people there, strange they be, weird of look and fishy of sent they join their
demon spawn in the sea.”-Nicholas B. Walters [pg. 32]
Kenny knew of shadowed Innsmouth whence his family tree came from. His grandma told him of it and its half-mutated people of the sea. He knew what horrors he faced and yet he went
May 14, 2001
New Upsurge In Old Cult Esoteric Order of Dagon: Cthulu Cult
12. The Winged Thing Poem
The Winged Thing (Poem)
The Winged Thing came out of night
And set my heart affright
Its wings tipped with giant claw
An affront to natural law
Terror in every flutter
Its lips torturing with every mutter
Its fangs dripping red with blood
Sprinkling the ground like a flood
Its claws come to rip my heart out
Before I let lose a terrified shout
Long claws curving to slice the air
And cut off both head and hair
13. Transitions of Horror Stories (an Essay) (C) 2013-Copyright 2013
P.S here is a brief idea I have for my essay because i view horror stories as important as they tell us at the time period what people find scary (from a pyschological standpoint)
and also are a part of human nature as H.P. Lovecraft wrote "Fear is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind, and the oldest and strongest fear is fear of the
unknown" I know this isn't the kind of essay you probably expect but it has a lot of sources and it explains a lot of the pysche of people in the time period either way hope you
like it (M.A.L)
The Transition of Horror Stories
(1000 A.D.- Present)
“Fear is the oldest and strongest emotion of mankind, and the oldest and strongest fear is fear of the unknown1” wrote horror story author H.P. Lovecraft in his essay Supernatural
Horror in Literature (pg 1). Horror has taken transitions from its beginnings in folklore. Everyone remembers Grendel and his mother in “Beowulf” but in the story Grendel’s
mother isn't described adding an atmosphere of terror similar to that of the 1902 short story by W.W. Jacobs entitled “The Monkey’s Paw” which had a similar sense of terror.
In “The Monkey’s Paw” the family of the Whites had invited a friend/soldier over to the house for dinner, the soldier Sergeant-Major Morris tells a fantastic tale of a monkey’s
paw “To look at it’s an ordinary little paw, dried to a mummy.” Mr. White asks “And what is there special about it?” Therefore, Morris tells the family “It had a spell put
on it by an old fakir a very holy man. He wanted to show that fate ruled people’s lives, and that those who interfered with it do so to their sorrow. He put a spell on it so three
separate men could each have three wishes from it.” The story of the paw goes on from Morris describing how he had three wishes and the first man’s wishes (including his final
wish which was to die) and how Morris came into possession of the paw. Mr. White asks Morris “If you had your three wishes, it’s no good to you now then, Morris. What do you keep
it for than” to which Morris replies “Fancy, I suppose.” Mr. White says “If you could have another three wishes would you have them.” To which Morris replies I don’t know and
taking the paw throws it in the fire. Mr. White removes it from the fire while Morris says “Better let it burn.” Mr. White says if you don’t want it Morris give it to me. Morris
relents and tells them how to use the paw. Mr. White wishes for two hundred pounds. Later that day a stranger representing Maw and Meggins where Herbert, Mr. and Mrs. White’s, son
worked. The stranger told the Whites their son was “badly hurt but he isn’t in pain.” The man then said his firm wished to present a certain sum for compensation the sum was
two hundred pounds. Ten days later Mrs. White begs Mr. White to wish for their son back alive. Mr. White wishes and they begin to hear pounding at the walls. Finally, in fear of
what he would see Mr. White wished that his son would not be there2. Like Grendel’s mother the terror, the fear, the horror comes from not what is described, but what is implied
which lends to the stories atmosphere. In his novel “Danse Macabre” Stephen King says “In “The Monkey’s Paw,” the imagination alone is stimulated. The reader does the job on
himself.3” Tales of horror have faced three major phases in the genre’s history Folklore, Gothic, and Modern Horror tales. W.W. Jacobs tale “The Monkey’s Paw” is a classic of
Folklore is the starting point of horror stories. From “Beowulf”(1000 A.D.) to “Hanzel and Gretel” most folklore has a fear attached to it. In Beowulf, Beowulf son of Scyld
Scefing and King of the Geats (another name for Goth) comes to help Hrothgar the King of Denmark to help rid the mead hall Heorot (“hall of hart”) from a hideous creature named
Grendel. Once Grendel is dead Beowulf must face the rage of Grendels mother. In Hanzel and Gretel the once hideous creature is replaced with a “semi-human” monster. That monster
is a witch, a human who gains powers by being in league with the Devil himself. In reality both stories try to get into the readers mind to find what terrifies the reader thus
de-masking the emotion the reader hides behind. Stephen King in Danse Macabre (pgs. 22-23) explains “ The closest I want to come to definition or rationalization is to suggest
that the genre (horror) on three or more seperate levels, each one a little less fine than the one before it. The finest emotion is terrror, that emotion which calls up in tale of
The Hook and also in that hoary classics, “The Monkey's Paw.” […] Terror is the sound of the old man's continuing pulsebeat in “The Tell-Tale Heart”---a quick sound, “like a watch
wrapped in cotton.” Horror is the amorphous but very physical “thing” in Joseph Payne Brennan's wonderful novella “Slime” as it unfolds itself over the body of a screaming dog.
But there is a third level--- that of revulsion4.“ These very tools used by horror writers both sicken and attract us. King also states “We love and need the concept of
monstrosity because it reaffirmation of the order we all crave as human beings---and let me further suggest that is not the physical or mental abberation in itself which horrifies
us, but rather the lack of order which these aberrations seem to imply.5“ Folklores put shunts in our mind that disupt our order leaving us exposed to a world where all levels of
horror lurk, from terror to revulsion.
Another transition horror has taken was Gothic Horror. The first Gothic horror stories began
in 1764 with Horace Walpole. Although most people remember Gothic Horror writers such as H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937), Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), Mary Shelley (1797-1851), and
Bram Stoker (1847-1915). Many classic horror stories are from the Gothic era of horror. H.P. Lovecraft in Supernatural Horror in Literature wrote “The shadow-haunted landscapes of
“Ossain”, the chaotic visions of William Blake, the grotesque witch-dances in Burns's “Tam O'Shanter”, the sinister daemonism of Coleridge's Christabel and Ancient Mariner, the
ghostly charm of James Hogg's “Kilmeny”, and the more restrained approaches to cosmic horror in Lamia and many of Keat's other poems, are typical British illustrations of the
advent of the weird to formal literature.6” Gothic horror has it's roots in folklore creatures Vampires, Werewolves, Witches and Ghosts all found their way into stories of the
time period. Edgar Allan Poe wrote “And much of Madness and more of Sin and Horrror the Soul of the Plot” in Ligiea.7 Poe's tales such as “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The
Pit and The Pendulum” poor on the suspense. “The Masque of the Red Death” has basis in real life as Poe watched his parents die from Tubercluosis (at that time called
Consumption). Howard Phillips (H.P.) Lovecraft, one of my favorite and most influential authors of Gothic horror, wrote many tales of the weird and macabre, tales such as “The
Call of Cthulu”, “Shadow Over Innsmouth”, The Colour Out of Space”, and “The Dunwich Horror.” Most of Lovecrafts novels focus on creatures from outerspace trying to terrorize the
people. Stephen King in Danse Macabre (pg. 63) wrote about Lovecraft “And yet it is the concept of outside evil that is larger, more awesome. Lovecraft grasped this, and it is
what makes his stories of stupendious, Cyclopean evil so effective when they are good. […] but when Lovecraft was on the money—as in “The Dunwich Horror,” The Rats in the Walls,”
and best of all, “The Colour Out of Space”---his stories packed an wallop.The best of them make us feel the size of the universe we hang suspended in, and suggest shadowy forces
that could destroy us all if they so much as grunted in their sleep. After all, what is paltry inside evil of the A-bomb when compared to Nyarlathotep, the Crawling Chaos, or
Shub-Niggurath, the Goat with a Thousand Young8?” H.P. Lovecraft created many monsters which current (Modern) horror writers draw sources from. Another famous Gothic horror writer
is Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstien, or A Modern Prometheus. Frankenstien came out of a competition between Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, Dr. John William Polidori and,
Mary Shelley. Both Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft have a lot to say about Frankenstien. Stephen King says in Danse Macabre: “Frankenstien has probably been the subject of more
films than any literary work in history, including the