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Lovecraft Summarized

Edited December 28, 2022

During the ideation and design phase of Shadows Over Loathing, I wanted a quick breakdown of all of H. P. Lovecraft's stories. I didn't want to read them all, because I don't like his prose very much and I also just didn't want to spend a ton of time on it. I wanted the basic ideas, easily digestible, and not buried under seas of boring exposition and racism.

I couldn't find such a document, so I decided to make it myself. I bought this book: An H P Lovecraft Encyclopedia and wrote one-paragraph summaries of the 1-2 page summaries in it. Here they are.

The Alchemist

A guy’s family line is cursed to die before they turn 32 because one of them pissed off an alchemist 600 years ago. It turns out they’re all getting murdered by the alchemist himself, who figured out the elixir of life and has lived the entire time.


A scientist invents a juice that will turn anything into ash. Somebody concludes that he ashed his secretary so they ash him. Turns out she was just hiding in a closet, but he had been PLANNING to ash her so it’s okay that his ass got ashed I guess.

At the Mountains of Madness

An Antarctic expedition discovers an ancient city and frozen Old Ones. They built a huge city by mentally controlling shoggoths, big green clouds of protoplasm. Some of the Old Ones get thawed out and killed by the expedition, but they also apparently thawed out a shoggoth which the protagonist sees and then goes insane. [Riff: There's also signs that the shoggoths rebelled and caused the Old Ones' downfall, and possibly also they were the seed of life that evolved into humans]

The Battle that Ended the Century

In the far future of 2001, there is a fight (boxing match?) between Two Gun Bob and Knockout Bernie. That’s… it I guess? One of them wins.

The Beast in the Cave

A guy gets lost in a cave and by yelling for help summons the attention of a Beast, which he kills with rocks. Then he finds his original guide and goes back to where he killed the beast, and the beast turns out to just be a dude who got lost in the cave years earlier.

Beyond the Wall of Sleep

An asylum intern becomes obsessed with a murderer who raves about space stuff. He builds a “cosmic radio” which lets him mentally communicate with the guy, who turns out to be possessed by an alien who is very pissed at the star Algol for some reason. Once the guy dies the alien is freed, and the next year Algol goes nova. Take that, you stupid star.

The Book (fragment)

A guy buys a “worm-riddled book” at a weird bookstore. The owner refuses to take money for it but lets him have it. Reading it makes him kind of unstuck in time, the past and future keep intruding on his experiences, and there’s a scratching at his window by some monster he summoned by reading it.

The Call of Cthulhu

Not much happens here. A guy is investigating various things. Sculptures worshipped by cultists, stories of Cthulhu, who is very old and sleeping until the stars are right. The story of a boat which found the underwater city of R’lyeh, accidentally raised too early by an earthquake, but it went back down, then the guy who found it died. Moral of the story is that mankind isn’t important. This is Cthulhu’s world, we’re just borrowing it while he’s sleepin’.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward

In the late 1600s there’s a guy Curwen who doesn’t age, and he’s always robbing graves and collecting chemicals. He studies stuff about the Essential Saltes of man and how they could be used for resurrection. He marries a woman and is murdered by a jealous suitor. In 1918 his descendent learns about him, finds his body, and resurrects it. Something goes wrong. He writes a letter to his doctor friend saying he’s unleashed something dark and needs help putting it away. The doctor finds him in Curwen’s old house, surrounded by experiments, including “half-formed creatures” in deep pits. He has been possessed by Curwen, and talks all old-timey. He tries to magically destroy the doctor but the doctor does an incantation to disintegrate him, because apparently everybody is a wizard all of a sudden.

The Cats of Ulthar

There’s a village where it’s illegal to kill cats. There used to be a couple there who killed any strays that came to their house, but then they killed a gypsy (presumably, described as a “dark wanderer”) kid’s kitten and they curse the village. All the cats band together and skeletonize the couple.


A guy travels to a magical world when he dreams, and when that stops working he starts going there via drugs, and then more and more drugs until he dies and a guy buys his old house.

The Challenge from Beyond

A wormlike race sends these crystal cubes out and anybody who finds it does a consciousness swap with one of them so they can learn about us. The protagonist, while body swapped, kills their God and becomes their new God, while the worm guy inhabiting his old body on Earth dies a raving madman. There is mention of the “cone-shaped beings who inhabited Australia millions of years ago” and how they tried to kill the worm guys.

The Colour Out of Space

A guy is surveying for a new reservoir and discovers a “blasted heath,” a big patch where nothing grows. The locals tell the story of a meteor that landed there, containing an orb of a color they’d never seen before and couldn’t describe. The plants and animals mutate (huge pears) and the farmers who live there all go insane. The cops come to investigate and see a column of the color shoot up into space from the well, but a tiny shard of it lands nearby. The blasted heath grows in size an inch a year and they wonder if it will ever stop.

Cool Air

A magazine writer lives in a boarding house, full of lowlifes except a doctor who keeps his apartment super cold, getting colder and colder as time passes. There’s a failure of the cooling system and he keeps having people bring him ice, but eventually they screw up and he disintegrates. Turns out he had been dead for 18 years and was keeping himself animated via weird chemicals and low temperatures.

The Crawling Chaos

A doctor gives a guy too much opium for pain relief, and he finds himself in a beautiful house on a promontory that is being relentlessly washed away by crashing waves. He flees out the back, where some angels want to take him to the “wondrous world of Teloe” but the crashing waves interrupt them and then the narrator watches the world get destroyed by the waves.

The Curse of Yig

The guy who runs an asylum tells the narrator about Yig, the half-man snake god who takes vengeance on anybody who is mean to snakes. In 1889, a settler’s wife killed a nest of rattlesnakes, and Yig tricks her into killing her dog and her husband, then she gives birth to a half-person half-snake thing, which now lives in the asylum.


The narrator writes that he’s about to kill himself because he can’t afford any more morphine, which is the only thing that keeps him sane. During WW1 he was adrift after escaping a boat that got captured, and he found himself in a big muddy area that got thrust up from beneath the sea. There’s a big statue that people worshipped eons ago, with “repellent marine carvings” on it, and now he’s insane because he saw it.

Deaf, Dumb and Blind

A deaf dumb and blind poet moves into a house that he thinks will stimulate his imagination because a hermit died there and something about it caused the townsfolk to burn his body and all of his stuff. He moves in with his manservant, who eventually flees, babbling incoherently. A diary found in the typewriter after the poet’s death says he has become aware of a presence in the house, and that he can hear it, and that it has icy fingers that “draw me down into a cesspool of eternal iniquity.” The investigator concludes that the last bits of it were typed by somebody else.

The Diary of Alonzo Typer

An occult explorer investigates a house where a Dutch family summoned strange forces. He senses several strange presences, especially in the basement. He realizes that he is descended from the family and was brought there to finish the job, and it ends with him being inexorably summoned to the basement by a whispering “ancient forgotten One.”

The Disinterment

A guy gets leprosy and his sketchy doctor hatches a plan (based on zombie stuff he learned about in Haiti) to fake his death and resurrect him with a different identity so he can live without the stigma of the disease. He wakes up feeling weird, kills the doctor and his manservant, then digs up his own grave to find his headless body. To his horror, he realizes his head has been grafted onto the body of a black guy. God dammit dude.

The Doom that Came to Sarnath

There was a city called Ib with ugly creatures in it. Then some people came and founded a city called Sarnath and killed all the Ib creatures, and Sarnath flourished. Then the Ibs came back and destroyed Sarnath.

The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath

Very long trip through various dreamlands locations. First some forest zoogs send him to Ulthar to get the Pnakotic Manuscripts from some cats. Then he takes a boat to the moon where cats fight some toad people. Then he finds a big carved God face. He needs to go see the guy from Celephais the story in Celephais the kingdom, but he gets waylaid by night-gaunts and has to team up with ghouls. Then there are ghasts and also gugs. It really goes on and on from there.

The Dreams in the Witch House

A Miskatonic math student rents a “peculiarly-angled room” in Witch House. He has dreams about crazy shapes and it makes him smart about hyperspace stuff. In a dream he meets Brown Jenkin, the rat familiar of a witch who used to live there, which has human hands. Has a dream of being in a crazy city full of Old Ones, wakes up holding a piece of a banister he broke off in the dream. Dreams about the witch sacrificing a baby. He kills Brown Jenkin but not before some kind of baby blood ritual was completed, and in the real world he gets devoured from within by a rat creature. Eventually they tear down the house and find centuries worth of bones.

The Dunwich Horror

In backwoods Massachusetts, Wilbur Whately is born to an albino woman and an unknown father. He grows really fast. His dad’s library provides his education, and when his dad dies he tells him to consult “page 751 of the complete edition” so he can open up the gate to Yog-Sothoth. Wilbur tries to get the book from Miskatonic but Armitage, the librarian, won’t give it to him. He tries to steal it and gets killed by a guard dog, revealing that he was mostly slime and didn’t have any bones. Back at the Whately farm, a big invisible monster arrives and starts stomping all the houses. Armitage stops it, revealing that it was Wilbur’s twin brother, but also a giant tentacled monster. Yog Sothoth was the dad.

The Electric Executioner

Narrator is sent to Mexico to track down a guy named Feldon. He finds himself in a car with a madman who has a hood that kills people, and he wants the narrator to be its first experimental victim. He tricks the guy into putting off his execution for various reasons, then ultimately using the device on himself. The narrator faints, then wakes up and people tell him there never was a madman, then later they find Feldon dead in a cave, with his pockets full of the narrator’s stuff. This is confusing and so I probably have it wrong.

The Evil Clergyman

Narrator is left in an attic room full of books and alchemy stuff, warned not to touch the matchbox-sized thing on the table. He does, and an evil clergyman appears, throws a bunch of books into the fireplace, then smugly hangs himself. Then the narrator has apparently become the clergyman.

Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family

A man finds out he was descended from some kind of prehistoric white ape from the Congo, then kills himself via immolation.

The Festival

A guy goes to a small town during a festival. He gets swept up by some wax-masked revelers and led to the basement of a church, where they all worship a green flame next to a nasty river, then they ride off on flying beasts. He eventually winds up in the hospital in Arkham, where he asks for a copy of the Necronomicon, which confirms the stuff he just saw.

From Beyond

A guy builds a machine that breaks down barriers in our perception. He turns it on and shows his friend (the narrator) weird colors and jellylike creatures that drift around the room they’re in. Then he freaks out and starts yelling at the creatures, his friend shoots the machine, and then he dies of apoplexy.

The Ghost-Eater

A guy can’t find a ride to the town he needs to go to so he walks, and stops at a spooky house. The guy there lets him sleep upstairs, but he doesn’t trust his host so he sets up a fake person in the bed and sits in a chair so he can keep an eye out. A man enters the room and goes to sleep in a different bed. The narrator thinks he might be dreaming so he tries to touch the guy, but the guy is a ghost. Then the ghost of a wolf comes in and eats the guy. The narrator flees the house and gets where he’s going, whereupon he learns the story of a guy that stopped for the night at a spooky house that turned out to be owned by a werewolf, who ate him, then got caught and they burned down the house.

The Green Meadow

A note says this story was found on a notebook made of some alien substance that was found embedded in a meteorite, and was written in ancient Greek. The story is about somebody who finds themselves on a peninsula that gets washed down a river. He sees a green meadow and hears singing from it, and has a “aha, I’ve figured everything out!” moment but then the text becomes incomprehensible before he explains what it was he figured out.

The Haunter of the Dark

A writer becomes obsessed with a nearby abandoned church. In it he finds forbidden books, strange objects, and the skeleton of a reporter whose notes he reads. The nodes describe Satanic rituals at the church in the previous century, a “shining trapezohedron” and a “Haunter of the Dark” that can’t exist in the light. Later he sees somebody blacking out the windows of the belfry, then there’s an electrical blackout, and superstitious Italians surround the church in a candlelight vigil. They see a dark object emerge from the belfry. The writer’s diary seems to indicate that he somehow merged identities with the Haunter, but his body is found electrocuted.


A guy moves to New York and hates it. He gets invited to an estate by a man dressed in archaic attire. The man talks about an ancestor of his (secretly himself) who stole secret knowledge from some Indians and then poisoned them. When asked about the knowledge, he opens his window to reveal the landscape from 200 years earlier. Then he closes it and reopens it on a horrible far future with flying monsters and giant stone terraces and devil-lights burning in windows. Then the narrator screams, which somehow summons black slime Gooigi versions of the Indians, who kill the archaic man.

Herbert West -- Reanimator

Maybe a parody of horror stories? It was originally written for a humor magazine. A guy from Miskatonic learns to reanimate corpses, and it’s told in six installments.

  1. He reanimates a guy but it doesn’t work. They bury him, but then it turns out later that it DID work.
  2. He reanimates an old professor who didn’t like him. The professor wreaks havoc and is asylumed.
  3. They try to reanimate a black guy but it doesn’t work because the serum is only for whites.
  4. He invents a fluid that keeps corpses fresh. He uses it on a traveling salesman who conveniently died when he was near West. When the salesman is reanimated he reveals that West killed him.
  5. He practices his arts in a loathsome manner during WW1.
  6. Years later, all the bodies he reanimated show up together and tear him to pieces.

The Horror at Martin’s Beach

A fishing crew kills a sea monster, fifty feet long. Scientists conclude that it was a newborn one of whatever it is. The crew then disappears, along with the monster’s body. A boat goes out to rescue them but that boat’s crew gets mind controlled and allow themselves to be dragged into the deep by the monster’s parent.

The Horror at Red Hook

A detective is investigating the case of Robert Suydam, who hung out with swarthy strangers. In an effort to seem more legit he marries a woman of high standing, but on their wedding they’re found murdered, drained of blood. Later the detective finds the swarthy boys in a church basement they’ve turned into a dance hall where they perform sacrifices to Lilith. They try to sacrifice Suydam’s reanimated(?) corpse, but it resist and explodes into goo. The detective is upset by this and has to spend several months in Rhode Island recuperating.

The Horror in the Burying-Ground

A guy invents a serum that simulates death even though the person is alive and conscious. He tries to use it to get rid of an enemy, but ends up getting injected with it himself and buried alive.

The Horror in the Museum

A wax museum owner claims to have captured a god (Rhan-Tegoth) in Alaska. As proof, he shows his friend Steve a picture of his vampire-sucked dog, who he says he fed to the god. Steve doesn’t believe him so he challenges him to spend the night alone in the museum. Steve hears noises in the basement, but it turns out to be the owner, who he overpowers and ties up. But then they hear another noise, and it’s a monster with a crab-like claw. A week later Steve comes back and there’s a wax statue of the owner in the museum, drained of blood. The statue has an injury that Steve gave the owner during their fight.

The Hound

Two guys are grave robbers. They dig up a 500 year old grave and find an amulet depicting a winged hound. The hound begins to haunt them, then kills and mutilates one of them. The other one decides he has to re-bury the amulet, but it gets stolen. He goes and digs open the grave again anyway(?) and finds that the body in it is now covered with blood and fur and scraps of flesh. It ends with him saying he’s gonna shoot himself to escape the unnamed and unnamable thing they unleashed.


A sculptor makes a friend at a railway station and they start experimenting with studies of time and space and drug-dreaming their way into new realms. Then they see something scary and shift gears to taking drugs so they never have to sleep again. Then one day they finally screw up and go to sleep, and when the narrator awakes he has sculpted a huge head with HYPNOS on the base, and people tell him he never actually had a friend, but that “art, philosophy, and insanity had filled all my tragic life.”


A “biography” of Ibidus, mostly about the crazy trip his skull goes on after he dies and is later exhumed. It’s owned by various famous people, then ends up in America where it falls into a prairie dog hole, but then a convulsion of Nature spits it back out of the ground.

In the Vault

An undertaker gets stuck in the building used for winter storage of corpses waiting to be buried. He has to stack up the coffins in a pyramid to escape through the transom, but he ends up sinking into one and his feet get injured. It turns out he had cut off a guy’s feet so he could fit in somebody else’s coffin, and the wounds were actually bite marks, the vengeance of the footless corpse.

In the Walls of Eryx

A guy is on Venus working for a crystal mining company and he sees a really juicy crystal. He runs toward it but finds that there’s an invisible maze around it. He gets lost in the maze and runs out of oxygen and dies while Venusian man-lizards taunt him by waving their feelers at him. Another crystal miner finds his body, and points out that all he had to do was go straight backwards and he could have escaped.

The Last Test

Dr. Clarendon gets appointed medical guy at San Quentin, and there’s a bunch of personal drama with him and the governor. Clarendon had brought back some Tibetan servants (led by a guy named Surama) from medical research travel. They’re supposed to be working on a cure for the black fever, but it turns out Clarendon has been mind controlled by Surama, “an evil Atlantean mage” to develop an unearthly disease to wipe out mankind. They burn down the clinic with all the research in it.

The Little Glass Bottle

HPL wrote this as a child. It’s about a ship captain who finds a message in a bottle with a treasure map on the back. They follow the map, and it leads to a note explaining that the map was a prank. To make it up to them, it was accompanied by an iron box containing “$25.0.00”[sic]

The Loved Dead

A guy becomes a necrophile as a result of his repressive upbringing. He works for an undertaker to gain access to corpses to love, but then turns to murder to increase the size of his dating pool. Then he goes off to WW1 to be closer to even more corpses. Then he goes back to murdering, and is eventually caught. He confesses his crimes in a suicide note.

The Lurking Fear

Four episodes:

  1. Three guys are investigating a monster in a haunted house that has been terrorizing local hobos. They all sleep in the same bed in one room and are supposed to take turns staying awake, but something makes them all go to sleep and two of them get snatched away in the night.
  2. The survivor/narrator gets another guy to wait in a nearby house for the monster to attack. The guy gets fascinated with something out the window, and when the narrator shakes him to get his attention, he finds out the guy is dead, and his face has been chewed off.
  3. The narrator investigates the history of the house and ends up digging up the grave of one of the owners. In the grave there’s a tunnel, and in the tunnel he sees a horrifying creature.
  4. It turns out there’s a whole species of terrible inbred man-ape-moles descended from the house’s family, living in a honeycomb of caves below the house.

The Man of Stone

Daniel “Mad Dan” Morris finds, in an ancestral tome, a formula for a liquid that turns people to stone. It’s pointed out that it’s definitely science, not magic. He gives it to a sculptor he thinks is flirting with his wife. Then he tries to give it to his wife, but she tricks him and gives it to him instead. Then she feels bad and takes it herself after all.

Medusa’s Coil

A traveler stops at a house in Missouri and the owner tells this tale: His son marries a French woman. There’s some drama with a friend of his who paints a portrait of her, and then it turns out she’s a Medusa and her hair tries to strangle people and they kill her. Back to the present, the owner shows the traveler the painting, and the hair on it comes to life and the traveler shoots it. The owner says the painting has to stay intact or she’ll rise from the grave. An errant candle burns the house down, sure enough she comes back and attacks the owner. And then it’s revealed that the true horror is that the woman was black. For Christ’s sake, man.

The Moon-Bog

An American comes to reclaim his ancestral home in Ireland and drain the bog around it because of his capitalist leanings. Local workmen refuse to help ‘cause of the bog spirits so he hires outside help. Naiads and bog-wraiths mess with the workers, mesmerising them and making them dance. Eventually the American gets UFO’d up and out of sight on a beam of moonlight.

The Mound

An archaeologist finds the account of one of Coronado’s team from the 1500s who was led by an Indian to an alien city beneath a bunch of mounds in Oklahoma. The aliens are telepathic and can teleport themselves and objects, but they’ve declined over the centuries and become decadent and lost their intellect. The guy suffers some horrible fate that is seemingly not described.

The Music of Erich Zann

An old man plays the cello to ward off an incursion from another dimension into the upstairs window of the boarding house he lives in. It eventually becomes too much for him and the entire neighborhood vanishes as a result of the incursion.

The Mysterious Ship

(written when he was a child.) A ship goes from port to port kidnapping people and dropping them off at the North Pole. Then somebody goes and rescues them and the rescuer is showered with honors.

Mystery of the Grave-yard (or) A Dead Man’s Revenge

(also written as a child) A man dies and in his will instructs the rector to drop a ball at a spot marked in his tomb. The rector does, and vanishes. Then a man named Bell shows up and demands money for the rector’s return. It turns out the ball dropping triggered a trap door which dropped the rector into a nice apartment, where he was meant to stay until ransomed, but he breaks out and a detective solves the case and arrests Bell.

The Nameless City

An archaeologist wants to explore the city Abdul Alhazred dreamed of the night he wrote the “That is not dead which can eternal lie” couplet. He goes into the city, buried beneath the desert, and sees statues of lizardmen. He thinks they’re just animals but then he goes through a gate and sees a huge crowd of them alive in a luminous abyss.

The Night Ocean

A painter goes to a sea resort to rest after a grueling painting competition (?) but instead of being relaxing, it’s stressful because people keep drowning and getting eaten by sea monsters.


(poem) Nyarlathotep emerges in Egypt in a season of political and social upheaval. He has strange machines of glass and metal, and apparently knows about electricity. One of these machines is like a movie screen, and in it the narrator sees the world falling apart.

Old Bugs

Old Bugs is a drunk who hangs out at a pool hall. A kid shows up slumming and tells the story of how his dad was a drunk and ran off. Old Bugs leaps up and slaps the drink out of his hand, dying from overexertion in the process, convincing the kid to never drink again. Then he finds a picture of his mom in Old Bugs’ pocket because Old Bugs was actually his estranged father.

The Other Gods

The “gods of earth” gods have fled to unknown Kadath because a scholar from Ulthar decided to scale their old mountain (Olympus equivalent) to look at them. He was well-versed in the “seven cryptical books of Hsan” and the “Pnakotic Manuscripts of distant and frozen Lomar.” He climbed up there but instead of the good gods he saw other gods, bad gods, and was swept into the sky and never seen again.

Out of the Aeons

There’s a mummy in a museum and it reminds the narrator of a story (in the Black Book or(?) Nameless Cults by Von Junzt) of this old God that if you looked at it, it would turn your outside into an immobile mummy but your brain would remain perpetually alive inside. It turns out that this mummy is a guy that that happened to 175,000 years ago.

The Outsider

A guy climbs to the tallest tower of the castle he’s lived in for as long as he can remember, but it turns out it’s the ground. He goes to a nearby castle which is familiar to him, but all the people there get scared off by him. Then he finds a mirror and he’s a horrible abomination.

Pickman’s Model

A guy does paintings of horrible demons, and it turns out he’s painting them from photographs of actual horrible demons. [Riff: flesh-eating ghouls, who in this universe are like underground-dwelling dog-men instead of undeads. at the end it's implied that Pickman turns into one coz I guess it's something you can catch?]

The Picture in the House

A guy goes into a house he thinks is abandoned, and starts reading an old book with a plate in it depicting a cannibal feast. Turns out the owner was sleeping upstairs. He comes down and tells the narrator that he’s a cannibal. Then a drop of blood drips from the ceiling onto the narrator, then lightning strikes the house and burns it down and kills the owner, but the narrator survives.

Poetry and the Gods

A woman reads a poem and it makes her dream that Zeus tells her she’ll meet a poet who is “[the gods’] latest-born messenger” and then she meets him and he thrills her with his poetry.


The narrator dreams that he’s manning a watch-tower in an alien city, and then Polaris (the star) casts a spell on him that makes him fall asleep, and when he does he wakes up in the real world but maybe the real world is the dream and the dream is the real world.

The Quest of Iranon

A singer named Iranon traverses various fantastical places looking for his home, Aira, where he was a prince. He doesn’t age. He makes a friend but then the friend drinks himself to death. Finally somebody tells him Aira is made up, and that he is actually of low birth, and he’s so scandalized by this that he commits suicide by walking calmly into quicksand.

The Rats in the Walls

An American goes to reclaim his ancestral home in England which has been abandoned because of a legend of a herd of ravenous rats that ate a bunch of animals and a couple of people hundreds of years ago. He and his buddy hear skittering in the walls, and they keep following the sound down and down until they find a cavern under the castle littered with centuries of human bones. After seeing the guy rapidly regress through more and more ancient languages until finally devolving into ape grunts, we realize that he has not escaped the legacy of his family’s cannibalism, and has in fact eaten his buddy.

The Secret Cave or John Lee’s Adventure

(written when he was a kid) John and his sister are left alone at home and they discover a cave hidden in their cellar. They find a big empty box, a small heavy box, and a boat. They pull out a rock at the end of the cave and it floods with water. His sister drowns but he escapes into the boat with the small box. He “shuts off the water” somehow and the box is revealed to contain $10,000 which he describes as enough to pay for anything except the death of his sister.

The Shadow out of Time

An economics teacher gets Flowers for Algernonned somehow and his wife and family leave him. He does lots of research and travels to exotic realms, then suddenly snaps back to his old life, believing it’s five years ago again. It turns out he had gotten mind-swapped by a cone-shaped being from Australia from 150 million years ago, and while he was there he wrote down his experiences for their archive. He eventually goes to Australia and finds the ancient text in his own handwriting.

The Shadow Over Innsmouth

A town full of people pledge an oath to Dagon and slowly interbreed with fish people so they can live forever in vast underwater cities. A guy goes to check it out and ends up getting turned into one himself. [Riff: turned out he was from there originally but didn't know he had fishman in his family tree.]

The Shunned House

A guy and his uncle investigate a house that people keep dying in (they speak French as they die, weird,) thinking maybe it has something to do with the vaguely person-shaped mound of mould or nitre in the basement. The thing engulfs his uncle and keeps changing forms. He comes back with six carboys of acid and pours them on the thing, which he has now identified as the elbow of some titanic monster beneath the house.

The Silver Key

30-year-old Randolph Carter is bummed because he lost the key to the gate of dreams, and the real world is boring. He then finds a silver key in his attic, goes back to where he grew up, and magically transforms back into his 9-year-old self.

The Statement of Randolph Carter

Randolph and a friend go to investigate a cemetery after reading in a book about how some corpses don’t decay and stay fat and sassy for a thousand years. They find a staircase leading down under a grave and the other guy takes one end of a portable telephone with him. He’s talking to Randolph as he goes deeper, then he freaks out and tells Randolph to seal up the grave and flee. Then a disembodied voice on the line tells him that the guy is dead.

The Strange High House in the Mist

A guy goes to a weird house on a cliff where he parties with various gods and legendary figures, and when he comes back it seems that he has left his soul and sense of wonder to revel at the house, and he’s now content with being a boring suburban dad.

The Street

Blatantly racist nonsense. It’s the story of a street where there were houses built by good white pilgrims, and then over the years immigrants move in and make it bad, and then finally it collapses in on itself to punish them.

Sweet Ermengarde or The Heart of a Country Girl

Convoluted story of the romantic life of a farmer’s daughter. There’s some gold buried under the farm, and nothing supernatural happens, just a few weird coincidences.

The Temple

A German submarine sinks a British ship and a survivor from the ship comes on board with a carved ivory head. The head makes the submarine guys go nuts, and then they drive the submarine to Atlantis where they find a statue whose head matches the small ivory one.

The Terrible Old Man

An old sea captain has his old crewmates’ souls in little jars. Some guys try to rob him, but the crewmates manifest somehow and cut them up with their scimitars.

The Thing on the Doorstep

A guy cheats death by mind-swapping with his daughter just before he dies, then swaps into a different guy, but the guy, now in the daughter’s body, manages to kill the old guy while he’s in his own body.

Through the Gates of the Silver Key

The story of Randolph Carter’s fantastical interdimensional travels after his return to boyhood in The Silver Key. There’s a part where he disappears through a clock, which is cool.

Till A’ The Seas

The earth has gotten closer and closer to the sun until everybody dies except one guy, who then dies.

The Tomb

A 10-year-old boy becomes obsessed with a tomb and believes he is hanging out and partying with the entire ancestral line of the family that’s buried there. Observers note that all he’s actually doing is sleeping outside the tomb. Eventually he is institutionalized, and when they open up the tomb to see what’s inside they see a coffin with the kid’s name on it.

The Transition of Juan Romero

A British guy gets a job at an American mine with a Mexican guy who is obsessed with a Hindu ring he has. They dynamite open a cave that is too big to measure. They go back that night to explore it, and Juan goes nuts and falls into an abyss. Later, they’re both found dead in their bunks, and people say they never actually left the bunkhouse at all, but Juan’s ring is gone.

The Trap

There’s a mirror that sucks people in, and it’s a mirror world where colors are weird and objects are weird. It was made by a Danish glass blower who was trying to become immortal, and he sort of does, as long as nobody breaks the mirror.

The Tree

Kalos and Musides are sculptors, and there’s a contest to carve a statue. Musides is a drunken reveler and Kalos is a homebody. Kalos gets sick and dies so Musides wins by default, but then a tree grows out of Kalos’ grave and falls, killing Musides and breaking his statue.

The Tree on the Hill

A guy named Single stumbles into a weird alien landscape and takes a photo of a tree. He takes it to Theunis, a “writer of esoteric books.” Theunis recognizes it as being an incursion from a planet with three suns, and says he needs to find a magic gem to drive it back to where it belongs. Weeks later Single is invited to a hospital where Theunis is recovering. Theunis says he successfully got the gem and saved the world, but that Single needs to destroy the photograph, and that the tree was actually the hand of a big monster.

Two Black Bottles

A preacher from 200 years ago learns some demonic ritual to put peoples’ souls in black bottles. The knowledge is recovered, and this guy Foster puts a guy named Vanderhoof’s soul in a bottle but then his corpse tries to come up from its grave because of it. A different bottle gets broken and Foster says aww shucks, that was my soul in there, it’s been there for 200 years, then crumbles to dust.

Under the Pyramids

(ghost written for Harry Houdini) Houdini gets thrown into a temple in Egypt and finds a vast underground cavern. He encounters living beings that are like the animal-headed humans in hieroglyphics, and they’re all making offerings of food to a giant monster. The monster is apparently the thing the Sphinx was a carving of, but each of the fingers on its forepaw are big furry heads.

The Unnamable

A guy and his friend (who is probably Randolph Carter) are talking in a graveyard and the guy says that Carter’s horror stories are silly and the idea of something “unnamable” is lame, but then they encounter something unnamable so I guess Carter gets the last laugh. [Riff: iirc this one is pretty explicitly HPL clapping back at his detractors]

The Very Old Folk

In Roman times there’s a tribe of maybe-not-humans called the Very Old Folk who, a couple of times a year, kidnap some people from a small town. One year they don’t come, so the townsfolk send soldiers to wipe them out once and for all, but the soldiers find that they are gone, and that some ancient evil has emerged and blotted out the stars and is coming to wipe everybody out. I guess because the old folk didn’t sacrifice anybody?

What the Moon Brings

A guy hates the moon because one time it showed him a terrible basalt statue whose head was emerging from beneath the waves.

The Whisperer in Darkness

A guy named Akely writes to a Miskatonic professor saying there are aliens from Yuggoth (the recently discovered ninth planet in our solar system) in Vermont, mining metal they don’t have at home and taking out peoples’ brains to send them on cosmic voyages and that it’s really awful. Then he sends another letter that says “wait just kidding, the aliens are great and want to be our friends, come immediately.” The professor does, and talks to Akely, but it turns out to be a fake Akely (aka a Fakely) and the professor finds the real Akely’s face and hands chopped off.

The White Ship

A lighthouse keeper walks across a bridge of moonlight to a phantom ship, which takes him on various adventures. The ship sails off the edge of the world and he wakes up back in his lighthouse.

Winged Death

There’s a bug in Africa that bites people and when they die their soul and personality go into the bug. The narrator dies (of a heart attack, not the bug bite, but his soul goes into the bug anyway, WTF,) and dips his body in ink and writes a message on the ceiling.

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