Those who know me understand that I have an unhealthy obsession with H.P. Lovecraft, but today I wanted to post about a specific story of his and why it made me want to write horror. This story is called THE RATS IN THE WALLS and if you haven’t read it, you should remedy that immediately…and then come back and finish this post.
TRITW is an account from a man who renovated his ancestors priory and moved in to live there in 1923. There is some nefarious history regarding multiple deaths and the only surviving heir running away in a fit of madness, but no one seems to know the full story, let alone our narrator. The word choice and writing is, of course, exceptional, but more than that I love the 1st person PoV. He begins hearing things in the old house and discovers that an ancient vault lies under the house. He gathers a crew and they decide to investigate. The rest of the story is basically a devolution of sanity from a first person perspective.
It is breathtakingly terrifying.
The way he uses the language and narration to show how the character is spiraling out of control is incredible. It made me interested in Psychology and made me want to write psychological thrillers. The brain is one of those great puzzles of mankind and illnesses of the mind are, in my opinion, one of the scarier things out there in the world. I love using it as my playground because there is so much of the brain, it’s capabilities and disorders, that are still mainly a mystery.
Have you read any Lovecraft? What’s your favorite story of his?