Why H.P. Lovecraft is a Genius

ImageThose 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?



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3 replies

  1. I just listened to the outstanding full cast production of “Herbest West–Reanimator ” and “The Colour out of Space” on Dark Adventure Radio Theatre. My favorite Lovecraft short story, though, is “The Shadow over Innsmouth.” I adore Lovecraft’s eerie small towns with dark, secret things going on…they inspired the entire plot of Between the Spark and the Burn.

  2. I need to go reread my HPL, though I did reread “Call of Cthulhu” last year. I ran through his works entire works in my early 20s. Sadly, “Cthulhu” has become a punchline in my house. Just wait till the ancient ones rise. I’ve been rereading a lot of RE Howard lately and I see a lot of influences. One of the last stories I read spoke of Dagonian’s and featured a hideaous Lovecraftian monster. 🙂

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