I’ve generally avoided writing articles on H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe due to the prolific amount of coverage already available for them online. However, I’m a fan of Lovecraft, so I thought I’d list some favorites of mine here.
1.”The Music of Erich Zann” (1922) – A man becomes enthralled by the bizarre music played by a reclusive fellow resident after he takes a room in an old boarding house. This eerie tale is my favorite Lovecraft story.
2. “The Hound” (1924) – A pair of tomb thieves embark on a mission to exhume the body of a deceased, legendary grave robber. Upon doing so they find a strange amulet around the neck of his remarkably preserved corpse. Taking the amulet, they return home to add it to their secret ‘museum’ of stolen items, only to find themselves pursued by a relentless, vengeful creature.
3. “The Color Out of Space” (1927) – An old farmer recounts terrible things that happened to a neighbor after a meteor crashed in his field. The strange properties of the meteor begin to transmute everything around it in hideous ways. It starts by poisoning the plants and vegetables around it but soon progresses to change everything from the cattle to insects to the minds and bodies of the family. Something lurking in the water well begins to take victims as well.
4. “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” (1936) – This novella starts with a man traveling to the town of Innsmouth for antiquarian research. He is told the odd-looking locals are the product of mating between humans and fish creatures who worship dark gods of the sea. He’s warned to leave before nightfall but gets trapped in the run-down, waterfront city overnight when the bus brakes down.
5. “The Thing on the Doorstep” (1937) – This creepy tale is told by a man whose friend marries an odd, but beautiful, woman named Asenath Waite. Her family is from Innsmouth, and her late father was regarded as a powerful magician. Asenath’s will is powerful with an overriding obsession with the occult. As time goes on, the narrator’s friend begins to have startling personality changes. During the rare times his old self returns, he expresses fear of his wife and her abilities. He claims she is able to force his mind into her body while transferring her own into his for long periods of time. This tale unfolds little by little with a persistent feeling that something dreadful and unholy is slowly devouring one man’s mind, body and soul.
6. “The Haunter of the Dark” (1936) – A writer named Robert Blake (for Robert Bloch) becomes obsessed with the steeple of an odd church he can see from his window and seeks it out. Inside he finds the skeletal remains of a reporter with a notebook filled with bizarre notes about the place and its occult history. When his meddling reawakens an ancient dark entity inside the abandoned church, he starts to realize that he and it share a mental connection he cannot break.