H.P. Lovecraft Poster

Trivia (25)

Universally considered to be the father of modern horror.

Buried in Swan Point Cemetery.

His fictitious book, the Necronomicon, is referred to in many of his stories -- allegedly written by "The Mad Arab" in the eighth century and containing horrendous spells, evil workings and Dark Things Best Left Alone. In a bizarre literary reversal, several people have written and published imaginative full-length editions, giving this mythical work a macabre, eldritch life of its own.

One of his other inventions, the fictitious Miskatonic University, appears prominently in his tales, and its library is often where the evil Necronomicon can be found.

The statuette for the World Fantasy Award is a bust of Lovecraft, in honor of his writing. The award is informally referred to as a Howard.

Responsible for creating the nucleus of the "Cthulhu Mythos," a cycle of loosely-related stories that he (and other writers including Robert Bloch, August Derleth, Robert Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Brian Lumley) conceived that concerned the "Great Old Ones," beings from outer space who took up residence on Earth to cause havoc. Ironically, although Lovecraft was an atheist (having renounced his family's Baptist faith at an early age), the mythos' stories have spawned a sort of pseudo-religion among the very hard-core readers of his stories, including the Temple of Set and the Esoteric Order of Dagon.

Wrote the short story "Imprisoned With The Pharaohs" as a ghostwriter for Harry Houdini. But on the day he brought it in person, he left the original copy at the train station, but fortunately had a copy saved at home. So somewhere in Providence there was a story titled "Under the Pyramids" by Lovecraft floating around.

Was known to remain awake for prolonged periods of time, often 36 hours straight, without showing the slightest signs of fatigue or irritability. In one case, in order to meet a deadline, he had to stay awake for 60 hours straight in order to complete a story.

It has been said by one biographer that he was literally "cold blooded" due to a very rare, and still little-understood affliction called poikilothermism, making him feel cold to the touch. However this is probably untrue, and basically disproved by biographer T. S. Joshi, seeing as poikilothermism is not a disease, but a characteristic of certain non-mammals such as reptiles, and is only commonly seen in mammals as a symptom of rabies, which it is highly unlikely Lovecraft suffered from. The belief that he was poikilothermic is a common misconception, however.

Inspired modern-day stories of success such as Stephen King ("The Shining"), John Carpenter ("In the Mouth of Madness"), Robert Bloch ("Psycho"), Clive Barker ("Hellraiser") and Anne Rice ("Interview with the Vampire").

Is notorious as being the 20th Century's most prolific letter writer scripting somewhere between 40,000 to 100,000 letters within his lifetime.

The Vision Bleak, a German horror metal band, dedicated the album "Carpathia, A Dramatic Poem" (2005) to Lovecraft. They also made other references, such as a track being called "Kutulu!". Numerous other rock bands have paid musical tribute to HPL and the Mythos, most notably Metallica in "The Thing That Should Not Be" and the 1960's American band H.P. Lovecraft.

Was raised by his grandfather and mother, and to a certain extent by his aunts, after his father's hospitalization.

Because he was a sensitive child, his mother and grandfather indulged him, so Lovecraft very early gained a fondness for sweets that remained with him all his life.

His father's insanity was most likely caused by syphilis.

His wife, Sonia Haft Shifirkin Greene, was seven years his senior.

Played a harmonica-like instrument called a zobo.

Suffered two nervous breakdowns before he was fifteen.

Had an active correspondence with writer Robert E. Howard.

Was close friends with writer Frank Belknap Long.

Never actually finished high school, a fact which bothered him clear up to his death.

He was a known xenophobe, racist and anti-Semite. Even after marrying Sonia Greene who was Jewish, he was still fond of making anti-Semitic remarks much to her chagrin.

He openly hated New York City and spoke at length about his dislike for it but stayed there often and spent so much time exploring neighborhoods with friends that he had trouble getting work done.

Lovecraft had a particular fondness for ice cream and had, in general, a notable sweet tooth. He loved coffee too, especially when highly sugared. Baked beans, spaghetti, cheese note and roast turkey were also favorites.

He always wrote the drafts of his stories by hand, because he hated typing. Whenever he could, he would have someone else type his manuscripts for him.