The Dunwich Horror

Author(s): Howard Phillips Lovecraft

Classics

The Dunwich Horror is a classic H. P. Lovecraft horror story that tells the tale of Wilbur Whateley, son of a deformed albino mother and an unknown father, and the strange events surrounding his birth and precocious development. Wilbur Whateley matures at an abnormal rate, reaching manhood within a decade--all the while indoctrinated him into dark rituals and witchcraft by his grandfather.In the isolated, desolate, decrepit village of Dunwich, Massachusetts, Wilbur Whateley is the hideous son of Lavinia Whateley, a deformed and unstable albino mother, and an unknown father (alluded to in passing by mad Old Whateley, as "Yog-Sothoth"). Strange events surround his birth and precocious development. Wilbur matures at an abnormal rate, reaching manhood within a decade. Locals shun him and his family, and animals fear and despise him due to his odor. All the while, his sorcerer grandfather indoctrinates him into certain dark rituals and the study of witchcraft. Various locals grow suspicious after Old Whateley buys more and more cattle, yet the number of his herd never increases, and the cattle in his field become mysteriously afflicted with severe open wounds.Wilbur and his grandfather have sequestered an unseen presence at their farmhouse; this being is connected somehow to Yog-Sothoth. Year by year, this unseen entity grows to monstrous proportions, requiring the two men to make frequent modifications to their residence. People begin to notice a trend of cattle mysteriously disappearing. Wilbur Whateley's grandfather dies, and his mother disappears soon afterwards. The colossal entity eventually occupies the whole interior of the farmhouse. Wilbur Whateley ventures to Miskatonic University in Arkham to procure their copy of the Necronomicon - Miskatonic's library is one of only a handful in the world to stock an original. The Necronomicon has spells that Wilbur Whateley can use to summon the Old Ones, but his family's copy is damaged and lacks the page he needs to open the "door." When the librarian, Dr. Henry Armitage, refuses to release the university's copy to him (and, by sending warnings to other libraries, thwarts Wilbur's efforts to consult their copies), Wilbur Whateley breaks into the library at night to steal it. A guard dog, maddened by Wilbur's alien body odor, attacks and kills him with unusual ferocity. When Dr. Armitage and two other professors, Warren Rice and Francis Morgan, arrive on the scene, they see Wilbur's semi-human corpse before it melts completely, leaving no evidence.Wilbur WhateleyBorn February 2, 1913 at 5 a.m. to Lavinia Whateley and Yog-Sothoth. Described as a "dark, goatish-looking infant"-neighbors refer to him as "Lavinny's black brat"-he shows extreme precocity: "Within three months of his birth, he had attained a size and muscular power not usually found in infants under a full year of age.... At seven months, Wilbur Whateley began to walk unassisted," and he "commenced to talk...at the age of only eleven months. At three years of age, "he looked like a boy of ten," 9] while at four and a half, he "looked like a lad of fifteen. His lips and cheeks were fuzzy with a coarse dark down, and his voice had begun to break." "Though Wilbur Whateley shared his mother's and grandfather's chinlessness, his firm and precociously shaped nose united with the expression of his large, dark, almost Latin eyes to give him an air of..well-nigh preternatural intelligence," Lovecraft writes, though at the same time he is "exceedingly ugly...there being something almost goatish or animalistic about his thick lips, large-pored, yellowish skin, coarse crinkly hair, and oddly elongated ears."

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Product Information

General Fields

  • : 9781612195810
  • : Melville House Publishing
  • : Melville House Publishing
  • : 0.114
  • : November 2016
  • : 1 Centimeters X 13 Centimeters X 17.9 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Howard Phillips Lovecraft
  • : Paperback
  • : English
  • : 813.52
  • : 80