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Why do people think Lovecraft's books weren't fiction?

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posted on May, 10 2009 @ 11:31 PM
Allow me to begin by stating that H.P. Lovecraft is quite possibly the greatest horror writer of all time, my favorite author, and the inspiration for my career. This is in no way a thread bashing the man, the myth, the legend. But why is the man a myth? Who turned him into a legend? Perhaps it was merely his writing style; he patched enough truth into his fictional works that nowadays many people seem unable to tell the difference. Before reading Lovecraft, I was raised under the widely-shared belief that the Necronomicon was the devil's bible, when in fact is was a poorly-named unwritten piece of fiction. What amazed me was how many people within my family and church (as I was a baptist at the time) actuallyl believed the Necronomicon was real, and had no idea about its history, origin, or current whereabouts. It was never even written, yet many think it is thousands of years old and not a reference to an idea put forth in the short stories of a 20th century horror writer. Where do the lines begin to blur? How does Cthulhu, an obscure Un-god whose actual substance was defined in a science-fiction magazine in 1928, come to be regarded by some as a true nightmare out of history? It baffles me, honestly; one may as well claim Narnia as a true world, or Middle Earth as a past chapter in history.
My question is as simple as the title of this thread; why do people think that Lovecraft's writings were about reality?

[edit on 10-5-2009 by Malfeitor]

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:03 AM
People probably think the Necronomicon is real because they see the phony versions in the occult section of the bookstore and assume that some evil group of heathens use it in their ceremonies. They don't bother to do the research, and the rumors spread.


posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:28 AM
Because people will believe anything. Seriously... look around. Some people think Nikolai Tesla was born of a space-faring race on the planet Venus who escaped Earth to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the stars.

I don't know if you're into videogames, but if you like H.P. Lovecraft, and know someone with a Nintendo GameCube, you might want to check out Eternal Darkness. It's not based on any of Lovecraft's works, but is heavily inspired by them. Might be right up your alley.

First segment repeats three times, because there's three different elder gods who direct the fate of the game's characters depending and which one you get depends on the actions you take at the beginning.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 01:56 AM
I think Lovecraft is just so freaking cool that people *want* it to be true and just decide to baldly, blatantly, crassly ignore reality and claim that it is. I'm half-way there with 'em.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:06 AM
It is very interesting. Although I haven't read any of his stuff (apart from maybe one short story ages ago), I can identify with the myths and characters from his books.

They really have stepped over the line blurring fiction with reality. I know of his characters from other media, and they are certainly treated with more respect then most literary characters.

Apart from Lovecraft's, I'm trying to think of at least one other book (or series of books) where characters have done the same... all I can think of is the Bible.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:19 AM
I may be way off here and I probly am. Forgive my laziness and lack of enthusiasm to do a quick google search. It is late :\ But anyway, I thought The Tibetan Book Of The Dead was the Necronomicon and is hardly a work of fiction?

[edit on 11-5-2009 by -NewSense-]

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:22 AM
reply to post by -NewSense-

Nope, two different books. There is no necronomicon, any version you see is something somebody made up to sell paper. The tibetan book of the dead is real.


posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:33 AM
Doesn't Necronomicon translate to Book Of The Dead?

Probly way off again lol.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:45 AM
reply to post by Malfeitor

Why? Because for decades people printed magical textbooks based on that. Try bobbylove321 who had a thread here on ATS a while ago on 'opening portals'.
He gives the url of a site where books on magic can be downloaded. The main stuff he tried was 'elder gods'. I tried it in case it worked but it was a complete disappointment. Minor negative stuff happened only - proving that I am in contact with otherwise honest powers that were disappointed by my using these weird names.

BTW, I am convinced that names carry vibrations in the collective psyche - however the same archetypes can appear under a hundred different names.

According to the theory of magic, you COULD summon anyone. Including Middle Earth stuff. You could have Donald Duck standing on the North side, the Little Mermaid in the west, Mr. Tesco on the North etc. The thing is, they would be there but they are not valid archetypes, humanity was not summoning them for thousands of years, so nothing is going to happen save you seeing these guys. They are not going to protect you unless you put some power into them. This is astral creativity. If you do, from then on other people will also be able to use the sacred protective powers on Donald Duck etc.

Chthulhu refers to ancient chthonic gods - some of which used to be innocent archetypes before Christianity. When I tried seeing these beings or archetypes, they appeared earthy and very morose...

Now if you scroogle that collection of books, you could be surprised how many people could have bought these books by a minor English publishing house over the decades. They are all experimenting with magic based on HPL. I also recall working in a used book store in the late 80's that a bunch of really perked up weirdos came into the store, virtually obsessed and said we should call them any time of the day or night if such and such a title came in. Necromicon was one of the most frequent one. Probably that is why I never read it - although my daughter has a copy of one of the later editions.

I also think that those people did put in some energy into the archetypes of Ch... etc. So nowadays they appear if you summon them - the only thing is that they rarely bring good results. Who knows what is behind this? The Universe is stranger than you can suppose...

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 02:59 AM
reply to post by Kokatsi

According to the theory of magic, you COULD summon anyone. Including Middle Earth stuff. You could have Donald Duck standing on the North side, the Little Mermaid in the west, Mr. Tesco on the North etc.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 03:37 AM

Originally posted by -NewSense-
Doesn't Necronomicon translate to Book Of The Dead?

Probly way off again lol.

Depends on how you conjugate.

It translates to "an image of the laws of the dead", but others have translated it as "Book of the laws of the dead" and also "Concerning the dead."

All three of these are accurate in their own way and should give an idea of what the title means.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 04:46 AM
I think the influence of his stories make them seem real to people. If you see how many writers, films and tv-series are based on or inspired by theCthulhu Mythos or any other of Lovecraft's short stories, it is easy to see how people turn the man and his stories into a legend.
Also, at the time he wrote his stories, the world and it's history were not that well explored as they are nowadays. There was much more mystery in the world then there is now (You wouldn't say it from reading this board) and thing he wrote kind off just stuck, in a sneaky way, in folklore. Also his stories got most publicity after he died, which added to the mystery.

And don't forget: people just want to believe. Just look at a lot threads at this board. There are so many posts here of which I think: how the hell do you think something like that is even remotely possible?

Anyway, to me he is a great source of inspiration.

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 05:57 AM
reply to post by Malfeitor

I think people assume the Lovecraft stories/mythos are 'real' because of the attention they've received from the media and pop culture over the past few decades.

You've got Cthulhu being referenced in film, video games, role playing games (I assume I wasn't the only one who played Call of Cthulhu?), songs and stories -- hell, I remember one of my favourite "Real Ghostbusters" episodes was one where they fought against Cthulhu! I was chuffed to bits that it was an hommage to Lovercraft

And also, Lovercraft's themes are often drawn upon common social archetypes like monsters from the deep, magic and just the 'unknown' in general. So, such things will always appeal to many people on one level or another.

But i do agree - I always thought he was a fantastic horror writer - even though he did ramble on sometimes in his vast use of descriptive adjectives

posted on May, 11 2009 @ 06:56 AM
Lovecraft also generally only used real locations and sometimes even used real people, or analogues of real people. His stories were generally located in real towns and featured many real organisations, buildings, etc.

Lovecraft was certainly the master of the horror genre, and one of the greatest authors of the 20th century.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:29 AM
reply to post by Lasheic

Funny you should mention that game; Eternal Darkness was how I stumbled onto Lovecraft in high school. A "friend" of mine stole it last year, though.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:41 AM
reply to post by Yazman

Regarding the translation, you're mildly incorrect; Necronomicon literally translates to "The Book of Dead Names", though Lovecraft intended it to mean what you posted. He wasn't as good at writing in latin as he thought.

Thank you all for posting; I've wondered for a few years now why people think fiction is reality. Only a month after discovering Lovecraft, I met a young woman who thought (truthfully) that Cthulhu had raped her. Twice. This is the sort of odd behavior which has finally driven me to look for an answer. There is a movie based on Lovecraftian idea called In The Mouth Of Madness which actually explores the very problem which has arisen with Lovecraft's fans; the movie is about people going insane, mentally and physically, due to their belief in fiction.
I've seen this sort of mental dependence before, though. In my metaphysical studies I've found that almost every person who claims to have abiility or knowledge on the subject has based his or her beliefs and methods on figures in literature or, occasionally, television. I knew a man who thought he was actually a Jedi (don't ask me how I find these people, I just do).
I respect literature, metaphysical study, the paranormal; I respect most things, actually, and consider myself a very open-minded person. I simply choose to draw the line at reality. I suppose I have little else to add at the moment...I haven't slept in awhile, and my brain is doing circles around itself at this point. I'll post again if I have a decent thought.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 07:45 AM
I was just reading that Universal studios in planning a movie version of "The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft." with Ron Howard directing...

When I first saw it I thought oh god... since there have been few good film versions of Lovecraft... though Night Gallery did some excellent work with Lovecraft... most notibly Pictman's Model...

But Ron Howard does quality work so it might be worth a look see when it comes out...

Here is the source...

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:02 AM
As others have said, Lovecraft's work has been widely used in movies, music and games throughout the years.

There are various versions of the necornomicon floating around people have written to cash in.

His stories included just enough of the real (places, events, etc) to make some wonder.

Also, he wove a rich tapestry of a dark and mysterious past - and one that was shared to some extent by other writers of his day. For example, Lovecraft elements appear in some of Robert E. Howard's stories.

Lastly, even the coordinates of the infamous "Bloop" are pretty close to the cooridnates Lovecraft gave for the sunken city.

Put all of that together with the quality of his writing and you get something that some will come to think of as real.

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:17 AM
It isn't just the Necronomicon that represents a fictional book with Lovecraft's fingerprints on it; The "De Vermis Mysteriis" also has the whiff of Lovecraft but is accepted as a real book too.

Perhaps there is irony upon irony here; reality presented as fiction accepted as fact. Hmmm, little do they know that I know that they know it is in fact real.

... or not as the case may be.

I knew a man who thought he was actually a Jedi (don't ask me how I find these people, I just do)

The guy wasn't really really short with bug eyes and bat ears was he? Always had a little walking stick with him? Lived in a swamp? I think I may know him.

[edit on 14-5-2009 by SugarCube]

posted on May, 14 2009 @ 08:53 AM
You also have stuff like this that I just found. Its an e-book out on Google Books.

The Necronomicon files, The Truth Behind the Legend

I've been glancing over it and it seems to be a fairly decent read.

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