This portion of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ was brought to you by Donovan K. Loucks
Q: What are the addresses of the various companies or
organizations which are mentioned throughout this FAQ?
- Q: What is this newsgroup about?
A: The group is specifically about the creatures, people, places
and legends of the Cthulhu Mythos (or Cthulhu Cycle) as reported in the
fiction of Howard Phillips Lovecraft and numerous other authors. More
generally, the newsgroup also covers other aspects of H.P. Lovecraft’s
life and work, works by other authors of related style and content, and
Mythos-related organizations and products (real or fictional) such as
Miskatonic University, music, games, tee shirts, and posters.
- Q: What is Cthulhu?
A: The best answer to this question is found in Lovecraft’s tale
“The Call of Cthulhu”. Cthulhu is a monstrous entity who lies “dead but
dreaming” in the city of R’lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness
presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean.
Cthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of
the human race. Racial memory preserves Him as humanity’s most basic
nightmare. Cthulhu is the high priest of the Great Old Ones, unnatural
alien beings who ruled the Earth before humanity formed, worshipped as
gods by some misguided people. It is said that They will return, causing
worldwide insanity and mindless violence before finally displacing
- Q: How is “Cthulhu” pronounced?
A: There are basically three different pronunciations that I have
heard, other pronunciations being slight modifications on these.
The most commonly heard pronunciation is that suggested by Chaosium,
makers of the “Call of Cthulhu” roleplaying game. On the back of many of
their gaming products is printed the phrase, “Can you say
Another pronunciation is that used by several Lovecraftian scholars. This
form is based on Lovecraft’s revision tales where Cthulhu is often
referred to as “Clooloo” or “Clulu.” Unfortunately, this form does not
have a sound representing the “th” combination.
The pronunciation that I prefer is a compromise between these two. The
“h” sounds are aspirated, thus the “th” is not as in “them” or “thin,” but
two separate sounds. The first four letters of the word are run together
in something like a sneezing sound, “K’t’hoo-lhoo.”
According to H.P. Lovecraft:
“The actual sound - as nearly as human organs could imitate it or human
letters record it - may be taken as something like Khlul’-hloo, with the
first syllable pronounced gutturally and very thickly.”
“The best approximation one can make is to grunt, bark, or cough the
imperfectly formed syllables Cluh-Luh with the tip of the tongue firmly
affixed to the roof of the mouth. That is, if one is a human being.
Directions for other entities are naturally different.”
From these quotes (taken from Lovecraft’s letters), one might conclude
that the second pronunciation mentioned above is the most correct of the
- Q: Who is H.P. Lovecraft?
A: Howard Phillips Lovecraft was a writer of weird fiction who
wrote most of his tales during the 1920s and 1930s. He was born on August
20, 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he spent most of his life. He
was briefly married and lived in Brooklyn for two years. After this he
returned to Providence where he died on March 15, 1937.
- Q: Where is H.P. Lovecraft buried?
A: Lovecraft is buried in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, R.I., which is just northeast of
the Brown University and College Hill area. He
and his parents are in the plot belonging to his maternal grandfather, Whipple Van Buren Phillips.
Once you enter the cemetery, follow Holly Avenue straight back to Junction Avenue, where you make a
left. Soon after this, Pond Avenue curves off to the right. Follow Pond until it intersects
Avenue B. The family plot is on the east side of the intersection of these two avenues.
Lovecraft’s grave was unmarked until the mid-1970s when fans raised funds
for a tombstone. Prior to that, the only indication that he was buried there was his name
inscribed on the back of the large family monument. On his tombstone is inscribed:
AUGUST 20, 1890
‘I AM PROVIDENCE’
The “I am Providence” quote is from a letter he wrote to James F. Morton
dated May 16, 1926.
- Q: Where does August Derleth stand in all this?
A: August Derleth was one of H.P. Lovecraft’s friends and fans. He
was directly responsible for preventing Lovecraft’s works from falling
into oblivion, and co-founded Arkham House for that purpose; for this we
owe him a zillion kudos. He wrote many tales within the Cthulhu Mythos;
some of these are based on outlines or fragments by Lovecraft, such as
“The Lurker at the Threshold.”
The controversy over Derleth is that in his tales he adds a number of
concepts to the Cthulhu Mythos which appear to be at odds with Lovecraft’s
conception. He introduced the Elder Gods, ultra-powerful beings who had
imprisoned the Great Old Ones and who protect the human race from their
machinations. He also turned the Great Old Ones into elemental beings,
contrary to Lovecraft’s concept of them as unnatural alien invaders, and
raising awkward questions such as “If Cthulhu is a water elemental, why is
he imprisoned by the sea?” Whereas Lovecraft depicted the Mythos
creatures as horrible, alien, and incomprehensible, Derleth sometimes made
them understandable and almost likeable – contrast Lovecraft’s “The
Shadow over Innsmouth” with Derleth’s “The Seal of R’lyeh.”
While Derleth deserves praise for his promotion of Lovecraft, his
guardianship of the Lovecraft canon was not without its problems. Derleth
set out to control not only the publication of Lovecraft’s work (a move of
dubious legality), but also the printing of Cthulhu Mythos stories,
Lovecraft criticism, and other articles about HPL. For this reason, many
Lovecraft scholars have become vocal opponents of August Derleth and his
policies toward Lovecraft. Although Derleth’s ideas are anathema to many
Lovecraft purists, his contribution to and influence over the development
of the Cthulhu Mythos has been immense and ongoing.
- Q: Does anyone actually take Lovecraft or Mythos fiction as
A: This is a loaded question. To answer it, I will assume that
Lovecraft (et al) created the core of the Mythos, as well as numerous
tomes, but mixed in a generous helping of real-life people, places, and
things. As an example, “The Golden Bough” is a real book (in fact I own a
copy of this, IMHO, boring text), but the Necronomicon is not. So,
though Lovecraft (et al) used “The Golden Bough” in their stories, this
answer has nothing to do with whether or not anyone believes that the book
exists. It does deal with those who believe that things like the
Necronomicon exist, (as well as any ficticious race, place, tome,
To move on to the answer: Yes. Some folks take this fiction as ‘fact’.
Here are the examples we have thus far:
- The Church of Satan – Although they don’t proclaim to believe in “The
Old Ones” (per se), they do believe in the symbology of “Cthulhu” as
something worth basing two of their rituals upon. Said rituals are found
in The Satanic Rituals, by Anton Szandor LaVey (Avon
Necronomicon Anti-FAQ by Colin Low – Written in the same spirit as
Lovecraft’s own “History of the Necronomicon,” but in much greater detail,
this document has caused a considerable amount of confusion amongst those not “in the
know.” Colin Low refers to this as an Anti-FAQ, does not claim that it is someting to be
believed, and openly admits that it is a hoax. It’s at least worth a read-through for its
application to the game “Call of Cthulhu” (see the “Games” part of this FAQ). It may be found at:
- “The Oldest History of the World” by Benny Evangelist (1936) – “The
author of this book was found decapitated in his Detroit home on July 3,
1929, near the murdered remains of his family. Investigation revealed that
Benny was the leader of a secretive cult, and had left behind a manuscript
which he claimed to have been divinely inspired. The first part of this
manuscript was later published. Yes, it sounds like your standard Mythos
story, but this one really happened.
“Anyway, the book above actually has little to do with the Mythos. I am
noting it because at three points in the text, a book of black magic which
is titled ‘Necromicon’ or ‘Necronemicon’ turns up. I haven’t read it, so
I can’t say whether it’s any good. I got that last bit of information
from Colin Wilson’s novel The Philosopher’s Stone. Since Wilson
claims not to make anything up, and since History wasn’t his
invention, I don’t think it would hurt to tell you about this one, too.” -
- “Secrets of Atlantis” by Gabriel Guenon (1941) – “Secrets was written
shortly before its author’s death. According to Wilson, it attempts to
prove that Lovecraft was writing about things which really existed.
Unfortunately, a brief check down at the ol’ library has turned up the
- It’s not in print.
- It’s not available through inter-library loan.
- The British Museum Library doesn’t have it.
My guess is that it was published in a limited edition in England, and
never reached our shores. Or maybe all copies were destroyed by an evil
cult. Take your choice.” - Daniel Harms
- “The Satanic Lays” – Contain 2 ceremonies to raise the Great Old
Ones. The German ritual on electricity seems to allude to Lovecraft’s
quotes about the Old Ones, as well as to the Hounds of Tindalos.
- Kenneth Grant:
- “Aleister Crowley and the Hidden God” by Kenneth Grant
- “Man, Myth and Magic.” Kenneth Grant has a 2 page article in the
appendices. “Grant believes that Lovecraft was in touch with Cthulhu &
Co., who prompted him to write his stories. He then cites other
cross-cultural influences which seem to point toward this conclusion.
Unfortunately, the man’s an awful Lovecraftian scholar, and his stuff’s
filled with mistakes” - Daniel Harms
- The Esoteric Order of Dagon – The following is the last public
announcement I am aware of by the Esoteric Order of Dagon. It is posted
with the permission of Ms. Crummett:
STATEMENT OF THE YADDITH LODGE
The Yaddith Lodge is at this time the only genuine and active Lodge of the
Esoteric Order of Dagon (E.’.O.’.D.’.) and is entrusted to protect the
reputation and integrity of the EOD during its present Period of
The only members of the Yaddith Lodge are the three former Directors of
Any person not a member of the Yaddith Lodge claiming to be a member, to
represent a Lodge, or to be the Director of the EOD is either self-deluded
or consciously misleading and manipulating the uninformed.
When the Period of Silence has ended the Yaddith Lodge will appoint a new
Director and this person will then be authorized to open other authentic
Lodges and confirm membership in the EOD.
- Issued by the Yaddith Lodge, Vernal Equinox, 1993 e.v. (Signed) Steven
Greenwood, Nina Crummett, Peter Smith
The Esoteric Order of Dagon is therefore inactive at this time. I must
stress that this organization is not to be confused with the amateur press
association of the same name. [Contributed by: David Smith
- The Miskatonick Society – There is another group called the
Miskatonick (sic) Society which has some overlap with the above group but
is not a “magick” group. They publish a journal called ‘The Silver Key’
which is free to members. There are no dues or fees to belong to the
Miskatonick Society but membership is by invitation only and limited.
There is a branch in England as well as the U.S. I am not a member of this
group but know many of the American members. They do not engage in
graverobbing or acts of violence and only want to correspond with sane,
rational, literate scholars of Lovecraftian/fringe subjects.
These include Lovecraft, Machen, Kenneth Grant’s books and theories, UFO
cults and cranks, especially in relationship to Lovecraftian themes, the
Jungian transpersonal forces of the unconscious as the “Great Old Ones,”
Writers and artists interested in joining should enquire and perhaps
include an example of their work (with SASE if they want it returned.)
[Contributed by: David Smith
A: The following address list is presented because folks have found
it difficult to pick and choose addresses from within the FAQ. Also, due
to repeated mentionings of various companies and organizations, this list
will prevent having multiple postings of their addresses.
- Arkham House Publishers, Inc.
P.O. Box 546
Sauk City, WI 53583
282 Queen St. West
Toronto, Ontario Canada
- Borgo Press
P.O. Box 2845
San Bernardino, CA 92406-2845
- Caliber Comics
11904 Farmington Rd.
Livonia, MI 48150
- Chaosium, Inc.
900 Murmansk Street, Suite 5
Oakland, CA 94607 USA
P.O. Box 20027
Riverside, CA 92516 USA
- Dark House
RR1, Box 149
Millville, MN 55957-9741 USA
- The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets
261 W. 22nd Ave.
Vancouver, BC, V5Y 2G3,
- Deadline Press
P.O. Box 2808
Apache Junction, AZ 85220
- Fedogan & Bremer
3721 Minneahaha Avenue South
Phone: (612) 721-8848
Fax: (612) 721-9491
- Jay Gregory
5643 Mosholu Ave.
Riverdale, NY 10471 USA
- Landfall Productions
W12 7AH U.K.
19 Nascot Street
W12 0HE U.K.
- The Magickal Childe Bookstore
35 West 19th Street
New York, NY
Phone: (212) 242-7182
- The Miskatonick Society
P.O. Box 5301
- Miskatonic Univeristy Press
P.O. Box 796
- Mythos Books
19057 First Street
Eagle River, AK
- Necronomicon Press
P.O. Box 1304
West Warwick, RI 02893 USA
Phone: (401) 828-7161
- Pagan Publishing
5536 25th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105-2415 USA
Fax: (206) 528-0199
- Pharaoh Audiobooks
P.O. Box 10393
Sedona, AZ 86339 USA
- RAFM Co., Inc.
20 Parkhill Rd. East
Cambridge, Ontario, N1R 1P2
- Starlog Press
475 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016
- Starry Wisdom
1903 Harmon St.
Berkeley, CA 94703 USA
- Sunset Productions
369 Montezuma, Suite 416
Santa Fe, NM
- Tsathoggua Press
6442 Pat Ave.
West Hills, CA 91307 USA
E-mail: Perry Grayson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Wizard’s Attic
P.O. Box 718
Hayward, CA 94543-0718 USA
Phone: 510-547-2158 (Europe)
- Yith Press
1051 Wellington Road
Lawrence, KS 66049 USA
End of Part 2 of the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ, “General.”