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Updated: Jun 1, 2023

Lovecraft wrote this short story in November 16, 1920 and it was first published in The Fantasy Fan in June 1934 (Vol. 1, No. 10).

The story is told from the first-person perspective of an unnamed narrator and details his experiences with a scientist named Crawford Tillinghast. Tillinghast creates an electronic device that emits a resonance wave, which stimulates an affected person's pineal gland, thereby allowing them to perceive planes of existence outside the scope of accepted reality.

In 1986, horror director Stuart Gordon adapted the story into a film of the same name. In the film, Dr. Crawford Tillinghast (played by Jeffrey Combs) has a different role, as the cautious assistant of the crazed, obsessive Dr. Edward Pretorius. The short story was also the inspiration for the 2013 horror film Banshee Chapter, which loosely adapts it and the 1986 Gordon film.




Benevolent Street is in the College Hill neighborhood on the East side of Providence. The street has since been split in two due to the expansion of Brown University.

But such was the aspect of Crawford Tillinghast on the night his half-coherent message brought me to his door after my weeks of exile; such the spectre that trembled as it admitted me, candle in hand, and glanced furtively over its shoulder as if fearful of unseen things in the ancient, lonely house set back from Benevolent Street. - HPL ~ From Beyond




The best friend of the story's narrator, Tillinghast, is a researcher of the physical and metaphysical, characterized as a man of feeling and action. In the first draft of the story, Lovecraft called the character Henry Annesley; he replaced that name with one composed of two old Providence surnames. In The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, Lovecraft mentions "the seasoned salts who manned … the great brigs of the Browns, Crawfords, and Tillinghasts"; James Tillinghast and Eliza Tillinghast are minor characters in that story.

Whilst traversing Benefit Street I happened to stumble across a grave of one of the Tillinghast's of Providence's past.

Horrible beyond conception was the change which had taken place in my best friend, Crawford Tillinghast. I had not seen him since that day, two months and a half before, when he had told me toward what goal his physical and metaphysical researches were leading; when he had answered my awed and almost frightened remonstrances by driving me from his laboratory and his house in a burst of fanatical rage. - HPL ~ From Beyond

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