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Updated: Jun 1, 2023

This horror novella was written in 1928, and it was first published in the April 1929 issue of Weird Tales. It takes place in Dunwich, another one of Lovecraft's fictional towns in Massachusetts. It is considered one of the core stories of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Lovecraft took pride in The Dunwich Horror, calling it "so fiendish that, (Weird Tales editor) Farnsworth Wright may not dare to print it." Wright, however, snapped it up, sending Lovecraft a check for $240 (equivalent to $3,617 in 2020), the largest single payment for his fiction he had received up to that point.

Although Lovecraft first mentioned Yog-Sothoth in the novel The Case of Charles Dexter Ward, it was in The Dunwich Horror that he introduced the entity as one of his extra-dimensional Outer Gods. It is also the tale in which the Necronomicon makes the most significant appearance, and the longest direct quote from it appears in the text. Many of the other standards of the Cthulhu Mythos, such as Miskatonic University, Arkham, and Dunwich, also form integral parts of the tale.




Lovecraft was an enthusiast for New England megalith sites, and he visited Mystery Hill sometime between 1928 and the 1930s. The site is popularly attributed as inspiration for The Dunwich Horror. Scholars, however, place Lovecraft's visit too late to have inspired the 1929 story. Whether he did or not, it is still worth checking this place out.

No one, even those who have the facts concerning the recent horror, can say just what is the matter with Dunwich; though old legends speak of unhallowed rites and conclaves of the Indians, amidst which they called forbidden shapes of shadow out of the great rounded hills, and made wild orgiastic prayers that were answered by loud crackings and rumblings from the ground below. - HPL ~ The Dunwich Horror

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