This week’s “Scary Picture of the Week” is titled “The Book.” Although inspired by H.P. Lovecraft’s Necronomicon, the final image is dedicated to all dangerous and chaotic tomes that have come before and after Lovecraft’s infamous creation. I created this image using a computer program called Poser. This poor devil has read too much, and it has cost him his sanity. Even while locked away, the book remains ever-present.
First mentioned in Lovecraft’s 1924 short story “The Hound,” the Necronomicon is a fictional grimoire that supposedly contains an account of the Old Ones, their history, and certain spells designed to bring them over from the beyond. One precursor to Lovecraft’s creation is the play The King in Yellow, which is featured in some of the short stories written by Robert W. Chambers.
The creation of the Necronomicon led to the fabrication of many other accursed books. For example, Clark Ashton Smith invented The Book of Eibon, penned by a mighty wizard from the land of Hyperborea. Lovecraft mentioned The Book of Eibon is several of his short stories, including “The Shadow out of Time.”
Robert Bloch, the writer of the novel Psycho, contributed the book Cultes des Goules, a grimoire written by Francois-Honore Balfour. Bloch also created De Vermis Musteriis, a grimoire that first appeared in Bloch’s short story “The Shambler from the Stars.”
Robert E. Howard, most famous for his creation of Conan, contributed Unaussprechlichen Kulten, a tome written by Friedrich von Junzt. Howard originally came up with the title Unspeakable Cults. Lovecraft and friend August Derleth changed the English title to one in German.
One relatively modern creation consists of the Zanthu Tablets. These tablets first appeared in the 1971 short story “The Dweller in the Tomb,” written by Lin Carter. The tablets were supposedly written by a great wizard/priest by the name of Zanthu.