That Halloween will be a weird one. The holiday doesn’t do cosmic, existential horror very well. It excels at intimate, cozy horror. The ghost in your bedroom. The serial killer the length of a knife blade away. Your best friend turning into a monster.
Ancient, indifferent horrors beyond our comprehension are, well, probably too scary for Halloween.
Still, I would give that Halloween a try.
This year would have been a good one to do that way because last month I found myself in Lovecraft’s home city of Providence for NecronomiCon, a convention dedicated to him.
|Most of the action took place at the Providence Biltmore, |
but the convention spilled out through most of College Hill.
Now, keep in mind, I was only in Providence off and on for two days, and I missed all of the freaky stuff: The squid costumes, the prayer breakfast, anything to do with dancing and music. Mostly, I just hit up the vendor room, walked around Providence looking for Lovecraft sites, talked to a bunch of cool people, and sat in on a few panel sessions.
I probably did it wrong, but I did it. And this is some of the stuff I saw.
|A session on Lovecraft's influences, featuring, from left to right,|
Faye Ringel, S.T. Joshi, Joe Pulver, Darrell Schweitzer, Robert Waugh, and Dennis Paoli.
|Don't want to be caught without the proper attire when the Old Ones return.|
|...or without an idol.|
|What's he doing here? This year's official T-shirt for the New England Horror Writers.|
|The man himself.|
|The coolest part of the collection for me. A drawing of Cthulhu by Lovecraft himself.|
|The freshly christened H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Square at Angell and Prospect streets. |
Or, more accurately, the sign.
|The ex-funeral home that hosted Lovecraft's funeral.|
|Looks kind of cheery for it, but this is the house used by Lovecraft in The Shunned House.|
|House where the artist in the Call of Cthulhu lived.|
|St. John's Cathedral whose graveyard both both Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft hung out in.|
|The Halsey House, which stood in for the Ward house in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.|
|I have no idea why this sidewalk near the Halsey House was covered with the hand prints of children,|
but I have my suspicions.
|Actually, the man himself.|