Halloween P. Lovecraft

September 19, 2013 — One of these days, if I ever get the leisure to plan my Halloween seasons far, far in advance, I’m going to theme them. I’ll have a Headless Horseman Halloween. An Edgar Allan Poe Halloween. A Universal Studios Halloween. A Christmas Halloween. And, somehow, I’m not sure how, I’m going to have an H.P. Lovecraft Halloween.

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.
I’ve already posted about the highlight of the convention, the unveiling of the H.P. Lovecraft bust at the Providence Athenaueum, but I thought I’d post a few pictures of my time overall there.

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 Providence Athenaeum had an amazing exhibit of Lovecraft documents and artifacts going during the conference, all of it borrow from the nearby John Hay Library, which was closed for renovations. The Athenaeum itself is well-known for its Poe collection, which was also on display (and another reason I was at the conference).

The coolest part of the collection for me. A drawing of Cthulhu by Lovecraft himself.
I had been to a couple of Lovecraft sites in the past, including his plaque in front of the John Hay Library, the last house he ever lived in, and Prospect Park, but I thought I'd check a few more boxes off my Lovecraft List.

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.