The Necronomicon

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The Necronomicon is a grimoire appearing in horror stories by H.P Lovecraft and other writers.  I first learned about it in Lovecraft’s story, The Hound.  Although I know now it is fictional, on some level I still half-believe it to be real.

The Necronomicon was mentioned in several other Lovecraft stories besides The Hound (1922).  They include The Nameless City (1921), The Festival (1923), The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (1927), and The Dunwich Horror (1928).

The History of the Necronomicon was written by H. P Lovecraft in 1927 and published after his death in 1938.  Here’s a short excerpt:  “Composed by Abdul Alhazred, a mad poet of Sanaa, in Yemen, who is said to have flourished  during the period of the Ommiade caliphs, circa 700 A.D. He visited the ruins of Babylon and the subterranean secrets of Memphis and spent ten years alone in the great southern desert of Arabia–the Roba el Khaliyeh or “Empty Space” of the ancients–and “Dahna” or “Crimson” desert of the modern Arabs, which is held to be inhabited by protective evil spirits and monsters of death.  Of this desert many strange and unbelievable marvels are told by those who pretend to have penetrated it.  In his last years Alhazred dwelt in Damascus, where the Necronomicon (Al Azif) was written, and of his final death or disappearance (738 A.D.) many terrible and conflicting things are told.”  

You can read H. P. Lovecraft’s complete Necronomicon history here.

Many authors and artists have embellished the legend of the Necronomicon since its creation close to 100 years ago.  Author Donald Tyson recreated Abdul Alhazred’s journeys and the knowledge he found in Necronomicon: The Wanderings of Alhazred.  He also wrote a companion novel, Alhazred,

What is interesting is that H. P Lovecraft said the Necronomicon was a creation from his imagination, but he never disclosed (at least that I could find) what was the story, event, dream or person who inspired it?

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