So I recently found a copy of a bunch of H.P. Lovecraft’s short stories, including The Call of Cthulhu, at a local bookstore, and totally picked it up. The buy was so worth it. H.P. Lovecraft is something of a household name, even though most people don’t realize it. References to Lovecraftian horror are scattered throughout popular fiction, from Game of Thrones to Marvel to Stranger Things, we see echoes of the Great Sleeper Beneath, and the horror that lies at the gathering edges of mankind’s collective mind.
I remember one afternoon, I was playing through Fallout 4, and found myself descending into the depths of one of the most disturbing Fallout locations I’ve ever seen. To this day, it still gives me shivers. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love a good scare as much as the other person…but this was next level. It looked like an old mine. But, as I descended deeper, something was definitely up. As I read through the old records left by the mining team, it was clear they were slowly being driven mad by their need to dig. Why? Eventually, after a little bit of searching, I found what they’d been looking for: an altar with a sacrificial knife, deep in an ancient cavern. Soon, unsettling visions flashed through the screen. Reaching the altar had awoken some sleeping radioactive zombies (Ghouls, for those familiar with the game).
It was clear from the way the location was set up, and the visions that I was given in the game that the group of miners had ended up sacrificing each other on that altar in a desperate attempt to appease some entity that was driving them mad. The ones who survived were turned into ghouls by the nuclear blast. Now, I had to get out if I wanted to avoid becoming like them.
Once I’d left the location and closed out of the game, I looked that particular spot up in the game forums to see if anyone had any ideas as to what the hell that was. Apparently, it was a good old Lovcraftian reference to one of his most popular stories, The Dunwich Horror.
And that’s just one example of how H.P. Lovecraft has been hidden in everyday pop-culture.
Believe it or not, every year, groups of people actually try to summon Cthulhu from his home in R’lyeh in the depths of the ocean, speaking the ancient chant made up by H.P. Lovecraft in the early 1900s.
So, why are we so fascinated with the idea of a great sleeping squid in the depths of the Pacific Ocean?
Well, it’s not really about the squid. Rather, it’s about evil, the occult, and the inherent glorious “scare-factor”. Besides, there’s something wonderful about scary stories that nobody can really disprove. After all, nobody can say there’s not a cosmic horror lying at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, waiting to destroy all of mankind by driving us completely insane. That’s the best part, isn’t it?
With Autumn and Halloween fast approaching, we thought it only appropriate to pull up some of our favorite Cthulhu t-shirts and remind everyone of our favorite Great Old One. Oh, and if you do happen to try and summon the Great Sleeper Beneath, do be careful. We’d hate for you to go missing.