Lovecraft's Characters

Although Lovecraft only occasionally reused characters (see bottom of page), many of these names come up in Lovecraftian literature.  In fact, some authors (Pete Rawlik especially) feature so many of HPL's characters in a book that I sometimes have to stop and look up a name to remember which story he (and it's almost always a "he") originated in.

I'm not including the "gods" or alien races, just regular human characters.  So here's a list of HPL's characters, along with a biographical sketch of each from Wikipedia (and some from the H. P. Lovecraft wiki:*.  Stories are listed in alphabetical order for ease of navigation.  If a story is not mentioned, it is because characters are not named.  Additionally, a great many stories are told by unnamed narrators, so I don't mention that character, although I did in some cases on my first pass through this endeavor and didn't want to delete those.

*To reduce clutter on this page, I've removed citations since they don't link to anything.  However, most of this text is unaltered, so it is easy to search a passage to track down sources and additional references.

This page is not very consisten in format.  Most stories have character biographies, but in some cases I simply have a plot summary.  In a few other cases I simply have a few names with little or nothing by way of description.  Sorry.  Someday maybe I'll annotate them better, but this page lists nearly everyone at the very least.  Additionally, I added in the juvenilia (marked with a "J") and collaborations/revisions (with other author(s) named in parentheses) as place-holders.  I'm reading those now, so I may add in character names later.

The Alchemist (J)

Ashes (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.)

At the Mountains of Madness
William Dyer (ca. 1875-?) - The narrator of At the Mountains of Madness, he is a professor emeritus of geology at Miskatonic University and a leader of the disastrous Miskatonic University Expedition to Antarctica in 1930-31. Only his last name is mentioned in the text of Mountains, though he is fully identified in Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time", where he accompanies an expedition to Australia's Great Sandy Desert.

Danforth - Graduate student at Miskatonic University. As part of the Miskatonic University Expedition, he accompanies Dyer on a survey flight over the newly discovered mountain range and goes mad after seeing something. He is described as "a great reader of bizarre material" and makes frequent allusions to Edgar Allan Poe. He is described as one of the few who ever dared to read the complete edition of the Necronomicon from the Miskatonic University Library.

Frank H. Pabodie - A member of Miskatonic's engineering department, Professor Pabodie invented a drill for the expedition that was "unique and radical in its lightness, portability, and cope quickly with strata of varying hardness." He also added "fuel-warming and quick-starting devices" to the expedition's four aircraft. Lovecraft wrote of the name "Pabodie", "I chose it as a name typical of good old New England stock, yet not sufficiently common to sound conventional or hackneyed." It's an alternative spelling of "Peabody", a name Lovecraft was familiar with through the Peabody Museum in Salem.

Professor Lake - Lake is a professor of biology at Miskatonic University. It is he who first discovers the Mountains of Madness as a result of his "strange and dogged insistence on a westward - or rather, northwestward - prospecting trip" based on his discovery of strange fossils. He also discovers the ancient extraterrestrial specimens that he dubs Elder Things based on their resemblance to "certain monsters of primal myth" found in the Necronomicon. He reports that his findings in Antarctica confirm his belief "that earth has seen whole cycles of organic life before known one that begins with Archaeozoic cells," and predicts that this "[w]ill mean to biology what Einstein has meant to mathematics and physics." When eight of the Elder Things turn out to be living creatures rather than fossils, they butcher Lake and the rest of his sub-expedition. For the rest of the story, Lake is referred to as "poor Lake".

Professor Atwood - A member of the Miskatonic University physics department, and also a meteorologist. He is part of the Lake sub-expedition.


The Battle that Ended the Century (with R. H. Barlow)

The Beast in the Cave

Beyond the Wall of Sleep
Joe Slater - A patient

The Book

The Call of Cthulhu
Francis Wayland Thurston - Francis Wayland Thurston is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a Bostonian anthropologist, the grandnephew of George Gammell Angell and the sole heir and executor of his estate. While going through the late Professor Angell's papers, he discovered the secret of the Cthulhu Cult, a revelation that probably sealed his doom.

George Gammell Angell - George Gammell Angell (1834-November 23, 1926) is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is Professor Emeritus of Semitic languages at Brown University who was "widely known as an authority on ancient inscriptions, and had frequently been resorted to by the heads of prominent museums." Angell died suddenly after "a careless push" from a sailor "on a narrow hill street leading up from an ancient waterfront," while returning from the Newport boat. At the time of his death, at age 92, he was a childless widower. His research notes on the worldwide Cthulhu cult were discovered after his death by his nephew, Francis Wayland Thurston.

John Raymond Legrasse - John Raymond Legrasse is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". Described as "a commonplace-looking middle-aged man," he is a New Orleans police inspector who led the raid on the Cthulhu cult on November 1, 1907.

William Channing Webb - William Channing Webb is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a professor of anthropology at Princeton University and "an explorer of no slight note." When Inspector John Raymond Legrasse conferred with a meeting of the American Anthropology Society about the Cthulhu Cult, Professor Webb was the only member of the assembly to be familiar with an idol found during the raid and the ritualistic chants used by the cult, based on his investigation of a "singular tribe or cult of degenerate Esquimaux" he encountered "high up on the West Greenland coast" in 1860.

Castro - Castro is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is an "immensely aged mestizo [...] who claimed to have sailed to strange ports and talked with undying leaders of the Cthulhu Cult in the mountains of China." Castro was arrested on November 1, 1907 during a New Orleans police raid on a cult ceremony in Louisiana.

Henry Anthony Wilcox - Henry Anthony Wilcox is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is an art student studying sculpture at the Rhode Island School of Design, and lives alone at the Fleur-de-Lys Building near that institution. He is described in terms that somewhat recall Lovecraft himself, as a "thin, dark young man of neurotic and excited aspect [...] The youngest son of an excellent family [...] a precocious youth of known genius but great eccentricity, and had from childhood excited attention through the strange stories and odd dreams he was in the habit of relating. He called himself 'psychically hypersensitive', but the staid folk of the ancient commercial city dismissed him as merely 'queer'."

Gustaf Johansen - Gustaf Johansen is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his first appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a Norwegian sailor "of some intelligence," and the second mate of the Emma of Auburn, whose home address was in Oslo's Old Town. En route to Callao, the Emma encounters the heavily armored steam yacht Alert, who orders the schooner to turn back. Captain Collins refuses, leading the Alert to fire upon the Emma using a brass cannon. In retaliation, the crew of the Emma manage to board the Alert and slay all of its members, although Collins and First Mate Green are killed in the battle, leaving Johansen in command of the crew. He dies shortly after his return from the South Pacific in 1925; his papers, found posthumously, provide the only first-hand account of Cthulhu in Lovecraft's fiction. His report was written in English to spare his wife from learning the horror of Cthulhu.
William Briden - William Briden is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. Briden and Second Mate Gustaf Johansen are the only two men in the crew of 11 who manage to escape R'lyeh, however the crew's encounter with Cthulhu on the island renders Briden insane. By the time the Alert is sighted by the Vigilant several weeks later, Briden has been dead for no less than a week.

Angstrom - Angstrom is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. After Donovan is successful in opening the vault discovered by the crew in R'lyeh, Cthulhu emerges, killing Angstrom, Guerrera and Donovan. This slaughter is the only mention of Angstrom in the story.

Collins - Collins is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is the captain of the Emma of Auburn. En route to Callao, the Emma encounters the heavily armored steam yacht Alert, who orders the schooner to turn back. Collins refuses, leading the Alert to fire upon the Emma using a brass cannon. In retaliation, the crew of the Emma manage to board the Alert and slay all of its members, although Collins and First Mate Green are killed in the battle, leaving Second Mate Gustaf Johansen in command of the crew.
Donovan - Donovan is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. When the crew discovers Cthulhu's vault in R'lyeh, William Briden fails to find its opening. Donovan proceeds to feel "over it delicately around the edge," press "each point separately as he went," and is the one who successfully opens the immense door, after climbing atop the structure and finding it to give inward. However once the door has been opened, Cthulhu emerges, killing Donovan, Guerrera and Angstrom.

Green - Green is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is the first mate of the Emma of Auburn. En route to Callao, the Emma encounters the heavily armored steam yacht Alert, who orders the schooner to turn back. Captain Collins refuses, leading the Alert to fire upon the Emma using a brass cannon. In retaliation, the crew of the Emma manage to board the Alert and slay all of its members, although Green and Collins are killed in the battle, leaving Second Mate Gustaf Johansen in command of the crew.

Guerrera - Guerrera is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. After Donovan is successful in opening the vault discovered by the crew in R'lyeh, Cthulhu emerges, killing Guerrera, Donovan and Angstrom. This slaughter is the only mention of Guerrera in the story.

Hawkins - Hawkins is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. When Donovan successfully opens Cthulhu's vault in R'lyeh, the "quick-eared" Hawkins is the first to hear the creature's "nasty, slopping sound." As the crew continues to listen, Cthulhu emerges, killing Donovan, Guerrera and Angstrom. Hawkins' fate isn't made explicit, but as he did not escape the island with Gustaf Johansen and William Briden, his death by Cthulhu may have simply gone unwritten, or he might have been swallowed with Cthulhu when R'lyeh re-submerged.

Parker - Parker is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. After Donovan is successful in opening the vault discovered by the crew in R'lyeh, Cthulhu emerges, killing Donovan, Guerrera and Angstrom. Second Mate Gustaf Johansen recounts that during the slaughter, Parker slipped and was "swallowed up by an angle of masonry which shouldn't have been there; an angle which was acute, but behaved as if it were obtuse."

Rodriguez - Rodriguez is a fictional character created by H. P. Lovecraft, who makes his only appearance in the 1928 short story "The Call of Cthulhu". He is a member of the Emma of Auburn, although his role is uncertain. While investigating the island of R'lyeh with the other crew members, Rodriguez discovers Cthulhu's vault atop a monolith. When Donovan successfully opens the immense door, Cthulhu emerges, killing Donovan, Guerrera and Angstrom. Rodriguez's fate isn't made explicit, but as he did not escape the island with Gustaf Johansen and William Briden, his death by Cthulhu may have simply gone unwritten, or he might have been swallowed with Cthulhu when R'lyeh re-submerged.

The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
Charles Dexter Ward - Ward is born in 1902; he is 26 in 1928, at the time the story takes place.  Though considered one of Lovecraft's autobiographical characters, some details of the character seem to be based on William Lippitt Mauran, who lived in the Halsey house and, like Ward, was " a carriage" in front of it. Like the Wards, the Maurans also owned a farmhouse in Pawtuxet, Rhode Island.

Joseph Curwen - Ward's ancestor, born in present-day Danvers, Massachusetts, seven miles from Salem, on February 18, 1662. He flees to Providence from the Salem witch trials in 1692. He dies, at least temporarily, in 1771 when he is killed in the course of a raid on his lair by a group of important Providence citizens who have got wind of only a few of his crimes. In his first life, Curwen was a successful merchant, shipping magnate, slave trader, and highly accomplished sorcerer. His magical powers are extensive. He has perfected a method of reducing the effects of aging so that by the time of his first death, when he was over a century old, he still appeared to be in his early forties at the most. He has the ability to resurrect the dead and converse with them, though to do so he must either have the complete corpse or its "essential saltes," since incomplete bodies only yield incoherent abominations. He is able to summon Cthulhu Mythos entities such as the god Yog-Sothoth to assist him in his magic. It also seems clear that he was able to find a way to create a spell that would transcend time and inspire a descendant to become interested in him and his work and attempt to bring him back should he ever be slain.

Curwen makes extensive use of the resurrection spell to gain historical and occult knowledge. To this end his agents scour the graveyards and tombs of the world for the corpses of illustrious persons which are then smuggled back to Providence, where Curwen temporarily raises them to torture their secrets out of them. In this endeavour he is assisted by two fellow necromancers and Salem exiles; Jedediah / Simon Orne, alias Joseph Nadek, who lives in Prague, and Edward Hutchinson, who masquerades as Baron Ferenczy in Transylvania. These three, and an unknown accomplice in Philadelphia, are engaged in a vast conspiracy to use their ill-gotten knowledge to achieve ever greater powers for themselves.

When later resurrected by Ward, Curwen initially goes in disguise as "Dr. Allen" to avoid suspicion being aroused by his close resemblance to Ward. The undead Curwen shows vampiristic tendencies, attacking local travellers and breaking into houses to drink the blood of the inhabitants. It is not explicitly spelled out that the vampirism is a consequence of the spell, but Curwen is overheard arguing that "it must be red for three months," implying that the large quantities of meat and animal blood that "Allen" and Ward order from the local butcher shops are not sufficient to sustain the newly revived wizard. Curwen immediately makes contact with Orne and Hutchinson, who have been alive and active all the while, and starts up his old plots once again. He soon murders Ward when he starts having doubts about what they are doing and assumes his identity.

Marinus Bicknell Willett - An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia compares Willett's character to other "valiant counterweight[s]" in Lovecraft such as Thomas Malone in "The Horror at Red Hook" (1925) and Henry Armitage in "The Dunwich Horror"; like Willett, Armitage "defeats the 'villains' by incantations, and he is susceptible to the same flaws--pomposity, arrogance, self-importance--that can be seen in Willett."

The Cats of Ulthar

Kuranes (also appeared in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath )

The Challenge from Beyond (with C. L. Moore; A. Merritt; Robert E. Howard, and Frank Belknap Long)

Collapsing Cosmoses (with R.H. Barlow)

The Colour Out of Space
Written in the first-person perspective of an unnamed surveyor from Boston, "The Colour Out of Space" tells the story of the narrator's attempts to uncover the secrets behind a shunned place referred to by the locals of Arkham as the "blasted heath". Unable to garner any information from the townspeople, the protagonist seeks out an old and allegedly crazy man by the name of Ammi Pierce who relates his personal experiences with a farmer who used to live on the cursed property, Nahum Gardner. Pierce claims that the troubles began when a meteorite crashed into Gardner's lands in June 1882.

The meteorite never cools, but begins shrinking and local scientists are unable to discern its origins. As the stone shrinks, it leaves behind globules of colour that are referred to as such "only by analogy", as they do not fall within the range of anything known in the visible spectrum. These remains eventually disappear but, the following season, Gardner's crops come in unnaturally large and abundantly. When he discovers that, despite their appearance, they are inedible, he accuses the meteorite of having poisoned the soil. Over the following year, the problem begins spreading to the surrounding vegetation and local animals, warping them in unusual ways. The plant life around the farmhouse becomes "slightly luminous in the dark", and Gardner's wife eventually goes mad, forcing him to lock her in the attic. During this time, Gardner begins to isolate his family from the rest of the town and Pierce slowly becomes his only contact with the outside world.

Soon after Gardner's wife becomes mad, the vegetation begins eroding into a grey powder and the water from the well becomes tainted. One of Gardner's sons, Thaddeus, goes insane like his mother and is similarly locked in a different room in the attic. The livestock begins turning grey and dying and, like the crops, their meat is tasteless and inedible. Thaddeus eventually dies and Merwin, another of Gardner's sons, goes missing during an excursion to retrieve water from the well. After two weeks of silence from Gardner, Pierce visits the farmstead and witnesses the tale's eponymous horror for the first time in the attic. Gardner's final son, Zenas, has disappeared and the "colour" has infected Nahum's wife, whom Pierce puts out of her misery. He then flees the decaying house as the horror destroys the last surviving resident, Nahum.

Pierce returns to the farmstead shortly after with six other men, including a doctor, who begin examining Nahum's remains. They discover Merwin and Zenas' eroding skeletons at the bottom of the well, as well as remnants of several other creatures. As they reflect upon their discoveries in the house, a light begins to emit from the well that eventually transforms into the "colour" and begins pouring out, spreading over everything nearby. The men flee the house just as the horror blights the land and then shoots towards the sky. Pierce alone turns back after the "colour" has gone and witnesses a small part of it try to follow the rest, only to fail and return to the well. The knowledge that part of the alien still resides on earth is sufficient to alter his mental state. When some of the men return the following day, there is nothing remaining but a dead horse and acres of grey dust, and the surrounding area is quickly abandoned by all of its remaining residents.

Cool Air
Doctor Muñoz - A Spanish physician of "striking intelligence and superior blood and breeding", he is described as "short but exquisitely proportioned", with a "high-bred face of masterful though not arrogant expression", "a short iron-grey full beard", "full, dark eyes" and "an aquiline nose". He calls himself "the bitterest of sworn enemies to death", and one who had "sunk his fortune and lost all his friends in a lifetime of bizarre experiment devoted to its bafflement and extirpation." Saying he feels a "repugnance" on first meeting Muñoz that "nothing in his aspect could justify", the narrator remarks on "the ice-coldness and shakiness of his bloodless looking hands" and that his breathing was imperceptible.

The narrator - The unnamed narrator has come to New York to do "some dreary and unprofitable magazine work". He has drifted from one cheap boarding house to another before finding that the one on West Fourteenth Street "disgusted [him] much less than the others he had sampled." After being treated by Muñoz, his upstairs neighbour, he becomes "a disciple and devotee of the gifted recluse".

Crawling Chaos (with Winifred V. Jackson)

Curse of Yig (with Zealia Bishop)

Unnamed narrator

Deaf, Dumb, and Blind (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.)

The Descendant
Lord Northam - Lord Northam is a "harmlessly mad" Londoner who "screams when the church bells ring." Once a "scholar and aesthete" who studied at Harrow and Oxford, he has become "thin and grey and wrinkled" before his time and "seeks...not to think" through "books of the tamest and most puerile kind". He only begins to explain the fear he lives under when confronted with a copy of the Necronomicon.

The details of the character evoke two of Lovecraft's favorite British writers: He lives in Gray's Inn, where Arthur Machen lived for many years, and is the "nineteenth Baron of a line whose beginnings went uncomfortably far back into the past", recalling Lord Dunsany, who was the eighteenth baron of a line founded in the 12th century.

Northam's sampling of various worldviews is similar to Randolph Carter's quest for meaning in Lovecraft's "The Silver Key". Northam's description as "a dreamer who found life tame and unsatisfying" also links him to Carter.

Northam is also linked to Lovecraft's "The Nameless City," perhaps even being the main character therein: "He would travel leagues to follow up a furtive village tale of abnormal wonder, and once went into the desert of Araby to seek a Nameless City of faint report, which no man has ever beheld. There rose within him the tantalising faith that somewhere an easy gate existed, which if one found would admit him freely to those outer deeps whose echoes rattled so dimly at the back of his memory."

Williams - A 23-year-old "dreamer" whose "love of the bizarre" has been manifest since he was 16, when he learned about the Necronomicon from a bent old bookseller in Chandos Street. He finally buys a copy at an "absurdly slight" price from a "gnarled old Levite" whose bookshop is in "the squalid precincts of Clare Market". He is attracted to the "breath of cosmic wind" he senses around Lord Northam.

Lunaeus Gabinius Capito - The reputed ancestor of the Northam line, he was military tribune in the Third Augustan Legion, which Lovecraft places at Lindum in Roman Britain. (Lovecraft mentions the same Roman unit in "The Rats in the Walls", where it is based in the fictional town of Anchester; the Third Legion was actually based in Damascus.) Gabinius was "summarily expelled from his command for participation in certain rites unconnected with any known religion", rituals he had learned "in a cliffside cavern where strange folk met together and made the Elder Sign in the dark"—remnants of the people who fled an Atlantis-like lost continent and built Stonehenge.

Legend had it that Gabinius "built an impregnable fortress over the forbidden cave", apparently on the Yorkshire coast. (This "ancient hereditary castle" of "reputed Roman origin" with "supposed under crypts, hewn out of the solid crag that frowns on the North Sea" is markedly similar to Exham Priory in Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls".) Gabinius founded "a line which Pict and Saxon, Dane and Norman were powerless to obliterate;" a scion of this line may have been made the first Baron of Northam in the time of Edward III.

Diary of Alonzo Typer (with William Lumley)

Disinterment (with Duane W. Rimel)

Doom That Came to Sarnath

The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
Randolph Carter - Randolph Carter dreams three times of a majestic sunset city, but each time he is abruptly snatched away before he can see it up close. When he prays to the gods of dream to reveal the whereabouts of the phantasmal city, they do not answer, and his dreams of the city stop altogether. Undaunted, Carter resolves to go to Kadath, where the gods live, to beseech them in person. However, no one has ever been to Kadath and none even knows how to get there. In dream, Randolph Carter descends "seventy steps" and speaks of his plan to the priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah, whose temple - the Cavern of Flame - borders the Dreamlands. The priests warn Carter of the great danger of his quest and suggest that the gods withdrew his vision of the city on purpose.

The Dreams in the Witch House
Walter Gilman - Walter Gilman, formerly of Haverhill, Massachusetts, came to Miskatonic to study "non-Euclidean calculus and quantum physics", which he linked to the "fantastic legends of elder magic". He is troubled by deep mental tension brought on by studying too hard, and at one point is forbidden by his professors to further consult Miskatonic's collection of rare books, including the Necronomicon, the Book of Eibon and Unaussprechlichen Kulten. As he gets deeper into the story, he has dreams of Keziah Mason, Brown Jenkin, Nyarlathotep, and an abstract higher dimension, and beings to sleepwalk. His acuteness of the senses in the opening paragraphs can be likened to that of some of Edgar Allan Poe's characters.

Gilman confesses his full story to fellow student Frank Elwood, and is then killed by Brown Jenkin who erupts out of his chest.

Keziah Mason - Keziah Mason was an old woman of Arkham who was arrested as part of the Salem witch trials of 1692. In her testimony to Judge John Hathorne, she had spoken of "lines and curves that could be made to point out directions leading through the walls of space to other spaces beyond.... She had spoken also of the Black Man, of her oath, and of her new secret name of Nahab." She later disappeared mysteriously from Salem Gaol, leaving behind "curves and angles smeared on the grey stone walls with some red, sticky fluid" that were inexplicable even to Cotton Mather. Gilman comes to suspect that Mason--"a mediocre old woman of the Seventeenth Century"—had developed "an insight into mathematical depths perhaps beyond the utmost modern delvings of Planck, Heisenberg, Einstein, and De Sitter." It is eventually found that she has left into a higher dimension to gain knowledge and serve Nyarlathotep, having signed the Book of Azathoth.

Mason is described as having a "bent back, long nose, and shrivelled chin". She wears an expression "of hideous malevolence and exultation", and has "a croaking voice that persuaded and threatened." She dresses in "shapeless brown garments".

Critics have noted with some surprise that Mason is "struck with panic" at the sight of a crucifix. While some have called this overblown and ridiculous, especially considering that Lovecraft was an atheist since he was young, some have taken a different perspective, saying that Keziah might've been psychologically damaged by the tortures inflicted upon her by the men of the cloth in her time, or that she was simply surprised to see that a sharp metal object had been thrust towards her face.

Brown Jenkin - Brown Jenkin, Mason's familiar, is "a small white-fanged furry thing", "no larger than a good-sized rat", which for years haunts the Witch House and Arkham in general, "nuzzl[ing] people curiously in the black hours before dawn". The creature is described:

Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands. It took messages betwixt old Keziah and the devil, and was nursed on the witch’s blood—which it sucked like a vampire. Its voice was a kind of loathsome titter, and it could speak all languages.

The origins of Brown Jenkin are subject to debate. Perhaps the most popular theory is that he is the child of Keziah and Nyarlathotep, the Lovecraftian deity she presumably serves. This is rather likely, considering that Lavinia Whately in The Dunwich Horror mated with Yog-Sothoth (another member of the Cthulhu Mythos pantheon that Lovecraft invented), and that in The Lurker at the Threshold (posthumously published and co-written with August Derleth) there is a quote that reads: "'She affirm'd, and her good neighbours likewise, that it had been borne to her, and took oath that she did not know by what manner it had come upon her, for it was neither Beast nor Man but like to a monstrous Bat with human face.'" Another theory, proposed by Weird Tales columnist Kenneth Hite, is that Brown Jenkin was a higher dimensional servitor of Nyarlathotep who was rewarded as being a familiar. However, as he was in the third dimension, he could only appear as a third-dimensional interpretation of what he was (this being similar to the vistas of Hyperspace in the story).

Brown Jenkin's bones are later discovered in the walls of the house as the Witch House is being wrecked.

The Black Man - In his dreams, Gilman is introduced by Mason to

    a figure he had never seen before--a tall, lean man of dead black colouration but without the slightest sign of negroid features: wholly devoid of either hair or beard, and wearing as his only garment a shapeless robe of some heavy black fabric. His feet were indistinguishable because of the table and bench, but he must have been shod, since there was a clicking whenever he changed position. The man did not speak, and bore no trace of expression on his small, regular features. He merely pointed to a book of prodigious size which lay open on the table....

This character is later identified as "the immemorial figure of the deputy or messenger of hidden and terrible powers--the 'Black Man' of the witch-cult, and the 'Nyarlathotep' of the Necronomicon." Also to be noted, a later reference to markings on the floor Gilman finds among his own footprints suggest the Black Man has cloven hooves instead of feet. This implies that Lovecraft intended him as an avatar of the popular depiction of a Christian Satan. Mike Dalager (see "Rock Opera") notes that this (and Mason being frightened by the crucifix) show that the story could be the only cosmic horror tale by Lovecraft that actually incorporates Judeo-Christian concepts.

Frank Elwood - Frank Elwood is the only fellow student of Walter Gilman's to live at the Witch House. He tries to help Gilman through his somnambulism, and listens to his deathbed confession. He sees Gilman die and is institutionalized for a year.

Joesph Mazurewicz - A religious fanatic in the Witch House whose praying disturbs Gilman. It is said he prays "against the Crawling Chaos".

Father Iwanicki - There was a Father Iwanicki in an early draft of Lovecraft's "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" (1931), but the character was excised from the final version.

The Dunwich Horror
Old Whateley - Lavinia Whateley's "aged and half-insane father, about whom the most frightful tales of magic had been whispered in his youth". He has a large collection of "rotting ancient books and parts of books" which he uses to "instruct[s] and catechise" his grandson Wilbur. He dies of natural causes on August 2, 1924.

He is given no certain first name by Lovecraft, although Fungi from Yuggoth mentions a John Whateley; he is referred to as "Noah Whateley" in the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game.

According to S. T. Joshi, "It is not certain where Lovecraft got the name Whateley," though there is a small town called Whately in northwestern Massachusetts near the Mohawk Trail, which Lovecraft hiked several times, including in the summer of 1928. Robert M. Price's short story "Wilbur Whateley Waiting" emphasizes the obvious pun in the name.

Lavinia Whateley - One of Lovecraft's very few female characters. Born circa 1878, Lavinia Whateley is the spinster daughter of Old Whateley and a mother who met an "unexplained death by violence" when Lavinia was 12. She is described as a

    somewhat deformed, unattractive albino woman...a lone creature given to wandering amidst thunderstorms in the hills and trying to read the great odorous books which her father had inherited through two centuries of Whateleys.... She had never been to school, but was filled with disjointed scraps of ancient lore that Old Whateley had taught her.... Isolated among strange influences, Lavinia was fond of wild and grandiose day-dreams and singular occupations.

Elsewhere, she is called "slatternly [and] crinkly-haired".

In 1913, she gave birth to Wilbur Whately by an unknown father, later revealed to be Yog-Sothoth. On Halloween night in 1926, she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, presumably killed or sacrificed by her son.

Wilbur Whateley - Born February 2, 1913 at 5 a.m. to Lavinia Whateley and Yog-Sothoth. Described as a "dark, goatish-looking infant"—neighbors refer to him as "Lavinny's black brat"—he shows extreme precocity: "Within three months of his birth, he had attained a size and muscular power not usually found in infants under a full year of age.... At seven months, he began to walk unassisted," and he "commenced to the age of only eleven months." At three years of age, "he looked like a boy of ten," while at four and a half, he "looked like a lad of fifteen. His lips and cheeks were fuzzy with a coarse dark down, and his voice had begun to break."

"Though he shared his mother's and grandfather's chinlessness, his firm and precociously shaped nose united with the expression of his large, dark, almost Latin eyes to give him an air of..well-nigh preternatural intelligence," Lovecraft writes, though at the same time he is "exceedingly ugly...there being something almost goatish or animalistic about his thick lips, large-pored, yellowish skin, coarse crinkly hair, and oddly elongated ears."

He dies at the age of fifteen after being mauled by a guard dog while breaking in to the Miskatonic library on August 3, 1928. His death scene allows Lovecraft to provide a detailed description of Wilbur's partly nonhuman anatomy:

    The thing that lay half-bent on its side in a foetid pool of greenish-yellow ichor and tarry stickiness was almost nine feet tall, and the dog had torn off all the clothing and some of the skin.... It was partly human, beyond a doubt, with very manlike hands and head, and the goatish, chinless face had the stamp of the Whateleys upon it. But the torso and lower parts of the body were teratologically fabulous, so that only generous clothing could ever have enabled it to walk on earth unchallenged or uneradicated.

    Above the waist it was semi-anthropomorphic; though its chest...had the leathery, reticulated hide of a crocodile or alligator. The back was piebald with yellow and black, and dimly suggested the squamous covering of certain snakes. Below the waist, though, it was the worst; for here all human resemblance left off and sheer phantasy began. The skin was thickly covered with coarse black fur, and from the abdomen a score of long greenish-grey tentacles with red sucking mouths protruded limply.

    Their arrangement was odd, and seemed to follow the symmetries of some cosmic geometry unknown to earth or the solar system. On each of the hips, deep set in a kind of pinkish, ciliated orbit, was what seemed to be a rudimentary eye; whilst in lieu of a tail there depended a kind of trunk or feeler with purple annular markings, and with many evidences of being an undeveloped mouth or throat. The limbs, save for their black fur, roughly resembled the hind legs of prehistoric earth's giant saurians, and terminated in ridgy-veined pads that were neither hooves nor claws.

This death scene bears a marked resemblance to that of Jervase Cradock, a similarly half-human character in Arthur Machen's "The Novel of the Black Seal": "Something pushed out from the body there on the floor, and stretched forth, a slimy, wavering tentacle," Machen writes. Will Murray notes that the goatish, partly reptilian Wilbur Whateley resembles a chimera, a mythological creature referred to in Charles Lamb's epigraph to "The Dunwich Horror".

Henry Armitage - The head librarian at Miskatonic University. As a young man, he graduated from Miskatonic in 1881 and went on to obtain his doctorate from Princeton University and his Doctor of Letters degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Lovecraft noted that while writing "The Dunwich Horror", "[I] found myself identifying with one of the characters (an aged scholar who finally combats the menace) toward the end".

Francis Morgan - Professor of Medicine and Comparative Anatomy (or Archaeology) at Miskatonic University. The story refers to him as "lean" and "youngish".

In Fritz Leiber's "To Arkham and the Stars"—written in 1966 and apparently set at about that time—Morgan is described as "the sole living survivor of the brave trio who had slain the Dunwich Horror". According to Leiber, Morgan's "research in mescaline and LSD" produced "clever anti-hallucinogens" that were instrumental in curing Danforth's mental illness.

Warren Rice - Professor of Classical Languages at Miskatonic University. He is called "stocky" and "iron-grey".

Electric Executioner (with Adolphe de Castro)

The Evil Clergyman

Ex Oblivione

Facts Concerning the Late Arthur Jermyn and His Family
The Jermyn family - Little is mentioned of the family's history prior to the birth of Sir Wade Jermyn. However, it's said they were respectable enough and many had portraits, suggesting they have a long history of wealth. Sir Wade Jermyn was a famed anthropologist and explorer who was among the first to explore the Congo region. He kept an extensive collection of unusual artifacts and specimens he acquired in his travels. During one of Wade's expeditions to the Congo he found a lost city controlled by a race of highly evolved white apes. For unknown reasons these creatures make Wade their king. He took one of their females as his bride and after fathering a child with her they returned to Britain. Although Wade kept her hidden from his staff and the outside world, claiming she is an extremely shy Portuguese girl. He gave her a locket with the Jermyn coat of arms on it. In 1765 he was committed to an insane asylum in Huntingdon.

Sir Arthur Jermyn - An English nobleman and the final descendant of Wade Jermyn. Lovecraft described him as a poet and a scholar who had come to accept his appearance. When learning of his ancestry he soaked himself in oil and set himself on fire, putting an end to the Jermyn family.

Here is a description of the lineage:
1. Sir Wade Jermyn (?-1767), African explorer
   x White Ape Princess (?-?)
     1. Sir Philip Jermyn (?-?), sailor
        x ? (?-?), Gypsy
        1. Sir Robert Jermyn, Bt. (?-1854), anthropologist and scholar
           x Lady Brightholme (?-?)
             1. ? Jermyn (~1815 - 19 October 1852), deformed
             2. Nevil Jermyn (~1816 - 19 October 1852)
                x ? (? - c. 1850), dancer
                1. Sir Alfred Jermyn, Bt. (1850 - ?), Circus animal trainer
                   x ? (?-1911), music-hall singer
                   1. Sir Arthur Jermyn (~1870 - 3 August 1913), poet
             3. ? Jermyn (~1817 - 19 October 1852), deformed

The Festival
Unnamed narrator

From Beyond
Unnamed narrator
Crawford Tillinghast - Scientist.

Ghost-Eater (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.)

Green Meadow (with Winifred V. Jackson)

The Haunter of the Dark
Robert Blake - Robert Harrison Blake is a fictional horror writer who first appears, unnamed, in Robert Bloch's 1935 story "The Shambler from the Stars". In Lovecraft's sequel, "The Haunter of the Dark", Blake dies while investigating the Starry Wisdom cult of Enoch Bowen. Lovecraft modeled Blake on Bloch, but also gave him characteristics that evoke Clark Ashton Smith and Lovecraft himself.

Lovecraft indicated in his letters with then-young writer Robert Bloch, that the character Robert Blake was an intentionally thinly veiled gesture at killing off one of his friendly correspondents. In 1936, Bloch published story that continued the professional fun, in which Blake did not actually die, but was possessed by Nyarlathotep, and kills off a character based on Lovecraft.

Enoch Bowen - In Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark", Enoch Bowen is a renowned occultist and archaeologist who lived in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1843, Bowen earned some measure of fame when he found the tomb of the unknown pharaoh Nephren-Ka. A year later, Bowen mysteriously ceased his archaeological dig and returned to Providence where he founded the Church of Starry Wisdom. He dies circa 1865. He also appears in "The Shadow from the Steeple", Robert Bloch's sequel to "The Haunter of the Dark".

Ambrose Dexter - In "The Haunter of the Dark", he is referred to only as "superstitious Doctor Dexter", who threw the Shining Trapezohedron into "the deepest channel of Narragansett Bay" after the death of Robert Blake.

Unnamed narrator


Herbert West-Reanimator
Herbert West - The inventor of a special solution, or "reagent", that can resurrect the dead. He is portrayed as a brilliant, narcissistic and intensely driven young man of an amoral nature; traits carried over into the 1985 film. His arrogance and lack of respect for life (and death) prove to be his undoing.

The narrator - West's only friend, the narrator initially attaches himself to West in college out of a kind of hero worship mentality, awed at the daring of West's experiments. Over time, though, as West's experiments become more morally reprehensible, and West seems to lose interest in science and instead indulge in sheer perversity, the narrator comes to fear West and becomes a kind of slave to him, too afraid of West's capacity for evil to outright abandon him. In the 1985 film adaptation, the character is (ostensibly) named Dan Cain (played by Bruce Abbott).  [Note: The aforementioned Pete Rawlik treats this name as canon for purposes of writing Lovecraftian fiction.  The character features prominently or at least frequently in his book Reanimators.].

Dean Halsey - The Dean of Miskatonic University's medical school. He does not take West's theories about reanimation seriously and the narrator characterizes him as benevolently old-fashioned and closed-minded. Dr. Halsey dies from being severely overworked during a typhoid outbreak and is hailed as a community hero. West reanimates his body as a sign of respect. The reanimated Halsey's behavior is mistaken for insanity and he is locked in a mental institution.

Major Sir Eric Moreland Clapham-Lee - West and the narrator's commanding officer during WWI.

History of the Necronomicon

Hoard of the Wizard-Beast (with R. H. Barlow)

The Horror at Martin’s Beach (with Sonia H. Greene)

The Horror at Red Hook
Thomas Malone - Thomas F. Malone is an Irish-born New York police detective, "detailed to the Butler Street station in Brooklyn" before going on indefinite medical leave. A "Dublin University man born in a Georgian villa near Phoenix Park," he is said to have "the Celt's far vision of weird and hidden things, but the logician's quick eye for the outwardly unconvincing.... In youth he had felt the hidden beauty and ecstasy of things, and had been a poet; but poverty and sorrow and exile had turned his gaze in darker directions, and he had thrilled at the imputations of evil in the world around." This morbid streak is offset by a "keen logic and a deep sense of humour". He is 42 at the time of "The Horror at Red Hook".

Robert Suydam - Robert Suydam is "a lettered recluse of ancient Dutch family, possessed originally of barely independent means, and inhabiting the spacious but ill-preserved mansion which his grandfather had built in Flatbush." Seen by most as "a queer, corpulent old fellow whose unkempt white hair, stubbly beard, shiny black clothes, and gold-headed cane earned him an amused glance", Malone knew of him as "a really profound authority on mediaeval superstition." On account of "certain odd changes in his speech and habits; wild references to impending wonders, and unaccountable hauntings of disreputable Brooklyn neighbourhoods," his relatives tried unsuccessfully to have him declared insane. He is about 60 in the time frame of the story.

The Horror in the Burying-Ground (with Hazel Heald)

The Horror in the Museum (with Hazel Heald)

The Hound
Unnamed narrator
St. John - The narrator's friend and business partner in grave-robbing.



In the Vault
George Birch - Undertaker for the New England town of Peck Valley, finds himself trapped in the vault where coffins are stored during winter for burial in the spring. When Birch piles up coffins in order to climb out through the vault's window, his feet break through the lid of the top coffin, injuring his ankles and forcing him to crawl out of and away from the vault.

Later, Dr. Davis investigates the vault, and finds that the top coffin was one of inferior workmanship that Birch used as a repository for Asaph Sawyer, a vindictive townsperson whom Birch had disliked, even though the coffin had originally been built for the much shorter Matthew Fenner. Davis finds that Birch had cut off Sawyer's feet to fit the body in the coffin—and that the wounds in Birch's ankles are teeth marks.

In the Walls of Eryx (with Kenneth Sterling)

The Last Test (with Adolphe de Castro)

The Little Glass Bottle

The Loved Dead (with C. M. Eddy, Jr.)

The Lurking Fear
The narrator - The unnamed narrator describes himself as "a connoisseur in horrors", one whose "love of the grotesque and the terrible... has made my career a series of quests for strange horrors in literature and in life."

He reports that following his encounter with the lurking fear, "I cannot see a well or a subway entrance without shuddering"—an example of the phobias that often afflict Lovecraft's protagonists as a result of their experiences.

George Bennett and William Tobey - Described by the narrator as "two faithful and muscular men...long associated with me in my ghastly explorations because of their peculiar fitness."

Arthur Munroe - A reporter who comes to the village of Lefferts Corners to cover the lurking fear, he is described as "a dark, lean man of about thirty-five, whose education, taste, intelligence, and temperament all seemed to mark him as one not bound to conventional ideas and experiences."

Gerrit Martense - Gerrit Martense is "a wealthy New-Amsterdam merchant who disliked the changing order under British rule". He built the Martense mansion in 1670 "on a remote woodland summit whose untrodden solitude and unusual scenery pleased him." His descendants, who are "reared in hatred of the English civilisation, and trained to shun such of the colonists as accepted it," are distinguished by having one brown and one blue eye.

The Man of Stone (with Hazel Heald)

Medusa’s Coil (with Zealia Bishop)


The Moon Bog
The unnamed narrator describes the final fate of his good friend, Denys Barry, an Irish-American who reclaims an ancestral estate in Kilderry, a fictional town in Ireland.

The Mound (with Zealia Bishop)

The Music of Erich Zann
Unnamed narrator

Erich Zann -
A seemingly mute violinist

The Mysterious Ship

The Mystery of the Grave-Yard

Nameless City

The Night Ocean (with R.H. Barlow)


Old Bugs

The Other Gods
Barzai the Wise, a high priest and prophet greatly learned in the lore of the "gods of earth", or Great Ones, attempts to scale the mountain of Hatheg-Kla in order to look upon their faces, accompanied by his young disciple Atal. Upon reaching the peak, Barzai at first seems overjoyed until he finds that the "gods of the earth" are not there alone, but rather are overseen by the "other gods, the gods of the outer hells that guard the feeble gods of earth!" Atal flees and Barzai is never seen again.

Out of the Aeons (with Hazel Heald)


Pickman's Model
Unnamed narrator
Richard Upton Pickman - Pickman is depicted as a renowned Boston painter notorious for his ghoulish works. His great-great-great-great-grandmother was hanged by Cotton Mather during the Salem witch trials of 1692. ("Pickman" and "Upton" are, in actuality, old Salem names.) In 1926, Pickman vanished from his home—a date only given in Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon". Pickman reappears as a ghoul in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath (1926) and aids Randolph Carter in his journeys.

Thurber - The narrator, who gets to know Pickman while working on "a monograph about weird art", describes himself as "fairly 'hard-boiled'", as well as "middle-aged and decently sophisticated". He is apparently a World War I veteran: "I guess you saw enough of me in France to know I'm not easily knocked out."

Eliot - The character that Thurber tells his story to, Eliot, is effectively the story's audience surrogate. While none of his lines are printed, his questions and interjections are implied by Thurber's dialogue.

The Picture in the House

Poetry and the Gods (with Anna Helen Crofts)


The Quest of Iranon


The Rats in the Walls
Delapore - The narrator. His first name is not mentioned. He changes the spelling of his name back to the ancestral "de la Poer" after moving to England.

Alfred Delapore - The narrator's son, born c. 1894. He goes to England as an aviation officer during World War I, where he hears stories about his ancestors for the first time. He is badly wounded in 1918, surviving for two more years as a "maimed invalid".

Edward Norrys - A captain in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, Edward Norrys befriends Alfred Delapore and amuses him by telling him the "peasant superstitions" surrounding the de la Poer family that Norrys picked up in his native Anchester. He is described as "a plump, amiable young man".

Sir William Brinton - One of the "eminent authorities" that accompanies Delapore's expedition beneath Exham Priory, Sir William Brinton is an archaeologist "whose excavations in the Troad excited most of the world in their day." It is Brinton who figures out how to move the counter-weighted altar that leads to the caverns, and who noted that the hewn walls "must have been chiselled from beneath." He is the only member of the expedition who retains his composure when they discover the horrors below the priory.

Dr. Trask - Another eminent authority, Trask is an anthropologist who is "baffled" by the "degraded mixture" he finds in the skulls below Exham Priory -- "mostly lower than the Piltdown man in the scale of evolution, but in every case definitely human." (The Piltdown man, a supposedly prehistoric specimen discovered in 1912, was not revealed as a hoax until 1953, thirty years after the publication of The Rats in the Walls). Trask determines that "some of the skeleton things must have descended as quadrupeds through the last twenty or more generations."

Thornton - The expedition's "psychic investigator", Thornton faints twice when confronted with the nightmarish relics below Exham Priory, and ends up committed to the Hanwell insane asylum with Delapore, though they are prevented from speaking to one another.

Gilbert de la Poer - The first Baron Exham, granted title to Exham Priory by Henry III in 1261. There is "no evil report" connected to the family name before this point, but within 50 years a chronicle is referring to a de la Poer as "cursed of God".

Lady Margaret Trevor - Lady Margaret Trevor of Cornwall married Godfrey de la Poer, second son of the fifth Baron Exham, probably in the 14th or 15th centuries. Such was her enthusiasm for the Exham cult that she "became a favourite bane of children all over the countryside, and the daemon heroine of a particularly horrible old ballad not yet extinct near the Welsh border."

Lady Mary de la Poer - After marrying the Earl of Shrewsfield (a title invented by Lovecraft), she was killed by her new husband and mother-in-law. When they explained their reasons to the priest they confessed to, he "absolved and blessed" them for their deed.

Walter de la Poer - The eleventh Baron Exham, he killed all the other members of his family with the help of four servants, about two weeks after making a "shocking discovery", and then fled to Virginia, probably in the 17th century. He is the ancestor of the American Delapores. He was remembered as "a shy, gentle youth", and later as "harassed and apprehensive"; Francis Harley of Bellview, "another gentleman-adventurer", regarded him as "a man of unexampled justice, honour, and delicacy."

Randolph Delapore - Randolph Delapore of Carfax, the Delapore's estate on the James River in Virginia, "went among the negroes and became a voodoo priest after he returned from the Mexican War." He is a cousin of the narrator, who regards him as "the one known scandal of my immediate forbears", and who sees this race-mixing life as "unpleasantly reminiscent" of the "monstrous habits" of the ancestral de la Poers.

Nigger Man - A cat owned by the narrator. He could detect the spectral rats. When the story was reprinted in Zest magazine (1950s), this name was changed to Black Tom.

A Reminiscence of Dr. Samuel Johnson
Humphrey Littlewit, Esq.

The Secret Cave or John Lee's Adventure

The Shadow Out of Time
Nathaniel Wingate Peaslee - The narrator of the story, a professor of political economy at Miskatonic University, and from 1908 until 1913 a victim of the Great Race of Yith. He was born c. 1870.

There are autobiographical aspects to the character. The years of Peaslee's amnesia correspond to the timespan of Lovecraft's adolescent nervous breakdown, which forced him to drop out of high school and withdraw from society. During this period, Lovecraft suffered from facial tics, which may be reflected in the Yithian-possessed Peaslee's inability to control his facial muscles. The feeling Lovecraft described upon returning to Providence after living in New York City for two years that he was "awakening from the queer dream about being away from home" has been called "the cornerstone upon which Lovecraft built his masterpiece, 'The Shadow out of Time'."

Wingate Peaslee - Son of Nathaniel Peaslee, also a Miskatonic professor. He is described by his father as "the only member of my family who stuck to me after my queer amnesia of long ago, and the man best informed on the inner facts of my case."

William Dyer - A Miskatonic University geology professor who accompanies the expedition to Australia. See At the Mountains of Madness.

Other victims
The story mentions a number of victims of the Yithians' mind-swapping whom Nathaniel Peaslee recalls talking with, including:

Titus Sempronius Blaesus - A Roman "who had been a quaestor in Sulla's time". Sulla first became consul in 88 BC, and was dictator of Rome from 82-80 BC. A quaestor was a Roman financial official; Sulla reformed the office and raised their number from ten to twenty.

Bartolomeo Corsi - A "12th century Florentine monk". This character also appears in Phillip O. Marsh's 1994 novel The Worm Shall Ye Fight!

Crom-Ya - A Cimmerian chief who lived c. 15,000 BC. This is a homage to Lovecraft's friend Robert E. Howard, whose best-known creation, Conan the Barbarian, hailed from Cimmeria and worshipped Crom. In Fred L. Pelton's 1989 short story "The Sussex Manuscript", Crom-Ya is said to be a worshipper of Tsathoggua.

Khephnes - "An Egyptian of the 14th Dynasty, who told me the hideous secret of Nyarlathotep". The 14th dynasty was about 1700 BC.

Nevil Kingston-Brown - An "Australian physicist...who will die in 2518 A.D."

Pierre-Louis Montagny - "An aged Frenchman of Louis XIII's time". Louis XIII was king of France from 1610-1643.

Nug-Soth - "A magician of the dark conquerors of 16,000 A.D."

S'gg'ha - A being from "the Star-headed vegetable carnivores of Antarctica."

Theodotides - "A Greco-Bactrian official of 200 B.C."

James Woodville - "A Suffolk gentleman of Cromwell's day". Cromwell lived from 1599-1658, and was the English head of state from 1653 until his death.

Yiang-Li - "A philosopher from the cruel empire of Tsan-Chan, which is to come in 5,000 A.D." Tsan-Chan is first mentioned by Lovecraft in the story "Beyond the Wall of Sleep".

The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Robert Olmstead - The narrator of the story, he discovers Innsmouth on a tour of New England seeking genealogical information, and finds more than he bargains for. The character, unnamed in "The Shadow over Innsmouth", is called "Robert Olmstead" in Lovecraft's notes for the story, published in Arkham House's Something About Cats and Other Pieces (1949).

Obed Marsh - A wealthy sea captain, patriarch of the elite Marsh family and the founder of the Esoteric Order of Dagon. He was referred to by Zadok Allen as being the man who first summoned the Deep Ones to Innsmouth. In 1846, he was jailed after the towns bordering Innsmouth became suspicious of his crew. He died in 1878.

According to Lovecraft's story notes, Marsh's daughter Alice is Robert Olmstead's great-grandmother.

Barnabas Marsh - Barnabas Marsh, known as Old Man Marsh, is the grandson of Obed Marsh and the owner of the Marsh refinery at the time of The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Barnabas' father was Onesiphorus Marsh, Obed's son by his first, fully human wife; though his mother, who was never seen in public, was apparently a deep one. Zadok Allen says of him: "Right naow Barnabas is abaout changed. Can't shet his eyes no more, an' is all aout o' shape. They say he still wears clothes, but he'll take to the water soon."

Zadok Allen - One of the few completely human residents of Innsmouth and an alcoholic. His drunken ramblings allow Lovecraft to convey much of the town's secret backstory to the story's protagonist. Born in 1831, Allen disappears and dies in 1927 after being taken and sacrificed by the Esoteric Order of Dagon.

Grocery Store Clerk - An unnamed youth of about seventeen who is a native resident of Arkham, and therefore completely human. His superiors transferred him to Innsmouth, and both he and his family loathe the idea of him working there, but he cannot afford to quit his job. He is only too happy to encounter the narrator, and describes the sinister goings-on in Innsmouth, but the boy is unaware of what is really happening in the town. He tells the narrator of the bizarre deformities afflicting the native townspeople, and how the older generation are almost never seen outdoors due to their monstrous appearance. He also briefly informs the narrator of the Esoteric Order of Dagon and what he knows of the town's society, and directs him to the drunkard Zadok Allen for more information.

--- --- ---
An alternative description of the above

The Marsh Family - The first individual of distinction in this family was Captain Obed Marsh of Innsmouth. Like most of the residents of Innsmouth he was forced to interbred with the Deep Ones, Pth’thya-l’yi. This Deep One ancestry means his descendents will gradually mutate into potentially immortal amphibious humanoids. They had three children, two of whom disappeared under mysterious circumstances. The third, an unnamed daughter, was from an early age educated in France and never knew the dark truth of her conception. The only hint to her ancestry was that her eyes greatly resembled those of the infamous Obed Marsh. Just after the Civil War she married Benjimin Orne and they lived together in Arkham. The two had only one child, a daughter. She at some point moved to Toledo, married and had three children. Two of her children appeared normal, as their father. Douglas however shared his mother's unsettling appearance. He would eventually shoot himself in the head after learning the history of his family. Shortly afterword the mother disappeared, presumably returning to the undersea city of Y'ha-nthlei.

The last of the line appears to be Robert Olmstead and his cousin Lawrence. Lawrence is the son of Walter and was committed to a sanitarium in Canton.

Other relatives are James Williamson, Eliza Orne, Enoch Marsh, Lydia Menize, Barnabras Marsh, Old Olmstead, Mr. Cleveland, Alice Marsh.


1st generation:

Captain Obed Marsh: The founder of the Estoric Order of Dagon, and the great-great- grandfather of Robert Olmstead. He died in prison in 1878.

Pth'thya-l'yi: Obed's second wife and the Deep One great-great grandmother of Robert Olmstead. She currently lives in Y'ha-nthlei, and favors Robert.

Mrs. Marsh: Obed's first wife and the step-great-great grandmother of Robert Olmstead. Died of illness.

2nd generation:

Alice Marsh: Obed's daughter from his 2nd wife, and the great grandmother of Robert. Died of childbirth. She did not know of her mother's lineage.

Benjamin Orne: Alice's husband, and the great-grandfather of Robert. Lived in Arkham.

Marsh Boys: Obed's two sons, and Alice's brothers who disappeared without a trace.

Onesiphorous Marsh: Obed's eldest son by his 1st wife, half-brother of Alice, and the great-granduncle of Robert Olmstead.

3rd generation:

Eliza Orne: Alice's daugther and Robert's grandmother. She disapperead to Y'ha-nthlei. She favors Robert.

James Williamson: Robert's grandfather; born in Ohio.

Barnabras Marsh: Onesiphorous' son, Eliza's cousin and Robert's great-uncle. Nicknamed as Old Man Marsh. Owned the gold refinery. Died during the Innsmouth raid.

4th generation:

Mary Williamson: Robert's mother and the daughter of Eliza.

Henry Olmstead: Robert's father.

Walter Williamson: Mary's brother, father of Lawrence, and uncle of Robert.

Douglas Williamson: Mary's brother who committed suicide upon learning about Obed.

5th generation:

Robert Olmstead: The main protagonist of  The Shadow Over Innsmouth and great-great grandson of Obed Marsh. Accepsts his fate as a Human/ Deep One hybrid.

Lawrence Williamson: Robert's cousin who has already transformed into a Deep One.

The Shunned House
The protagonist and his uncle, Dr. Elihu Whipple, have nurtured a fascination with an old, abandoned house on Benefit Street.
Etienne Roulet - A Huguenot from Caude, near Angers, France, who settled in East Greenwich, Rhode Island in 1686 and moved to Providence in 1696; the Shunned House was built on the site of his family's graveyard. According to the story, "The family of Roulet had possessed an abnormal affinity for outer circles of entity — dark spheres which for normal folk hold only repulsion and terror." Etienne is said to have been " reading queer books and drawing queer diagrams." His son, Paul Roulet, is described as a "surly fellow" of "erratic conduct"; "old wives" intimated that "his prayers were neither uttered at the proper time nor directed at the proper object." The story's narrator suspects that the family is connected to Jacques Roulet of Caude, who was condemned to death for lycanthropy in 1598 before being confined to an asylum.  Jacques Roulet was a real person, whom Lovecraft had read about in John Fiske's Myths and Myth-Makers.

The Silver Key
Randolph Carter (again)

Slaying of the Monster (with R. H. Barlow)

The Strange High House in the Mist
Thomas Olney, a "philosopher" visiting the town of Kingsport, Massachusetts with his family, is intrigued by a strange house on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It is unaccountably high and old and the locals have a generations-long dread of the place which no one is known to have visited. With great difficulty, Olney climbs the crag, approaches the house, and meets the mysterious man who lives there. The only door opens directly onto a sheer cliff, giving access only to mist and "the abyss". The transmittal of archaic lore and a life-altering encounter with the supernatural ensue, as Olney is not the only visitor that day. He returns to Kingsport the next day, but seems to have left his spirit behind in the strange, remote dwelling.

Terrible Old Man makes a brief appearance.

The Statement of Randolph Carter
Randolph Carter - Randolph Carter is one of the most frequently appearing characters in the Cthulhu Mythos. The character is semi-autobiographical, sharing several of Lovecraft's biographical aspects as well as his antiquarian tastes and mild nature.
Harley Warren

The Street

Sweet Ermengarde
The story is a parody of romantic melodrama, centering on Ermengarde Stubbs and her relationships with villainous mortgage-holder 'Squire Hardman, would-be rescuer Jack Manly and fiance Algernon Reginald Jones

The Temple
Karl Heinrich, Graf von Altberg-Ehrenstein - A lieutenant-commander in the Imperial German Navy during the days of World War I

Klenze - A sailor who goes mad.

The Terrible Old Man
The Terrible Old Man

Angelo Ricci, Joe Czanek and Manuel Silva - Three robbers.

The Thing in the Moonlight

The Thing on the Doorstep
Edward Pickman Derby (1890-1933) - The protagonist of the story, a poet and husband of Asenath Waite. Lovecraft's depiction of Derby's childhood is considered to be in large part autobiographical:

    Perhaps his private education and coddled seclusion had something to do with his premature flowering. An only child, he had organic weaknesses which startled his doting parents and caused them to keep him closely chained to their side. He was never allowed out without his nurse, and seldom had a chance to play unconstrainedly with other children. All this doubtless fostered a strange secretive life in the boy, with imagination as his one avenue of freedom....

    In self-reliance and practical affairs, however, Derby was greatly retarded because of his coddled existence. His health had improved, but his habits of childish dependence were fostered by over-careful parents, so that he never travelled alone, made independent decisions, or assumed responsibilities.

It is considered unlikely, however, that the typically self-deprecating Lovecraft was thinking of himself when he described Derby as a child prodigy and young literary sensation:

    He was the most phenomenal child scholar I have ever known, and at seven was writing verse of a sombre, fantastic, almost morbid cast which astonished the tutors surrounding him... Young Derby's odd genius developed remarkably, and in his eighteenth year his collected nightmare-lyrics made a real sensation when issued under the title Azathoth and Other Horrors.

Daniel Upton (ca. 1882-?) - The story's narrator and the best friend of its protagonist, Edward Derby. After attending Harvard University and apprenticing with a Boston architect, he sets up his own practice in Arkham. He is married and, at about the age of 28, has a son, Edward Derby Upton.

Asenath Waite Derby (1905-1932) - The wife of Edward Derby and the daughter of Ephraim Waite. She is described as "dark, smallish and very good looking except for over-protuberant eyes"--a look common to people from Asenath's hometown of Innsmouth. Combined with the fact that her mother was Ephraim's "unknown wife who always went veiled", there is a strong suggestion that Asenath is a Deep One hybrid of the sort described in Lovecraft's The Shadow over Innsmouth. The story suggests "Asenath" may not actually be in the story at all, but that her body is in fact being possessed by her father (or possibly Kamog) the entire time, who is now attempting to transfer into Derby's body.

Ephraim Waite - The aged father of Asenath Waite. He is said "to have been a prodigious magical student in his day", and is described as having a "wolfish, saturnine face" with a "tangle of iron-grey beard." He "died insane" at about the time that Asenath entered the Hall School. Despite being an Innsmouth native, Ephraim appears to be entirely human as he had not transformed into a Deep One in his old age.

Through the Gates of the Silver Key (with E. Hoffmann Price)

Till A’ the Seas” (with R.H. Barlow)

The Tomb
Jervas Dudley

Hiram - his servant

The Transition of Juan Romero
Juan Romero

The Trap (with Henry S. Whitehead)

The Tree

Tree on the Hill (with Duane W. Rimel)

Two Black Bottles (with Wilfred Blanch Talman)

Under the Pyramids (with Harry Houdini)

The Unnamable
Carter, a weird fiction writer, meets with his close friend, Joel Manton, in a cemetery near an old, dilapidated house on Meadow Hill in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts. As the two sit upon a weathered tomb, Carter tells Manton the tale of an indescribable entity that allegedly haunts the house and surrounding area.

The Very Old Folk

What the Moon Brings

The Whisperer in Darkness
Albert Wilmarth - The narrator of the story, Albert N. Wilmarth is described as a folklorist and assistant professor of English at Miskatonic University. He investigates the strange events that followed in the wake of the historic Vermont floods of 1927.

Wilmarth is also mentioned in Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, where the narrator remarks that he wishes he hadn't "talked so much with that unpleasantly erudite folklorist Wilmarth at the university." Elsewhere, the story refers to "the wild tales of cosmic hill things from outside told by a folklorist colleague in Miskatonic’s English department."

Noyes - A largely unknown man who is allied with the Mi-Go, or the Outer Ones and is connected with both the disappearance of a local farmer, a man named Brown, and the security of the Mi-Go camp. He aided Wilmarth upon his arrival in Brattleboro and took him to Akeley's home. Afterward, Noyes is seen and heard sleeping on the sofa during Wilmarth's escape.

Henry Akeley - (1871-1928?) Henry Wentworth Akeley is a Vermont folklorist and correspondent of Albert Wilmarth. Henry Akeley became a noted academic, probably in the study of folklore. His wife died in 1901 after giving birth to his only heir, George Goodenough Akeley.

When he retired, Akeley returned to his ancestral home, a two-story farmhouse in the Vermont hills near the slopes of Dark Mountain. In September 1928, he was visited by Professor Wilmarth, who was researching bizarre legends of the region. Shortly thereafter, Akeley disappeared mysteriously from his mountaintop home—though Wilmarth believed that he fell victim to the machinations of the sinister Fungi from Yuggoth. Some scholars, including Robert M. Price, have suggested that the possible creature masquerading as Akeley is actually Nyarlathotep, due to a quote from what the Mi-go chant on the phonograph record: "To Nyarlathotep, Mighty Messenger, must all things be told. And He shall put on the semblance of men, the waxen mask and the robe that hides, and come down from the world of Seven Suns to mock..." This implies that Nyarlathotep was wearing Akeley's face and hands.

Supporters of this theory acknowledge the red herring that Akeley has a buzzing simulation of speech, however, this is contradicted by the possibility that Nyarlathotep took the form of the Mi-go. Not being able to take the form of Akeley, the Mi-go Nyarlathotep might've worn the face and hands of Akeley to meet Wilmarth.

George Goodenough Akeley - Akeley is mentioned in "The Whisperer in Darkness" as the son of Henry Wentworth Akeley.

The White Ship
Basil Elton - A lighthouse keeper.

Winged Death (with Hazel Heald)

Bonus: Repeated characters

While elements like the Necronomicon and many gods/monsters are referenced (though rarely appearing) in Lovecraft's stories, he only reused a handful of characters.  You can see all the connections on this page, but here are the stand-outs:

Randolph Carter appears in:
    The Statement of Randolph Carter
    The Silver Key
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    Through the Gates of the Silver Key
    The Unnamable
    Out of the Aeons (From Wikipedia: One of the visitors to the museum is a strange man who calls himself "Swami Chandraputra." This is actually Randolph Carter, who, as described in "Through the Gates of the Silver Key," uses that alias after his mind is trapped in an alien body.)

Richard Upton Pickman appears in:
    Pickman's Model
    The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (albeit transformed into a ghoul)
    History of the Necronomicon
    Also, the name "Pickman" shows up in other Lovecraft stories, not directly associated with this character

Judge Hathorne, appears in:
    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    The Dreams in the Witch House

Father Iwanicki appears in:
    Discarded Draft of The Shadow Over Innsmouth
    The Dreams in the Witch House

Cotton Mather appears in:
    The Picture in the House
    The Unnamable
    Pickman's Model
    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward? ("Mr. Mather")
    The Dreams in the Witch House

The Terrible Old Man appears in:
    The Terrible Old Man
    The Strange High House in the Mist

Abdul Alhazred is mentioned in:
    The Nameless City
    The Hound
    The Festival
    The Descendant
    The Call of Cthulhu
    The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
    The Thing in the Moonlight
    History of the Necronomicon
    The Dunwich Horror
    The Whisperer in Darkness
    At the Mountains of Madness
    The Dreams in the Witch House
    The Thing on the Doorstep
    The Shadow Out of Time
    The Last Test
    Through the Gates of the Silver Key
    Out of the Aeons


Copyright 2015 the Ale[x]orcist.