Youthful Lovecraft Parodies


Well-Known Member
Aug 21, 2010
I must not be the only Lovecraft fan who began to read him as an adolescent, and who expressed his enjoyment of HPL by writing imitations and also parodies. I wondered if anyone here was a writer of a Lovecraft parody or two after becoming a youthful fan.

Lovecraft's fiction offered the advantage to a youngster of some readily-grasped verbal mannerisms and a repeated scenario of the "madman" who warns of a bizarre threat. (Of course there's more to HPL's achievement than that.)

This is a Lovecraft parody by me from Jan. 1972, published in the Ashland (Oregon) Senior High School Rogue News. I was 16 and had begun reading Lovecraft about two years ago.

In Ashland...

Rats Emerge from the City Depths

(Editor’s note [by me, though I wasn’t the editor]: In a recent issue of the Ashland Daily Tidings, an article appeared which made us think of the manuscript you are about to read. The manuscript, which is written in a nervous, scrawling handwriting with a crayon, is approximately 40 years old. However, in view of the recent Tidings article, we felt that perhaps “The Rats in the Sewers” would be of interest.}

Though I now reside in an asylum for the gibbering insane, I have decided to submit my tale to a publisher in the hope that maybe someone will believe in the eldritch horror against which I warn, which I fearfully encountered that horrid winter’s night, and which robbed me of all but a few shreds of mewling sanity.

I was a worker with the Sanitation Department of the city. One night I was told that I must descend beyond the manholes into those elder regions of cosmic night to investigate disturbing sounds which had been heard. Taking an electric torch, I descended into the subterranean vaults like a modern-day Dante descending into the Inferno.

I staggered, half-blind and nauseous with the putrid stench of the air, searching for the explanation of the mystery.

Suddenly I was pelted by a noxious horde of squirming, red-eyed rats, who had leaped upon me from their nameless, repellent dens. Quickly the fiends in human form bound me with thick cables. Then in that tenebrous chasm, as I lay in the water, half-mad with terror, the real horror of the night began:

The chief or king of the rats—a huge rodent fully two feet long from tip of nose to end of tail—began speaking in a vile, hissing voice:

“The race of man hath not long to live! Soon the mighty Rodent Empire will arise and issue forth, to lay low the constructions of man. We will triumph quickly and easily, for man knows not the menace that slithers beneath the very ground he walketh upon.”

Then they released me, saying hideously that they did so to mock me and to prove that all warnings to my fellow men would be futile.

Curse them, they were right! Even though there is evidence all about them of the rats in the sewers, men believe not! I have been confined to this institution for the insane for my efforts to warn them.

But maybe you, dear reader, will believe, and the forthcoming invasion will be stopped. If not, then adieu to all mankind.

rats emerge 2.jpeg

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