Trying to find an elusive H. P. Lovecraft passage

Clueless in Seattle

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A few evenings ago I picked up from my neighborhood library the first volume of The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. That evening in bed, while randomly leafing through its nearly 900 pages, I came across a striking passage in one of the stories, but the next morning I was unable to find it again.

The story's narrator expresses his revulsion when reminded of the decrepit shacks in the far back country, and of the ignorant, superstitious, lawless folk who inhabit them. He is especially disturbed by his thoughts of the horrible things that must go on behind the closed doors of these dilapidated shanties.

I'd be grateful to anyone who could help me find this passage again. To me it conjures up a horror far more unnerving than what might be aroused by any fantastical monster or ghost, because it alludes to the horrors that can exist around us in everyday life.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
 

Toby Frost

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Maybe The Lurking Fear? That one contains a lot of simple country folk inbreeding - although, yes, this happens in at least 30% of Lovecraft's stories. "Issues", as they say.
 

Ningauble

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A few evenings ago I picked up from my neighborhood library the first volume of The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. That evening in bed, while randomly leafing through its nearly 900 pages, I came across a striking passage in one of the stories, but the next morning I was unable to find it again.

The story's narrator expresses his revulsion when reminded of the decrepit shacks in the far back country, and of the ignorant, superstitious, lawless folk who inhabit them. He is especially disturbed by his thoughts of the horrible things that must go on behind the closed doors of these dilapidated shanties.

I'd be grateful to anyone who could help me find this passage again. To me it conjures up a horror far more unnerving than what might be aroused by any fantastical monster or ghost, because it alludes to the horrors that can exist around us in everyday life.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
It is the opening of “The Picture in the House”.
 

Clueless in Seattle

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Thanks for the replies! I looked up the stories you suggested.

"The Dunwich Horror," "The Lurking Fear" and the "The Picture in the House" all do have passages similar in theme to the one that caught my attention the other night as I was browsing through that hefty volume of short stories. But the passage that intrigued me specifically referred to the lack of government or law enforcement in the back country, and referred to the closed doors of the shacks behind which the narrator speculated that unthinkably monstrous activities were taking place. And these specific references to law enforcement and closed doors don't seem to appear in the suggested stories.

Thanks for letting me know that these kinds of observations about the degeneracy of the backwoods folk are frequent in Lovecraft stories. Just this morning I came across a footnote to "The Picture in the House" which included a quote from a Lovecraft letter: "An abnormal Puritan psychology led to all kinds of repression, furtiveness, & grotesque hidden crime, while the long winters & backwoods isolation fostered monstrous secrets which never came to light."

It's beginning to look like this may turn out to be a search for a needle in a haystack.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"
 

HareBrain

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But the passage that intrigued me specifically referred to the lack of government or law enforcement in the back country, and referred to the closed doors of the shacks behind which the narrator speculated that unthinkably monstrous activities were taking place.
Completely OT, but I remember this is similar to something Sherlock Holmes says to Watson as they're travelling through the countryside in "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", which I haven't read for c30 years. It's clearly a sentiment that sticks in the mind.
 

Venusian Broon

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I believe the new Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (this is it, The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft (Annotated Books): Amazon.co.uk: H.p. Lovecraft, Leslie S. Klinger, Alan Moore: 8601410699031: Books, no?) only has 22 of his stories.

There is this website: Electronic Texts of H.P. Lovecraft's Works, that has alot of his work in electronic form.

If you are up to the challange and can remember very specifically the exact words used, you could search each story online for those words and you may find a match? Save you desperately reading through 900 pages.
 

Phyrebrat

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It sounds like it could be:

The Shadow over Innsmouth

but also might be:


The Doom that came to Sarnath
The Nameless City
The Strange High House in the Mist
The Horror at Red Hook
 

Ningauble

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"The Dunwich Horror," "The Lurking Fear" and the "The Picture in the House" all do have passages similar in theme to the one that caught my attention the other night as I was browsing through that hefty volume of short stories. But the passage that intrigued me specifically referred to the lack of government or law enforcement in the back country, and referred to the closed doors of the shacks behind which the narrator speculated that unthinkably monstrous activities were taking place. And these specific references to law enforcement and closed doors don't seem to appear in the suggested stories.
Hmm... That does sound like it might be "The Horror at Red Hook". Not back country, of course.
 

Carl_Maxwell

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In Beyond the Wall of Sleep Lovecraft refers to how "law and morals are non-existent" among the folk of the Catskill Mountains in this passage:

Among these odd folk, who correspond exactly to the decadent element of “white trash” in the South, law and morals are non-existent

But yeah, it could be a lot of his stories. I don't know if he uses the term 'white trash' again though. Skimming over it I don't see any references to unthinkable things happening behind closed doors in that story.
 
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