The Haunter of the Dark.
Robert Bloch at the World Fantasy Convention in 1975.
Here is the church that the story was based on!
Tour de Lovecraft!
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Oh yeah, baby!
You’ll find the ‘trilogy’ in either edition of “Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos”
Gasp! Can’t believe you haven’t read the other two! “The Shadow From the Steeple” in particular offers a different and somewhat more sinister interpretation of the events in this story. You can get it in “Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos” on Kindle — don’t even have to wait for it to be delivered!
You talk about these hard-to-find stories from Lovecraft and his peers, and mention the Arkham House collections a lot, but you know my local Books-A-Million has all that stuff in Del Rey paperback. Collaborations and everything, even “The Loved Dead.” And of course, there’s always the Kindle.
There’s also a much earlier Bloch story that ties into the “Haunter trilogy” called “Fane of the Black Pharaoh,” in which we get some information on the pharaoh Nephren-Ka. You can find it in Tales of the Lovecraft Mythos, edited by friend of the show Robert M. Price. Also available on Kindle.
This obviously opens the door to a “The Thing” (2011)-style prequel disaster, but don’t you think someone could draw a cool prequel to this story?
Is this the location of the abandoned school you were talking about? I just looked up Hardees/Cattleman’s in Moline:
Definitely give Shadow in the Steeple at least a wiki before you record the next episode, I want to hear your reactions to where it takes the story.
Awesome! And I gotta look up that band…I was rocking out. XD
Speaking of bands, there’s also Nox Arcana. They have an entire album called the Necromonicon, it’s mainly instrumental with a few spoken tracks. Very atmospheric. Relevant to this episode, there’s a track called “Temple of the Black Pharaoh”.
While I too enjoyed this story, I simply can’t agree with Chad in his assessment of it as a self-parody. It feels more like HPL cramming all of his favorite tropes into a blender and just having fun with them.
I doubt that Lovecraft got the title “Shaggai” from Ramsey Campbell, since that story wasn’t written until the 1960s. Perhaps you meant it the other way around
Long time listener, first time commentator here. LOVE the show and want to say thanks, and how much I enjoy it. Looking forward to whatever you do next.
Delighted you are now on to ‘Haunter of the Dark’; despite the hokiness of the ‘logic’ of the ending – scribbling notes as he is assaulted by the Horror – and the in jokes, I love the atmosphere of this tale. Think it might be in my top four or five HPL tales. One of the first I read I think which may partly explain my affection.
I also think you guys should check out Fritz Leiber’s ‘Our Lady of Darkness’, which draws inspiration from ‘Haunter of the Dark’; the protag becomes fascinated by a feature he can see from his window (this tale is set in San Francisco) with weird/occult consequences. ‘Haunter’ is directly referenced in the story itself, along with all sorts of other ‘weird’ lore and is a great read and well worth checking out.
Keep up the good work
A trapezohedron is the dual of an antiprism – more information here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trapezohedra . It can have any even number of sides from six upwards, which is handy for making obscure dice. (I have seen 14- and 16-sided dice in this style.)
Tempting as it would be to think of the Trapezohedron of this story as the d10 later to be used in the RPG, that game first came out during the days when everyone except TSR was using icosahedra numbered 0-9 twice – and, going by the “many irregular flat surfaces”, this probably isn’t a regular or ten-sided trapezohedron anyway.
Here’s the church that inspired the one in the story:
And here’s the park where it once stood:
johnp – you’re close. If you pop these coordinates into Google, you can see the top of the old school among the trees:
Thanks Donovan! We’ll put these links in the show notes/Facebook page!
I had no idea that the Elder Sign was a hand gesture first. I imagined that the people in the neighborhood were making ‘mano cornuto’ (the sign of the horns) or ‘mano fico’ (the sign of the fig). I have no idea how hand gestures against the ‘evil eye’ are against interdimensional horrors, but you go with what you know. More information on those is located at http://www.luckymojo.com/evileye.html#averting
I can’t believe that next is gonna be the final episode. I know you guys are doing something afterwards, but still. It’s the end of something amazing.
I actually must re-read this story. You’s have given it a different perspective for me. Knowing this was HPL’s (second to) last story gives it a different feel. I think HPL was really just cramming all his favourite things into one story.
Can’t wait, but don’t next weeks to arrive! This podcast is too damned great!
The only thought of this story like the last one, really is haunting me day and night. It’s hard to believe a church that seemed to be in such good shape just two years before being demolished, is not there anymore…Incredible!!!
At the end, it seems true the story about The Haunter of the Dark.The St.John’s Roman Catholic Church was placed at a corner… the Lovecraft’s one was surrounded by a convulated mess of buildings.I mean, the route Blake took in the story to reach it, was almost like to get to the center of a maze, with all the dark and chilling sensations that such a adventure carries with it.Maybe I’m wrong, or the neighborhood has changed to be literally unregconizable.
XXV. St. Toad’s
“Beware St. Toad’s cracked chimes!” I heard him scream
As I plunged into those mad lanes that wind
In labyrinths obscure and undefined
South of the river where old centuries dream.
He was a furtive figure, bent and ragged,
And in a flash had staggered out of sight,
So still I burrowed onward in the night
Toward where more roof-lines rose, malign and jagged.
No guide-book told of what was lurking here—
But now I heard another old man shriek:
“Beware St.Toad’s cracked chimes!” And growing weak,
I paused, when a third greybeard croaked in fear:
“Beware St. Toad’s cracked chimes!” Aghast, I fled—
Till suddenly that black spire loomed ahead.
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