H.P. Lovecraft invented a new genre of literature (cosmic horror) by taking the boundless unknowable horizon of space and adding a shitload of tentacles. If you're at all familiar with his work, it probably won't surprise you to hear that much of what he wrote came to him in the form of vivid, pants-shitting nightmares. However, what may surprise you is the fact that he began having these nightmares when he was a little ... um, child.
"Yep. I'm definitely going to grow up and despise immigrants." -- H.P. Lovecraft
It all started when Lovecraft's grandmother died. He was five years old, and not particularly close to the lady herself, but the fact that his mother and sister started wearing black every day scared the crap out of him. The constant terror seeped into his sleep, and he started dreaming of "night-gaunts" -- terrifying figures he described as "black, lean, rubbery things with bared, barbed tails, bat-wings, and no faces at all." Their favorite hobby was to take the young kid out of his bed and fling him across space, because sometimes you just have to throw children.
As the monsters played cosmic volleyball with him, young Lovecraft would glimpse "dead and horrible cities" below him. While other kids painted flowers or their families or other stupid bullshit, H.P. would draw these nightmare space beasts -- a habit he kept into adulthood, when he began writing stories about them.
Cthulhu definitely looks like he's unloading the dark secrets of an outer dimension, but perhaps not in the way Lovecraft intended.
So there you have it. Lovecraft created a complex horror mythology as a frightened five-year-old, and definitely wasn't toyed with by interdimensional beings. Nope, it was totally a series of creepy interconnected dreams, and definitely not a case of a young mind being an antennae into the interspatial universe of demon gods.
Tara Marie writes here and reads comics literally everywhere else. She doesn't dream because she doesn't sleep, and you can bother her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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