HP Lovecraft is known as a master of weird fiction and one of the founders of modern horror. I discovered his work as a teen, and having revisited it numerous times throughout the years, I’ve found he has several important lessons to pass along.
1. No matter what you do, never ever study genealogy. Chances are your family history is filled with cannibals, mutant apes, and fishmen. And if it isn’t, the ancestor who bears a suspiciously close resemblance to you is plotting to return to life, murder you, and steal your identity.
2. Never take shelter in a remote farmhouse, town, or manor. Those places are full of cannibals and fishmen. Possibly mole-people as well. This goes double if you’re visiting in order to further genealogical research.
3. If the local religious authority starts dressing oddly, wearing strange tiaras, or speaks in a language never intended for human hearing, it’s best to leave town immediately, before the fishmen come.
4. Never talk to your neighbors, especially if they play the violin, are conducting chemical or electrical experiments, or need suspicious amounts of air conditioning for their apartment. Next thing you know, you’ll be digging up graves and speaking blasphemous incantations, and that never ends well for anyone.
5. If you come across a strange figurine, meteorite, or ancient city don’t poke, investigate, or speak archaic invocations to it. Unless you discovered it in the course of your genealogical studies, in which case, go ahead, you were doomed anyway.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve just received an invitation to a family reunion. It’s taking place in a remote town I’ve never been to before, but I’m sure it’s lovely. And they included a present with the invitation! I’m not sure what the strange figurine is supposed to represent, or even what it’s made out of, but it’s the thought that counts, right? After such a kind gesture, I can’t say no.
After all, what could possibly go wrong?