The town of [[LovecraftCountry Dunwich, Massachusetts]] was thoroughly unremarkable until Wilbur Whateley was born. The family was already unpopular due to their dabbling in the occult, and when Lavinia Whateley gave birth to a strange-looking child and refused to say who the father was, it didn't improve anyone's opinion of them. Wilbur grew incredibly fast - he began talking at 11 months; by the time he was three, he looked ten years old; and at four and a half, around 15. The townsfolk didn't trust him; he gave them the creeps even more than the other Whateleys. For all that, though, they were still willing to sell cows to the Whateley mansion; money was money, after all, even if it was in weird antique gold coins. Though for some reason despite the number of livestock they bought, the herd never seemed to get bigger...

The household only got more suspicious with time. The farmhouse always seemed to be mysteriously under construction, with more and more windows being boarded up; the townsfolk also suspected that interior walls were being knocked out. When Wilbur was ten, Old Whateley died, shrieking instructions to Wilbur on his deathbed; two years later, Lavinia Whateley disappeared on Halloween night and was never found.

It was around this point that Wilbur began to search for an unabridged copy of [[TomeOfEldritchLore the Necronomicon]]. He had learned all of what he knew from his grandfather's library, but his copy of that book was a shortened English version, which he apparently found insufficient. He discovers that nearby Miskatonic University has a copy, but the librarian refuses to loan it out to him. So he breaks in to steal it, only to be killed by a guard dog. And that's when things get ''really'' weird.

One of Creator/HPLovecraft's most famous stories, it was adapted to film twice: as a SoBadItsGood CultClassic in 1970, and a remake by the SciFiChannel in 2009. It has also been adapted ''thrice'', generally more faithfully, as a RadioDrama, first as an episode of the long running ''{{Suspense}}'' series in the 1940s starring RonaldColman, later by the Atlanta Radio Theater Company, and yet again by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society for their ''DarkAdventureRadioTheater'' series. You can read it [[http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Dunwich_Horror here]].
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!!This story includes examples of:
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: In the book, Wilbur Whateley is a hulking, goatish HumanoidAbomination. In the 1970 movie, he's Dean Stockwell.
** Also, some modern illustrators would portray Lavinia as [[ReiAyanamiExpy an elegant and tragic platinum-haired figure]]. The actual story describes her as ugly and deformed.
* AlienBlood: Yellow-green "ichor."
* AlliterativeName: Wilbur Whateley.
* AnimalsHateHim: Dogs ''loathe'' Wilbur Whateley, to the point where he has to start carrying a gun to defend himself from them. [[spoiler:In fact, it's a dog that eventually kills him.]]
** EvilDetectingDog
* TheAntichrist: Wilbur Whateley seems to be a shoo-in for the title, given the circumstances of his birth and childhood and his "goatish" appearance. [[spoiler: As it turns out, his father is not Satan, but something far, far worse.]]
* AttackOfTheFiftyFootWhatever: The Horror itself.
* AuthorAvatar: One (mostly busted) theory is that Wilbur may have been one, adding RealitySubtext to the story.
--> "Wilbur's being raised by a grandfather instead of a father, his home education from his grandfather's library, his insane mother, his stigma of ugliness (in Lovecraft's case untrue, but a self-image imposed on him by his mother), and his sense of being an outsider all echo Lovecraft himself." - Robert M. Price in the introduction to ''[[http://www.amazon.com/Dunwich-Cycle-Where-Cthulhu-Books/dp/156882047X The Dunwich Cycle]]''.
** [[WordOfGod Lovecraft himself]] went on record saying he very much identified with Professor Armitage. Old, bookish, with occult knowledge and capable of putting two and two together in matters of horror.
* BadassBookworm: The professors.
* BadassGrandpa: Professor Armitage, the leader of the expedition against the Horror, is 73 years old.
* BeastWithAHumanFace: The titular horror, once revealed, is shown to be a gigantic egg-shaped tentacled multi-legged EldritchAbomination with a distinctively yard width-long human face that resembles [[spoiler: The Whateleys']].
* BlackAndWhiteMorality: Unusually for Lovecraft. [[spoiler:Just to make it clear, the "black" isn't Yog-Sothoth, but the Whateleys, who are arguably ''weaponizing'' Yog in the form of Wilbur and his brother.]]
* BodyHorror: [[spoiler:The description of Wilbur's corpse.]]
** EvilIsVisceral
** EyesDoNotBelongThere: [[spoiler: Wilbur has a second pair of eyes on his hips]].
* ChekhovsGun: The fact that [[spoiler:dogs hate Wilbur.]] Also the fact that Wilbur is fastidious about being fully dressed [[spoiler:to hide his monstrous physique.]]
* CreepyChild: Wilbur Whateley, in spades.
* CthulhuMythos: This story is one of the most defining of the original Mythos.
* [[spoiler:DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu]]: [[spoiler:This is one of Lovecraft's only stories to have an unambiguously happy ending.]] Sort of.
* [[spoiler:DidYouJustRomanceCthulhu]]
* EldritchAbomination: [[spoiler: Guess who Wilbur and Twin's daddy is.]]
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: For all their madness and apocalyptic designs, Wilbur and his grandfather seem to have been quite close, with Wilbur caring for the old man during his final illness.
* EvilAlbino: Lavinia, though arguably more tragic and misguided than outright villainous.
* EvilOldFolks: Old Whateley
* EvilSmellsBad: "''By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, . . . As a foulness shall ye know Them.''"
* ForTheEvulz: It is never explained why Old Whateley is helping Yog-Sothoth to render Earth uninhabitable to all humans including himself.
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: Poor Curtis Whately!
* GunsAreWorthless: Dr. Morgan brought [[{{BFG}} a big-game rifle]], even as his colleagues warned the monster [[ImmuneToBullets is not to be fought with material weapons of any kind]].
* HalfHumanHybrid: Wilbur himself. [[spoiler: And his twin, though decidedly less humanoid]].
* HotSkittyOnWailordAction: An EldritchAbomination who is coterminous with all time and space yet locked outside the universe we inhabit somehow impregnates a human woman.
* HumanMomNonHumanDad
* HumanoidAbomination: Wilbur Whateley.
* [[spoiler: ImMelting]]: The death of [[spoiler: Wilbur]].
* InterspeciesRomance: Um. . .
-->"I dun't keer what folks think—ef Lavinny's boy looked like his pa, he wouldn't look like nothin' ye expeck. Ye needn't think the only folks is the folks hereabouts. Lavinny's read some, an' has seed some things the most o' ye only tell abaout. I calc'late her man is as good a husban' as ye kin find this side of Aylesbury; an' ef ye knowed as much abaout the hills as I dew, ye wouldn't ast no better church weddin' nor her'n."
* [[spoiler: InvisibleMonster: The titular horror.]]
* LovecraftCountry: [[TropeNamer Natch]].
* [[spoiler: LovecraftLite: Unusually for Lovecraft, it has a good ending. Well, good in that the evil is defeated and the earth saved, but a lot of innocent people still died.]]
* NightmareFace: This seems to be the feature that most disturbs [[spoiler:the person who gets a look at the Horror]].
* [[spoiler:NonIdenticalTwins]]
* NothingIsScarier: The titular horror is never seen directly until very near the end; before that, all that can be seen is the silent aftermath of its rampages. [[spoiler:Makes sense, since it's invisible]].
* OccultDetective: The three professors, sort of.
* ProphecyTwist: Early in the story, [[spoiler:Old Whateley]] says that one day, [[spoiler:they'll hear a child of Lavinia's screaming his father's name from Sentinel Hill]]. Turns out it's [[spoiler:Wilbur's twin.]]
* PsychopathicManchild: Wilbur can easily be seen as this. He doesn't seem to have noticed, or maybe just doesn't care that most people really don't want the Earth to be pulled into horrible alien dimensions of lunacy and shit like that. Also a manchild in a more literal sense, as he is physically a fully bearded adult in his [[YoungerThanTheyLook early teens]].
* TheReveal: [[spoiler:The Horror is Wilbur's ''twin brother''.]]
* RunningGag: The ''Dark Adventure'' version turns Zeb Whateley's insistence that Wilbur, et al are from "the decayed side of the Whateley family" into one.
* SceneryPorn: The opening descriptions of the country around Dunwich.
* ShoutOut: To Creator/ArthurMachen's ''Literature/TheGreatGodPan'', Lovecraft's primary inspiration for "The Dunwich Horror."
--> "Inbreeding? . . . God, what simpletons! Show them Arthur Machen's ''Great God Pan'' and they'll think it a common Dunwich scandal! But what thing - what cursed shapeless influence on or off this three-dimensional earth - was Wilbur Whateley's father?"
** FridgeBrilliance: Wilbur is often described as "goatish." The Classical Pan is [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_%28mythology%29 often depicted]] with the [[http://www.google.com/imgres?um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&sa=N&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&biw=1280&bih=831&tbm=isch&tbnid=VG7w0DFkP5qrQM:&imgrefurl=http://outlandish-knight.blogspot.com/2011/06/great-god-pan.html&docid=cmg29SjEiJ7lxM&imgurl=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lLGajAt96BQ/TffPU9U7jeI/AAAAAAAACv4/rv2AKZh88h8/s1600/Pan%25252BGod.jpg&w=313&h=411&ei=5EnBTpiVNMjy0gH7mpzvBA&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=242&sig=113862698477808175622&page=1&tbnh=129&tbnw=98&start=0&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:2,s:0&tx=56&ty=54 attributes of a goat]], similar to fauns, satyrs, and, of course, {{Satan}}.
** Armitage's brief monologue that closes the story also recalls some of the speeches by Dr. Raymond in ''Great God Pan''.
** Another Machen example: Wilbur's diary, as decoded by Armitage, is clearly inspired by "The White People," which [[LiteraryAgentHypothesis purports]] to be the diary of a young girl's initiation into pagan witchcraft. The terms "Aklo" and "Voorish" also come from there.
* ThreeFacesOfAdam: Armitage, Rice and Morgan.
--> ''"In the end the three men from Arkham - old, white-bearded Dr Armitage, stocky, iron-grey Professor Rice, and lean, youngish Dr Morgan, ascended the mountain alone".''
* ToCreateAPlaygroundForEvil: Wilbur's goal is for Yog-Sothoth to drag Earth off to . . . [[EldritchLocation somewhere]] and wipe out humanity in the process.
* TomeOfEldritchLore: The Necronomicon.
* UncannyValley: {{Invoked}}; people get nervous talking to Wilbur because he always seems ''off'', to the point that he looked ''thirty'' at age ''ten''.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: They're put off by him, sure, but no one seems to be very curious as to ''why'' Wilbur is growing at such an abnormal rate.
* YoungerThanTheyLook: Wilbur grows ''extremely'' quickly, and is an 8-foot-tall man by the time he's about 10.
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