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[[quoteright:200:[[Franchise/EvilDead http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/necronomicon_5873.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:200:The Necronomicon Ex Mortis, a book you ''can'' judge by its cover.]]

->''"A long time ago, when the world was so new nothing had a name, something woke up. It learned all about what was and what would be... but most of all it learned what couldn't be, what shouldn't be. And it gave those things names, names it wrote on indestructible pages, because a namer has mastery of the named."''
-->-- '''Diabolique''', "[[Franchise/MarvelUniverse Darkhold]] #10"

The EvilCounterpart of the GreatBigBookOfEverything. An old leatherbound book with engravings depicting [[EldritchAbomination unpleasant]] [[MonsterOfTheWeek creatures]], [[ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow prophecies of certain doom]], and {{spell|Book}}s that do everything from turning toenails green to stopping (or causing) TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. Needless to say, YouDoNotWantToKnow where that [[GenuineHumanHide leather]] and [[CouldntFindAPen ink]] came from.

Villains collect these books for their step-by-step guides to bringing about their evil plans. When read by the hapless, they tend to {{summon|ingArtifact}} TheLegionsOfHell into the mortal realm. When the books are read by the comic relief, HilarityEnsues.

In [[CosmicHorrorStory Cosmic Horror Stories]], they typically [[GoMadFromTheRevelation drive their readers into gibbering insanity]]; the title alone can make them [[HearingVoices hear voices]].

Normally these books are centuries old, but one common subversion is for them to be modern paperbacks with [[BlandNameProduct almost-familiar names]] -- e.g., ''The Idiot's Guide to Demonology'', ''A Child's Garden of Gibbering Horrors'', ''The Home Handyman's Guide to Building Gates to Hell'', ''Chicken Soup for the Soulless''.

See also ArtifactOfDoom, ThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow, and BrownNote. Not to be confused with the GreatBigBookOfEverything or SpellBook, which are more of a neutral nature. May overlap with TomesOfProphecyAndFate if they have evil prophecies. Can involve TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'': The ''Firstari'', the ''Secondari'' and the ''Thirstari'' are capable of driving cities of men into their darkest emotions, creating [[EvilTwin doppelgangers]], and bringing down airplanes.
* Common item in the ''Anime/ReadOrDie'' TV series done different ways. One example had a god-like man named "The Gentleman" who had his essence written into a number of such books. In the {{OVA}} series, there's a subversion: handwritten notes in the margins of an otherwise-harmless book held the secret to [[spoiler:driving the entire human race to suicide]]. The manga used it straight; ''The Dark Abyss'', a book bound in human flesh, that the publisher required 5 different people to print, a page at a time. Reading it or listening to someone read it instantly resulted in insanity.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'' has a videotape, Chapter Black, which serves essentially the same purpose. It's a recording of the worst evils ever done by humans, which human-hating BigBad Sensui makes a point of showing to his followers to drive them insane with disgust at people.
** Notably, it's part of a two-tape set. The other tape, Chapter White, records the best ''good'' deeds ever done by humans, and you're not supposed to watch one without the other. [[WhatAnIdiot Guess what Sensui did]].
* ''Manga/SoulEater'' has the Book of Eibon, written by a sorcerer centuries ago. It contains the information Arachne used [[spoiler: to create the original Demon Weapons, and to turn herself into a psuedo-Kishin. It is currently being used by Noah, who impersonated Eibon, to collect anything he sees as interesting. Such as Death the Kid.]]
** Which is a shout-out to the fictional tome (aka the Liber Ivonis) from the Cthulhu Mythos(see below).
** The book itself is so evil that it's indexed by sins, and it currently contains at least one of the worst creatures imaginable, [[spoiler: [[CloudCuckoolander Excalibur]]. Oh, and there's a Great Old One who bears a striking resemblance to [[ShoutOut Cthulhu]].]]
** And later we learn that [[spoiler: Noah is actually a ''construct'' of the book itself, embodying one of it's chapters, not it's owner. After the first one (Greed) is defeated, the book produces a new one - embodiment of chapter of [[OhCrap Wrath]].]]
* Grimoires in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' seem to be this, considering that they allow the user to gain ''tremendous'' power, but the results range from (so far) BloodFromTheMouth at best and BodyHorror at worst. Only the eponymous Index of Prohibited Books has been able to read the grimoires and [[PhotographicMemory store them in her head]], since she has no mana to power the grimoires.
** One of the grimoires within Index is the Necronomicon, which was originally just a fictional book until some magicians decided they wanted to bring the Cthulhu Mythos to life and defictionalized it.
* Caster's Noble Phantasm in ''LightNovel/FateZero'' is Prelati's Spellbook, a tome with a covering made of human skin. It's a self-powering prana generator and allows the user to summon {{Eldritch Abomination}}s. It's also called the R'lyeh text, as a ShoutOut to the Franchise/CthulhuMythos. It can also allow Caster to [[spoiler:[[FusionDance merge with the book]] in order to summon a gigantic EldritchAbomination]]. Is it any wonder that Caster is so absolutely insane?
* The Book of Darkness in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs''. It managed to open itself despite being chained shut. To power it up, you have to collect the magic power of other people and creatures; if you decline to, it will drain your power instead, slowly killing you. And when all its pages (naturally, there are [[NumberOfTheBeast six hundred and sixty-six]] of them) are filled, do you think you can wield its power? You're as good as dead, and so is the planet you are on. (The tragedy is that it wasn't originally that way - it has been corrupted by people who wanted to use it as a weapon.)
* The Claire Bible in ''LightNovel/{{Slayers}}''. Its author is benign enough (one of the good dragon-gods of the Slayers world), but its subject is the Mazoku race and the dragons' war with them, with extra details on the Mazoku-powered black magic and the secret magic of the supreme creator deity. The genuine Claire Bible is also not a book, but a sphere holding infinite knowledge, however many fragments of it are indeed scribed as books and scrolls.
** In NEXT, the heroes suspect every strange magical effect they hear of to be caused by a Claire Bible manuscript, indicating that even the mundane fragmentary copies can have weird properties.
* The Black Bible from the {{Hentai}} anime ''Bible Black'', replete with demonic rituals. You really don't want to be in the building when this thing gets used. Every major spell requires a HumanSacrifice, and even the ''minor'' ones tend to cause cases of DemonicPossession.
* The Books of Zeref in ''Manga/FairyTail''. Black Mage Zeref wrote a bunch of books infused with magic that allows people to accomplish truly awesome and terrifying feats, such as demon summoning and time travel. Each Book contains the rituals and magic necessary to summon a different demon.
* The BiggerBad of ''Anime/JewelpetTwinkle'' is a book in which Jewelina encased all the Dark Magic in the world. Anyone who tries to read it for their own purposes risks getting possessed by the book, in which case it's going to try to destroy everything while it has a body. Also, it can turn into a CoolSword.
* The Manga/DeathNote probably counts, or at least the portion containing instructions on how to use it.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In an episode of ''ComicBook/TheBadger'' dealing with Lovecraftian beasties, Mavis whipped out her "Pocket Necronomicon".
* The ''MarvelUniverse'':
** The tome called The Darkhold was written by the elder (and evil) god Chthon as one of the first--if not ''the'' first--book of magic ever. Writing the Darkhold allowed Chthon to influence the very nature of magic itself. It contains a variety of spells, but using one equals sealing your soul to Chthon, and most of them work in really twisted and sick ways. The Darkhold is also known as the ''Book of Sins'' because of its corrupting influence.
** The ''Book of the Vishanti'' is said to contain every counter-spell and all defensive magic ever (to be) known, including a spell to free one from the Darkhold's control. (Oddly enough it doesn't seem to contain the spell to cure vampirism, which is in the Darkhold.) It also contains a lot of useful lore penned by previous holders of the tome and it seems to explicitly add new pages for current owners to add their own information into its pages.
** Comicbook/DoctorStrange has an entire library of these.
* Creator/KurtBusiek's ''The Wizard's Tale'' revolves around a Tome of Eldritch Lore which the [[IneptMage inept]] and not particularly evil wizard must locate and cast spells from. [[spoiler: Fortunately, he learns that the good guys hid it rather than destroyed it because it contains a spell to banish evil. He [[HeelFaceTurn casts it instead]].]]
* The [[GreenLantern Sinestro Corps]] has the Book of Parallax, which contains everything every Sinestro Corpsman has ever done or will do in the name of causing fear.
** Later on we see the Book of the Black, penned in the tainted black tears of the undead Guardian Scar.
* ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' lampshades this while the knights are playing ''[[TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu Scream of Kachoolu]]'' (the webcomic strips, bound in Tales from the Vault 5): Brian warns everyone to burn all books they find. This is further compounded by the fact that the last campaign ended messily with Bob's character reading ''a traveler's guide to Boise''.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Star Wars|Expanded Universe}}: ComicBook/DarkEmpire'' comics, the resurrected Emperor Palpatine has written two and is working on a third. They were a kind of combination of Necronomicon and Mein Kampf. The ''Dark Empire'' series itself is referred to on occasion as "The Dune Sea Scrolls."
** The two completed volumes of the originally intended several-hundred-volume set, to in turn be titled the Dark Side Compendium, were ''The Book of Anger'' and ''The Weakness of Inferiors''. The third almost-completed tome was to be titled ''The Creation of Monsters''. In the audio drama Luke comes across tapes of ''The Book of Anger'' and finds them horrifically compelling. Just listening to them makes him feel cold and perceive the world as getting darker. It takes an effort of the Force to wrench himself away, and even then he wants to study them.
* The Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse also brings us the Sith holocrons: essentially audio/video/Force recordings of a [[TheCorrupter Sith Lord's teachings]] and accumulated dark wisdom. They're almost always hidden someplace unpleasant, and if you can find one and disarm all the booby traps, you ''might'' get [[SarcasmMode lucky]] enough to [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity learn something]]. Have fun!
* The ''Franchise/MyLittlePony'' G1 Comics contains ''The Book of Horrors'', an ancient tome kept locked away in Majesty's Secret Room in Dream Castle. In the comic story ''Ponyland in Danger'' it is consulted by Majesty and Gypsy after they both see ominous indications of an ancient evil approaching in the form of a red cloud.
* ''SchoolMermaid'': Revolves around a journal containing a spell when chanted at a certain time at night, will cause human looking mermaids to appear before the user. If the mermaid with the first letter of the boy you love is caught and killed, all you have to do is eat the flesh of it while thinking of your true love and, presto, instant boyfriend.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' fic ''Fanfic/QueenOfAllOni'', Jade is searching for the Teachings of Eternal Shadow (a series of three tablets with the BlackMagic of the Shadowkhan/Oni on them) so she can increase her own power and keep Jackie and the other heroes from capturing her.
* In the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' fic ''Inter Vivos'', Draco's mother gave him a book that contained "a great deal of Dark Arts knowledge—spells, but also rituals, potions, and many other things, willed into the book by its possessors". When asked a question, it would shift into a book about whatever the subject might be - provided you asked it the ''right'' questions.
* The "Black Book" in Fanfic/FalloutEquestria. It contains [[spoiler: dark, necromantic zebra magic designed to conjure flesh eating mega-spells and other nastiness]]
* Luna becomes Nightmare Moon by reading an unnamed book about dark magic in ''Fanfic/{{Whispers}}''.
* Parodied in the Blog/ReadingRainbowverse by the shadowbolts book. While it can add and remove itself from the library catalog, the most terrifying thing it does is draw a dick on Lightning Dust's head.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/9007910/40/Altered-Histories Altered Histories]]'' Circe was a necromancer who created her own version of the ''Necronomicon'', made of skin flayed from the backs of a thousand men and capable of containing a thousand souls.
* In ''Fanfic/MyLittleBalladeer'', human [[EvilSorceror Thorne]] has the [[ArtifactOfDoom ''Letters Of Cold Fire'']], a particularly nasty example of this trope because it has been enchanted to [[spoiler:force any mage reading it to release Discord from his [[TakenForGranite stone prison]]]].
* [[Fanfic/InquisitorCarrowChronicles Inquisitor Carrow]] writes one as a present for Hermione Granger.
* In ''FanFic/SplitSecond'', Sparkle possessed several of the books in a ''series'' of these tomes. Interestingly, the book itself is alive.
* In the lore of ''FanFic/SonicXDarkChaos'', the Bible and the Koran are depicted as this, [[KnightTemplar driving people]] [[TheFundamentalist to madness]] and being able to summon Lovecraftian horrors with the right versions.
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', all of the villains trained by [[spoiler: [[GodOfEvil Grogar]]]] -- Equestria's [[PhysicalGod Nexus]] of Dark Magic -- were gifted with one of these. [[spoiler: Scattered among the four of them are the components of the spell needed to free Grogar from his [[SealedEvilInACan imprisonment]].]]
* The Book of Characters in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone: The Soft World'' might count, though ultimately it's just a throwaway {{MacGuffin}} rather than any major influence on the world. Its main significance to the four is that after George destroys it to save lives, they're fined 150,000 Swords and threatened with jail/endless pursuit if they don't pay the fine. They spend several days struggling to get the money.
* A major plot point in ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' is the Death Eater/HYDRA alliance led by Lucius Malfoy steals the Darkhold and gifts it to [[{{Necromancer}} Gravemoss]]. Like in it comic canon counterpart, it's the ultimate book of BlackMagic, created by [[EldritchAbomination Chthon]] as a SoulJar to maintain his foothold in reality. The book itself is indestructible, and it just being outside of its containment causes reality to slowly start breaking down.
* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'': The Black Codex is an infamous grimoire written by a cabal of warlocks and lunar cultists during the Lunar Rebellion and containing information on every form of BlackMagic in existence, including things like {{necromancy}}, MindControl and demonology. Most people don't believe it's anything more than a myth, a belief the Equestrian government encourages to cut down on the number of would-be warlocks trying to get their hooves on it. In ''Freeport Venture: Auction Night'', a copy surfaces... at an auction house in the local WretchedHive. Sunset spends the rest of the story trying to get before a known warlock facilitator does.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SausageParty'' features [[spoiler:a cookbook]] being treated as this. It's found in the "Dark Aisle" (i.e. [[spoiler: the place where cook and kitchenware are located]]), and its illustrations of [[spoiler:foods being cooked and eaten]] are presented with all the same horror as the grisly artwork inside the Necronomicon. Frank tears pages out of the book to show to the rest of the store in order to get them to believe him.

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* The eponymous book in ''Film/TheBabadook''. A ''pop-up book'', believe it or not, one which seems to be a bedtime story for kids, the book is not just magic and cursed, but alive, sort of. The monster seems to become more and more sapient the more the book is read, and stronger the more disbelieving adults deny that it's real, tormenting children and parents alike. Tearing the book up only makes it come back with a scarier story, and while burning it prevents that, it doesn't get rid of the monster; the protagonist has to resort to [[TalkingTheMonsterToDeath other methods to finally crush it.]]
* ''Grey's Almanac'' from the ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' movies. Technically an ordinary sports almanac purchased in a conventional book store in the then-future year of 2015, this book truly matches the trope when brought 50 years into the past, as it contains information on the outcome of sports events from 1960 to 2000. Biff Tannen is able to use the knowledge to amass a fortune from gambling, eventually creating a BadFuture where he rules. Much like the typical cursed tome, burning it at the end of the second movie is required to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong.
* ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'' has the [[AllThereInTheManual Handbook for the Recently Deceased]], [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin which explains important things to know right after you die]], making it a rare instance of a Tome of Eldritch Lore that's actually ''helpful''. Unfortunately, it isn't very reader-friendly, as it [[RunningGag reads like stereo instructions.]]
* ''Film/BigTitsZombie'' also features a version of the Necronomicon, which summons and controls zombies.
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' kicks off its serious horror elements with the reliable Latin incantation from a spooky old book.
* Italian director Creator/LucioFulci used two. ''Film/CityOfTheLivingDead'' had the Book of Enoch (an actual text used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, though it probably doesn't really open the gates of Hell), and ''Film/TheBeyond'' has the Book of Eibon, which has first written about by Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith, and used in Lovecraft's "The Haunter of the Dark", "Literature/TheDreamsInTheWitchHouse", and "Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime".
* The Lifetime (of all things) movie ''Devil's Diary'' references a book found in a graveyard, planted there by a lightning strike. Anything negative you write in the book will come true.
* ''Film/InTheMouthOfMadness'' features the popular horror novelist Sutter Cane, whose last book is [[BrownNote So Bad Its Horrible]], if inexplicably [[TheVirus well received by the public]]. Still managed to have a movie made, which was almost as well received as the book and made [[EndOftheWorldAsWeKnowIt quite an impact on audiences around the world]].
* ''Franchise/EvilDead'' featured a book called Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, which, when read, resurrected a bunch of evil Kandarian spirits. In [[Film/TheEvilDead1981 the first movie]] and the beginning of [[Film/EvilDead2 the second]], it was called the ''Naturyan Demonta''. By the time of ''Film/ArmyOfDarkness'', it was just called the ''Necronomicon''.
* It doesn't have a name, but Winifred's book in ''Film/HocusPocus'' qualifies. Given to her by {{Satan}} himself, it is bound in human flesh and cannot be destroyed by any known method (when the protagonist tries to burn it, it doesn't burn). It's also ''alive'', proven by an eyeball set in the cover, which moves around on its own accord. Among the evil spells that Winnie casts from this book is the curse she places on Thackery which [[BalefulPolymorph turns him into a cat]] and makes him unable to die, and a spell which raises her ex-lover Billy from the dead as a [[OurZombiesAreDifferent zombie]]; it also contains the recipe for the potion used to keep her and her sisters forever young - at the cost of the lives of children.
* In ''Film/MerlinsShopOfMysticalWonders'', Merlin, of all people, gives one of these to a [[StrawCritic snobby critic]], of all people, to try to persuade him that magic is real. As a result, the critic summons a demon, sets fire to a cat, almost crushes himself and eventually manages to provide his wife with the baby she desires by, in a bizarre kind of "reverse incest", turns himself from her husband into her son. Naturally, Merlin thinks this is a jolly delightful jape.
* ''Film/TheMummy1999'' had the Book of the Dead, which unleashed the title monster upon the world, as well as its good cousin, which [[spoiler:stripped him of his undead immortality and made him mortal]].
* ''Film/NightOfTheDemon'': Cult leader Karswell has one of the only copies of an ancient tome on witchcraft and demonology, written in ancient runes he claims are unreadable -- though it turns out he has the translation, and uses it.
* The plot of the movie ''Film/TheNinthGate'' (based on ''Literature/TheClubDumas'', above) revolves around a book called ''De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis'' ("The Nine Gates of the Kingdom of Shadows"). All known copies of the text were burned along with their author Aristide Torchia because it was an adaptation of an earlier work called the ''Delomelanicon'' (the ''Invocation of Darkness''), supposedly co-written by the Devil himself and contained clues on how to summon him in person.
* In ''Film/WarCraft2016'', the ornate book Khadgar finds in Medivh's vast library is a tome on the Portal and fel magic, both of which are pretty much evil.
* In ''Film/{{Warlock}}'', the Grand Grimoire is a Satanic book that was broken up long ago. When brought together it reveals the hidden name of God, which if said backwards will undo all that he created and destroy the world.

* In ''Literature/AlmostNight'', the book by the previous DarkLord [=McEvildude=]. The cover is bound in human flesh, the ink is made from orc blood, and each page is made from dryads.
* Creator/HPLovecraft's ''[[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Necronomicon]]'' is the TropeCodifier. In addition to its cameos and parodies in all sorts of movies, books and TV shows, almost all modern instances of the trope owe something to it. The name is so ingrained in Western culture that many people think the book is real. To a degree this is helped by several companies [[{{Defictionalization}} printing versions of the ''Necronomicon'']] (The "My first Necronomicon", a guide to the Cthulhu mythos for children, is done in soft felt.)
** Also note that the myth that there is a "real" ''Necronomicon'' was helped by numerous pranks carried out back when there were library card catalogs, rather than electronic databases. Specifically, some smartass would create a fake card for the ''Necronomicon'' which was always checked out to one "A. Alhazred" ([[InsistentTerminology the Mad Arab]] Abdul Alhazred being the fictional author of the book). In addition, during the [[YouCanPanicNow Satanic Panic]] of the 1980s, several instructional guides on how to tell if your kid is involved in Satanism suggested asking if they had ever read the ''Necronomicon''.
* The Necronomicon is also a common ShoutOut in other works (see ''Franchise/EvilDead''):
** It's mentioned briefly in ''[[Literature/{{Magnus}} Wayfarer]]''. It is said that memorizing verses from it and intense training allows an occult student to pierce the veil which angels and demons hide from humanity.
** The ''Necronomicon'' is mentioned in the Global Level section of ''TabletopGame/UnknownArmies'' as a possible source of overwhelming magical power. [[spoiler:This is subverted by the fact that those who get the most out of it are Bibliomancers, who gain power by acquiring rare books.]]
* Several books called the ''The Necronomicon'' have been published, including:
** A collection of short stories about the fictional ''Necronomicon'' by Creator/HPLovecraft and other writers.
** A collection of artworks by Creator/HRGiger.
** At least two books purporting to be the "real" ''Necronomicon'', which contains a hodgepodge of Sumerian mythology, Hermetic lore, Kabbalah and other mystical writings. In no way do these stories relate to Lovecraft's works, however.
** One written by Donald Tyson that details the 'wanderings of Alhazred', and so would be closer to Lovecraft's original idea.
** At least one collection of Lovecraft's writings.
* The ''Necronomicon'' is not the only book of dark lore that appears in Lovecraft's mythos. Some of the others include ''De Vermis Mysteriis'', ''Liber Ivonis'' (The Book of Eibon), ''Cultes des Goules'' and ''Die Unaussprechliche Kulten'' (which Lovecraft thought was German for "unspeakable cults", but actually closer to "unpronounceable". Given [[TheUnpronounceable the names of the Great Old Ones]], it's probably more appropriate that way.)
** Actually, there was a circle of Lovecraftian writers, and pretty much each invented his own eldritch book. The ''Necronomicon'' was of course Lovecraft's. ''De Vermis Mysteriis'' was Creator/RobertBloch, as was ''Cultes des Goules''. ''Liber Ivonis'' was Creator/ClarkAshtonSmith. ''Die Unaussprechliche Kulten'' was Creator/RobertEHoward. ''The Book of Iod'' was Creator/HenryKuttner. All these writers freely referred to each other's books in their stories, along with references to other elements as well.
** ''De Vermis Mysteriis'' has an important role in Creator/StephenKing's short story ''[[Literature/NightShift Jerusalem's Lot]]'', a homage to Lovecraft. ''Necronomicon'' briefly appears in another short story, ''I Know What You Need''.
* Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** Parodying the Necronomicon, is the ''Necrotelecomnicon'' (translated as "On communing with the deceased", or "the Phonebook of the Dead"). Supposedly, reading it would drive a man insane, which suits the purposes of the Librarian just fine (he's an orangutan, and thus not a "man").\\
The books (''Discworld/EqualRites'' in particular) even recount an unfortunate case of a mage who tried to read the Necrotelecomnicon, and as a result he was never seen again, and the book became several pages thicker... \\
The ''Necrotelicomnicon'' also appears in the Library of Dream in Neil Gaiman's ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', under its alternate title, the ''Liber Paginarum Fulvarum'' (which is [[CanisLatinicus Dog Latin]] for "The Book of the Yellow Pages"). It also makes an appearance in ''Literature/GoodOmens'' (which Terry and Neil wrote together).
** The Octavo - the book containing the eight most powerful spells, left behind on the Disc by its creator. (When Rincewind "accidentally" read the book, one of the spells got stuck in his head; this left him unable to learn any other spells [even after he got rid of it] - and was responsible for much of the plot of the first two books.)
** And then there's the footnote about how, like Oxford's Bodleian Library, Unseen University's Library has the books chained to the shelves. The difference is that in the Bodleian that's to stop the students damaging the books, while at UU it's...the other way around.\\
UU also has several volumes of sex magic, one of which must be ''kept in a room full of ice''. Humans can't read them without being driven a very specific type of mad, but the librarian can, because he's an Orangutan, and simply gets unusual feelings about fruit for a while.
** ''[[Discworld/IShallWearMidnight The Bonfire of the Witches]]'', written on behalf of the Cunning Man, is so full of his hatred of witches that a copy of it allows a curse ineptly attempted against a witch to work simply by being in its proximity, and later almost allows said creature to manifest into the world through its pages before it's pressed shut very decisively.
* Robert W. Chambers' ''Literature/TheKingInYellow'' stories feature the eponymous ''play'' which simultaneously enlightens and drives mad anyone who reads it all. (Presumably a production would be impossible to stage.) Only a few brief excerpts, not enough to clearly indicate the plot or subject matter, are ever given. Likewise, the Yellow Sign is never actually described. Chambers' stories predated Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos stories and Lovecraft cited them as an inspiration.
** A similar work in the CthulhuMythos, the ''Massa di Requiem par Shuggay''. is an "opera" that is impossible to perform. Why? [[spoiler:If the performance isn't interrupted, Azathoth is summoned midway through the second act. This would lead to everyone going mad or [[RocksFallEveryoneDies the world ending]].]]
* The Dictionary of the Khazars, as described in the lexicon novel of the same name, was printed in a poisonous ink. Remarkably, this ink causes convulsions, pain, and eventual death not from licking or eating the pages, but from reading them, and death would always strike at a particular point on the ninth page.
* One might argue that the Book of the Dead in the ''[[Literature/BetsyTheVampireQueen Undead and ______]]'' books by Mary Janice Davidson is a Tome of Eldritch Lore, as it can only be read for a page or two at a time before it starts to mess with your head. Though given that it gives instructions and prophecies for Queen Betsy's entire reign (whether or not it has more unpleasant spells and such isn't mentioned), it is also a GreatBigBookOfEverything as well.
* The vampire novel, ''Literature/TheHistorian'' has one of these which has the effect of attracting Vlad Dracula and his minions to those who find a copy. This is made creeper by the fact that the novel actually looks like the Tome of Eldritch Lore described within.
* The book ''Literature/TheClubDumas'' by Arturo Pérez-Reverté reproduces the nine illustrations that provide the clues to invoke the devil in the tome of eldritch lore (''De Umbrarum Regni Novem Portis'' -- everything occult [[AltumVidetur sounds better in Latin]]), repeated each time the protagonist finds one of the three surviving copies of the ''Novem Portis'', as each one has a subtly different set of illustrations. There is a TwistEnding that hinges on these differences. It is little surprising that these illustrations are supposedly reprinted from the fabled ''Delomelanicon, or Invocation of Darkness'', which legend has it was co-written by Lucifer himself.
* The ''Malus Codicium'', from the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}: {{Literature/Eisenhorn}}'' series of novels, is such a book, as it contains many scriptures on daemon summoning, binding etc. The protagonist (an [[TheJudge Inquisitor]] perfectly used to dealing with such artifacts) finds this book ''particularly'' creepy, as unlike lesser books encountered, it gives off no sinister aura. It's just like any other book...that helps you bind daemons although it does still slowly corrupt its readers to chaos.
** The Necroteuch from the first book is a lesser example, it is the entire focus of the book but what exactly it does is never stated, and it emits an aura of incredible evil so it is a bit of a no-brainer what to do with it. ([[spoiler: After you've tricked a Chaos Space Marine into picking it up. And taken advantage of its effects to kill the Marine.]])
* Played for comedy in Creator/BruceSterling's ''Literature/{{Schismatrix}}'' with "the literature of the [untranslatable]".
* In the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, one of the main characters, Sara Waite, is a young EldritchAbomination. She owns shelves full of these, and considers them ideal casual reading material. As long as she can remind them not to eat her friends.
** The Whateley library also has a restricted section of these. And a REALLY restricted section of the worse ones. Note, however, that Sara's are the ones that the library doesn't dare touch.
** And then there's horror novelist Michael Waite's best-seller ''Incongruity'', which is really The First Book Of Kellith. The relationship between Michael Waite and Sara Waite is... complicated.
* F. Paul Wilson's RepairmanJack series has the Compendium of Srem, which translates itself into your native language for your [[SealedEvilInACan cans-of-evil-unsealing]] convenience.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'' the wizard Flagg has such a book that he has been reading for over one thousand years and is less than a quarter of a way through, lest he go mad from reading it too quickly.
* The Literature/OldKingdom trilogy features ''The Book of the Dead'', a green leather-bound book that's different each time it's read and shows a certain disconcerting independence of movement (ie, it knows where it needs to go and will follow along with someone headed in that direction, with or without their cooperation). It can only be opened by a necromancer, and closed by an uncorrupted Charter mage - that is, the Abhorsen and their successor. Normal people find it exudes an aura of deathly chill and utter terror. It's not actively malevolent, though, since it's kind enough to ensure the reader doesn't remember the more [[GoMadFromTheRevelation horrifying sections]] until they really ''really'' need to.
** In the second book of the trilogy, Lirael takes on a job working in the Great Library of the Clayr, which is a bit more like a museum. The books (and "exhibits") range from the prosaic to works of great magic, which are kept under lock and key. This has the unfortunate side-effect that if one of said [[SealedEvilInACan exhibits]] gets loose somehow, the person responsible has to find a sneaky way of getting at highly protected books if she wants to have any chance at all of stuffing it back into its can.
* In the young adult horror anthology ''Still More Scary Stories For Sleepovers'', the short story "Night of the Ki-Khwan" has an example. The protagonist's scholar mother brings home a collection of texts that describe Native American rituals. One of these rituals provides instructions on summoning the titular Ki-Khwan, who are essentially Native American werewolves. The protagonist and his friends, being young and foolish boys, decide to give some of the rituals a shot late at night in the woods for a thrill. To their horror, they succeed in summoning the man-beasts. [[HopeSpot Just when it seems like they can keep their campfire going long enough to keep the creatures at bay]], [[spoiler:a rain dance they performed earlier kicks in, putting the fire out]].
* In the guide book ''How To Be A Villain'', its guide to weapons contains books of evil, which more or less fit this trope perfectly.
* John Barnes's ''Literature/OneForTheMorningGlory'' features ''Highly Unpleasant Things It Is Sometimes Necessary To Know'' and worse, ''Things That Are Not Good To Know At All''.
* ''Du Svardenvyrd'' (The Weird of the Swords) in Creator/TadWilliams' ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'' trilogy is a perfectly straight example of this trope. Written by a mad prophet, it causes mortals who read it to GoMadFromTheRevelation, and it is eventually revealed that the book is basically an instruction manual for summoning the undead [[BigBad Storm King]] back into the world. Notable in that the book doesn't have any inherent mystical power, but the secrets it reveals are too much for a sane mind to accept.
* ''The Book Bound in Pale Leather'' in P.C. Hodgell's Literature/ChroniclesOfTheKencyrath books works a lot like this, even though it was given to the Kencyr people by their God. It's not exactly nice, and neither is the book; reading too much of it can drive you mad or kill you, and the Master Runes inside are highly dangerous to use. Oh, and that leather? Human skin, and the Book appears to be alive; dropping it gives it bruises.
* ''[[Literature/{{Shannara}} The Shannara Series]]'' by Terry Brooks has The Ildatch, an ArtifactOfDoom dating back to the war between the good Fae and [[TheLegionsOfHell the Demons]]. Filled with dark magics, it corrupted the rebel Druid Brona into becoming [[SorcerousOverlord The Warlock Lord]], transformed his followers into the Skull Bearers, and later transforms a new group of people into the Mord Wraiths. Destroying it serves as the main plot in ''[[Literature/TheSwordOfShannaraTrilogy The Wishsong of Shannara]]''. [[spoiler:Unbeknownst to all, the book is alive, reasoning, and the BigBad of the entire trilogy. It nearly turns Brin, the main character, into a monster, before her brother brings her to her senses, enabling its destruction]].
* In Creator/BenCounter's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/HorusHeresy novel ''Galaxy In Flames'', Loken runs across a book that changes languages (and alphabets) under his gaze, gives him horrific visions, and convinces him that the OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions view of the Empire is wrong.
* In ''The Cassini Division'' (a Literature/FallRevolution book by Creator/{{Ken MacLeod}}) two characters peruse a market stall selling old books. One tome, ''Home Workshop Nanotech'' by a "Dr. Frank N Stein" published some 250 years before the events of the book explained in straightforward terms how to make [[GreyGoo replicating nanotech]] using a simple computer, some household chemicals and a tunnelling electron microscope. Sci-fi to be sure; but a mysterious ancient book containing world-shattering knowledge of things man was not meant to meddle with? Sounds pretty eldritch to me.
* In ''Literature/TheGoldenDreamOfCarloChuchio'' the hero buys a mysterious book in a market and finds that it contains not only tales of old but a treasure map. The description implies that the book is a ShoutOut to the Literature/ArabianNights.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' book ''Literature/DeadBeat'', "The Word of Kemmler" is a book written by the necromancer Kemmler, a major BigBad who was responsible for a whole mess of atrocities and other badness throughout history, up to ''and including'' UsefulNotes/WorldWarI. Yes, all of it.
** ''Dead Beat'' also features ''Der Lied der Erlking'', a collection of poetry, art, and prose dedicated to [[TheFairFolk the Erlking]], head of TheWildHunt. Among all that poetry is a summoning rite meant to bring the Erlking and the Hunt into the world.
** Otherwise subverted, though; the White Council actually ''encourages'' the spread of books of dark rituals, since they only have a limited amount of power to go around and mass-publications tend to dilute them into uselessness.
*** Except in some cases, as Thomas tells us, that perfectly sensible strategy backfires when just the knowledge that the rituals exist, and therefore so does the thing they're meant to summon, is enough to keep the thing in question on this plane of existence.
* The dark Book (''The Book Which is Not Named'') in Diane Duane's ''Literature/YoungWizards'' series.
** Arguably the bright Book (''Naming of Lights'' or ''The Book of Night with Moon'') has the same potential... reading from either book is not something you do lightly.
* The short story ''El Libro de Arena'' ("[[http://anagrammatically.com/2010/03/08/the-book-of-sand-el-libro-de-arena-by-borges-translated/ The Book of Sand]]), by Creator/JorgeLuisBorges, contains a version of one of these. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bibliophilia bibliophile]] protagonist trades a priceless 14th-century Bible for a mysterious book in an unknown language that has no beginning, no end, pages that are out of order, and never allows the reader to see the same page twice (it is implied that the number of pages is infinite). Over time, he loses what few friends he actually had, and spends his every waking minute fanatically obsessing over a book he cannot read, copying pages and illustrations before they vanish forever. ''Un''like most such stories, this one appears to end relatively well--the protagonist recognizes the evil of the book, and disposes of it in a place where neither he nor anyone else will likely ever find it by tucking it into a random, dusty shelf among the National Library's 900,000 books (he first considered burning it, but feared that the burning of an infinite book might be infinite itself and cover the world with smoke). It seems to be implied that he was better off with his [[GoodOldWays good old-fashioned Bibles]].
* The Grimmerie from the novel of ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' is implied to be one of these, but no Ozian can actually read the thing. [[spoiler:Elphaba can make out bits and pieces, but that's because she turns out to be only half-Ozian]]. It's also revealed that the [[spoiler:Wizard's entire despotic reign]] is a mere EvilPlan to get his hands on it!
* These are apparently pretty commonplace in ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Hagrid's Care of Magical Creatures class has a TomeOfEldritchLore as ''required reading'' (specifically, ''[[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment The Monster Book of Monsters]]'', which tries to bite you until you pet it along the spine to soothe it). And books dealing with TheDarkArts probably aren't particularly remarkable either, considering that the only precaution taken with them is putting them in the restricted section of the [[WizardingSchool Hogwarts]] library instead of the main section. One of these books actually ''screams'' when it's opened.
** The graffitied copy of ''Advanced Potion-Making'' can be considered a homemade TomeOfEldritchLore. It contains various spells and other magical advice on a higher level than the average student should deal with, written into the margins by [[spoiler:Severus Snape]].
** ''Harry Potter'' also contains a number of cursed tomes. Ron warns Harry about books that burn people's eyes out, books that make them speak in limericks for the rest of their lives, and books that you can never, ever stop reading. And those are ''paltry'' compared to [[spoiler:Tom Riddle's diary]], a nigh-indestructible [[SoulJar Horcrux]] containing a LivingMemory of a psychopathic sorcerer (specifically [[spoiler:Voldemort, the series's central villain]]) who can possess you from within the pages.
** ''Secrets of the Darkest Art'' deals with Horcruxes and other perverse magic. Believe it or not, even ''that'' used to be kept in the Hogwarts library (albeit in the restricted section mentioned above, but is that really a deterrent for an aspiring Dark wizard?). It was only removed after a young [[BigBad Voldemort]] started asking teachers about Horcruxes and Dumbledore got suspicious. Hermione also mentions a book called ''Magick Moste Evile'', which apparently does a "ghostly wail" when closed. However, the book only briefly mentions Horcruxes in order to say that [[EvenEvilHasStandards they are so terrible they will not be discussed]].
* Creator/GKChesterton subverted this trope in the Literature/FatherBrown story "The Blast From The Book". [[spoiler:The whole thing is an elaborate practical joke.]]
* Thoroughly [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] and parodied in [[Creator/RobertAntonWilson R.A. Wilson's]] ''The Masks of Illuminati'', where a number of people are apparently mailed copies of a book that after only slightest glance sends them to suicidal mania, after first thoroughly destroying the volume. [[spoiler:As it turns out, the whole thing was elaborately fabricated for the narrator's benefit. The real kicker? The book was ''Mother Goose's Rhymes'' - [[FridgeBrilliance and it had even been subtly foreshadowed earlier in the story!]]]]
* Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian:
** In the story ''Literature/AWitchShallBeBorn'' the title witch did not mind when the magician who raised her drove her off.
--->''I could never endure to seclude myself in a golden tower, and spend the long hours staring into a crystal globe, mumbling over incantations written on serpent's skin in the blood of virgins, poring over musty volumes in forgotten languages.''
%%** This is a common Conan trope.
** Several Conan the Barbarian stories mention "The Book of Skelos", an ancient tome of black magic that contains spells for summoning demons.
* In Valentin Ivashchenko's ''Dancing Flame'':
** The unnamed tome on necromancy, written by the last grand necromancer Yaromor. The book contains pure BlackMagic knowledge and a large fraction of Yaromor's power, granting both to the current user. The power also actively searches for new users every few centuries, although HeroicResolve allows to contain the power without being corrupted. Killing the user grants the world said few centuries of peace, thus forcing a later generation to deal with the next grand necromancer.
** Earl Valle's spellbook. Valle is the most powerful and most studious necromancer to ever live - his spellbook contains a few things generally thought impossible for necromancers by the setting's MutuallyExclusiveMagic. Valle himself was disgusted by the book's contents, so he just destroyed it.
* In Vitalij Zykov's ''Return'' series, this trope takes the form of stone tablets rarely found at relic sites of ancient civilizations. The tablets are covered with text in a language older than any humanoid race, including two elven races. It's only known that the tablets contain magic-related information. The protagonist happens to learn said language by ExpositionBeam, learns one of the spells and casts it in a magical duel. The resulting damage is considered overkill in comparison to magical carpet bombing by dragon squadrons.
* The Codex in ''Literature/TheSecretsOfTheImmortalNicholasFlamel'' series.
* Coriakin's GreatBigBookOfEverything in ''Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia''.
* In ''Strong Spirits'', the protagonist's rival in mediumship, Cockcroft, has acquired a famous necromancer's Tome of Eldritch Lore and wants to summon the author's ghost to help him figure out its cryptic contents. [[spoiler:Subverted when the ghost is finally contacted and admits he was a charlatan who wrote a fraudulent "spellbook" to impress the rubes.]]
* The Darke Index in ''Literature/SeptimusHeap''.
* The grimoire of King Gorice of Witchland in E. R. Eddison's ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros'', used to harness the powers of Hell.
* Creator/NickPerumov's ''Literature/KeeperOfTheSwords'' series has the book ''Of the Essence of Otherbeing'' by Evengar of Sallador, which is a typical example.
* The Book of Salzared in ''Literature/TheBeyonders'', though it only contains a few pages of material explaining the Word that can destroy the Emperor and the first syllable of the Word. And since the author, and source of the leather used to bind it, was a Displacer, it's still alive.
* In ''Literature/{{Pact}}'', the protagonists Blake and Rose Thorburn discover that their departed grandmother was not only a powerful [[TheDarkArts diabolist]], but that she ''wrote'' several dozen such books on the subject of the [[TheLegionsOfHell forces that she trafficked with]], and had left them to her heirs upon her death. The given comparison is suddenly inheriting control of a historically troublesome rogue state with access to nuclear weaponry.
* In the webnovel ''[[Literature/DoNotTakeTheShells DO NOT TAKE THE SHELLS]]'', Jonathan Vaun's bookcase contained several of these. One of them is named "The Ancient Art of Daemonism", and another "A Window into Providence".

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': The Darkhold, one of the classic Marvel tomes, appears in Season 4. Like its comic book counterpart, the book is centuries old and completely indestructible. It is also able to alter its contents according to the skills of the reader, such as changing its text to their first language, and allowing modern-day engineers to create devices far beyond the technology from the book's original time period. It also [[GoMadFromTheRevelation drives readers insane]]. When necessity required ''someone'' to read the book to save Coulson and Fitz from being trapped between dimensions, the android AIDA volunteered since her processing power would withstand the information overload and she could be rebooted if anything went wrong. The book even [[PostmodernMagick changed its text to binary code for her]]. She saved the day, but it appears to have given her [[BecomeARealBoy real emotions]], overwhelming her and sending her off the rails. [[spoiler: Except not, as her seemingly erratic actions were at the order of her creator [[MadScientist Dr. Radcliffe]], who was [[TheCorruption corrupted]] by merely ''glimpsing'' the book's contents.]] In the season finale, it's explained that the Darkhold is able to defy all laws of physics and reality because it's from a different dimension of TheMultiverse.
* The Grimoire in ''Series/BloodTies'' is used several times to summon demons. [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Henry]] has his own copy, "confiscated" from a bunch of Medieval cultists, and uses it to sabotage summoning rituals.
* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Giles had whole ''bookcases'' filled with these. "Xander, don't speak Latin in front of the books."
** He used to keep them in the library of the high school. This was [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] once, with the principal doing a search of the library and questioning whether it was appropriate to have in a high school library filled with tomes instructing on the uses of dark magic - despite being asked during a period of demonic-inspired moral panic against magic, this was actually quite a reasonable question, considering.
*** Notice that Snyder confiscated the books, but [[SnapBack in succeeding episodes Giles has them again]]. Apparently, Snyder returned these books to Giles afterwards, [[FridgeLogic no matter how out of character that might seem]].
*** Or maybe some of Giles' friends and associates...persuaded...Snyder to give them back. Or maybe he made him forget the whole thing, and took them back himself. This IS the guy who [[spoiler:introduced the freaky-cool ninja dude to his wife, in the fake-evil-Angel-to-fool-Faith episode]].
** Giles explained in an early episode that he did it because the students never come into the library. It's the perfect place for a Watcher to put a collection of books so no-one will ever read them.
** Remember that in a previous episode Giles physically threatened Snyder so he would reinstate Buffy. Besides, the books were probably kept by the anti-supernatural mob and would probably return it to him since it was his "personal collection".
** And then at the end of season 6, [[spoiler:Willow]] absorbs all the knowledge from these books and actually does [[spoiler:set off to destroy the world.]]
* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', there is the Grimoire, which is the demon equivalent of the Book of Shadows.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E6Extremis "Extremis"]] features ''The Veritas'', a short book kept in the Vatican's secret library of blasphemy, the contents of which cause everyone who reads it to [[DrivenToSuicide kill themselves]]. Why? [[spoiler:Because it reveals the "world" is a computer simulation created by hostile aliens as preparation for their planned invasion of Earth, and thus no one in it is real.]]
* The Book of Changes from ''Series/GhostWhisperer''.
* ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'' had the Galaxy Book. Tellingly, our heroes found it answering a DistressCall from a ship whose crew had been wiped out be an unnamed monster. It might not be inherently evil, but it has the power to open a portal to the titular Lost Galaxy, a pocket dimension full of deadly space pirates. It also contains the history and location of other creatures and weapons that are nearly as dangerous.
* The Book of Forbidden Knowledge in ''Series/ShoeboxZoo''. Its dark magic and science corrupts those around it.
* ''Series/SleepyHollow'': Season 1, Episode 4, revolves around the heroes stopping a group of [[AncientConspiracy Hessians]] from retrieving the ''Lesser Key of Solomon'' an ancient text capable of opening a [[HellGate portal to Hell]] and unleashing the 72 demons [[SealedEvilInACan sealed]] there by King Solomon.
** Several episodes near the end of Season 2 involve the ''Grand Grimoire'', a collection of extremely powerful dark magic gathered by John Dee (notably, not to be used, but so he could better understand and combat it). Among other things, it can open [[TimeTravel portals into the past]], or [[spoiler: awaken latent magical powers in otherwise normal people.]]
* The finale of ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', of all series, featured one of these. The fact that its pages remained blank until splattered with the blood of a murdered man really should have been a hint that the ritual it was going to be used for was not a good idea.
* The Book of Pure Evil from ''Series/ToddAndTheBookOfPureEvil''.

* As one would expect, ''VideoGame/{{Necronomicon}}'' is centered on the famous tome from the CthulhuMythos.

* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'' has a story arc about the library of Jurgen Leitner, which consisted of particularly nasty examples of this trope. The mention of his name in a statement is enough to make the usually-sceptical archivist immediately believe every word of the subject's story.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has had countless numbers of these over the years and editions. If one is of a magical turn of thought, caution should be taken when putting pen to paper.
** The most notable and persistent of these tomes is the ''Book of Vile Darkness'', which is so evil that reading it can damage a good person's mind, and will exist AsLongAsThereIsEvil. (The publishers of the game actually produced a sourcebook on evil by this name later on.) The original edition of D&D actually had separate versions of this text for priests and wizards, with the ''Book of Vile Darkness'' being the priestly version and the ''Libram of Ineffable Damnation'' the wizardly version. A few {{inversion}}s also exist: the ''Book of Exalted Deeds'', a book of pure ''goodness'', also {{Defictionalized}} (and the ''Libram of Gainful Conjuration'', its wizardly cousin), and the ''Libram of Silver Magic'', which can only be read if you don't side with either good or evil.
** All of which are mere cheap knockoffs of the REAL badass book of AD&D, The Codex of the Infinite Planes. How bad is it? For starters, it's the size of a small room. Also, it has infinite pages, literally. ''Just opening it can reduce you to a small pile of ashes.'' If you aren't killed, you can use the book to achieve near-perfect power over reality... but if you ever stooge one of the spells within, they'll never find your corpse (assuming you leave one). Legend says that in the ''Dictionary of Pain'', the entry for the Codex of the Infinite Planes appears between the sharp sting of discovery and the salted wounds of failure.
** The Tome of the Stilled Tongue, sacred to Vecna, deserves its own mention. This is the kind of book which a) can only be safely used by those worshipping an evil lich-god of scheming and dark magic and b) comes with a free ''human tongue'' nailed to the front as an example of why you shouldn't blab the secrets of the Maimed God.
** A few non-magical tomes of lore have achieved prominence in ''D&D'', including the ''Black Scrolls of Ahm'' and the notorious ''Demonomicon of Iggwilv''.
** Another is the ''Codex of Betrayal'', which is a collection of four books, each with several dozen chapters, totaling multiple thousands of pages, written by the last follower of the God that was murdered and over thrown by [[{{Satan}} Asmodeus]]. It chronicles the history of the god, the war in heaven, and the creation of devils, serving a similar function for devils as the ''Demonomicon of Iggwilv'' serves for their ChaoticEvil adversaries.
** The Book of Keeping is not truly a magical tome, but still a ''dangerous'' one. This book contains information on summoning powerful yugoloths, even giving the true names of a few of them. No-one knows who wrote it - given that he would likely be the yugoloths' most hated enemy, he may no longer be alive. At least four copies of the Book exist, although some say as many as seven, and their owners tend to change frequently.
** In the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' setting, one of the most powerful (if not ''the'' most powerful) artifact are The Nether Scrolls, 2 sets of 50 scrolls made of gold or platinum sheets. They are completely harmless by themselves, but they contain near-limitless amount of magical knowledge; No matter how many times the scrolls have been perused, there is always new information to be gained. In fact, the Netherese grew to be the most dominant magical empire ever known simply by the power of this artifact.
** The Cyrinishad is a book written by the [[GodOfEvil god Cyric]], full of craps explaining how Cyric is the most awesome god ever and why you should worship him. Once you start, you can't stop voluntarily and you will become a devout worshiper of Cyric. That and alone isn't that dangerous by itself... except for the fact that it's potent enough to ''brainwash deities'' as easily as mortals. One of the reasons Cyric was a MadGod for a long time was because he read the book himself immediately after he finished writing it.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'' has numerous examples, but the most infamous might be ''The Broken-Winged Crane''. How bad is it? It isn't even ''written'' yet; all the copies that exist are reverse engineered from the perfect version that comes into existence the day the world ends.[[note]]It should be noted that time travel is explicitly impossible in the ''Exalted'' setting. This has not stopped the imperfect copies from appearing well before the book is written.[[/note]] And seeing as the only canon character to have read the book is implied to have been abducted and {{mind rape}}d by archdemons, there's a very good chance the book ''causes'' it.
* As befits its tone, ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'' has a few of these tucked away in its pages and pages of {{Splat}}books. The most "Eldritch Lore-y", though, would be the Whateley Family Bible, which--in addition to having the Family Tr...Shrub (don't ask) in the front pages--contains margin notes on how to perform all manner of dark arts. The irony of profaning a [[Literature/TheBible Holy Bible]] is not lost on the [[InTheBlood misanthropic family]]. PlayerCharacter Whateleys, while assumed to be a moral cut above their NPC brethren (and cousins and uncles, some of which are the same people), can get a "pocket sized" version, which contains less forbidden lore and can cause [[BrownNote panic in anyone attempting to translate it]]...whether they succeed or not!
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' has numerous books called grimoires, where a mage inscribes all their knowledge of a spell (literally; it leaves their mind forever) so that others can learn it more easily. Needless to say, some grimoires are less than wholesome, including: the book of the life of an Atlantean prophet that turns those who study it enough into a psychic clone of said prophet; a bestiary on [[EldritchAbomination Abyssal beings]] that leads the mage who reads it enough to believe that he's uncovered an important secret and that all his friends have turned on him; and the book that contains both normal spells and spells that draw upon the Abyss but doesn't tell you which are which. ''Grimoire of Grimoires'' is an entire sourcebook dedicated to these.
** The worst of these are ''The Final Spell Of Eli Ben-Menachem'', ''The Invisible Codex'', ''The Tome of Power'', and ''The Prince of 100,000 Leaves''. The first is a seemingly-sentient spell that teaches you how to summon reversed forms of [[EnemyWithin Goetia]] symbolizing reversed Virtues into your enemies' minds, which are actually [[EldritchAbomination Abyssal entities]] who ''[[EnemyWithout will]]'' [[EvilTwin escape]]. The second ''is'' an [[EldritchAbomination Abyssal creature]] in the form of a Tome of Eldritch Lore, which actually takes that form to lure power-hungry mages so it can eat their souls. The third is also a gulmoth, but the [[DealWithTheDevil tempting devil]] to the ''Codex's'' HoneyTrap, teaching its readers inherently [[BlackMagic Abyss-tainted]] versions of incredibly destructive magic designed specifically for them to have talent with, and when the mage is fully corrupted summons a different gulmoth to [[EvilMentor continue their education]]. The last is the [[SoulJar heart]] of an [[GeniusLoci Annunaki]], one of the living alternate universes that compose the Abyss, that takes the form of 100,000 pages detailing a twisted alternate history for the world, which will then proceed to become real-- the catch is that it's not fully written or put together.
** Interesting subversion: The ''Ialdabaoth Codex'', besides being [[TheUnpronounceable incredibly hard to spell]], ''seems'' like it at first, being an Abyssal bestiary that gradually drives its readers to paranoia and the summoning of its contents... except that's the precise ''opposite'' of the book's intended function. It's actually a ''[[SealedEvilInACan prison]]'' for the various {{Eldritch Abomination}}s it describes (it scours the mind of its new prisoners and writes an entry based on its findings), and the madness is the result of them trying to get out. The writers of the book were actually pretty nice people, and a story hook presented involves reconstructing their [[PrestigeClass Legacy]].
** Not ''quite'' as bad as the others, but still quite thoroughly horrid, is the Hildebrandt Recording, a recording of a seance that contacted an entity of the Abyss. The disc is sometimes described as feeling tacky and unclean, the spells it can teach are profoundly disturbing at best, it brings misfortune to its holders, is actively sought out by profoundly vile individuals (whom it seems to actively influence), and on top of everything else, it ''should not exist.'' Hildebrandt should not have been able to even contact the entity, his equipment should not have been able to record its sounds, and for the recording to become a grimoire is just not possible, explicitly stated as such. It violates [[EldritchAbomination every principle of reality]] just by existing.
* ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''
** While most of them don't literally involve books (and conversely not all book-related cards in the game suffer from this, either), the game features its share of cards that play on the 'forbidden knowledge' theme by providing access to additional cards for a modest sacrifice in life points or cards already in hand or in play.
** [[http://magiccards.info/query?q=geth%27s+grimoire&v=card&s=cname Geth's Grimoire]] deserves a mention for both being a book of evil knowledge (in this card's setting Geth is a powerful Black-aligned character,) and for [[AndIMustScream housing a conscious spirit that is in constant torturous agony due to said evil knowledge]]. The flavor text states that save for when the book is opened and presumably being read, the book is always shrieking, and mechanically the card activates off of an opponent discarding, which Black [[MindRape can force on others]].
** With the release of the ''Innistrad'' set, based on gothic horror, it has an archetypal example: [[http://magiccards.info/isd/en/226.html Grimoire of the Dead]], whose playtest name was, in fact, "Necronomicon".
* These are one of the types of artifacts that can be found throughout the galaxy in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. They often draw the attention of treasure hunters, Inquisitors ([[KnightTemplar puritanical]] and [[WellIntentionedExtremist radical]]), and military forces trying to seize control of these artifacts for good or ill, and it's conceivable, even probable that battles or even wars broke out for control of these. However, it's more often that covert operatives are used to avoid drawing too much attention when someone makes a grab for one.
** One of the most notable books is the Book Of Lorgar, penned by the [[PredecessorVillain Primarch Lorgar]] when he turned to Chaos and started laying the groundwork for the Literature/HorusHeresy, the Imperium's first and largest civil war. It's essentially a Bible of Evil, though it's implied to hold quite a bit of practical information, particularly on daemonology.
** Another of the most notable books is the Book of Magnus, penned by Lorgar's brother, the Primarch Magnus. Where Lorgar was a preacher, Magnus was a scholar and a wizard, so the Book of Magnus is a compendium of knowledge of Chaos, psychic mechanics, and sorcery.
** Then in true 40k fashion, it goes [[UpTo11 overboard]] with the Black Library: an entire extradimensional stronghold full of forbidden lore, guarded by [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot space elf ninja clowns]] who worship a god that managed to trick other gods into '''eating each other'''. Named the Laughing God of course.
* ''[[TabletopGame/{{GURPS}} Pyramid]]'' magazine had an article detailing ''Clay Bricks'' of Eldritch Lore which fit pretty much every aspect of this trope (unreadable, evil, drive you crazy) except that they're not actually books (being from before bound books were invented, or from cultures that never did).
* The ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' {{RPG}} has the typical Lovecraft library from the original stories, and a few additions of its own. And by ''a few additions'' we mean an entire sourcebook filled with half to two page descriptions of books both taken from other Mythos sources and invented outright. The major works generally include an ApocalypticLog hinting at what has happened to characters who came into contact with the book, a history of the book and the explicit effects both skimming and reading it have. Guess what the sourcebook is called...
* ''TabletopGame/CthulhuTech''
** The game has a Tome of Eldritch Lore that was used to develop the setting's {{Magitek}}, [[BrownNote but all the scientists that worked on the project were driven stark raving mad]]. There is one subversion though, ''The Ta’ge Fragments'', which actually brought those who read it back to sense, realizing that bringing {{Eldritch Abomination}}s back to Earth wasn't such a good idea. And they made a HeelFaceTurn.
** The WorldGovernment actually produces and distributes copies of these in the black market. Why? [[GenreSavvy Because the ones they do are mostly neutered and have the really bad stuff in them taken out. By selling the neutered copies anyone stupid/insane enough to muck around with said tomes would first find those versions and stop looking.]] When someone finds a non-neutered copy or [[ThisIsGoingToSuck an original copy with things that even the later edition didn't dare put in.]]
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse''
** The game has the Chronicle of the Black Labyrinth which was written by an [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment insane Black Spiral Dancer Kinfolk]] describing the lore of the Wyrm. Reading it slowly corrupts the reader to the power of the Wyrm.
** An expansion book, ''Warriors of the Apocalypse'', includes a Bane character named Tsannik. His human host summoned him using an ill-gotten book of sorcery.
* Appropriately, the Necronomicon features as a usable (by [[BadassBookworm Professors]] only) item in the TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}} expansion "Munchkin Cthulhu." As do Necronomicon parodies like the Necro''comic''on, the Necro''nookie''con and the Necro''telecom''.
* ''TabletopGame/WarhammerFantasy''
** The game has the Nine Books Of Nagash the Necromancer. The originals were destroyed but there are some copies still lying around.
** Games Workshop also released a book called Liber Chaotica (the Book of Chaos), a guide to all things Chaotic in the the Warhammer world, with occasional referances to Warhammer 40k. As a different take on this trope, the writer was not trying to support Chaos, but was ordered by the [[ChurchMilitant Cult of Sigmar]] to compile it to help fight Chaos. Naturally the study of such subjects [[GoMadFromTheRevelation has a less than stellar effect on his mental health.]]
** The Black Book of Ibn Naggazar in Storm of Magic games is such a powerful repository of dark magic that its bearer will become the most talented Death and Shadow mage on the field, capable of turning two power dice into an apocalyptic display...but at the same time, it eats ''a lot'' of the people around him and will eat him too if he doesn't keep it fed. [[WeHaveReserves It's very popular with Necromancers, Skaven mages and goblins.]]
* ''TabletopGame/ArkhamHorror'', being CthulhuMythos TheBoardGame, features the usual library of eldritch tomes such as ''Unaussprechlichen Kulten'' or ''Literature/TheKingInYellow''. You generally burn movement points to read the tome, make a Lore check, and gain spells, skills, or some other benefit at the cost of sanity.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Earthdawn}}''
** Any book about the [[EldritchAbomination Horrors]] can potentially have bad effects on the person who reads it (including the ''[[{{Defictionalization}} Horrors]]'' source book), but probably the straightest example of a Tome of Eldritch Lore is the Book of Scales. According to legend, a group of powerful Horrors captured a dragon and forced it to write a history of the Horrors, using the dragon's own scales as pages and its own blood as ink. The dragon then scattered the scales as far apart as possible to minimize the damage. The Book of Scales allegedly contains valuable information that can be used to battle the Horror, but is so tainted that carrying around a single scale (not even reading it, mind you, just carrying it) will eventually drive a person mad.
** The BackStory mentions the six Books of Harrow, which tell of the existence and powers of the Horrors. The first man to study them was found dying after ripping out his own eyes and holding them in the fire. Thus far, only one was fully translated; perhaps coincidentally, the Scouring happened a few hundred years later.
* A flavor text in the ''TabletopGame/{{Nobilis}}'' Third Edition rulebook says that [[FictionalDocument A Philosophy of Treason]], a book detailing the case for serving the Excrucians, has many fake copies that will remove the eyes of any who read and fill their eye sockets with worms. Oh, and the genuine article is almost as bad.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** The eponymous Elder Scrolls themselves:
*** The Scrolls combine this with being TomesOfProphecyAndFate. Referred to as "Fragments of Creation," the Scrolls are of unknown origin and number which simultaneously record past, present, and future events irrefutably; what did happen, what could have happened, what might yet happen. [[MindScrew Even the falsehoods in them are true]]. (''Especially'' the falsehoods, as is pointed out several times in the series.) To the untrained eye, the Scrolls will yield an odd chart that looks like it has constellations on it with odd glyphs printed over or under it. A knowledgeable reader will be able to interpret the Scrolls to a degree, but incompletely, and will be irrevocably struck blind. A well-trained reader, such as a member of the Cult of the Ancestor Moth, will glean much more from the Scroll and will even recover their eyesight... for a finite number of times before their sight is permanently lost. In all of these cases, reading the Scrolls tends to lead to madness for the user. Even those who merely ''study'' the Scrolls, never actually using or even handling them, are [[GoMadFromTheRevelation driven to complete madness]] with alarming regularity.
*** The power of the Elder Scrolls is so great, their truths so irrefutable, that not even the machinations of a [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] can overcome them; that's how [[spoiler: the curse on the Gray Cowl of Nocturnal is broken]] in the ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'' ThievesGuild questline. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'', you get to read one yourself to [[spoiler:gain knowledge of a [[MakeMeWannaShout Thu'um shout]] lost to time; it turns out you don't read the scroll, you see events happen as if the scroll was a window to another (possibly alternate) time]]. Trying to read the scroll outside of the [[RealityIsOutToLunch Time-Wound]] temporarily robs you of vision — and the reason you only suffer that much is because you have the soul of a being that exists partially outside of time, not unlike the Elder Scroll itself. Even the [[DragonsAreDivine dragons]] like Paarthurnax and [[BigBad Alduin]] himself fear the Elder Scrolls' power. Turns out that they don't just reveal events, they can [[RealityWarper alter reality]] as well; with no recourse left, the ancient Nordic heroes who faced Alduin invoked the power of an Elder Scroll to "cast Alduin out of time", postponing his reckoning until the age where ''Skyrim'' (the game, not the province) takes place. The residue from that event created the Time-Wound, mentioned above.
*** As seen in ''Skyrim'', the glyphs on the Elder Scrolls match closely to those seen on the Eye of Magnus, an [[ArtifactOfDoom artifact of great and mysterious power]] connected to Magnus, the god of magic and "architect" of Mundus. This has led to the theory that the scrolls are related to that event (and their alternative name, "Fragments of Creation", further lends credence).
*** In ''Skyrim'''s ''Dawnguard'' DLC [[spoiler: you undergo the same ritual Moth Priests go through to be able to read an Elder Scroll after the Moth Priest you rescued goes blind after reading one without the necessary precautions. After reading the Scroll you are none the worse for wear, likely because as the Dragonborn, your [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Aedric]] [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]] protected you from the normal side-effects]].
** The Mysterium Xarxes, an artifact of [[OmnicidalManiac Mehrunes Dagon]], the Daedric Prince of [[PersonOfMassDestruction Destruction]]. The ''Oblivion'' script notes actually call for Martin, the most knowledgeable major character on the subject, to react as if given "a handful of glowing plutonium" when he receives the Xarxes. It's just that sort of book.
** The Oghma Infinium, which translates to "infinite wisdom" in [[ClassicalTongue Old Aldmeris]], is bound in humanoid skin and is an artifact of [[EldritchAbomination Hermaeus Mora]], the Daedric Prince of Knowledge (with a particular specialty in [[TheseAreThingsManWasNotMeantToKnow Eldritch]] knowledge).
** ''Skyrim'''s ''Dragonborn'' DLC introduces the Black Books, which are more or less the Oghma Infinium's little brothers. Reading them teleports you to Apocrypha, the Daedric Plane of Hermaeus Mora, via black tentacles that come out of the book in search of a new power. Like many of the other examples here, it drives most mortals insane. The Dragonborn, however, gains power in the form of spell buffs, shout buffs, and skill increases.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has the Krivbeknih and some other unnamed tome, part of a ShoutOut side quest in both the Point Lookout expansion and the original game, respectively.
* ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'' centers around one such tome, called ''The Tome of Eternal Darkness''. Crafted from human skin and bones, it does pretty much all the things mentioned above - summons the hordes of hell, allows the use of FunctionalMagic by employing InstantRunes - all of which you'll need to figure out how to prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. And maybe, just maybe, get away with [[ThroughTheEyesOfMadness your sanity intact]]...
* A couple of optional quests in ''VideoGame/FableII'' have the Normanomicon, the book of the extremely dead. Said quest is a touch underwhelming, as it mostly involves getting the book back from a bunch of undead mooks two bumbling brothers (Max and Sam) have accidentally summoned.
** The book returns in ''VideoGame/FableIII'' with a more interesting quest line, which involves getting the book for the ''ghosts'' of the two brothers from the last game, and one of them going mad with power.
* The ''Gran Grimoire'' in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'''s Ivalice Alliance miniseries. In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'', it's a magickal tome that transforms the sleepy town of St. Ivalice into the actual Ivalice. In ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'', it's not a book per se -- every stone in the city of Leá Monde is inscribed with ancient Kildean runes, turning the city into the ultimate codex of magick.
* ''VideoGame/GoldenSun'' has the "Tomegathericon" an item which allows the party member who equips it to take the "Dark Mage" classes, and grants powers such as attacking with hellfire, summoning demons and raising zombies. Curiously, the tome is given to the party by a benevolent animistic deity, who asks that they safeguard it until the witch doctor of the tribe that worships the deity has matured enough to be worthy of receiving it (witch doctor also being a benevolent role, when not occupied by an irresponsible teenage apprentice). [[ShoutOut Note that it was actually called Necronomicon in Japanese.]]
** Its English name is also a ShoutOut, and [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast pretty ominous in its own right]]; "To Mega Therion" is the [[BilingualBonus Greek name]] of The Beast in the [[Literature/TheBible Book of Revelations]].
* The various magical tomes from ''VideoGame/GrimGrimoire''. With every new GroundhogDayLoop cycle Lillet goes through, they become even more powerful, until she's capable of summoning dragons, golems, and arch-demons.
* ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' has the Emigre Manuscript, a book so evil that it even has skull-shaped pages. Its main selling point is that it contains instructions on how to bring someone BackFromTheDead, something attempted in all four games of the series. Unfortunately, most attempts end up as grotesque {{Eldritch Abomination}}s.
** The Pulse Tract and R'lyeh Text count even more so. The Pulse Tract incarnates a god form the soul of the earth, one which very nearly destroyed all of Shanghai and subjected the our hero to [[MindRape The Mother of All Mind Rapes]]. The [[ShoutOut R'lyeh]] [[DoesthisRemindYouOfAnything Text]] however, besides being named after a certain undead city, 'summons a god form beyond the stars' which was described as being as far above humanity as humanity is above insects. Eldritch indeed.
* ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' has the Dark Prognosticus. The game's intro states that "The book held frightful secrets not meant for people's eyes." Later in the game, it's discovered that [[spoiler:Lord Blumiere was reborn as NietzscheWannabe Count Bleck]] upon first opening the book.
** There's a reason nobody was supposed to look at it: opening the book sets in motion [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt The End Of The Multiverse As We Know It]], and makes you continue flipping pages until all worlds end.
*** The Dark Prognosticus is said to know everything that has happened or will happen, with the end of the world fittingly being recorded at the end of the book. According to lore, wars have even been fought over the book, [[ShaggyDogStory only to realize]] [[TheTapeKnewYouWouldSayThat the book had said wars documented already]].
** Another book, the Light Prognosticus, was written later. Unlike its darker cousin, this one predicts Mario & Co. stopping the end of everything.
** To a minor degree, the Ghost's Diary in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor''. The book itself will not kill you for opening it, but his owner asks you to not read it. And if you do read it, he ''will'' know immediately. And he will ''not'' [[NonstandardGameOver be happy about it]].
* ''[[Manga/TouhouSuzunaanForbiddenScrollery Forbidden Scrollery]]'' of the VideoGame/{{Touhou}} series is entirely about these books; it's even in the title. Kosuzu Motoori is a human bookseller and lender who collects them and has the magical ability to read them. Most of the relevant ones have youkai sealed inside. Or give birth to youkai by making you think about them. Or are youkai themselves, in book form.
** Also, the Grimoire of Alice, which is always sealed up. The one time Alice used the book, she jumped from a 3rd stage boss into a BonusBoss. However, she hasn't used it since then.
* Books of dark magic and eldritch lore appear in VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} games. Notable ones include the ''Book of Medivh'', which was used to summon the demon lord Archimonde, the ''Compendium of Shadows'', and ''Lexicanum Demonica'', which is said to contain the name of every demon in existance.
* The Book of Condemnation in ''VideoGame/SuikodenV'' and Alhazred, the recruitable character who is looking for it.
* In ''Shadow of the Comet'', the player gets to read a few pages of the Necronomicon, although he's been warned that it would drive him crazy. (he can't move forwards in the plot without doing so) Apparently, it's safe to read it as long as you don't take it away from the room it was stored in.
* "Fragments of the Book of Abdul" and "De Vermis Mysteriis" in the original ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark1992''. The first one hurts Carnby, the latter is instant death, unless [[spoiler:you stand in the pentagram to read it]].
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' has the Cookbook of the Damned, for Pastamancers to conjure infernal pastas directly from Hey Deze. The Necrotelicomnicon is also there ([[ShoutOut also known in Latin as the Liber Paginum Fulvarum]].)
-->"Legend has it that the mad Arab Al Aksandir Garambel wrote it after he was driven insane by his very first summoning, a terrifying entity known only as Wa'tz'ynn."
* In the ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' RPG, all the books are present, from The Book of Eibon to The Necronomicon. Books will give you knowledge of the occult, but also cause permanent Sanity loss.
* In the Lovecraftian-style InteractiveFiction game ''Videogame/{{Anchorhead}}'', there are (appropriately) several evil artifacts, including a Tome of Eldritch Lore. Tip for players: ''don't read it.''
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfPhantasia'', the summoner Claus main weapons are books, including the Necronomicon, Liber Ivonis, Requiem (for Shaggai), The King in Yellow, Celaeno fragments, and pretty much any other fictional grimoire from the CthulhuMythos. The GBA version has alternative spellings (or poor translations) of said books. Also, these books apparently weigh a ton, since Claus can use them to smack around monsters.
* In ''[[VideoGame/SaGa3 Final Fantasy Legend III]]'' the wizard Shar can use the Tablet to free the people of Pureland from the Master's power. Since the whole game is a ShoutOut to the Cthulu Mythos, it's most likely the Necronomicon. In the original Japanese it's a "Goblin corpse".
* In a nod to the ''D&D'' examples listed above, ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' has a book called the ''Grimoire of Pestilential Thought''. Not only will it offer to teach spells in exchange for the main character doing increasingly awful deeds, it can also offer 'advice' which has a very good chance of making the main character more evil just from hearing it.
* The ''FireEmblem'' series has a few of these-- in fact there's an entire school of magic that is dedicated to using the magic in these kind of tomes, the aptly named "Dark" magic (Although, because DarkIsNotEvil, but many think it is, some good dark-wielders call it "Elder magic".) Effects from delving deep into the dark arts often includes insanity and corruption-- whereas the spells themselves are known for having interesting effects such as; Stealing one's life force (Nosferatu), Summoning a horde of voracious insects (Swarm), Exposing someone's soul to the torment of hell ([[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Hell]]), making someone [[PinkMist explode in a shower of blood]] (Balberith)... but the most true to the form of this trope would be the tome of Loptyr in ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar Genealogy of the Holy War]]''-- a book containing the power of a [[ChildEater Child-Eating]] Dark God. Upon reading it, [[FinalBoss Prince Julius]] went completely insane, murdered his mother (he tried to kill his [[TheCutie adorable]] [[MysteriousWaif sister]] too, but she was warped away before he could)... its effect: Halving the stats of anyone who challenges the wielder, unless said opponent is wielding the tome's opposite number, [[GameBreaker Naga]])
* ''VideoGame/JetsNGuns Gold Edition'' features the Necrofilicon, a book with such horrible grammar, reading any part of it out loud will awaken the dead in the immediate area.
* Although ''VideoGame/{{Castlevania 64}}'' and it's remake, ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaLegacyOfDarkness Legacy of Darkness]]'', have the Necronomicon as their Main Menus, the book itself does not appear in either game.
* The "CTHULHU discs" in ''TwilightHeroes'' serve this function in the digital age.
* Loosely based on CthulhuMythos, several tomes are appear in ''VisualNovel/{{Demonbane}}''. In unusual fashion, the original copy of each grimoire [[MoeAnthropomorphism appear as a young girl]] instead of a book (and Necronomicon is the heroine nonetheless).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Persona 2}}'', the In-Laqetti. Somewhat deconstructed in which the entire thing's a sham-but the rumors sparked by its release aren't, which jibe with [[CityOfAdventure Sumaru City's]] powers to bring all of them into reality.
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIIINocturne'', the Scripture of Miroku. It details how to end the world and bring a new one into reality.
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' puts a twist on this trope: The Black Samurai hands out "Literature" that enriches people with knowledge beyond what exists in the Eastern Kingdom of Mikado, but also drives them insane, turning them into demons. [[spoiler:It's ''modern Japanese literature'', and the transformation is the result of them [[GoMadFromTheRevelation going mad from realizing there is a better life outside of their kingdom]].]]
* The Gozerian Codex in ''VideoGame/GhostbustersTheVideoGame'' is one of these. The boss of the area uses four copies of it.
* The events of ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaHarmonyOfDespair'' take place in the Grimoire, a book chronicaling the collective history of the namesake dwelling of Dracula.
* In the Mage Towers level of ''[[VideoGame/{{Thief}} Thief: The Dark Project]]'', some documents mention a rogue necromancer's attempt to locate the dreaded "Book of Ash". As it turns out, [[spoiler: this book can in fact be found in the sequel. From what the player can see it contains rituals in Lovecraft-speak, and has a rather nasty fate in store for anyone who reads it.]]
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' has three: the Grand Grimoire, the Necronomicon, and the Book of Annihilations, all of which can do nasty stuff to inexperienced casters if they try to read them.
* The eponymous Book of Shadows in the second ''VideoGame/CorpseParty'' game. May or may not be sentient.
* ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying'': What started the curse.
* In ''VideoGame/AWitchsTale'', Liddell wanted to find a powerful spellbook to become a great witch. She found the spell, but also unsealed the Eld Witch.
* ''VideoGame/TheSecretWorld'': Blood-based magic attacks use a book as a focus, so it's apparent that these tomes are not normal. Especially the ones from hell that looks like Cthulhu fucked a book.
* ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' has multiple that appear in library rooms:
** The [[StatusBuff damage boosting]] Book of Belial which increases the chance of a DealWithTheDevil,
** The [[WhiteMagic Book of Revelations]], which gives you a soul heart and forces a Horseman of the Apocalypse to fight you instead of a normal floor boss,
** The [[OneHitPolyKill Necronomicon]], which kills all the enemies in the room.
** The [[HomingProjectile Telepathy for Dummies]], which gives you homing shots for a room.
** The [[InvincibilityPowerup Book of Shadows]], which grants 5 seconds of invincibility.
** And in ''[[UpdatedRerelease Rebirth]]'', [[YouHaveResearchedBreathing How to Jump]] makes an appearance.
* In the [[UpdatedRerelease Final Mix]] version of ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'', Sora and Co. discover a book in the Underworld titled "Absent Silhouettes". Said book is also [[PowerFloats floating in midair]], [[SigilSpam decorated with the Nobodies' symbol]] and [[ObviouslyEvil surrounded by an aura of dark energy]]. [[spoiler: Subverted once you examine it, though; it's actually not a book, but [[BonusBoss Zexion's Absent Silhouette]], taking the form of [[ThrowTheBookAtThem his weapon]].]]
* The Codex Umbra utilized by Maxwell in ''VideoGame/DontStarve''. It can summon shadows of various sorts. In-game, it creates a doppelganger of Maxwell to work alongside him, at the cost of sanity and some Nightmare Fuel. In the backstory, however, its consequences are far more dire...
* ''VideoGame/DarkSoulsIII'': A few of these pop up among the spellbooks you can find for your teachers to interpret. The Deep Divine Tome and the Londor Divine Tome both terrify Irina of Carim; she'll reluctantly interpret them for you if you ask, but if you do, she'll eventually be corrupted to the point that she can't even interact with you anymore, constantly talking about "little creatures that never stop biting in the darkness". Cornyx of the Great Swamp will outright refuse to touch the Grave Warden Pyromancy Tome, recognizing its inherent darkness. Karla will interpret any of the dark tomes for you with no negative consequences (she's already heavily associated with darkness), though she ''really'' doesn't like looking at Divine Tomes, dark or not.
** For bonus points, Karla is a [[HumanoidAbomination Child Of Dark]] [[TheRemnant whose day has come and gone]]; she can provide a non-sanity-destroying translation because [[DidYouJustHaveTeaWithCthulhu horrific truths about the cosmos are her bread and butter]].
* ''The Book of Claws'' from ''TheyBleedPixels'' constantly drips blood and causes the main character to have nightmares where the game takes place. At the end of the game we see [[spoiler:that the school library is full of them.]]
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' has a couple of examples that develop during world generation. Slabs containing the [[IKnowYourTrueName true name]] of a demon, or slabs containing the secrets of [[{{Necromancy}} life and death]] can be created by deities, and the art of necromancy can spread further by being copied into books.
* [[http://weatherfactory.biz/cs/main_ui.html Cultist Simulator]] has ''The Locksmith's Dream'' and ''History of the War of the Roads (Censored Edition)''. The latter deals with a pact formed by one History's England with the Forge of Days; the former, with the thirty [[EldritchAbomination Hours]], and the author [[GoMadFromTheRevelation goes mad from the revelation]] before finishing. You can also create your own in the form of the Atlas of Dreams, based on sanity-searing nocturnal explorations of the [[EldritchLocation Mansus]] where the Hours dwell.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The Necronomicon was parodied in the {{webcomics}} ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' and ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'' with the Necrowombicon, with Penny's wombat logo on its cover.
* ''Webcomic/UserFriendly'' mentions a Necronomicon in one strip, but it turns out it's just [[strike:Cthulhu's resume]] a speaking engagement contract for Cthulhu.
* The {{webcomic}} ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'' has ''Crank Theories Of Robotics'', one of a number of books which can infect susceptible persons with ScienceRelatedMemeticDisorder, essentially an idea-disease that turns you into a MadScientist.
* The plot of the webcomic ''Webcomic/ZebraGirl'' starts with one of these.
* Played straight in the Lovecraftian DieselPunk webcomic ''[[http://strangeaeons.comicdish.com Even Death May Die!]]'' Here the actual Necronomicon is the MacGuffin for the Nazi villains and PulpMagazine-styled heroes.
* Parodied in [[http://www.pbfcomics.com/130/ this]] ''Webcomic/PerryBibleFellowship'' strip.
* The Book of E-Ville in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', which is hinted to have power and backstory far more significant than its cutesy title suggests.
* ''Webcomic/TheCallOfWhatever'' took a humorous approach to the Necronomicon.
* ''Thingpart'': [[http://www.jsayers.com/thingpart/thingpart117.html "Profound Impact."]]
* The Datasphere of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''. What else it can do is a little vague (BM looked into it once as RM mentioned "knockers" and apparently the experience was "very soft"), but when Red Mage took a long look at it without interruption, he gained the knowledge of how to destroy anything that could ever exist. [[spoiler:Sarda powered on the four orbs]] apparently ''couldn't'' exist, so what appeared to be a masterful {{plan}} turned into a BatmanGambit that nearly ended the world. Only a nine-year-old brick joke saved the world from [[spoiler:Chaos]].
* Rose from ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' has the "Grimoire for summoning the [[EldritchAbomination zoologically dubious]]".
** She refused to use it as her WeaponOfChoice because it sounded like a bad idea. [[http://mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=002197 However,]] that didn't prevent her from using it in alchemy to make the [[ArtifactOfDoom Thorns of Oglogoth]], which she does use as weapons even though no sane person should.
* ''Webcomic/DorkTower'' [[http://www.dorktower.com/2006/06/23/comics-archive-799/ lovecraft is]]
* Tomey[[spoiler: Malevolum]], Fuchsia's gift to Criminy in ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', can be considered both this and BooksThatBite.
** [[http://www.sinfest.net/view.php?date=2006-10-01 And Lil' Evil has both the Necronomicon and the Origin of Species.]]
* The Necronomicon in ''Webcomic/CthulhuSlippers'' knows the email addresses of every EldritchAbomination working at [[MegaCorp Cthulhu Corp]].
* ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'' had the Necrotelenomicon in one arc, a book made from its author that was apparently like a phone book of the Immaterium. A cult was attempting to use it to resurrect their god, but they couldn't translate it and even attempting to read it made their eyes bleed. Virus and Rogue retrieved it from them by allowing them to scan some pages and run them through an online translator, reasoning that whatever it spat out would be completely useless.
* Meta-example: ''Webcomic/BookOfLies'' is a collection of short horror stories. The comic itself is meant to be the Tome.
* ''Webcomic/AwfulHospital'': Ms. Green ends up buying one of these at a store in a village of bacteria. It's chained up.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Necronomicon and ''The King in Yellow'' exist in the Literature/WhateleyUniverse, as does The First Book of the Kellith. Unfortunately for the future of said universe, that particular book was actually published as a horror novel, and it was a best seller.
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP-140]] is a particularly dangerous RealityWritingBook which probably fits here.
* ''WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall'' has the Absent Grimoire, which told of several [[EldritchAbomination outer gods]] such as the Entity and the King of Worms.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The first Franchise/CareBears movie has a book that might have been considered an plain old spellbook, were it not for the fact that it [[SealedEvilInACan also contains]] the ''[[NightmareFuel head of a malevolent spirit]]'' that coaxes its owner to cast more and more evil spells.
* Subverted in an ''WesternAnimation/EarthwormJim'' episode "The Book of Doom", in which the "most evil book in the universe" is revealed to be Fuzzy Wuzzy's Funny Animal Pop-Up Book. [[DoubleSubversion Doubly subverted]] in that a few copies turned out to have accidentally been printed with a page explaining how to destroy the universe, just after the pudgy-wudgy hippo.
* Kyle, a 12 year old boy wizard from ''WesternAnimation/FanboyAndChumChum'', wields the Necronomicon.
* The plot of ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'' started when Dipper found Journal #3, and it's later revealed [[EnfantTerrible Gideon Gleeful]] has Journal 2 and [[spoiler: Grunkle Stan]] has Journal 1. The journals contain relatively innocuous information, [[GreatBigBookOfEverything cataloging the various supernatural phenomena around the town]]. However, they also contain things like a spell to summon [[OurZombiesAreDifferent a horde of zombies]], schematics for an interdimensional portal, and most dangerous of all, the instructions to summon [[GreaterScopeVillain Bill Cipher]].
* ''WesternAnimation/HeManAndTheMastersOfTheUniverse1983'' and ''WesternAnimation/SheRaPrincessOfPower'' had a few of these, including a spellbook that would summon Daimar the Demon, in the He-Man episode "Daimar the Demon", and the Ancients' Book of Spells in "A Bird in the Hand". In the She-Ra series, Shadow Weaver got ahold of the Eldritch Book of Spells in "The Eldritch Mist". Then Madam Razz had to locate the Nameless Glowing Book to find a spell to get She-Ra out of the Sixth Dimension in "Three Courageous Hearts".
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E23InspirationManifestation Inspiration Manifestation]]'', the book that Spike finds with the spell to help Rarity is hidden in the old Everfree Castle, hidden by a secret wall, behind a locked gate, and on a rock stairway that immediately crumbles when the book is removed from the pedestal. It's made of stone and even has spikes sticking out of the cover. [[WhatanIdiot Spike seems to think it's safe]]. The only spell actually used from it, the titular Inspiration Manifestation, gives Rarity the power to create or "improve" anything she imagines - at the cost of [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity slowly turning her into a megalomaniac]] [[MadArtist determined to transform the world into an artistic masterpiece.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** The show parodied it in the first Treehouse of Horror episode, where one segment features an adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe's "Literature/TheRaven". When the line about reading the quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore comes around, we find Homer reading a book titled "Forgotten Lore, Volume III".
** In another episode, Lisa is cleaning out the garage and finds a thick leather bound book. She begins to read the Latin and behind her, a demon begins to form. However the horror is foiled when she tosses the book aside in favor of Mad Libs.
** And again in Halloween special III where Bart and Lisa find a book in the library's "Occult section". Bart attempts to bring back their dead cat Snowball but end up raising the dead in the ''human'' cemetery, which was right next to the pet cemetery.
** Also the members of Springfield's Republican Party read from the Necronomicon.
* Titanium Chef from ''WesternAnimation/SushiPack'' uses recipes from "The Book of Chum Chop: Ancient Recipes for Chaos and Mayhem" to perpetrate his villainy. This includes creating perfect (but emotionless) doppelgangers, opening a warp to a [[MirrorUniverse parallel universe]], and cooking up a batch of shoeshine that makes anyone who uses it feel cold even though they're not ([[ItMakesSenseInContext It Was Evil In Context]]).
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'':
** During the trial episode of season 1, Dr. Orpheus asks the bailiff to swear him in with his own book. A book that bears a suspicious resemblance to the Necronomicon. As the book snarls at the bailiff, Dr. Orpheus warns: "Careful, he's a nibbler!"
** There's also the Orpheus' tome that Dean reads from in the ambiguously canon Christmas special episode. While perusing it for Christmas stories, Dean accidentally summons TheKrampus. Orpheus was also known to read from it while baking [[MundaneMadeAwesome gingerbread cookies]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* All [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimoire grimoires]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Grimoires categorically]] are this by definition.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Grimoire_of_Pope_Honorius The Grimoire of Honorius]] was supposedly written by Pope Honorius III; he was evidently so holy that he got bored fighting off the temptation of the mundane world and took to summoning demons solely to turn down their offers.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixth_and_Seventh_Books_of_Moses The Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses]]'' is a usually single-volume SpellBook which purports to be OlderThanDirt. It was considered by Kurt E. Koch, a German Lutheran minister, to be an ArtifactOfDoom because one page in the volume maintains (he claimed) that whoever owns the volume belongs to {{Satan}}[[note]]Note: [[ComplainingAboutShowsYouDontWatch it doesn't]][[/note]]. In other words, if it's on your bookshelf, Satan can do with you whatever he wishes. He maintained, therefore, all copies must be destroyed.
* ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Abramelin The Book of Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage]]'', the 14th century grimoire, has stories like this attached to it. Of course, none are verifiable, and S.L [=MacGregor=] Mathers and Aleister Crowley probably made most of them up.
* AncientEgypt had the Book Of Going Forth By Day -- popularly known as The Book Of The Dead. The book was a collection of various spells for different Pharaohs, printed on the walls of their tombs. It was essentially a collection of "prayers," or spells, but due to this, the spells were almost entirely unique to the individual. Some spells were very similar to each other, and some Pharaohs even had the exact same spells as others, but the spells were not intended to be used by anyone except the Pharaohs themselves. The spells were usually various forms of magical protection against demons in the underworld, or incantations to help one reach paradise.
* The ''Literature/ArabianNights'' stories are said to drive to madness anyone who reads the entire work. [[http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/3435 It's online at Project Gutenberg for anyone who's curious enough to try it.]]
* The ''Literature/MalleusMaleficarum'' definitely qualifies. It's a book written by fifteenth-century witch-hunters to record the depraved practices allegedly practiced by the diabolical witches, and the equally cruel tortures that were visited on those who were suspected of being witches. However, its recommendation by the reigning Pope was forged: he denounced the ''Malleus Maleficarium'' as heretical. While the Pope had inaugurated witchcraft trials in Catholic areas, overturning the 9th century canon that said believing in witchcraft was heretical, what the authors of ''Malleus'' were doing was completely outside the laws and beliefs of the Church.\\
One of the books's two "authors" had his name used on it without permission (and boy was he mad when he found out) by the guy who actually wrote it, a German monk [[AuthorAppeal so hopelessly obsessed with demon rape]] that he got tossed from every monastery he got sent to after he drove the monks up the wall by talking nonstop about said demon rape.
* Two particularly famous examples, the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voynich_manuscript Voynich Manuscript]]'' and the ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Codex_Seraphinianus Codex]] [[Literature/CodexSeraphinianus Seraphinianus]]'', are often confused with each other because they're superficially very similar: Both are encyclopedias written in an unknown language, peppered with bizarre illustrations of otherworldly biology. The ''Codex'' is a [[WhatDoYouMeanItWasntMadeOnDrugs "work of art"]] made in the 70s, but the Voynich Manuscript dates from sometime in the 14th century, is written in what appears to be a real (but unknown) language, and is filled with illustrations that just make it more confusing.
** One of the most common and accepted theories is that it was made by the known alchemist and con-man John Dee. He sold it to the Czech King Rudolf II for 600 gold coins. The King was a famous patron of anything somehow resembling sciences, and had many of the best known alchemists and spiritists of the day in his pay. While this would make the book a forgery of a Tome of Eldritch Lore, it would still be an ''authentic'' 16th century forgery.
*** The illustration in the ''Voynich Manuscript'' are definitely not outlandish and the book resembles any other early naturalist treatise. The text, however, has not been yet deciphered.
*** The form of the Manuscript is a very standard one for a 16th century treatise on the medicinal uses of plants. The actual plant illustrations, however, show plants that typically have the roots of one plant, the stems and leaves of a second, and the flowers of a third. If it is a fabrication, however, the text was done in a diabolically clever manner. Modern computer analysis shows that statistically the text is entirely consistent with a phonetically written language, despite the fact that the lack of computing machines capable of performing such analyses in the time the book is first definitively known to exist would make faking such features extremely difficult.
** Webcomic/{{Xkcd}} provides a compelling, if unorthodox, explanation for the [[http://xkcd.com/593/ Voynich Manuscript.]]
* [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife TV Tropes]]. [[ArchiveBinge We're all trapped! TRAPPED!]]
* The US Army field manual TM 31-210, "Improvised Munitions Handbook", is probably the best mundane equivalent. Won't summon demons, but almost any use will summon FBI agents. Unlike the other books in this list, Army field manuals are available on Amazon.
* UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler's ''Literature/MeinKampf'' has started to become something like this, specifically in countries where it's banned or otherwise difficult to get. (For example, in UsefulNotes/{{Germany}}, the copyright is owned by the state of Bavaria, which has never allowed any prints since the end of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII.) ''Mein Kampf'' has a reputation for being dangerous enough to turn normal people (and in particular, impressionable teenagers) into ThoseWackyNazis, so many people argue that it must never be put back into circulation again. There are some attempts now to publish the content with annotations by historians to remove the myth from the book and showcase that it's really just incoherent rambling, which seems preferable to letting curious people just dig up the text on the internet on sites with dubious character.
* ''Literature/TheTurnerDiaries''. Sure, it seems like just a controversial underground novel and work of fiction written by a White Supremacist (okay, that may be a rather overt understatement) but members of American law enforcement knew this book was potentially trouble ''long'' before a great many incidents were inspired by it. Most notably, it inspired Timothy [=McVeigh=] to orchestrate the Oklahoma City bombing. One FBI agent said that when he heard of the attack, he was reminded of the book "within the hour". Also, several murders that were ruled as hate-crimes were committed by people who read this book, [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Turner_Diaries#Crimes_associated_with_the_book a full list here.]]
* Combined with FridgeHorror in [[http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/14032179/ this archived]] [[Website/FourChan /tg/]] [[http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/14032179/ thread]] about the works of one [[Creator/DrSeuss Theodore Seuss Geisel]].
* Arguably, the Football (a briefcase containing nuclear missile launch codes, always within easy reach of the President of the United States), which in the wrong hands probably ''is'' capable of bringing about TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt.
** And very concerning, after the assassination attempt on President Regan, it was actually ''lost'' for a time and a new copy of the codes had to be located for then-Acting President Bush.
* ''Literature/HouseOfLeaves''. [[MetafictionalTitle May]][[MindScrew be.]]
* ''The Mystery of the Cathedrals''. Written by an alchemist in the 1920's using the pen name Fulcanelli, the work makes the case that the Cathedrals of Europe, as built by freemasons, are in fact stone manuals outlining the "Great Work" of alchemy. The work was followed by a sequel, ''The Dwellings of the Philosphers''. A third manuscript was intended for publication, however, it was recalled by the author at the last minute due to its secrets being too dangerous for public consumption. Interestingly, the CIA had an extensive file on Fulcanelli and conducted a massive search for him in the years following [=WW2=].
* ''The Book of Weird'' (also titled ''The Glass Harmonica'') by Barbara Ninde Byfield. It's a relatively modern book, mostly tongue-in-cheek, but has that grimoire feel.
* ''TheCatcherInTheRye''. Most famously found in the possession of Mark David Chapman, the man who assassinated Music/JohnLennon who claimed inspiration for the act came from the book, as well as John Hinckley, Jr. UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's would be assassin. The book has been further linked to other famous murderers and assassins. Conspiracy theorists have claimed that the book is somehow used by shadowy government forces as a trigger for sleeper assassins like in ''Literature/TheManchurianCandidate'', something touched upon in several movies such as the Creator/MelGibson thriller ''Conspiracy Theory''.
** There have been actual serious psychological debates as to why ''Catcher'' was so popular with a certain kind of assassin; the most common is that it's about an outsider with an unhealthy fixation on innocence and authenticity, one whose UnreliableNarrator tendencies are only visible if you're paying close attention.
* Creator/LRonHubbard claimed to have written a manuscript entitled ''Excalibur'' that caused people to go insane or commit suicide. Early Scientologists once sold copies of this manuscript for $1500.
** That manuscript would eventually become ''Literature/{{Dianetics}}''. According to Hubbard, the original version was so damaging because [[MySkullRunnethOver it revealed too much information at once.]]
** A lot of Scientology is filled with this same principle. Take for example, the infamous Xenu story.[[note]]75,000,000 years ago, Xenu was the head of a Galactic Confederation of Planets. The confederation suffered from overpopulation, so he abducted large numbers of beings, froze them, and flew them to Earth, where he arranged them around the bases of volcanoes and blew them up with hydrogen bombs. He then captured the thetans (souls) of these beings and brainwashed them with images of all the religious imagery that exists today, including the entire story of Christ. Upon release, these thetans clumped together and attached themselves to our ancestors, and through various incarnations they remain attached to us today.[[/note]] If you try to cure yourself of its effects, it's supposed to trigger a sudden, fatal onset of pneumonia.
* In addition to being one of Creator/WilliamShakespeare's darkest and eeriest plays, ''Theatre/{{Macbeth}}'' is supposedly cursed. An unusually high numbers of accidents and deaths have occurred during productions of the play, which is why actors avoid referring to the play by name, calling it "[[TheScottishTrope the Scottish play]]" instead.
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grimorium_Verum Grimorium Verum,]] which is an occult manual generally though to be written during the 18th century, though the authorship purports to be from the early 16th century, and derived from King Solomon. Interestingly, it nicely averts FantasyGunControl.
* Harvard's library has [[https://roadtrippers.com/blog/harvard-discovers-three-of-its-library-books-are-bound-in-human-flesh three books bound in human flesh,]] hoewever they're just about Roman poetry, French philosophy, and medieval Spanish law (that one's skin taken from one flayed alive). And apparently the practice wasn't that uncommon in the 17th century, though mostly for anatomy textbooks.
* Esoteric movements within religions often take the stance that their holy texts have hidden messages accessible only to those who have been "illuminated" with supernatural wisdom and understanding, and that understanding these messages grants a deeper knowledge (and, in some cases, more control) regarding how the universe works. The most famous of these is the Kabbalistic tradition within Judaism, but there are many others.
** A less literal version of this is pretty much universal in any religion concurrent with or predating early Christianity. While it wasn't usually a literal book due to low literacy rates even among priests, secret rituals and prayers giving the priest greater influence on various things were pretty much par for the course, especially in early Hinduism and the Roman mystery cults. Some [[ChurchOfHappyology current religions]] still work like this.
* ''[[Literature/AnarchistCookbook The Anarchist's Cookbook]]'' deals with shady techniques like making homemade explosives. Most of the "recipes" are woefully inaccurate, meaning that uninformed {{Mad Bomber}}s who use the book are far more likely to accidentally maim themselves than to commit any effective terrorism. Worse, since the early days of TheInternet, sites like Website/{{Usenet}} have been circulating various other "anarchist cookbooks" that are even less accurate than the original.
* [[UsefulNotes/MarieCurie Marie Curie's]] notebooks. They are so radioactive, even many years since her death, they require protective equipment to handled, and are kept in a lead-lined box.
* ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hit_Man:_A_Technical_Manual_for_Independent_Contractors Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors]]'', written under the pseudonym "Rex Feral" and published by Paladin Press, is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin precisely what its title suggests]], a nonfiction step-by-step guide instructing the reader as to the best tools and techniques for committing a contract murder. The book was famously used in the planning and commission of at least one massacre—a 1993 contracted triple homicide in Silver Spring, MD, with the perpetrator following the book's advice almost to the letter. In a landmark case, the victims' families sued Paladin Press and won, claiming that ''Hit Man'' had aided and abetted the killers. On the TV program ''American Justice'', author and First Amendment scholar Rod Smolla said that he could not leave the book by his bedside because it was "giving off evil vibrations." After the case, Paladin Press agreed to stop selling ''Hit Man'' and destroy the 7,000 copies it still possessed, but it's been estimated that there may be as many as 20,000 copies still in existence.