Filled with haunting fears
Neighbors who hide up in the attic
Inbreeding happily for years."
Lovecraft Country is a dark, twisted version of rural New England as used as a setting for horror fiction. Named for the author H. P. Lovecraft — a native of Rhode Island, where there were no places named after him until 2013 — who wrote a number of tales set in a New England milieu, usually small isolated towns that look boring and mediocre at first but are actually dark and foreboding on the inside, populated by hostile and corrupt (in several ways) hicks that often are not quite human, twisted by the influence of ancient horrors and extradimensional aliens (and generations of inbreeding).
Milder versions of this can be found in other types of horror. The setting trend was then continued by Stephen King, a more contemporary famous American horror writer, although he sets his stories in Maine as opposed to Massachusetts and Rhode Island. In fact, you could divide it into southern New England being Lovecraft territory and northern New England as King country. If you don't want as many New England accents, upstate New York or the Pine Barrens (home of The Jersey Devil) will do, although it probably won't be quite as Eldritch. New Jersey variants are particularly likely to be lighthearted or played for laughs, because, hey, Joisey. As for why this area seems to attract so much horror fiction (aside from Lovecraft and King writing what they knew and other writers following the leader)... if you ever go to New England in autumn or winter, you'll find it quite scenic during the day (the fall foliage is a major tourist magnet, as are the region's abundant ski resorts), but the sun sets early and it gets dark, cold, and spooky fast. Not so coincidentally, upstate New York is the birthplace of the Spiritualist movement. The Salem Witch Trials probably also have a role to play (cf. Salem Is Witch Country). Expect a New England Puritan to show up, drawing on the region's history as a hotbed of religious fundamentalism.
This setting has certain common points with the Deep South — despite stereotypes, the New England hills house plenty of billies with necks as red as you'll find anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon Line. The depiction could be construed as condescending and offensive to those who live in such environs, but there are two important differences: In Lovecraft country, evil and corruption is mostly supernatural (and racial) in origin, and the setting is solely used for horror stories. American TV can depict a rural New England that is not Lovecraft Country, but the rural South is almost always the Deep South, unless the author is a Southerner themselves.
For analogous settings outside of New England, see Campbell Country, Southern Gothic, Sinister Southwest, Weird West, and Überwald. Compare and contrast Hollywood New England. Can be considered a dark counterpart to the far less ominous Pastoral Science Fiction trope.
Most examples are Literary, as successful adaptations to other media are seldom seen.
- If you extend Lovecraft Country to include New Jersey, Gotham City of Batman fame certainly counts. In fact, Arkham Asylum, the Cardboard Prison all of Batman's villains end up in, is named after one of Lovecraft's towns.
- There's a short arc in Robin where Tim leaves Gotham to track a gun smuggler and winds up in what is an unquestionably Lovecraftian tale involving a couple of tiny backwoods towns with dark secrets relating to a temporarily Humanoid Abomination.
- Much of the X-Men craziness takes place in New York, including the ancient evil of the N'Gari. One of their entrance points into our realm happened to be on Xavier's property. Oops.
- In The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen's "New Traveler's Almanac," New England, as well as the Connecticut-New York-New Jersey area, are specified as hotbeds of disturbing supernatural phenomena. Naturally, this is in direct reference to the setting favored by Lovecraft, but it's also a byproduct of the fact that, as there were many more writers from that area than elsewhere in the US at the time the story takes place, there were also more stories set there in general.
- Alan Moore's Lovecraft Homage Providence is another one. Much of the series is set in New Hampshire, particularly Manchester, the series' analogue for Lovecraft's Arkham. Salem, Massachusetts also stands in for Innsmouth.
- The latter parts of his Neonomicon are a Double Subversion. At first, there's nothing in the city of Salem, Massachusetts beyond what could be found in the Real Life town when the FBI's investigation leads them there... but then it turns out that there actually is a cult of Dagon-worshippers, and that they are capable of summoning Deep Ones...
- Afterlife with Archie seems to place Riverdale in Maine or New Hampshire, as the cast has to stop in Vermont while they flee the Zombie Apocalypse for the CDC in Pittsburgh.
- Locke & Key is set in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, where the Locke family moves after their father was murdered. Lovecraft appears to be an expansion of the real town of Nahant, Massachusetts, with the Drowning Cave based on Swallow Cave.
- Although not strictly Lovecraftian, the film Sleepy Hollow (1999), being a loose adaptation of an 1819 horror story by Washington Irving, features a milieu that has much in common with Lovecraft Country. The film includes supernatural horrors, witchcraft and the cinematographic technique of using a blue camera filter to make everything seem bleaker in an isolated small town in early 19th century New York. This version's Ichabod Crane is a classic Lovecraftian protagonist in both origin and behavior.
- Tim Burton's earlier movie Beetlejuice takes place in Connecticut.
- The horror film The Blair Witch Project is set in the woods of Maryland — a bit south for Lovecraft Country, but it worked.
- The Amityville Horror (1979) is an allegedly true story about a haunted house in New York, though it takes place on Long Island which is densely populated NYC suburbs rather than a rural Lovecraftian setting like you'd easily find upstate.
- In the Mouth of Madness, an H. P. Lovecraft homage, is set primarily in New Hampshire or on the road to that state.
- Cthulhu is set in the Pacific Northwest, but it's mentioned that the town's founders originally came from New England, bringing their cult with them.
- Yellow Brick Road is a horror film set primarily in a vast New Hampshire woodland where the population of an entire town committed suicide.
- The Innkeepers takes place at a haunted hotel in Connecticut.
- The Stepford Wives has a sci-fi variant on the idea, with Connecticut being home to a sleepy suburb where women are replaced with robotic servants for their husbands' pleasure (or in the 2004 remake, turned into such).
- The Haunting (1963) takes place in an unspecified isolated part of New England. The author of the original book (see The Haunting of Hill House below) lived in Vermont.
- The VVitch is set in colonial New England, although the tone is less Lovecraft and more the Salem witch trials.
- The Psychological Thriller Stoker is set in Connecticut, though was filmed in Tennessee lending itself to another trope.
- The Lighthouse is, as the title suggests, set on a remote lighthouse off the coast of New England and follows the two keepers as they gradually Go Mad from the Isolation.
- Wendigo takes place in an isolated farmhouse in snowbound upstate New York, possibly being stalked by the mythological Wendigo.
- Beneath Nightmare Castle is set in the dark, sinister town of Neuberg whose folks are unfriendly and paranoid over having outsiders, due to their local baron being under the control of an evil sorceress serving an Eldritch Abomination. Monsters of all sorts roams the night, and it's up to the player's hero to uncover the truth.
- The stories of H. P. Lovecraft more or less created this setting, including the fictitious Massachusetts towns of Arkham, Dunwich and Innsmouth. Lovecraft's stories, together with writings by other authors set in the same universe, are collectively known as the Cthulhu Mythos, after one of the nightmarish deities that occur in the setting.
- "The Picture in the House" is probably the first in his Lovecraft Country series of books, and the first to mention both Arkham and the Miskatonic River. It begins by introducing readers to Lovecraft Country:
"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. For them are the catacombs of Ptolemais, and the carven mausolea of the nightmare countries. They climb to the moonlit towers of ruined Rhine castles, and falter down black cobwebbed steps beneath the scattered stones of forgotten cities in Asia. The haunted wood and the desolate mountain are their shrines, and they linger around the sinister monoliths on uninhabited islands. But the true epicure of the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteem most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness, and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous."
- Sinister episodes of New English history comes up in a few of Lovecraft's stories, as well. Both Pickman's Model and, even more centrally, The Dreams in the Witch House have backstories grounded in the Salem witch trials, and The Shunned House draws on the history of the New England vampire panic.
- The famous towns in Lovecraft's work include the hill-surrounded Dunwich (from The Dunwich Horror), the sea-side Innsmouth (The Shadow Over Innsmouth), and the real-life town of Providence (appearing in The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and The Shunned House). His fictional creation of Kingsport is home to the titular "The Festival" and all sorts of strange old men ("The Terrible Old Man" or "The Strange High House in the Mist"). Arkham wins the cake, due to its Miskatonic University playing roles in At the Mountains of Madness and The Shadow Out of Time; its asylums being involved in Herbert West–Reanimator and "The Thing on the Doorstep"; and its supernatural inhabitants appearing in works such as "The Unnameable" and "The Dreams in the Witch House".
- Most of the locations mentioned above are in fact based on real-life places, mostly in Essex County (north of Boston):
- Arkham is Salem, albeit a bit further west (and possibly the nearby town of Danvers as well, as it was originally a part of Salem and in Lovecraft's own time, home to an iconic state mental institution.)
- Innsmouth is inspired by Newburyport, but "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" opens in Newburyport itself, after which the protagonist travels south to Innsmouth. The physical description and lack of Plum Island implies that Innsmouth is south of Ipswich, and not really large enough to be any of the real towns.
- Kingsport is Marblehead.
- Dunwich may be Athol, Wilbraham, the lost town of Greenwich, or any number of other towns in the Pioneer Valley; "The Colour Out of Space" was inspired by the flooding of Greenwich for the Quabbin Reservoir.
- The Miskatonic is the Merrimack river.
- The leading candidate for the real world basis of Lovecraft's fictional Miskatonic University is Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Fittingly enough, Brown's John Hay Library houses Lovecraft's papers.
- To say nothing of the fact that several of his stories were set in real New England locations: The Whisperer in Darkness uses the real towns of Brattleboro and Townshend in Vermont, and "Pickman's Model" is set in Boston.
- In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, Randolph Carter discovers that the marvelous sunset city in his dreams is only the sum of his childhood memories in Boston. When Carter awakes in his home, he looks out his window on the beautiful Boston skyline at sunrise.
- "The Picture in the House" is probably the first in his Lovecraft Country series of books, and the first to mention both Arkham and the Miskatonic River. It begins by introducing readers to Lovecraft Country:
- The overwhelming majority of Stephen King's stories are set in Lovecraft Country, though mostly in Maine, whereas Lovecraft set most of his stories in his own Rhode Island or in nearby Massachusetts. This is because King is a Maine native. Not only is Maine Lovecraft Country according to Stephen King, he specifically pinpoints the source of all related supernatural weirdness in places such as the fictional town of Derry, Maine and — er — himself.
The people live in Maine, of course
There's nowhere else to live
With the writer
The alcoholic, too
The adulterer and his whore
Some dumb rednecks
A disappointing resolution
Here in Stephen King's Maine!—The Nostalgia Critic (sung to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song)
- King's Maine notably has a trio of recurring cursed fictional towns in Maine: Derry, most famous for being the domain of the Eldritch Abomination Pennywise (the titular It from Literature/It ) ; Salem's Lot (most famous for becoming a vampire-infected town in 'Salem's Lot, though additional short stories such as Jerusalem's Lot adds more traditional Lovecraftian horror to the town's past) and Castle Rock, THE most dangerous place of Maine, hosting threats ranging from rabid and maybe possessed dogs (Literature/Cujo ) to a deal-making demon (Needful Things), passing by perverse serial killers (The Dead Zone), evil witches (Skeleton Crew)and some sort of sentient ever-growing house (Nightmares & Dreamscapes).
- Older Than Radio: Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" (1835) is a short story set in the woods outside colonial Plymouth and involving deals with the Devil himself.
- Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House Of The Seven Gables is a Gothic haunted house story that takes place in Salem, Massachusetts, and according to Wikipedia was apparently a big influence on Lovecraft's writings.
- Much of Edgar Allan Poe's output is this; consider, for instance, "The Fall of the House of Usher".
- Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and other Washington Irving stories, if you push the definition to include upstate New York. "The Devil and Tom Walker" would be a good example as well as, like "Young Goodman Brown," it has a theme of Puritans seeking out Satan en masse.
- Stephen Vincent Benet's The Devil and Daniel Webster, which uses yet another variation on this theme, takes place in New Hampshire.
- Speaking of stories with Louis Cypher-style villains, The Witches of Eastwick also takes place in New England.
- Matt Ruff's novel is literally named Lovecraft Country, and uses its African American protagonist and Jim Crow era setting to examine the inherent racism of Lovecraft's beliefs (along with examining shoggoths and many other other-worldly intrigues).
- Shirley Jackson's works, including "The Lottery", The Haunting of Hill House, and We Have Always Lived in the Castle don't specify a location, but the author lived most of her adult life in Vermont, and the stories do have the requisite flinty creepiness.
- Bedford, Maine in Carrie Jones's YA novel Need is a Genre Savvy version of this, with main character Zara frequently mentioning how the surroundings seem like something straight out of a Stephen King novel.
- Joseph Citro wrote several horror novels set in various parts of Vermont, and has actually written several non-fiction books about the state's ghost lore and monster legends.
- The first Percy Jackson and the Olympians book has a rather creepy scene in rural Joisey at a garden statue shop run by Medusa.
- There is a Doctor Who novel by the name of Forever Autumn in which the Tenth Doctor and Martha visit the fictional New England town of Blackwood Falls. The fact that the town is built on top of a Hervoken (ancient enemies of the Carrionites) spaceship means that Blackwood Falls has some serious Lovecraftian goings on. Bonus points for taking place around Halloween.
- Oxrun Station, Connecticut is the setting for a number of horror novels and short stories by the late Charles L. Grant, starting with 1978's Hour of the Oxrun Dead. Oxrun has vengeful ghosts, mad scientists who raise the dead, and vampires, among other things. One difference from the norm is that where Lovecraft's towns were mostly poor and isolated, Oxrun is an Uncanny Village and affluent bedroom community. Half the men seem to work for New York banks and law firms.
- Body Toxic by Susanne Antonetta takes place in the Pine Barrens, though the eldritch atmosphere comes not from a supernatural source, but from several cases of industrial waste-dumping and nuclear accidents which pollute the area and slowly poison the unsuspecting citizens. The Jersey Devil does get some page time, though.
- The Red Tree by Caitlin Kiernan is set in Rhode Island and references Lovecraft and New England's penchant for haunted legends.
- W.H. Pugmire prefers setting stories in the Pacific Northwest, but occasionally sets a story in Innsmouth, Dunwich, or Kingsport.
- If one is willing to stretch the definition to the North of the border, then Quebecois writer Patrick Senecal makes his native Québec province part of it, what with how he's gradually filling it with dark secrets, serial killers, and evil supernatural goings-on of all stripes. He is called "Quebec's Stephen King", and Lovecraft's sole trip abroad did take him to Quebec City...
- Jordan L. Hawk's M/M Romance/Paranormal/Horror series Whyborne & Griffin is a conscious tribute to Lovecraft Country, and name checks Arkham at one point.
- Eileen is set in the small, run-down New England town of X-ville. Downplayed in that the town isn't actually supernatural, but there's a creepy, disturbing feeling to everything there. The town, and particularly the police force, is full of corrupt hicks who are apathetic to actual crime and only care about protecting their own, and disturbing secrets lurk everywhere. The general landscape is one of abandoned buildings and empty snowdrifts that give everything an eerie vibe.
- The YA Horror novel Be Not Afraid by Cecilia Galante is set in Connecticut. It's revealed the protagonist, Marin, moved there from Maine after her Mother's suicide.
- The Fisherman by creator/John Langan takes place in upstate New York and concerns two recent widowers who go on a fishing trip. They learn that the creek they plan on fishing in is the center of some local urban legends and mysterious events.
- The Thomas Ligotti short story "The Feast of Harlequin" is a Lovecraft-pastiche focusing on the town of Mirocaw that holds an annual festival in which the residents dress as clowns. While the town is located in the Midwest, the narrator mentions that it was founded by a group of settlers from New England. Truth in Television as much of the Midwest was settled by New Englanders.
- Harvest Home: Cornwall Coombe is in rural Massachusetts, surrounded by woodland, and run by a group of murderous hillbillies who purposefully bring over New Yorkers to impregnate, diversify their genetic line, and maim and kill if necessary.
- The New England Wasteland or Esoteric East in Cthulhu Armageddon by C.T. Phipps is an unusual example since it is actually the original Lovecraft Country but Post-Apocalypse. The protagonists are from New Arkham (a Arkham Air Force base Pre-After the End), they deal with the tribals of Dunwych, and they even visit Kingsport that is still a thriving city.
- Gentling, Maine is a small town where up to a third of the population is finfolk, who start their lives human-looking, but gradually transform into merpeople, then eventually gigantic predatory fish. As their metamorphosis progresses, they lose their memories of life on land.
- Downplayed with New Gravesend, Maine. The Crossroads and its ghosts are there, but they can be anywhere, they just pushed Annie and her friends there so she'd encounter James. Aside from the Hereditary Curse keeping James from leaving, it's a relatively normal small New England town.
- The Miskatonic Affair takes place at Lovecraft's Miskatonic University, while also having a scene at Beverly Regional Airport.
- The Spiderwick Chronicles, set in Maine, swaps out Lovecraftian abominations for gothic Fair Folk.
- The Chosen (1997) is set in the state of Massachusetts, both in and around Boston and on an island off the East Coast. Boston is crawling with vampires and other Night People - New England is mentioned as being the seat of their power in the US - and they've had enclaves established there for centuries.
- Due to exploring the entirety of the United-States, the anthology horror show American Horror Story often dips in this trope:
- American Horror Story: Asylum takes place at the Briarcliff Institute, a horrible Massachusetts asylum which, on top of hosting serial killers and mad doctors, receives the visit of supernatural entities such as aliens or the Devil itself.
- American Horror Story: Roanoke takes place on a cursed plot of land in the middle of the North Carolina woods. It is where the original Roanoke colony went to die, and it is now haunted by murderous ghosts, incestuous Hillbilly Horrors, creepy pig-men and a zombie-witch. This season also has several nods to other iconic movies depicting this trope, such as The Blair Witch Project or The Amityville Horror (1979).
- "Red Tide", the first part of American Horror Story: Double Feature is a huge homage to this trope, taking place in Provincetown, a dying seaside Massachusetts town where strange Nosferatu-like monsters roam and great artists come during winter to make strange deals and commit hidden atrocities... However the typical idea of a close-minded, Puritan town is completely avoided as Provincetown is a former gay hub whose Dying Town status is due to the AIDS epidemic.
- Dark Shadows, the 1960s gothic soap opera about supernatural horrors, takes place in Collinsport, Maine. Clearly this town, with its witch trials and monsters, is to be found in Lovecraft Country.
- Many of the Sci-Fi horrors on Fringe crop up in Massachusetts or Upstate New York milieus that would be right at home with Lovecraft or King, although they just as often pop up in urban areas as well.
- The Ghost and Mrs. Muir: A historic fishing village in Maine. Fearsome haunted house just outside of town (especially in the pilot, when Claymore apprises the captain he had rented the seaside cottage to Mrs. Muir).
- Haven takes place in a New England town of the same name, where bizarre mysteries abound (and based on a Stephen King story to boot).
- Kingdom Hospital, the U.S. remake of Lars Von Trier's excellent darkly humorous ghost story Riget (known as The Kingdom to Anglos) is set in a New England hospital, possibly because the legacy of Lovecraft Country in fiction assured that it would be perceived as the most suitable locale, but also because the adapted screenplay was written by Stephen King.
- Lovecraft Country, naturally (adapting the book, in the folder above), although only part of it is set in Boston. Not that Chicago or the Deep South during the very racist 60s also don't fit when shoggoths, witchcraft and other unbelievable things start to appear.
- Salem-born Mike Flanagan loves this trope, which is most prominent in some of his television series work, such as The Haunting of Hill House (a terrifying haunted house in Massachusetts drives its occupants to death and madness) or Midnight Mass (taking place on the isolated island of Crockett Island, and exploring themes of religious fanaticism, the nature of sin and vampirism).
- The town of Storybrooke in Once Upon a Time is located in Maine. Darkness quotient varies depending on the story arc.
- Riverdale, which is set in Rockland County, NY. Fitting considering it's a darker take on the Archie series, borrowing heavily from Afterlife with Archie (See Comic Books).
- Then came along Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, an adaptation of the eponymous comic book, which presented us with Greendale, the neighbor-town of Riverdale, and its numerous witches, demons, ghosts and assorted monsters.
- Storm of the Century was a Stephen King miniseries set on Little Tall Island (a central character in Kingdom Hospital evidently came from there). Apart from a veritable brew of dark secrets, much of the town engaged in a pact with darkness.
- Jonathan Coulton arguably parodies the trope by placing the upscale suburb of Brookline, Mass. squarely in Lovecraft Country.
- John Perreault, in his song "The Ballad of Louis Wagner," tells the tale of the tortured soul of Louis Wagner, who in 1873 murdered two women on Smuttynose Island, part of the Isles of Shoals, off the coast of New Hampshire. Quite some creepy verses, and a suitably creepy locale, worthy of Lovecraft Country (especially on a dark and stormy night).
- Malevolent starts out in Arkham, Massachusetts, and within Arkham alone we encounter a strange tome housing a dark entity that attaches itself to our protagonist Arthur Lester, and the remains of a cult that worshiped Shub-Niggurath. Of course, our main characters are soon forced to leave Arkham, where we encounter even more strange, Lovecraftian horrors and cults.
- Old Gods of Appalachia is set a few hundred miles further south, bordering on Southern Gothic, but the eldritch nature of the titular powers sends the series into this trope.
- Invoked by Juke Joint Lucas Calhoun in his promo at CHIKARA The Empty Child, which was held at The Old Country Banquet Hall in Enfield, CT. He said that New England was the home of "Miskatonic University, Arkham and The Colour Out of Space".
- The various The World of Darkness gamelines, New and Old, like these:
- The sourcebook Rage Across Appalachia, a crossover between Werewolf: The Apocalypse and Changeling: The Dreaming, covers the area exactly how one would expect from the World of Darkness. I.e., it's a playground for Black Spiral Dancers, unseelie fae, and wouldn't you like to know what else.
- The Mage: The Awakening Sourcebook "Boston Unveiled" portrays rural Massachusetts as filled to the brim with insane mages, mutant cannibals, twisted spirit exiles living in the ghosts of frontier houses and horrors from an alternate history so abhorrent that it was aborted into an anti-reality (which many of the cannibals happen to worship).
- And, well, Call of Cthulhu.
- The Arkham Horror board game, and likely its Lovecraftian Haunted House counterpart Mansions of Madness.
- Pathfinder, given the tastes of its creators, of course has this. The County of Versex in the otherwise Überwaldian country of Ustalav is pretty much a direct transplant of Lovecraft' northern Massachusetts - Of its notable settlements, Carrion Hill and Hyannis are Dunwich, Illmarsh is Innsmouth, Rozenport is Arkham, and Thrushmoor is Kingsport.
- In the DC Heroes roleplaying game, Gotham City, much like its comic book counterpart, would count... especially since the map of Gotham City provided in the game bears a strong resemblance to the general layout of Providence, RI.
- Silent Hill
- The titular resort town is apparently supposed to be located in New England. The canon eventually established that it was in Maine, rather appropriately considering the amount of influence Stephen King's works had on the series.
- The film adaptation, however, moves it to West Virginia. It was inspired by the real-life Ghost Town of Centralia, Pennsylvania, a former coal mining town that was abandoned when an underground coal vein caught on fire and could not be put out, resulting in, amongst other things, a constant haze of smoke that did put out a Silent Hill vibe. Centralia started burning in the early '60s and is still on fire (underground) today.
- Bully is set in an open-world New England town that is mostly mundane, though it does have its share of strange occurrences.
- City of Heroes
- Croatoa is a suburb of the titular Rhode Island metropolis which is slowly being pulled into the spirit world. It gets bonus points for the name being a reference to one of the bigger mysteries in American history, the disappearance of an entire colony in North Carolina.
- Astoria, another suburb, is the resting place of a slumbering dark god, and naturally attracted said god's worshipers trying to raise him. They eventually took it over and killed everyone who wasn't able to get out. A few years later, the god woke up, and things really went to hell.
- The Call of Cthulhu PC adventure game Shadow of the Comet is set in Illsmouth (not Innsmouth), a small New England town with a big problem.
- In Shadow Hearts: From The New World, the gang takes a trip to Boston's Arkham University for information on the enemy they are fighting. Naturally, some of the staff there are summoning up Eldritch Abominations for you to do battle with — and one of the professors has a very familiar name.
- The Roivas Mansion in Eternal Darkness is in Rhode Island.
- The Fallout 3 expansion, Point Lookout is set in the actual area of the same name in Maryland, lost to time for 200 years. It includes shout outs not only to the original Cthulhu Mythos, but to the PC game The Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, also published (though not made) by Bethesda.
- The main game also has the Dunwich Building which has ties to Point Lookout, natch. The Obelisk in the basement is not for show.
- Fallout 4 is set entirely in what was once Massachusetts and Boston, now known as the Commonwealth. The wasteland can really project this vibe on particularly foggy or rainy mornings, be it in the forests or by the coast. The closest the game actually gets to anything Lovecraftian is at Dunwich Borers. Now a raider holdout of a mine/quarry, at the very bottom Dunwich Borers LLC was trying to dig up a colossal statue (a reference to "The Shunned House") and had a marble altar to their gods there.
- The Far Harbor DLC takes you even further up north to Mount Desert Island, Maine, where the mysterious Fog has resulted in even more dangerous creatures such as the Gulpers (giant and gluttonous mutant salamanders) and Fog Crawlers (giant mutant shrimp), as well as the presence of the Children of Atom cult who worship it as a holy symbol of Atom.
- Online game company Skotos bought the rights to the name "Lovecraft Country" from Chaosium (makers of the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG). As of this writing, the banner ad for "Lovecraft Country Online" shows two squid-like monstrosities levitating through the night sky, with the caption "Pretend that nothing is wrong."
- The titular seaside New England town of Anchorhead rests firmly within Lovecraft Country, replete with grim weather, crumbling buildings, a town-wide Ancient Conspiracy, a Big, Screwed-Up Family which has engaged in nearly four centuries of Demonic Possession and Parental Incest, and an approaching Eldritch Abomination.
- Alone in the Dark: The New Nightmare, is set on Shadow Island, Massachusetts. Complete with shadow monsters, ancient mysteries, large manor house, and isolation.
- The Secret World has the first region you're sent to by your faction: Solomon Island, Maine, where most tropes associated with this can and will be encountered. There's even an Innsmouth Academy (among many other Shout Outs). Played literally, as the city lies by the Miskatonic River and there are road signs pointing to Dunwich.
- Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth, a video game adaptation of The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Most of the action is set in or around Innsmouth, the only exceptions being the Prologue (in Boston) and a few intermission cutscenes (in Arkham).
- Dishonored's Empire of the Isles is set on an archipelago off the coast of the mysterious Pandyssian Continent, its residents follow a Lovecraftian state religion based on the belief that "the universe is unknowably vast and swarming with all manner of dangerous spirits and forces, most of which are hostile to man's existence", and the capital city is named Dunwall.
- BioShock Infinite begins at a creepy (and bloody) lighthouse on the coast of Maine. Its location also implies that the floating city of Columbia (itself one of the creepiest places one will ever visit) is high in the sky above the state, though it isn't considered part of the state.
- In After the End: A Post-Apocalyptic America, while the actual existence of anything supernatural or eldritch is left up in the air, New England has become the center of a new Occultist religious movement that takes a number of cues from the works of H. P. Lovecraft and Stephen King.
- Deadly Premonition
- Though The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is set in Wisconsin, the Carters' hometown could fit right into Lovecraft's New England; Red Creek Valley is a small, isolated hamlet nestled among craggy peaks, crystal-clear streams, and colorful autumn foliage. Player Character Paul Prospero's job as an Occult Detective is to peel back that quiet, ordinary veneer, expose the town's secrets, and find what happened to Ethan. He quickly discovers that, although the landscape is picture postcard perfect, Red Creek Valley itself is slowly falling to pieces and nearly abandoned after a mine shutdown killed the local economy, giving it an eerie, foreboding atmosphere.
Paul Prospero: No trains had been through here for a long time. That was part of a pattern. Large pieces of this country were thrown away, doomed to become, and then remain, the worst versions of themselves. Beneath all that rot, dark things grow.
- Pathologic is set in an isolated rural town on the Russian steppe, but otherwise marks every checkbox. The Town is hostile to outsiders, has two cults of ambiguous humanity (The "Worms", who are steppe nomads with bulbous features and no hair, and the Butchers, who are all over six foot tall and said to be a Hive Mind) and a cosmic horror story lurking in the background.
- The Ghosts of Maple Creek, the first installment in the Enigmatis trilogy of supernatural horror games, takes place in a fictional town in Vermont.
- In World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth the continent of Kul Tiras is a pastoral island which has developed a strong but insular seafaring culture. At the same time the island is rife with witches and cults while the tidesages have begun making pacts with Queen Azshara and her master N'zoth.
- In Kaiserreich: Legacy of the Weltkrieg, an Alternate History mod for Hearts of Iron, when the US falls into civil war one of the factions you can take control of is New England, carved out by Canada (and including upstate New York) to serve as a buffer against the Syndicalists and the American Union. New England itself isn't this, but an in-game event reveals that, in this universe, Lovecraft has attained the fame and respect in life that he only got after he died in real life, likely due to the more unstable nature of American society and the world in the prior twenty years making his dark, nihilistic vision resonate more with people. You can select either him or Robert Frost as the nation's poet laureate, with it being noted that Frost is the favored choice of the nation's cultural elites but Lovecraft is the populist choice.
- The submod Kaiserredux, which adds a slew of expanded gameplay options for Kaiserreich, heavily changes up New England, and one of the options is a National Populist path in which Lovecraft leads a small, fringe group called the Providence Circle to power and becomes a totalitarian dictator. Lovecraft's leadership is a combination of his real-life racism and a large dose of esotericism that, in this universe, he came to actually believe instead of merely using as fodder for his stories (the real Lovecraft was an atheist), while also being jam-packed with references to the Cthulhu Mythos — among other things, his State Sec is called Delta Green (which various events reveal is also investigating supernatural and extraterrestrial phenomena), his nuclear and jet aircraft projects are respectively known as the Dunwich Horror and Shadow Over Innsmouth projects, his mythos becomes the subject of a state religion, and he proclaims himself The King in Yellow.
- Silver Falls takes place in a seemingly idyllic small mountain town. It's a popular tourist destination with incredible hiking, fishing, cuisine, music and art. But once you get past this polished yet rugged veneer, it quickly veers into something sinister. Each game in the series deals with some kind of paranormal force, be it aliens, ghosts, or monsters. For example, Silver Falls Gaiden: Deathly Delusion Destroyers And Ruby River, focuses on the town banding together to search for the protagnist's husband, who's gone missing like so many others. While early missions feature normal wild animals, they're rapidly replaced by demonic dogs, flesh beasts, tentacle creatures, and what are clearly Lovecraftian monstrosities. The locals still think they're some kind of mutated animals, but the visual designs are pretty obvious. Also, the loading screens includes supplemental information about Silver Falls; there's a morning mist that can cause people to get lost and go insane, people disappear and reappear without memories of where they've gone, and at least 3 different buildings are supposedly haunted.
- The titular setting of Redfall is an island town off the coast of Massachusetts that has been taken over by a cult of vampires.
- Although The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!'s Generictown is a little too innocent to qualify as Lovecraft Country itself, one of its neighboring towns is Innsmouth, where the police keep getting crank calls about "fish people."
- Shadow Girls, set in Innsmouth and literally billed as "H.P. Lovecraft meets the Gilmore Girls" by its creators.
- Silent Hill: Promise which inherits the setting from Silent Hill proper.
- Ow, my sanity, of course — it's set in Arkham right by the Miskatonic University, and while many of the side characters seem perfectly normal, there's still a preponderance of the 'Innsmouth Look', amongst other things.
- Bobwhite doesn't have any horror or supernatural elements at all, but still manages to discuss this trope.
Marlene: Oh, and H.P. Lovecraft lived here! A lot of his stories take place in this very neighborhood. Providence is actually supposed to be one of the most haunted cities in America.
Georgie: It's pretty, though.
Marlene: Yes, it is.
Georgie: So basically you live in a charming, old-timey black hole of death.
Marlene: Yes, it has a certain something.
- Dear Children's Hearthbrook definitely qualifies, being a coastal Massachusetts town filled with cloaked figures and perhaps even more sinister things. What's more, it is located in Essex County, the real area in which the fictional Arkham, Kingsport and Innsmouth are also located — and Miskatonic University is explicitly real in-universe.
- The Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy, although canonically set in New Hampshire, is an easy walk from Dunwich - appropriate, given that the main character of The Dunwich Horror was named Wilbur Whateley - and a nice drive from Arkham. Even closer are a variety of Class X sites so Lovecraftian and dangerous that even superpowered mutants can't deal with what's there. There's even a truly horrific site in the campus sewer system.
- Seeking Truth has parts here, particularly the parts that have Zeke visiting the isolated homes of the victims. Quite effective here, as the trees provide plenty of cover for the Humanoid Abomination we've all come to love....
- SCP Foundation: SCP-1936 was the New England town of Daleport that has since become a battlefield for numerous Eldritch Abominations.
- Scooby-Doo seems to be set a lot in Lovecraft Country.
- Witch's Ghost makes this very explicit
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has Crystal Cove. However, Crystal Cove seems fairly solidly located in California, and when the the main characters are accepted into Arkham University in the final episode, it is mentioned that getting there will involve driving all the way across the country.
- Young Justice places Gotham City in Connecticut.
- In the setting of Regular Show, there's always an Eldritch Abomination just around the corner.
- ParaNorman, being an Affectionate Parody of the horror genre, is obviously set in Massachusetts, in a town that is clearly based on Salem, with its own witch-hunting local history.
- In The Owl House, Luz finds a door to the Demon Realm not far from her home in Connecticut. The idea is emphasized even more in the episode Thanks to Them, which is set entirely in the town, showing that it has a mixture of modern and old gothic architecture, and that it had extensive witch hunts even before the more famous New England hunts took place. While the town itself is sunny and friendly enough, it is surrounded by dark woods that hide an ancient, flooded graveyard. The graveyard was once the site of a crossing between this world and another, and it still guards the blood of an otherworldly being so powerful that a mere vial of its blood is potent enough to empower magic runes and open rifts between worlds even after being buried for at least four hundred years. Ever since the Hexsquad had to flee the other world, the town has been haunted by a terrible Blob Monster that Was Once a Man, which slithers into the bodies of man and beast alike, consuming them from the inside while puppeteering their bodies around in a gruesome display.
- Invoked by the city of Salem, Massachusetts, whose tourist marketing paints it as a real-life Halloween Town.
- Most of Cape Ann on the North Shore of Massachusetts. It's more rural than the rest of greater Boston, it's where many of Lovecraft's stories take place and when it's not summer is often coated in very thick fog.
- "Lovecraft Country" in a broad sense can refer to any generic rural New England setting (i.e. Stephen King's stories set in backwoods Maine), but if you want to get technical, the fictional locations in Lovecraft's stories which spawned this name are all concentrated in northeastern Massachusetts. Yes, this overlaps with Salem, near the coast, but some of the other famous fictional locations like Dunwich were located a bit more north-central: deeper into the interior in the backwoods, not near the more densely settled and populous coasts (closest to Fitchburg and Greenfield).
- Ironically, while the strictly defined "Lovecraft Country" is concentrated in northeastern Massachusetts, in real life there actually is a hub of alleged paranormal sightings in southeastern Massachusetts known as the Bridgewater Triangle. Sightings have been reported of everything from ghosts to Bigfoot to aliens. So basically, if you're anywhere in the woods of Massachusetts west of the Interstate 495 beltway around the greater Boston area and roughly east from Connecticut, do not stop your car for anything.
- Gillette Stadium is located in or near the Bridgewater Triangle. Hmmmmm.
- Athol, Massachusetts is known to have been one of the rural Central/Western Mass towns that Lovecraft based the town of Dunwich off of. While not known to be especially prone to spooky phenomena, it does get very foggy and is in a heavily wooded area. The "degenerate, decaying town" part is also very much true with Athol, as it is notoriously economically depressed, heavily isolated (even with an exit from Route 2, Worcester, Boston, and Springfield are over an hour away, leaving Greenfield, Gardner, Fitchburg, and Leominster as the closest economic centers, none of which are known for their prosperity or abundance of good jobs), and has rates of domestic violence, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol addiction, and child abuse that are well above average for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- While it is unknown whether Ware was also an inspiration for one of his fictional towns (as it was reasonably prosperous at the time, though the fact that it gained the remaining land from several of the towns that were flooded to form the Quabbin Reservoir means that it is not out of the realm of possibility), it also fits the bill for "decaying, degenerate rural Massachusetts town". Like Athol, it is heavily isolated and located in a heavily wooded area (about forty minutes from Springfield and about an hour from Worcester, but it makes up the difference by being a decent distance away from the Mass Pike, with the notoriously winding and treacherous Route 202 being the main thoroughfare connecting it to both cities), and also like Athol, it is highly economically depressed and lacking in well-paying jobs, has high rates of domestic violence, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse (especially hard drugs, as the downtown is locally known as an area to avoid like the plague after dark), and also holds the dubious distinction of having the highest concentration of Level 3 sex offenders in all of Massachusetts.
- Dudleytown, Connecticut, is a ghost town (overgrown ruins, never formally incorporated) in the northwest of the state which is supposedly haunted. Many residents committed suicide, died under strange circumstances, or were "driven to madness" Lovecraft-style. Visitors to the site have reported chills, floating orbs of light at night, and other paranormal phenomena. The former settlement is now on private land, people entering the area without permission are arrested for trespassing, and police aggressively enforce towing on roads that provide access to the area.
- The land is owned by the Dark Entry Forest Association.