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Referenced By / H. P. Lovecraft

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Although referenced vastly less than Shakespeare or Norse Mythology, the author H.P. Lovecraft has received more allusions than any other 20th century author besides possibly Tolkien. This is especially true within the genre of horror fiction, as he was the Trope Codifier for much of modern horror fiction, especially when it involves an Eldritch Abomination or a Cosmic Horror Story. His Cthulhu Mythos has become a fixture of popular culture in the decades since his death.


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  • Robert E. Howard was a correspondent of Lovecraft. His Conan mythos shares many elements with the Cthulhu Mythos. He was probably the Ur-Example of a Shout-Out to Lovecraft.
  • Robert Bloch, creator of Psycho (or at least the book the film was based on), was one of the "Lovecraft Circle" and cheerfully wrote stories set in the same world as HPL's writing. Lovecraft returned the favor as well.
  • Stephen King has acknowledged Lovecraft as an influence and has written numerous pastiches like "Jerusalem's Lot" (different from 'Salem's Lot) and using Nyarlathotep as an alias for Randall Flagg.
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  • Too many authors to name have written pastiches of his work ranging from Brian Lumley to Neil Gaiman. Lovecraft, himself, enjoyed letting people play with his toys.
  • Earlier books of the Discworld seriously take parodies of Lovecraft Up to Eleven.
  • Diogenes Club series:
    • "Sorcerer Conjurer Wizard Witch" mentions an agent of the Diogenes Club being involved in the famous raid on Innsmouth, and "The Big Fish" has a couple of the Club's agents being involved in a follow-up raid on a Deep One colony off the West Coast near Santa Monica.
    • In "The Case of the French Spy", the protagonists help a relatively friendly Deep One (in this setting, the Deep Ones are not inherently bad; the ones in Innsmouth and California were devotees of an Apocalypse Cult) escape captivity. The Deep One speaks an unknown language of which the only word transcribed is "f'tagn", which the hero assumes from context to be a swearword.


  • Metallica reference the Cthulhu Mythos in a few of their songs, most obviously in "The Thing That Should Not Be" and the title of the instrumental "The Call of Ktulu", but also in a few others.
  • The band Blind Idiot God took their name from Lovecraft's description of Azathoth.


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Video Games

  • Warcraft: The Warcraft universe contains the Old Gods. The first hints of them are in Warcraft 3, and they actually start appearing in person in World of Warcraft. These creatures are intended as a Shout-Out to entities in the Cthulhu Mythos. 4 of them have been named in-game so far. C'thun = Cthulhu. Yogg-Saron = Yog-Sothoth. N'Zoth = Zoth-Ommog. Y'shaarj = Shub-Niggurath.
  • In the Fallout series, anything related to Dunwich Borers LLC can be expected to consist of strange, occult, Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane horror.

Visual Novels

  • Demonbane, being heavily based on the Cthulhu Mythos, contains a huge number of shout-outs to Lovecraft's and other authors' works in the cycle. Some are obvious, others are more subtle.

Web Animation

  • "White Walls", by David Armsby uses Cthulhu imagery to strengthen the Lovecraftian themes. The short centers around a man who has spent his entire life in a single room and suddenly gets just a single glimpse of the outside. The story is a metaphor for someone going mad from glimpsing the greater Cthulhu mythos. Word of God also states that the man was deliberately modeled after Howard.

Western Animation


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