Håkan Torevik

Featured Member

  • February 1, 2018

Our Member of the Month for February 2018 is Håkan Torevik of Rättvik, Sweden.

Håkan says: "I was born in a boring small town in the west of Sweden and had a normal, boring childhood. However, at the age of nine I had my first literary revelation when my mother gave me a copy of The Hobbit. This has led me to a lifelong addiction to reading. The addiction to words had me scour the local library for the fantastic and the terrifying, so there among the shelves I first encountered the magic of HP Lovecraft a few years later.

The first fix was Skräckens Labyrinter, a collection of the master's short stories selected and translated by Swedish SF-legend Sam J Lundwall. I borrowed that many times over the years until I could afford to buy my own books by the master. One of the first stories I remember reading, which still is my favourite, is "The Colour Out of Space". Since then I have read his collected works numerous times and I keep returning to him, no matter how many other authors I read and like.

Out of the many wonderful things created by the HPL Historical Society my definite favourites are the Call of Cthulhu motion picture and the Dark Adventure Radio Theatre.

Since my discovery of HPL, I have grown up and moved to Stockholm to have a career in IT. After some years, I realized my city apartment didn’t fit all my books so we relocated to a 19th-century house overlooking the hinterlands of Dalecarlia in the middle of Sweden. My days are spent as a middle aged public servant and my nights are spent reading, cooking, playing the guitar (badly) and most importantly being the servant of an eight-year-old Cornish Rex cat goddess.

Deeply honoured to make your acquaintance!

(Note, that old grimoire in the back of the picture is most definitely NOT a copy of Olaus Wormius' translation into Latin of the Necronomicon)"

Ken Shaw

Featured Member

  • December 11, 2017

Our Member of the Month for December 2017 is Kenneth Shaw of Brooklyn, New York.

Ken says: "I am a designer/animator for television living n H.P. Lovecraft's least favorite place to live, Brooklyn, NY. On the weekends I can be found in a print /shop in Gowanus screen printing. My prints often take their inspiration from works by Lovecraft and Poe.

I grew up in Connecticut and Massachusetts, connecting with H.P.L.'s image of a Gothic New England.

I first discovered Lovecraft in a comic adaptation of "Pickman's Model" I read when I was in junior high. H.P.L.'s name kept coming up even amidst the horror media available to a 13-year old in the early 80s. I found the classic Del Rey, gray and red Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre at my local Waldenbooks. I have to admit my attention span at the time made his writing challenging, but I kept returning to it. While reading "The Dunwich Horror"" I felt a key turn in my head and became hooked. I then discovered his hand was in many of the things I loved. Ridley Scott's Alien, John Carpenter's The Thing, Stephen King novels, comics and videogames to name a few.

I am thrilled to be selected as HPLHS Member of the month.

The camaraderie of Lovecraft enthusiasts is amazing. We have inherited not only a connection to his work, but his love of correspondence. The more I mention him online, the greater number of digital pen pals I have."

The HPLHS was proud to offer a limited edition of screen prints of "The Shadow Out of Time" by Ken in our online store, although they are no longer available. Be sure to check out Ken's portfolio online!

Featured Member

  • November 3, 2017

Our Member of the Month for November 2017 is Paul Helfrich of Dayton, Ohio.

Paul says: "My first introduction to H.P. Lovecraft came via my purchase, at age 11, of this 1971 Ballantine edition of The Shuttered Room. Without question, it was the cover art that attracted me: The Shuttered Room

Ironically, of course, not a single tale in that volume is actually by Lovecraft! But I loved it, and I went on to purchase all the remaining Ballantine editions – plus others I discovered at used book sales, including this one: The Colour Out of Space..and I still have both, over 40 years later.

Like many Lovecraftians, I’m an avid reader of all sorts of things; while I put Lovecraft at the top of my list, I’m also a big fan of the work of Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen King, Tolkien, and George R.R. Martin. My favorite Lovecraft story is "The Haunter of the Dark"; I’m also very fond of "The Whisperer in Darkness", "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward", "The Shadow Out of Time", and "The Thing on the Doorstep", the latter a bit underappreciated, in my view. I also especially enjoy two of Lovecraft’s non-Mythos stories, "The Picture in the House"" (that outrageous dialect!) and "Cool Air". My most vivid experience with Lovecraft was reading "The Dreams in the Witch House" at probably age 12-13; scared the crap out of me!

If anything I am growing in my Lovecraft fandom as I get older; I’ve been an HPLHS member since 2011 and feel very fortunate to have been able to attend Necronomicon Providence in 2015 and 2017. My (Ohio) license plate is HP LCRFT.

For me, Lovecraft’s cosmicism is not depressing, but rather I find it liberating and enervating. It’s a constant reminder that whatever the trials of daily life, things could be - probably really are, but we’ve got that whole “placid island of ignorance” thing going for us – far, far, worse.

When not faltering down black cobwebbed steps and lingering around sinister monoliths, I’m a performing arts administrator in Dayton, Ohio, where I live with my wife and two children. I’m a lifelong musician and particular fan of all the various flavors of metal and prog rock, as well as symphonic music, so for me, the rock opera version of The Dreams in the Witch House is like the greatest thing ever! I’m also a big fan of the D.A.R.T productions, which I most heartily recommend to all fans of HPL.

Featured Member

  • October 2, 2017

Our Member of the Month for October 2017 is Ezriel Joshua of London.

Ezriel says: "I started reading H.P. Lovecraft’s works when I was a teenager, in Brighton, England, in the 1970s. A man called John lent me a copy of At the Mountains of Madness. He told me he’d been on Christmas Island in 1957, serving in the British armed forces, when they tested a nuclear weapon. Like many nuclear test veterans, he experienced physical and psychological problems for the rest of his life. He told me that when the bomb exploded he could see, through the ‘protective’ goggles he’d been given, the bones in his hands, and that the mushroom cloud appeared to contain shadowy images of parts of various creatures - claws, tentacles, wings, and suchlike. John claimed that he had a copy of the Necronomicon in a brown leather satchel. When I said that I didn’t believe him, he took me – and the satchel – to a nearby church. We’d only been in the building a couple of minutes when a priest emerged from the vestry and shouted at us to leave immediately. I never asked John about the Necronomicon again, but sometimes I wish I had. When John passed, he left me a hand-written volume of prose and poetry fragments called The Book of the End. I treasured it for many years, but it mysteriously disappeared about 10 years ago. Today I read Lovecraft regularly, as well as related fiction such as Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country and Paul La Farge’s The Night Ocean. I also enjoy dipping into the essays in the volume The Age of Lovecraft, edited by Carl H. Sederholm and Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock. I am proud to hold Lifetime Membership in the HPLHS, and honoured to have been chosen by the Powers of Randomness to appear on the website.

Tim Tellier

Featured Member

  • September 14, 2017

Our Member of the Month for September 2017 is Timothy Tellier of Pensacola, Florida. Tim says:

"My first exposure to Howard was age nine. Family was visiting my grandmother in Milwaukee, WI. There was a kid, David, who lived across the alley. He was an avid reader who exhorted me to read Lovecraft. That kid is now a professional stage magician.

Over the years I read Lovecraft when I could. Surprisingly, during my high-school years in Zion, IL, there was even a grade B rock band called HP Lovecraft that spurred myself and others to acquaint themselves with his work and others in the genre like August Derleth.

As I have aged (I am now 67), I've found his particular brand of terror philosophy increasingly panic-inducing...the destruction of reality and the reordering of consciousness is not comforting but it is entertaining in a macabre way. The Ancient Ones are incapable of any consideration of our existence."

Chad Redding

Featured Member

  • July 9, 2017

Our Member of the Month for July 2017 is Chad Redding of Dunedin, Florida. Chad says:

"Hello ! fellow Lovecraftians, I am Chad Redding, proud member and follower of the Cthulhu Mythos! I am a history major at USF in central Florida, and avid creepy tales aficionado. I enjoy reading anything Lovecraft, my favorite but not limited to is of course The Call of Cthulhu!. A great honor to be the member of the month!!"

Chris Lott

Featured Member

  • September 1, 2016

Our Member of the Month for September 2016 is Chris Lott of Santa Clarita, California.

"I don’t remember exactly when I first became an HP Lovecraft fan, but once I caught the fever it never left. I think that one of the reasons that Lovecraft’s works have has such a lasting impression upon me is that I relish the idea that as I go about my mundane, day-to-day existence that there might be shadowy, unseen forces at work or occult mysteries waiting to be uncovered. Or it may just be that they’re damned fun stories. Thanks to the HPLHS my passion for all things Lovecraftian has only grown and now I’m a full-fledged addict and lifetime member of the Society."

"When I’m not reading Lovecraft or listening to the latest Dark Adventure Radio Theatre serial, I spend my free time immersed in RPGs, board games (Eldritch Horror is a favorite, naturally), comics and other suitably geeky pursuits. I currently live in Santa Clarita, CA with my wife Carly and our two dogs."

Mike Jenkins

Featured Member

  • July 1, 2016

Our Member of the Month for July 2016 is Michael Jenkins of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mike is a professional graphic designer who enjoys making Lovecraftian props. Several of his props hang on the refrigerator door at HPLHS global headquarters. "One of the first props I made was a crude, hand-bound Necronomicon," he says, "used mainly as a prop for a photo series in college. My skill set being what it is, most of my props are of a printed and 2D nature. I’ve made silly mock postcards, designed matchbooks, tickets, title pages and the odd invitation. The Silver Key you see below is an assemblage of found objects, cheap metal jewelry beads, strung together to resemble a medieval Arabian Kaaba key. My Black Seal (from The Novel of the Black Seal, by Arthur Machen) was actually designed in a browser-based 3D program and 3D printed by an online vendor. The more tongue-in-cheek Corona/Cthulhu bottle cap parody was also printed on demand for me by an online vendor.

Though I find picking one single story out of the corpus to be like choosing one ‘favorite’ family member, I will champion The Haunter of the Dark, which I feel gets less appreciation than it deserves.

- Michael Jenkins -

Member Spotlight: Michael Jenkins

  • July 1, 2016

Mike says, "I discovered HPL in late high school or early college, which I gather is later than most of us. Besides ‘weird fiction’ like HPL, REH and Poe, I enjoy science fiction and historical non-fiction. Though I find picking one single story out of the corpus to be like choosing one ‘favorite’ family member, I will champion The Haunter of the Dark, which I feel gets less appreciation than it deserves."

Featured Member

  • March 12, 2017

Our Member of the Month for March 2017 is Paul Maclean of West Yorkshire in the United Kingdom. Paul is a truly delightful fellow who works tirelessly to promote Lovecraftian gaming in the U.K. and around the world.

Paul says: "My name is Paul Maclean and I’ve been a fan of Lovecraftian worlds for over 30 years - ever since I encountered Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game back in the early ‘80s. The back pages of those games featured lists of Lovecraft’s works - but being British, it was something I couldn’t get hold of until several years later with the advent of cheap UK paperback reprints. I devoured all of HPL’s stories over one long summer, while listening to lots of early Mike Oldfield.

It may have had an effect. Following those formative years I became an archaeologist, which is great in a certain Lovecraftian way, but less so if you want to earn any money (though the lack of such is also probably quite Lovecraftian).

It was during this time I found the HPLHS. I clearly remember hearing the clever songs of “Shoggoth on the Roof” in the early 2000s and watching tiny videos put online by Sean and Andrew. A few years before this I had begun my own little fan site focused on the Call of Cthulhu roleplaying game: Yog-Sothoth(.com), and later on the HPLHS were very generous in letting me stream a few bits and pieces of their content for the dedicated visitor - in the days of dial-up connections you had to be pretty patient for *anything* to download…

I remember the landmark year of 2005 and the HPLHS’ film The Call of Cthulhu - it showed just what amazing things could be done by dedicated folks even on a shoestring budget. Its production still astounds me today.

Despite being across the Atlantic I’ve had the good fortune to meet Sean and Andrew along with other members of the HPLHS including Chris Lackey of HP Podcraft (now an honorary Englishman) who sometimes joins our podcasts (The Cthulhu Breakfast Club and News from Pnakotus). They are all great people.

As soon as the HPLHS re-opened membership a few years ago I joined up; I always look forward to whatever they have in store next!

If you want to see what I (and a few friends) get up to, just visit YSDC. As for what the HPLHS are up to, well you’re already here. :-)"

Featured Member

  • June 8, 2017

Our Member of the Month for June 2017 is Ryan Hörst of Hedgesville, West Virginia. Ryan is a highly decorated and active Lifetime Member of the Society, and very kindly sent us his handmade King In Yellow Journal to examine. Its ingenious flaps and hidden extras reminded us of the crime dossiers that Dennis Wheatley published in the 1930s, which have themselves inspired HPLHS prop document projects. And it made perfect sense when we learned how he got into Lovecraft in the first place:

"My foray into Lovecraft came more round-about than most other die-hard fans of his work, I would wager. While I read quite a bit growing up, my bookworm tendencies leaned towards the science-side of the fiction realm versus the horror for which Lovecraft was known. I was a nerd in the stereotypical sense – roleplaying (mostly Star Wars and D&D 3rd Ed.) and video games, comics, etc.

I remember in late 2002 while attending college being introduced to the new Wizards of the Coast d20 Modern table-top roleplaying game. I was utterly fascinated with their “Shadow Chasers” setting which involved a small band of “heroes” being aware that there are things beyond normal mortal comprehension, concealed by a supernatural veil, out there dwelling among the rest of humanity. That year, over Christmas break, my friends and I delved in to the setting and I was hooked. I had to know more about the influences behind this “shadow realm.”

Since I’m sure that the Mi-Go the Society has on retainer would drag the truth from me, I may as well confess that Robert E. Howard was where my initial research led me. As many know, Howard was a contemporary of Lovecraft, even contributing several of his own elements to the Cthulhu Mythos. Regardless, I soon thereafter discovered Lovecraft. As a roleplaying gamer, I love both of these authors for different reasons: Howard is excellent from a player’s perspective as most of his characters fight back against the darkness and often win, but Lovecraft is my preferred from a Dungeon Master’s perspective since normally it’s the antagonists that frequently consume the characters – either figuratively or literally.

As is often the case with people who run roleplaying games for their friends, creative writing is a side interest of mine. I spent a lot of my time while I was stationed with the Army in South Korea from 2007-2008 practicing my skills. Fast forward a few years. Christmas 2015, my mother-in-law sent me a most wonderful gift – an experience from The Mysterious Package Company titled The King in Yellow. Being the roleplaying nerd that I am, I decided to journal my experience “in character” as if this whole thing were real. I don’t think I can properly convey how much fun I had creating this journal (see picture). The most enjoyable part, though, was how it led me down a rabbit hole of research and connections to other authors. I took a few creative liberties and suggested some conspiracy theories of my own, but all highly plausible if one’s mind was being… influenced… by supernatural forces.

It was also at this time that I decided to join The Society as a life member in support of their mission. While I’ve never played a game of Cthulhu Lives!, I love that the whole point of The Society is “we thought it would be fun.” And having fun I am. I participated in my first “Secret Shoggoth” this past year and received a very nice thank you note from the recipient. I also have started my collection of DART performances to accompany my Mythoscope DVD copies of The Call of Cthulhu and The Whisperer in Darkness. I never thought I’d be a stamp collector, but I find myself trying to plot out how to acquire additional stamps for my membership passport. It’s addictive. My best friend’s wife grew up in Lovecraft’s home town of Providence, RI and her family has extended an open invitation for us to come visit. I think a pilgrimage is in order. I’m pretty sure there’s a stamp waiting for me there.

Lately though, my focus has been on adjusting to fatherhood. My wife, Ashley, and I added our first addition to our family, a little girl named Eve, on May the 7th. I’m excited since now I have someone to begin sharing my enjoyment of all things Lovecraft (see picture). Ashley just shakes her head at me, but I think she’s probably a Mi-Go spy."