Le narrateur, Robert Olmstead, amateur de civilisation ancienne et venant de fêter sa majorité, entreprend un voyage à travers la Nouvelle-Angleterre afin d'en apprendre un peu plus sur ses origines. Arrivé à la gare de Newburyport pour prendre le train vers Arkham, il découvre l'existence d'une ligne de bus passant par la mystérieuse et lugubre Innsmouth. Cette option lui semble bien plus avantageuse au vu de sa maigre bourse, mais étrangement les gens semblent avoir un dégoût profond pour ce village aux habitants peu commodes et physiquement très peu avantagés. Après une visite au musée de Newburyport où il découvre des bijoux forgés dans un métal inconnu et aux formes étranges, sa curiosité envers la ville est accrue et c'est ainsi que le lendemain il s'embarque dans le bus conduit par un autochtone, Joe Sargent.
"In the Vault" was based on a suggestion made in August 1925 by Charles W. Smith, editor of the amateur journal Tryout, which Lovecraft recorded in a letter: "an undertaker imprisoned in a village vault where he was removing winter coffins for spring burial, & his escape by enlarging a transom reached by the piling up of the coffins". Lovecraft accordingly dedicated the story to Smith.
"The idea that black magic exists in secret today, or that hellish antique rites still exist in obscurity, is one that I have used and shall use again. When you see my new tale "The Horror at Red Hook", you will see what use I make of the idea in connexion with the gangs of young loafers & herds of evil-looking foreigners that one sees everywhere in New York." HP Lovecraft
Robert Blake - a young man with an interest in the occult - becomes fascinated by a large disused church set on a hill which he can see from his lodgings. His researches reveal that the church has a sinister history and is dreaded by the local inhabitants as being haunted by a primeval evil.
The story details the events of a disastrous expedition to the Antarctic continent in September of 1930 and what was found there by a group of explorers led by the narrator, Dr. William Dyer of Miskatonic University. Throughout the story, Dyer details a series of previously untold events in the hope of deterring another group of explorers who wish to return to the continent.
Randolph Carter dreams three times of a majestic sunset city, but each time he is abruptly snatched away before he can see it up close. When he prays to the gods of dream to reveal the whereabouts of the phantasmal city, they do not answer, and his dreams of the city stop altogether. Undaunted, Carter resolves to go to Kadath, where the gods live, to beseech them in person. However, no one has ever been to Kadath and none even knows how to get there. In dream, Randolph Carter descends "seventy steps" and speaks of his plan to the priests Nasht and Kaman-Thah, whose temple - the Cavern of Flame - borders the Dreamlands. The priests warn Carter of the great danger of his quest and suggest that the gods withdrew his vision of the city on purpose.
It is true that I have sent six bullets through the head of my best friend, and yet I hope to show by this statement that I am not his murderer. At first I shall be called a madman - madder than the man I shot in his cell at the Arkham Sanitarium. Later some of my readers will weigh each statement, correlate it with the known facts, and ask themselves how I could have believed otherwise than I did after facing the evidence of that horror - that thing on the doorstep...
The novel, set in 1918, describes how Charles Dexter Ward becomes obsessed with his distant ancestor, Joseph Curwen, an alleged wizard with unsavory habits. Ward physically resembles Curwen, and attempts to duplicate his ancestor's Qabalistic and alchemical feats. He eventually uses this knowledge to physically resurrect Curwen. Ward's doctor, Marinus Bicknell Willett, investigates Ward's activities and is horrified by what he finds.
The narrator is a student on an antiquarian tour of New England. He sees a piece of exotic jewelry in a museum, and learns that its source is the nearby decrepit seaport of Innsmouth. He travels to Innsmouth and observes disturbing events and people. A local resident tells him a horrifying story of aquatic monsters who can interbreed with humans to produce amphibian hybrids. The student is then tricked into staying overnight in the town...
An American professor in the early 1900s fears he is going insane when he unaccountably begins seeing strange vistas of alien cities. It emerges that he is being "possessed" by members of an alien race that project their minds through time and space to switch bodies with a host species and study cosmic history.
A meteor falls from the heavens, infecting a small farm and its occupants with a strange malady. What strangeness comes from the deepest of space to destroy everything it touches?
Dunwich, Massachusetts, a hidden village falling into its own decay of inbreeding and pestilence, experiences a new horror which threatens to destroy it all. Old Whateley makes a pact with Yog-Sothoth and rears a spawn from hell.
"The Call of Cthulhu" is a short story by American writer H. P. Lovecraft. Written in the summer of 1926, it was first published in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, in February 1928.