Ten Places to Visit If You Love Lovecraft
Lovecraft is one of the most influential authors in the genre of weird fiction and horror, and he was also an enthusiastic traveler. If you love to travel too, you can visit some of the towns that influenced Lovecraft's work. Find some of the New England towns that Lovecraft visited himself and used to influence his own fictional towns.
Lovecraft said that he based Innsmouth in “The Shadow over Innsmouth” on Newburyport, MA. Newburyport is a seaport north of Boston, with plenty of historical sites. The narrator of Lovecraft's story visited Newburyport Public Library. The town is also home to the Cushing House Museum and the Masonic Hall, which Lovecraft used as inspiration for the Esoteric Order of Dagon hall.
Townshend, Vermont was the setting for Lovecraft’s short story “The Whisperer in Darkness”. Townshend is pretty small, but it has some beautiful scenery and some old covered bridges. Throughout the year, they have many events at the Town Hall and Town Common, including The Pumpkin Festival and art fairs.
Providence is a no-brainer. This was Lovecraft’s hometown, and he wrote about it often. It is a location in one of his most prominent works, “The Call of Cthulhu”. He mentions the Fleur-de-Lys Studio, which is still around. Visitors can also visit H.P. Lovecraft's gravestone at Swan Point Cemetery and his memorial plague, found north of the entrance at John Hay Library. Unfortunately, the home Lovecraft lived in was torn down in 1961.
The fictional town of Kingsport in several of Lovecraft’s stories, including “The Festival”, is based on the real-life town of Marblehead. This coastal town has beautiful harbors and beaches. Lovecraft was influenced by certain landmarks and sites, including Old Burial Hill, the Bowden House, and St. Michael's Episcopal Church. Lovecraft often said that he loved Marblehead so much, if he didn't live in Providence, he would reside there.
Boston is Massachusetts’ largest city, and also their capital. It was frequently featured in Lovecraft’s work, including the creepy short story “Pickman’s Model” and "The Dunwich Horror". Specifically, you could visit the mentioned Copp’s Hill Burial Grounds. Lovecraft also makes a reference to the Harry Elkins Widener Memorial Library at Harvard, which is located just outside of Boston in Cambridge, MA.
Lovecraft used the Danvers State Hospital for the Criminally Insane as inspiration for some of his stories, including “The Shadow of Innsmouth” and “Pickman’s Model”. Today, the hospital is out of operation and is running as condominiums instead. Lovecraft also visited the Captain Samuel Fowler House and talked about it in his personal letters.
Salem may be creepy enough as it is, but it was also the located for some of Lovecraft’s works, including "Dreams in the Witch House", "Pickman's Model" and “The Thing on the Doorstep”. There is a lot to see and do in Salem, mostly related to its dark history. Several locations are mentioned by Lovecraft in his works and letters, including The Witch House, the Crowninshield-Bentley House, the Derby House, and the Charter Street Burial Grounds.
Lovecraft lived in Brooklyn Heights in New York for about two years. It was not a pleasant experience for the author. While there, he wrote “The Horror at Redhook”, which was influenced by his own experience getting robbed and the the site of the Atlantic Avenue or Cobble Hill Tunnel.
East Haddam, CT
Lovecraft’s fictional town of Dunwich in "The Dunwich Horror" was influenced by many other locations, one of which could be East Haddam. East Haddam is the home of “Devil’s Hopyard”, a large state park, and the town has a history involving witches and unexplained noises, known as "the Moodus noises".
Which town do you most want to visit?
Gloucester is another city said to influence the fictional town of Innsmouth. It is a coastal town that is very rocky. It juts out into the ocean. Lovecraft was said to be influenced by the town after he visited. He visited and was influenced by the Legion Memorial Building, the Sargent-Murray-Gilman-Hough House, and Mother Ann, or Mount Ann, a large hill on Cape Ann.
© 2014 Nora B