‘The Thing on the Doorstep’ by H.P. Lovecraft

Death… and beyond!

“There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect…”

I know, I know, that I should stop at twelve – that to press on any further is nothing but sheer madness and a blatant – nay, blasphemous! – transgression of Personal Anthology Guidelines… But if the fates smile and Jonathan turns a blind eye and allow me this moment of folly to choose one last story (and an unlucky thirteenth story to boot!) the reader will come to learn of an eldritch world where distinctions between the male and female form, between youth and old age, between life and death itself! become hideously intwined… 

(To say much more would be to spoil the twists and turns of this nasty little story – and I’m already worried that I’ve said too much already – but I shall just add that ‘The Thing on the Doorstep’ is not only also my favourite Lovecraft, but is an ideal starting point for new readers who just fancy reading a good old-fashioned-and-genuinely-quite-chilling horror story without getting too bogged down in the bottomless swamps of the Cthulhu Mythos. Though there are far worse swamps to get bogged down in, if you ask me…)

First published in Weird Tales, 1937. Collected in H.P. Lovecraft Omnibus 3: The Haunter of the Dark, Victor Gollancz 1951. Available to read on the HP Lovecraft website here

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