Top 5 Scariest Places In Lovecraftian Fiction

Top 5 Scariest Places In Lovecraftian Fiction


Hold on to your hats horror fans–the eldritch
portal has opened up, and we’re being beckoned forth by a horrifying host of anomalous tendrils–calling
us into the eternal abyssal void of Lovecraftian fiction once again. So let’s go! Come on guys, you know that it’s our favourite
thing–and you also may be aware that we’ve scoured the Cthulhu Mythos for quite some
time, picking out the most terrifying creations of it’s cosmic horror. But luckily for us–some fresh real estate
has just opened up, so forget about monsters for a moment–and let’s take a look at the
terrifying neighbourhoods that populate the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Hello horror fans, what’s going on–and
once again welcome back to the scariest channel on YouTube–Top 5 Scary Videos. As per usual, I’ll be your horror host Jack
Finch–as today, we curiously take a look at the Top 5 Scariest Places In Lovecraftian
Fiction. Roll the clip. Ahhhhhh. I get chills every time–and for the curious
amongst you, that scene was from Season One of True Detective, starring Matthew McConahey
and Woody Harrelson–perhaps one of the finest pieces of television ever made–and whilst
that may be giving away a little bit about the events of that phenomenal season–don’t
worry. Because Carcosa is only the destination–it’s
the journey that matters. And yeah–if Carcosa sounds a little familiar,
then–that’s because it is, and time is a flat circle. Anyway. Let’s lay on some cosmic horror. Kicking off at Number 5–Innsmouth And yes, of course–our first destination
on this whistle stop tour of Lovecraftian Fiction has to be the one place that you surely
wouldn’t want to spend your summer holiday in–well, unless you were looking for that
particular Innsmouth look–of course, the small town of Innsmouth, Massachusetts. Now, before we see what all the fuss is about,
it’s probably best that we briefly talk about a little place called Lovecraft Country–because
it’s going to pop up a few times here and there. As some of you may know, within his fictional
works, H.P Lovecraft created a small area of New England that featured recurrently in
his many tales of cosmic horror–oftentimes bleak, East Coast, Atlantic towns and villages–sleepy
suburbs that harboured some deep, dark and downright dank secrets. One of those is this place. Innsmouth, a coastal town founded way back
in 1643–famed for its otherwise fishy disposition. You see, as the primary backdrop of Lovecraft’s
1931 novella, The Shadow Over Innsmouth, the story’s narrator, Robert Olmstead, quickly
discovered that the strange denizens of the town were in fact members of the Cult of Dagon–and
had kept an ancient pact with the horrifying keepers of Dagon, the Deep Ones–fish like,
horrifying monstrosities. As part of their pact with the Deep Ones–the
residents of Innsmouth were forced to interbreed with them, creating a long line of rather
fishy looking individuals. And not only that–as is also revealed later
in the novella, those of Deep One heritage, eventually fully transform into their fishy
ancestors–and flee to a place called Devil’s Reef, just off the coast of Innsmouth–where
the ancient city of Y’ha-nthlei resides. Yeah, it’s safe to say that if your date
tells you they’re actually from Innsmouth–it’s probably best not to order the seabass–and
just walk away. Swinging in at Number 4–Arkham And again, a place that I’m sure many of you
expected to appear on this list–and a name that many of you will be familiar with, even
if you’re not as up to date with the many places and names of Lovecraftian fiction. Yeah, I’m looking at you Arkham Asylum–what
a great game. Anyway–as we said previously, Lovecraft Country
is perhaps the most densely populated–and also widely unfortunate places in the Lovecraft
Universe. With Innsmouth, Dunwich, Kingsport and Providence–it’s
safe to say that all of them merely linger in the shadow of the misty town of Arkham,
Massachusetts. As Lovecraft described in The Thing on the
Doorstep–the ancient, mouldering and subtly fearsome town in which we live–witch cursed,
legend haunted Arkham–whose huddled, sagging gambrel roofs and crumbling Georgian balustrades
brood out the centuries beside the darkly muttering Mistaktonic. I mean, Lovecraft often gets a bit of stick
for his lack of technical prose–but what an awesome sentence that is. The fact is, Lovecraft–as well as August
Derleth and many other Cthulhu Mythos writers–had such a high reverence for Arkham. It was a place crafted with a love for cosmic
horror–and also, a place that featured more often than any others in their works. Herbert West Reanimator, The Colour Out of
Space, The Whisperer In Darkness–The Dreams In The Witch House–The Shadow out of Time–and
many others, all either feature Arkham, or make a note of it’s shadowy reputation. And of course–as you’ll all be waited with
bated breath for me to mention, it is home to the notorious Miskatonic University–the
home of the largest collection of arcane literature and tomes of the occult known to mankind. It says something that the many professors
that form Lovecraft’s protagonists–were primarily the faculty of Miskatonic University. Getting a job there–or even living in Arkham
for that matter–was quite the occupational hazard. Next up at Number 3–The Plateau of Leng And now we’re getting into perhaps the more
genuinely terrifying landscapes of Lovecraftian fiction, where space and time cease to function
in all manners that we understand. Now, if we’re being honest–there are countless
places alluded to in the Cthulhu Mythos, perhaps a sentence here and there in reference to
it’s horrifying mysteries–but none of them are as fleshed out as the Plateau of Leng
is–which is an impressive feat, given the fact that it’s actually never been fully
described. Yeah, I know–but that’s just cosmic horror
for you, I guess. As it first appeared in 1922’s The Hound–Leng
is a cold and arid plateau–whose location seemingly varies entirely depending on who
is observing it. In The Hound–the Necronomicon details that
it’s location actually resides in Central Asia–and it is inhabited by a human corpse-eating
cult. Seemingly, the notorious scholar Abdul Alhazred
describes it as a place where different realities converge–which could perhaps explain why
its precise location can never be pinned down. Again, in 1926’s The Dream Quest of Unknown
Kadath–the Plateau of Leng is said to be located in the north of the Dreamlands–and
strangely enough, it is the residence of the High Priest Not To Be Described–a mysterious
figure who dwells alone in a strange, prehistoric monastery to the Great Old Ones–accompanied
by a race of vile, goatish humanoids. Yeah. And if it doesn’t sound like a nice place,
that’s because it really, really isn’t. In fact–it is also believed that in the legendary
novella, At The Mountains of Madness–the expedition featured in that particular tale
who discovers an ancient abandoned city of impossible dimension, created by the Elder
Things–is in fact a manifestation of the Plateau of Leng–a crossover of the ancient
places of the Cthulhu Mythos–emerging from the fabric of twisted time and space. Yeah, essentially–if you end up on the Plateau
of Leng–you’re probably in for a bit of a terrifying ruckus. Coming in at Number 2–R’lyeh Come on guys. You only knew it was a matter of time–because
in his house at R’lyeh–dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. And if we’re talking about abandoned cities
of impossible dimension and terrifying architecture–then we need only take a quick glance at The Sunken
City to realise just exactly what Lovecraft’s intention was. Because–it’s crazy that we can even elaborate
on this–but the reality is, old Howard Phillips *made*–*architecture*–*scary*. He really did. And we can only admire what an impressive
feat that really is. First appearing in Lovecraft’s 1928 short
story, The Call of Cthulhu–R’lyeh is a sunken city located deep beneath the Pacific
Ocean–a treacherous place characterized by it’s bizarre architecture of non-Euclidean
geometry–and of course, the place where the Great Old One, The High Priest himself–Cthulhu–waits
dreaming. As Lovecraft first describes: The nightmare
corpse-city of R’lyeh was built in measureless eons behind history by the vast, loathsome
shapes that seeped down from the dark stars. — There lay great Cthulhu and his hordes–hideen
in green slimy vaults–until the end. Again, the man knew just exactly how to turn
pillars of stone into looming behemoths of a place that our frail human minds could never
comprehend. Now, if you haven’t read The Call of Cthulhu–then
please, dive into it–because it’s a fantastic read, but as is described in that story–Lovecraft
details R’lyeh as a city of panorama–vast angles of stone surfaces too great to belong
to anything right and proper for this earth. He calls it abnormal–impious and filled to
the brim of horrible images. Although no one has ever been there, Lovecraft
makes a point that navigating the city on foot is nearly impossible. Surfaces that appear flat may be tilted–angles
of masonry that appear convex at first glance, will shift and change to appear concave. Nothing is as it seems–and R’lyeh is a
place that was never intended to be witnessed by human beings. Yeah–take note, if you’re trying to write
a terrifying location–this is a whole different level. And finally, coming in at our Number 1 spot–Carcosa Of course–because although a place not primarily
created by Lovecraft himself–when it comes to cosmic horror, there are fewer places in
the terrifying cosmos that strike such unimaginable fear in the hearts of us weary humans–as
that of Carcosa. And again, much like with the Plateau of Leng–this
place has never been truly comprehended in the many texts of the Cthulhu Mythos. And, let’s not beat about the bush–that’s
the reason why it’s truly terrifying, right? Because if there was some kind of revelation
that Carcosa, was in fact, the home of a race of cute, fluffy–bear like Ewoks–we wouldn’t
be scared in the slightest. You see, that *could* be true–that *could*
be the case–but the fact that we don’t know, and the fact that we never will know–is
why our curiosity is peaked, and is why we are fearful of it. It is the literal definition of cosmic horror. The fear of the unknown. First mentioned in the 1886 short story by
Ambrose Bierce, An Inhabitant of Carcosa–the ancient and mysterious city is barely described,
and is only ever viewed in hindsight, following it’s alleged destruction–by the narrator
who once lived there. The city would later be picked up and used
more extensively in the Robert W. Chambers book–The King In Yellow–although the mysterious
allusion to its location or even its origin was still it’s primary function. Chambers gave us just enough information about
Carcosa to keep our intrigue peaked–and in fact, that has been the same fuel that has
kept the mystery of Carcosa in our cultural memory for so long. No other place in literature has been passed
from pillar to post, from author to author–so often as Carcosa. In The King In Yellow–the city of Carcosa
is a mysterious, ancient and impossibly cursed place. One description of its location is said to
be located on the shores of the Lake of Hali–deep within the Hyades star cluster. Where’s that? Beats me–but I’m pretty confident that
we should all avoid it. As the Cthulhu Mythos has later elaborated
upon, it is believed that Carcosa is the residence of the Great Old One Hastur–who often merges
the reality of Earth with his home dimension of Carcosa–seemingly plucking humans out
of thin air like apples on a tree, to be his tortured playthings. Yeah. Carcosa. It literally goes without saying–but it’s
a pretty terrifying place. Well, there we have it horror fans–our list
for the Top 5 Scariest Places In Lovecraftian Fiction. What do you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? Have any more to add? Then let us know your thoughts down in the
comment section below, as well as any choice picks of your own. Before we depart from today’s video though,
let’s first take a quick look at some of your more creative comments from over the
past few days. Gareth Allen says– Want to hear something really WEIRD? Before Lost Highway, I could not STAND David
Lynch. Then I watched Twin Peaks, which became my
favorite series of all time, although Season 1 of True Detective bounced it down to Number
2. Brilliant again Jack, Cheers! –And cheers to you Gareth Allen, thank you
very much. You know what, I agree with a lot of stuff
you said in this comment–and I agree, Twin Peaks is the *lynch* pin–to David Lynch’s
works. See what I did there? But yeah–listen to Gareth guys, if you’re
struggling with some of Lynch’s stuff–watch Twin Peaks and all will be revealed. Well, on that note, unfortunately, that’s
all we’ve got time for in today’s video–cheers for sticking around all the way until the
end. If you were a fan of this video, or just Top
5 Scary Videos in general, then please–be a dear and hit that thumbs up button, as well
as that subscribe bell, and I’ll be seeing you in the next one.