All posts by Bruce Priddy

People of the Light

People of the Light

A caterpillar. A little brown and black caterpillar, the kind you’d call “wooly bears”. In the dead of winter and cold as ice…Incidentally, you know, the old timers say that the wooly bear caterpillar is a weather prophet. If the brown bands on his fur are narrow, there’s severe weather ahead…This one, you could hardly see the brown bands. Tough weather ahead, that’s what the old timers would say.

Wyllis Cooper, “Northern Lights”, Quiet, Please, 1-30-1949
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Bestial Spirits

Cold Wind, Werewolves

People said he went crazy. He wasn’t crazy. He just wasn’t Jimmy anymore. Something was wearing Jimmy’s body like an old set of clothes. Something that looked out of his eyes and made sounds in his throat. But you could tell, whatever it was, it was very old and very wicked. 

-Brian Taylor, “After Sunset”, Nightfall, 4-29-1983
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Moon Hounds

Moon Hounds

Then I recognized the full significance of those statures. It couldn’t be! It was impossible! But what other answer was there? We turned to head to the surface and just as we did so, I saw something coming up the tunnel toward us. Something that was a pallid white shape in the light of my flashlight. Something running on all fours and howling…”

– Robert Arthur, “The Black Door”, The Mysterious Traveler, 3-18-1952
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Demon Trees

Demon tree

“It’s the tree, moving along in a glow of phosphorous light.”
“It looks like a human giant!”
“Do you two see what it is carrying?”
“It’s carrying Crane! Tucked up under that huge branch that looks like a human arm!”
“Now do you believe? Now do you admit that the tree is alive?”

– Scott Bishop, “The Demon Tree”, Dark Fantasy, 12-5-1941
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Carkers

Carker

Biters, Bloody Benders, Watchers

There was no flesh. Only skin and bone and taut, dry stretches of tendon between. The eyelids were closed; the sockets looked hollow under them. The nose was sunken and almost lost. The scant lips were tightly curled back from the long and very white teeth, which stood forth all the more brilliantly against the deep-brown skin.

Anthony Boucher, “They Bite”

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The Thing on the Fourble Board

The Thing on the Fourble Board

And there it was. I wish…I wish…The face of a little girl, frightened. Crying with hunger and terror. Hands like a human being…And a body…Well, I’ll tell you about that. I told you how I’m scared of spiders

Wyllis Cooper, “The Thing on the Fourble Board”, Quiet, Please, 8-9-1948
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The Undying Sphinx

The Undying Sphinx

Guardians of the Tombs, Living Hatred, Sons of Khafre

In the yellow light of the lamp, they saw a monstrous creature enter through the opening in the wall…a creature with a body of a huge lion and the withered, ages old head of a man! The girl slumped to the floor…and Professor Burton had the time to emit short, petrified scream before the sphinx leaped!

Jack Oleck and Jack Davis “Tomb’s Day”, Vault of Horror #35
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Olitiau

Their rough shape is the only semblance of humanity that remains. They are more like their god now than man. Gaunt, potbellied, skin turned to a browned leather. Thin skin stretches from their wrists to their hips, making weak wings. Their faces are a horrifying blend of human and bat. There isn’t a one that is not caked in blood. Always clicking. Always hissing. If there such a place as Hell, it is populated by these things.

Alternative names: vampires, camazotz, ghala, the wretched

In nightmare warrens beneath Appalachia, Central Africa, and Mexico teem the Olitiau. Once human members of a depraved cult dedicated to Tsathoqqua, the god blessed them for their devotion. It granted them immortality, so they may spend their days in ecstatic worship. Over time their bodies changed to better resemble their god.

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The Original, the Eternal, the Undying

All that Danforth has ever hinted is that the final horror was a mirage. It was not, he declares, anything connected with the cubes and caves of those echoing, vaporous, wormily-honeycombed mountains of madness which we crossed; but a single fantastic, demoniac glimpse, among the churning zenith-clouds, of what lay back of those other violet westward mountains which the Old Ones had shunned and feared.

  – HP Lovecraft, At the Mountains of Madness

Other Names: The Source, the Primal White Jelly, Ur-Shoggoth, God of the Shoggoths, the great gray goo.

If the Original, the Eternal, the Undying has a true name, it is obscured behind vague titles. Few tomes acknowledge the existence of the deity. Those that do only hint at its nature.

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Bone Demons

Bone Demons are tiny, vaguely anthropomorphic jumbles of bones from small animals or infants. Sorcerers create them as servants in a ritual that requires self mutilation and bloodletting. They are covered in decaying meat, held together with sinew, twine, wire, glistening with dried blood. Bone move in a jerking dance, bones rattling against each other as the creature moves.  The monsters must be bathed in blood frequently to remain alive. Bone Demons work as assassins, guards, messengers, and assist in spellcasting. Some are even capable of casting spells on their own.

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