Cthulhu in the Necronomicon

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"The Arab’s book is generally a mish mash of hashish influenced visions and the romantic ravings of a poet; but a careful, and above all, selective study of the elements reveals much to the scientific and modern mind." — Dr. Laban Shrewsbury, 1915.

This unedited, typewritten manuscript was passed on to Laban Shrewsbury's publishers just before his 1938 disappearance. Apparently a follow-up to his previously published An Investigation into the Myth-Patterns of Latter-Day Primitives with Especial Reference to the R'lyeh Text, university officials ruled the manuscript too outré for publication, and Shrewsbury resorted to a vanity press. Edward Holger, one of Doctor Shrewsbury's fellow professors, filled out the rest of the book using notes in his former colleague's office and it was published in 1946. Some say that Holger nursed a secret grudge against Shrewsbury, and was responsible for the wild tone and disputable conclusions which characterize this work.

Shrewsbury’s manuscript begins with the Necronomicon's numerous references to a monstrous "water elemental" or "god" called Cthulhu. Beginning from here, Shrewsbury sets off on a journey through the mythology and folklore around the world. Cthulhu is most often described as a monster waiting to rise up from the deeps to rule over the earth. Shrewsbury tells of Cthulhu’s power to affect men’s dreams and warns of a worldwide cult dedicated to the creature’s return though his bias is evident in that little of his study describes the Cthulhu cult in Western culture. The manuscript runs about 120,000 words on 492 double-spaced pages.


The few spells described are transcripts of Polynesian rites: