Crawling One

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The Crawling Ones (AKA "The Worm That Walks") are from H.P. Lovecraft's "The Festival (fiction)".

The Crawling One is a mound of worms and maggots in the shape of a human body. Since the body can walk, it is easy to confuse this with The Worm that Walks.


The nether most caverns are not for the fathoming of eyes that see; for their marvels are strange and terrific. Cursed the ground where dead thoughts live new and oddly bodied, and evil the mind that is held by no head. Wisely did Ibn Schacabao say, that happy the town at night whose wizards are all ashes. For it is of old rumor that the soul of the devil-bought hastes not from his charnel clay, but fats and instructs the very worm that gnaws; till out of corruption horrid life springs, and the dull scavengers of earth wax crafty to vex it and swell monstrous to plague it. Great holes secretly are digged where earth's pores ought to suffice, and things have learnt to walk that ought to crawl.
H.P. Lovecraft's "The Festival (fiction)"

The Crawling One is a mound of enormous graveworms and maggots in the shape of a human body, each one still alive and creeping and invested as a collective organism with the intellect of a dead wizard; due to the nature of this entity, it cannot speak, but it is capable of writing messages. Many serve the Xothans from within secret towns carved out of deep caverns beneath the Pacific Ocean, and these may have a specific affinity for that race. Some others serve Hastur or even Tulzscha. Crawling Ones may also be found throughout the Dreamlands, especially in or around the Vale of Pnath among the frightful Ghouls that dwell there. The Crawling Ones may also be accompanied by tame, bat-winged mounts - Byakhee - which carry the Crawling Ones to their destinations under the earth, to the Dreamlands, or to other worlds.

Heresies and Controversies

  • The connection to Hastur: "As I turned, my listless glance included the man below in the churchyard. His face was toward me now, and with a perfectly involuntary movement I bent to see it. At the same moment he raised his head and looked at me. Instantly I thought of a coffin-worm. Whatever it was about the man that repelled me I did not know, but the impression of a plump white grave-worm was so intense and nauseating that I must have shown it in my expression, for he turned his puffy face away with a movement which made me think of a disturbed grub in a chestnut." - Robert W. Chambers, "The Yellow Sign (fiction)"

Associated Mythos Elements