Here are original works inspired by the weird fiction writing of HP Lovecraft, and others inspired by him. These faux relics dance around the stories, igniting the imagination
This beautiful and mind-shatteringly dangerous relic was brought to us by the widow of a Narragansett Bay fisherman in 1963. The man had snagged it with his line while fishing the Bay. That night his widow claimed watching strange lights dance on the walls in the kitchen as he sat in the dark, staring in the box. After that, she said, the fisherman wouldn’t shut the lights off. For a couple of months she endured the behavior until she saw the electricity bill.
On a whim, one night, as she got a glass of water from the kitchen, she turned the lights out on her way back to the bedroom. As soon as the last light had been extinguished in the hall, a great black wind knocked her down on its way to her sleeping husband. Though they never found his body, the widow assured me that the shrieks were enough to convince her of his fate.
Scholars say this object hails from completely alien origins. Others say it was first discovered in Egyptian ruins in the 1800’s. This may be true, though cryptic passages in forbidden texts hint at a more terrifying possibility. It is now believed that several of the Trapezohedron exist, hidden in the world’s most ancient and hidden places. For now, we offer this to you with one warning. Don’t turn out the lights.
This Jade artifact was found by seismologists after the May 4th Earthquake of 1998, on Yonaguni Island in Japan. A previously unknown cave shrine was discovered on the south western coast of the island. Scientists surveying damage from the quake noticed a dark crack in a rock surface facing the sea. The crack was not in the stone, but in a large ceramic door which had been hand molded and fired in place to seal the cave entrance. Badly eroded , finger drawn, writing covered the seal, but could not be deciphered. Archaeologists were called, and the site investigated. The team discovered a small natural cave which dead ended into an alcove. The walls of the cave and alcove were covered with unspeakable, primitive, paintings of unnatural couplings between humans and sea monsters. The only artifacts to be found were the statuette known as the Yonaguni Venus, and the carved ammonite pedestal it rested on.
This item was discovered in a secret drawer of a whaler’s footlocker after an auction in Providence RI, 1977. The lot had been called The India Point Chest and had been a fine example of 19th century Yankee craftsmanship. On the underside of its lid had been written, in the same hand, many ports of call from Singapore to the Caribbean, with all points in between. The scrimshaw tooth, believed to be from an adolescent sperm whale, was found wrapped in a linen handkerchief. On the linen had been written, “Suffer the bad dreams, Hamish. With tooth in pocket, the Leviathans can’t spot you. – J “
These items surfaced in Kerman, Iran, during the excavation of a temple-like structure from the 3rd Century. Items and inscriptions found led archaeologists to hypothesize that the temple had been used by an Esoteric Dream Cult. Traces of mind altering mixtures and incense, coupled with strange tablets describing dream travel and fantastic heavenly beings support this. The varied, but eerily similar carved statuettes from an unknown material were said to be gifts from a god, YibbTstll, and were meant to act as the worshiper’s servant in the “Dreamlands”. Though rare, these effigies have turned up in private collections as well as museums.
This is the sculpture I made for the newly resurrected Robert Bloch Award given to S.T. Joshi at this years NecronomiCON. The creature with the burning three lobed eye pulses red inside the black gem. It was a labor of love that I was honored to provide.
The origins of the Toad are steeped in mystery. It was first recorded in the postmortem effects of a soldier who had drowned coming home from the Korean War. He had simply walked off of the side of the ship one night after claiming to have heard the most beautiful sound. From there it passed from family to family, antique shop to antique shop, gaining notoriety from the one thing all its subsequent owners had in common. Rich or poor, meek or powerful, they all died by self afflicted drowning. Though considered a cursed object, it is still bought and sold.
Of all the objects acquired by our artifact hunters, this is considerably one of the most dangerous.
Collectors of the strange may remember the doomed Pabodie Expedition to Antarctica in 1930–31, in which only two of the party’s researchers returned. One of the survivors, William Dyer, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Miskatonic University told a tale of madness and monsters in efforts to cancel a follow up trek to Antarctica by the Starkweather-Moore Expedition.
His partner, Dr. Lake, a professor of Biology from Miskatonic University, came back a changed man. He was haunted by the things he had seen and experienced, never speaking of them to anyone. Upon his death his beneficiaries came upon a vault safe hidden behind a bookcase in his study. In it was a loaded pistol, a stack of badly faded black and white photos of fantastical vistas, and a strangely bulging canvas backpack. The backpack was from the Pabodie Expedition. Inside were many strange spheres attached to star shaped bases with a neatly folded note on top. It read:
” To Whom It May Concern,
God help me, but I was a scientist first. The horror I witnessed like a black train of Armageddon roiling through that tunnel. It haunts me today, but not as much as what I brought back with me. There were so many of them there, cold, still, gleaming with life as one could not imagine. Shoggoth embryos, as real as the ink on the pages of the Necronomicon. I knew they existed now. How would we as a race have any hope of surviving if we could not study them, learn their undoing? I was a scientist first, and brought home what could be our salvation, or our annihilation. I have lived my life without action, too horrified by the memory of the things to do harm or good. I leave these sleeping giants with you now. I hope that you will have the bravery and skill to make use of these most evil abominations before the poles melt, and they are free…”
Our company does not recommend tampering of any kind.
The Jade talisman was confiscated from a young deckhand named Jameson at his admission to the Sussex Lunatic Asylum in 1848. He had been commissioned on the Clipper ship, Cricket, during its trade circuit to New Zealand and Australia. Jameson had purchased the amulet from a Maori merchant who traded in jade. The Merchant had said it would protect him from the Ika Tane, or Fish Men, that lived in cities off the coast. Jameson was found a week later aboard the Cricket, near death from exposure, hiding in a large coil of rope. All other hands had vanished. Jameson had claimed that the Ika Tane had “calmed the sea with frog song” and “taken everyone on board under the waves.” He claimed that the amulet had saved his life, and was loath to be separated from it. Investigators were at a lost to piece together what happened on the Cricket. There was no sign of violence, or theft from the valuable cargo. The mysterious amulet passed hands many times, and over the years, others like it have surfaced all over the world.
Richard Upton Pickman, a controversial Boston Artist, vanished from his North End studio in 1926. Before the demolishing of the Foster Court tenement, the landlord, who wished to remain anonymous, gathered the artist’s effects and held them until he could broker an estate sale. Many curiosity seekers came to the sale to see what remained of the Ghoulish painters workshop. There were many canvases, brushes, pigments and unfinished works, as well as a camera, tripod, draperies and dried flowers. It seemed that the patrons were to be disappointed by all the mundane trappings of an artist’s studio until the last object was brought out. It was a mounted skull, an anatomical study used by artist around the world, except this one was different. Its anatomy was bizarre, as if a human and jackal had been mixed with a nightmare. The shock and malevolence of the piece was so strong that instead of purchasing the jewel of the sale, the patrons left, shaken and sickened. It stayed with the landlord for years. He would complain of strange scratching sounds in his basement, and the feeling of being watched when he walked home at night. In the end The Rumtucket Trading Company purchased it, and is willing to sell it…To you.
This relic was found by James Morris one stormy afternoon on Sable Island off the coast of Nova Scotia, in 1801. He had recently been appointed to establish the first rescue station on the island. The amount of shipwrecks on its shores had become legendary, and the Governor didn’t want to leave the shipwrecked at the mercy of Wreckers.
Morris came across a rickety flotsam shack, half pulled out to sea. The Oculus, and a sodden diary, were found wrapped in oilskins on a fishing net hammock.
The diary recounted the experiences of an anonymous Whaler. The Orb had spilled out of the stomach of a large sperm whale, along with the jewelry adorned corpse of a vaguely human creature from the sea. While the rest of the crew had torn the strange gold and gems from the rotting form, he had secreted away the large, muck covered sphere.
When he would gaze into the Oculus, he would fall into a waking dream. Sometimes he would shoot through the ebon depths of the sea like a fish. Other times he would see spectral lights, and impossible cities under the waves. The excitement and freedom he would feel during these times would always wilt under a dark feeling, though. He would feel watched. The more he used the oculus to dream, the more he would feel like a light in the darkness, drawing something closer. If he used it too much, horrible storms would come. At first he could stop gazing long enough for the ship he labored on to make port, but after a while, he had to leave the whaling trade with a reputation for being unlucky. This pushed him from the Pacific, over to the East coast, where no one recognized him. Like any addiction, his dependence on the Oculus grew, as the vistas it showed him became more maddeningly strange and terrifyingly beautiful.
While entranced in the Orb one evening, he had been shocked to see the silhouette of his own ship come into focus from a great distance. The silhouette grew larger and larger as his mind’s eye rocketed towards it like the bow of a ship. He only woke after being shaken by something gigantic crashing through the hull of the ship. All hands scrambled to save the sinking vessel, but it was no use. They all went into the water, and only a handful of them made it to the cold shores of Sable Island. The survivors said that they had hit a shoal, but he had known better. The creature who’s mind he had been sharing for months had found him, and wanted its Relic back. He knew, now that it had found him, he would never leave Sable Island with the Oculus alive.
He spent years trying to stop gazing. When he did gaze, the Thing in the sea would become enraged. This would lead to more shipwrecks around the island, and more guilt. The Whaler, in his last entry, wrote that he had seen the sails of a supply ship down the coast and knew it would be delivering materials to build a rescue station for the island. He knew that his weakness was a reason for the station, and for the many lives lost. It hadn’t just been the dangerous shoals. The guilt crushed him, and he vowed to leave the island, and the Oculus, with or without his body. He was never seen again.
The fevered and fantastic visions the Whaler described in his diary often spoke of a place called “R’leyh”. He referred to the object as The Oculus. It was Morris who penned “The R’leyh Oculus” in an inventory ledger when he sent it, wrapped and locked in a safe, to a family friend in Halifax. It was believed lost after a fire in 1874, but resurfaced amidst piles of disturbing paintings and sculpture in a bank seized storage unit in Great Bend, Kansas in 2003. We purchased it at auction.