Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cthulhu Mythos: Brown Jenkin and Dreams in the Witch House

Dreams in the Witch House is one of H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos stories which features inter-dimensional travel, a witch and her familiar.  This is one of my favorite stories from the mythos, because of the horror minimalism and psychological suggestiveness.  The tale is told in period mainstream settings, rather than far-off ruins in obscure lands making you believe it might be possible and is right here in modern America. 

Brown Jenkin, Keziah Mason’s familiar, is drawn directly from the imagery of Hieronymus Bosch and medieval depictions of twisted, mis-natural creatures classically associated with demons, during that era.  By having human features and hands, Brown Jenkin is drawn directly from nightmares and makes the perfect go between from Dreamlands or nightmare worlds and our plane.
I can’t quite agree with learned literature specialists who consider Dreams in the Witch House a minor effort.  The work bridges his earlier works and his science fiction stories and has great impact.  Anyone who has had a nightmare or held a location or house in horror can connect with this story.  Next time you hear a strange scratching in your bedroom ... consider Brown Jenkin.

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