A 1966 Eerie story - "Soul of Horror" - borrows some key elements from "The Dunwich Horror"

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Summary: In the third issue of Eerie, a story called 'Soul of Horror' borrows a few elements from 'The Dunwich Horror' [but then spins it in its own particular way].

BLOT: (03 Jul 2014 - 02:46:28 PM)

A 1966 Eerie story - "Soul of Horror" - borrows some key elements from "The Dunwich Horror"

From the first couple of panels of the 1966 Eerie story "Soul of Horror", I saw that influence of "The Dunwich Horror" on Archie Goodwin's script. It is the rural New England town of Larchwick instead of Dunwich, Simon Hecate instead of Old Man Whateley, and August 1914 instead of February 1913 when the child is born: but it still feels very in-line with The Horror. The story goes on to not include Miskatonic University (or Armitage), the Other Brother [well, there is another child, but it's handled differently], nor Yog-Sothoth. And it ends on a whole other note. It does have a dog attack, a preternaturally aging child, references to dark old tomes [unnamed], and some broadly Lovecraft-esque dark languages, though. Here are some panels to show some key references.

Note that the kid is Lemuel Catlett instead of Wilbur Whateley but that he still develops preternaturally fast while looking for a certain something to read.

The attack-by-dogs is not against Lemuel, but it's still in there, along with some nice "I like the woods and the darkness" moments.

The Hecate cabin is old and dilapidated and has old, vile tomes.

The spell isn't exactly Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn but it could be a reference. Note: Lem is still considered a child in this frame, though it doesn't specify his age as far as I remember.

Overall, the rest of the story has very little real similarity: Lemuel grows up really quick as men who were responsible for Simon Hecate's death die in various horrible ways. Eventually, a soul-possession story [something like "Thing on the Doorstep"] takes place and it comes mostly to a good doctor fighting an evil man with a bit of a plot twist.

Intriguingly, back in 1964, in one of the first few issues of Eerie's big-sister mag - Creepy - one letter-to-the-editor had chastised them for channeling a little too much Lovecraft; a claim which seemed ridiculous with the big focus being on classic horror movies and EC like revenge-zombies. Then there is this one, which almost has to be reference Dunwich. I wonder if I missed others?

I'm not the first person to spot this. A Google lead me to see that at least one other person has, and they include a full scan of the story if you want to read the rest of it.

"Soul of Horror" is from the May 1966 issue of Eerie (Issue #3 by the cover, though only the second full issue published). Archie Goodwin wrote the script. Angelo Torres did the art. Version scanned above comes from the Dark Horse Eerie Archives 1, from 2009. All rights to the originals and appropriate holders. By the way, if you want, you can read "The Dunwich Horror" online".

Lovecraft Miscellany


Written by Doug Bolden

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