Horror Story Review: "From Beyond" by H. P. Lovecraft
The unnamed narrator tells the reader first of the change in his erstwhile friend, Crawford Tillinghast, who threw him out of his house when he expressed doubt about an experiment he was conducting. Tillinghast was in the midst of creating a machine that would “generate waves acting on unrecognized sense-organs that exist in us as atrophied or rudimentary vestiges.” He hopes once these “sense-organs” are opened up, the “strange, inaccessible worlds that exist at our very elbows” will be laid bare. Be careful what you wish for.
Ten weeks after being thrown out of Tillinghast’s house, the narrator is invited back and is appalled at what he sees. His friend has changed, has become a parody of man. In that short a time, he has lost so much weight he has become half of what he was. He seems haunted. Where are the servants? It seemed unlikely that old Gregory would up and leave without word. He’d been keeping the narrator up on news of Tillinghast. He at least would have said something.
While this is still a relatively early Lovecraft story, it does follow the well-establish trope of madness at peering beyond the everyday world and the horrible consequences for doing so. This is an intriguing, engaging little story that seems to have been reprinted many times since it was first published. I personally would not rank in the top tier, but it is good.
Title: “From Beyond” written in 1920, first published in The Fantasy Fan June 1934
Author: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937)
© 2015 Denise Longrie
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