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Horror in the Museum

Horror in the Museum

ByH.P Lovecraft

IT WAS a languid curiosity that first brought Stephen Jones to Rogers’ Museum. Someone had told him about the queer underground place in Southwark Street across the river, where waxen things so much more horrible than the worst effigies at Madame Tussaud’s were shown, and he had strolled in one April day to see how disappointing he would find it. Oddly, he was not disappointed. There was something different and distinctive here, after all. Of course, the usual gory commonplaces were present—Landru, Doctor Crippen, Madame Demers, Rizzio, Lady Jane Grey, endless maimed victims of war and revolution, and monsters like Gilles de Rais and Marquis de Sade—but there were other things which had made him breathe faster and stay till the ringing of the closing bell. The man who had fashioned this collection could be no ordinary mountebank. There was imagination—even a kind of diseased genius—in some of this stuff. Later he learned about George Rogers. The man had been on the Tussaud staff, but some trouble had developed which led to his discharge. There were aspersions on his sanity and tales of his crazy forms of secret worship—though latterly his success with his own basement museum had dulled the edge of some criticisms while sharpening the insidious point of others. Teratology and the iconography of nightmares were his hobbies, and even he had had the prudence to screen off some of his worst effigies in a special alcove for adults only. It was this alcove that had fascinated Jones so much. There were lumpish hybrid things that only fantasy could spawn, molded with devilish skill, and colored in a horribly life-like fashion. Some were the figures of well-known myths—gorgons, and chimeras. dragons, cyclops, and all their shuddersome congeners. Others were drawn from darker and more furtively whispered cycles of subterranean legend—black, formless Tsathoggua, many-tentacled Cthulhu, proboscidian Chaugnar Faughn, and other rumored blasphemies from forbidden books like the Necronomicon, the Book of Eibon, or the Unaussprechlichen Kulten of von Junzt. But the worst was wholly original with Rogers and represented shapes that no tale of antiquity had ever dared to suggest. Several were hideous parodies of forms of organic life we know, while others seemed to be taken from feverish dreams of other planets and galaxies. The wilder painted of Clark Ashton Smith might suggest a few—but........


Publication Date
Aug 10, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): H.P Lovecraft



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