Howard Phillips "H.P." Lovecraft, largely considered the father of supernatural horror fiction, was born and lived the majority of his life on the East Side of Providence. In his macabre writing, Lovecraft weaves together what NecronomiCon Providence director Niels Hobbs calls, “A unique blend of cosmic horror and science fantasy known as weird fiction.” Lovecraft’s writing spanned poetry, letter writing, journalism and most notably fiction, and his style has been emulated by many. His writings serve as inspiration for countless others, including author Stephen King and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.
There is a city walking tour of sites where Lovecraft spent his time, such as the First Baptist Church in America and the Ladd Observatory. The tour also weaves in historic details within the context of Lovecraft’s life. One stop on the tour includes a visit to the John Hay Library where the H.P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque reads:
I never can be tied to raw, new things,
For I first saw the light in an old town,
Where from my window huddled roofs sloped down
To a quaint harbour rich with visionings.
Streets with carved doorways where the sunset beams
Flooded old fanlights and small window-panes,
And Georgian steeples topped with gilded vanes-
These were the sights that shaped my childhood dreams.
(Sonnett XXX, Background, of Funghi from Yuggoth)
The Lovecraft Arts & Sciences Council a Providence-based nonprofit education corporation, brings NecronomiCon to Providence as a celebration of the weird fiction written by Lovecraft and authors of a similar vein. NecronomiCon gathers together scholars, authors and fans in an exploration of the literary word and physical place of H.P. Lovecraft. Events commence on Lovecraft’s birthday, August 20, and include tours, author readings, film screenings, academic talks, panel discussions, and Lovecraftian gaming, along with Providence-based events such as WaterFire. Intriguing and chilling, Lovecraft and NecronomiCon have built somewhat of a cult following and Providence welcomes fans and followers to share in the curiosity.