H.P. Lovecraft’s serialized short horror story The Lurking Fear was written in 1922 and published in the January through April issues of the magazine Home Brew. It chronicles the story of an adventurer who seeks out horrific scenarios and his attempt to unravel the mystery of the Martense family and their connection with an unknown lurking fear ravaging the rural population of the early 20th century Catskill Mountain range.
1. The Shadow on the Chimney
There was thunder in the air on the night I went to the deserted mansion atop Tempest Mountain to find the lurking fear. I was not alone, for foolhardiness was not then mixed with that love of the grotesque and the terrible which has made my career a series of quests for strange horrors in literature and in life. With me were two faithful and muscular men for whom I had sent when the time came; men long associated with me in my ghastly explorations because of their peculiar fitness.
We had started quietly from the village because of the reporters who still lingered about after the eldritch panic of a month before—the nightmare creeping death. Later, I thought, they might aid me; but I did not want them then. Would to God I had let them share the search, that I might not have had to bear the secret alone so long; to bear it alone for fear the world would call me mad or go mad itself at the daemon implications of the thing. Now that I am telling it anyway, lest the brooding make me a maniac, I wish I had never concealed it. For I, and I only, know what manner of fear lurked on that spectral and desolate mountain. Continue reading The Lurking Fear Full Story Text