alien seeding: explaining the singular life

Art Chantry on H.P. Lovecraft….

Art Chantry (

Wilum H. Pugmire, noted Lovecraft scholar and writer, sent me this photo a number of years ago. H. P. Lovecraft lived as a pauper from a Victorian era (though he lived in providence, rhode island, and died in 1937 – in a garret, often unheated, eating rice and beans while scratching out a meager living as a pulp writer and ghost writer. He carried on a voluminous correspondence and developed a huge literary circle of other fledgling and noted writers in the field. The result of those archaic creative and promotional efforts is a genre of horror fiction that is called “lovecraftian”. Just about every writer of fantasy and horror fiction working today gives a shot at writing a ‘Lovecraft’ style story. His influence is so pervasive that we can’t escape it. He’s become part of the popular consciousness.

AC:i recently started to read conan-doyle's book on spiritualism, here spent a great deal of time trashing houdini (but i left it in an airport). i've also read a lot of houdini's stuff trashing (very effectively) spiritualism. i just read a great book called "mdme. blavatsky's monkey" about the history to the spiritualist movement . man, talk about treasure trove con-men & kooks! dang. it sure explained a LOT of loose links in that chain.

I’ve also read some scholarly volumes on the peculiar and singular idea that he actually was the first to present the concept of ‘alien seeding’ – the theory that the creatures of earth (particularly mankind) were actually planted here a some point by an alien race. Apparently his horror fiction introduced this concept into our collective popular fantasies and it evolved into much of the ufo lore and popular notions in ‘new age’ religions of today.

But, he lived dead poor and died stone broke. His gravesite was a pauper’s grave (so i’ve heard) and went unmarked until a decade or two back, when a number of Lovecraft scholars and fans put together a collection of money to pay for a marker (wilum among them). This little stone (it reads, “i am providence”) is the results of those efforts. Elegant and understated and strange, like his singluar life.

Adam Byrne, whose vivid work on “The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft“ has caught the eye of a lot of industry observers (myself included) as well as the attention of Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment, who are now developing the property as a film. H.P. Lovecraft began skittering around the edges of Adam Byrne’s imagination at the start of this decade, which is why he jokingly calls “The Strange Adventures of H.P. Lovecraft” his “10-year overnight success.” click image for more...


Mystery attracts mystery. Ever since the wide appearance of my name as a performer of unexplained feats, I have encountered strange narratives and events which my calling has led people to link with my interests and activities. Some of these have been trivial and irrelevant, some deeply dramatic and absorbing, some productive of weird and perilous experiences and some involving me in extensive scientific and historical research. Many of these matters I have told and shall continue to tell very freely; but there is one of which I speak with great reluctance, and which I am now relating only after a session of grilling persuasion from the publishers of this magazine, who had heard vague rumors of it from other members of my family.

The hitherto guarded subject pertains to my non-professional visit to Egypt fourteen years ago, and has been avoided by me for several reasons. For one thing, I am averse to exploiting certain unmistakably actual facts and conditions obviously unknown to the myriad tourists who throng about the pyramids and apparently secreted with much diligence by the authorities at Cairo, who cannot be wholly ignorant of them. For another thing, I dislike to recount an incident in which my own fantastic imagination must have played so great a part. What I saw — or thought I saw — certainly did not take place; but is rather to be vi

as a result of my then recent readings in Egyptology, and of the speculations anent this theme which my environment naturally prompted. These imaginative stimuli, magnified by the excitement of an actual event terrible enough in itself, undoubtedly gave rise to the culminating horror of that grotesque night so long past. —IMPRISONED WITH THE PHARAOHS

By Harry Houdini
[ghost-written by H.P. Lovecraft]

for Weird Tales (1924-may)

Read More:
Houdini collector extraordinaire, Arthur Moses, alerts us to a proposed collaboration between Houdini and horror master H.P. Lovecraft that has only recently come to light. In the book The 13 Gates of the Necronomican: A Workbook of Magic author Donald Tyson revealed the existence and curious fate this Houdini-Lovecraft project:

---Georges Méliès (1861-1938) is the French stage magician and movie pioneer most obviously associated with this subject, but Solomon audaciously persuades the reader that an equally vital figure is Harry Houdini (1874-1926), magician and escape artist of legend, who could extricate himself so amazingly from locked cabinets that many thought he could somehow dematerialise into some sort of ectoplasmic smoke, wisp out through the keyhole, and rematerialise, sweaty and triumphant, on the outside. Solomon puts Houdini at the very the centre of cinema's transformation from novelty attraction into the medium of realist narrative fiction propagated by the Hollywood studio system--- click image for more

At the time of his death, Houdini had been corresponding with Lovecraft regarding a book on which they intended to collaborate, along with writer C.M. Eddy Jr., which was to be entitled ‘The Cancer of Superstition.’ Lovecraft prepared a detailed outline of the work, which is extant, and Barlow actually began the writing and completed three chapters, but Houdini’s widow cancelled the project – perhaps because she was herself more inclined to believe in the reality of spiritualists phenomena than her skeptical late husband.

It’s odd why Bess would cancel this project, especially as it would have presumably brought her money at a time when she most needed it. I don’t buy Tyson’s explanation that she was “more inclined to believe in the reality” of spiritualism. We know that isn’t true. But is it possible she did this while under the spell of Arthur Ford? Read More:

This entry was posted in Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Literature/poetry/spoken word and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>