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Go on a guided walking tour of H.P. Lovecraft’s life in Brooklyn

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Call it the crawl of Cthulu.

An aficionado of horror-author H.P. Lovecraft will lead a creepy yet compelling walking tour of significant sites from author’s brief time living in Brooklyn on Nov. 8. The pulp fiction writer is better known as a Rhode Islander than a Brooklynite, but the tour’s guide and creator said she wants to expose more people to this little-known period of the author’s life.

“There is so much focus on his life in New England, and his time in New York is overlooked,” said Jane Rose, who is herself a horror writer and filmmaker. “As a New Yorker, I want to claim a little piece of him for New York.”

Lovecraft only lived in Brooklyn for two years, from March of 1924 to the fall of 1926. At the time, the recluse was writing and publishing steadily, but had little money since his formerly wealthy family had fallen on hard times. He was forced to relocate from the then-wealthy neighborhood of Flatbush to the relative squalor of Brooklyn Heights, according to Rose.

“He probably would have considered it the worst time in his life,” said Rose. “But he also considered it very informative.”

Lovecraft’s time living in the Heights, in an apartment on the corner of Clinton and State streets, is said to have inspired his short story “The Horror at Red Hook.” The story — written in 1925 and published in 1927 — tells the tale of an Irish-American detective who develops a fear of large Brooklyn brownstones after uncovering an occult group performing demonic rituals in a Red Hook apartment. It is not considered one of Lovecraft’s better works, but it is widely regarded as one of his most racist — the famously xenophobic author imbued the text with his distaste for New York’s large immigrant population through his disparaging descriptions of Red Hook’s inhabitants.

Rose will give the tour in two parts — first Flatbush, then Brooklyn Heights — with a subway trip in-between.

“It is important to see both, because the two areas reflect different parts of his life,” she said.

Rose plans to take fans to both of his houses, as well as locations that set the scenes for many of his stories, including the Flatbush Reformed Church and the tunnels under Atlantic Avenue — both of which appear in “The Horror at Red Hook.”

H.P. Lovecraft Brooklyn Guided Tour at Prospect Park (Parkside and Ocean avenues in Prospect Park, www.morbidanatomymuseum.org). Nov. 8 at 2 pm. $20.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Moses Kestenbaum ODA from Williamsburg says:
He was a racist who hated new immigrants to the core , its a nice way to say "immigrants" it meant Poles, Irish , Russians , Ukraine's, and other people of that era including the jews.
Oct. 29, 2014, 7:08 am
Alexandra of Flatbush from Flatbush says:
So Moishe, where are your complaints about all the place and street names in Brooklyn that honor SLAVE OWNING families? And can you name me even one Brooklyn (Kings County) slave-- they were only here for nearly 200 years-- or where they might be buried?

Shalom!

I don't know that Lovecraft in Brooklyn is that underknown by the way but Jane is cool and this sounds like a good venture.
Oct. 29, 2014, 12:54 pm
Get Lost! says:
" the famously xenophobic author imbued the text with his distaste for New York’s large immigrant population through his disparaging descriptions of Red Hook’s inhabitants."

Yeah like the hordes of transplanted yuppie and hipster cockroaches in Brooklyn now.
Oct. 29, 2014, 2:08 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
Though he finished The Call of Cthulhu elsewhere [Providence, RI, if I'm correct], Lovecraft first wrote his notes framing the Cthulhu Mythos in Red Hook, and his material strongly suggests that his parody of gnosis, so deeply steeped in alienation and transcendent horror, was indeed inspired by his visceral response to living in the neighborhood.

Here's another interesting fact, by the way, especially when considering the gentrification of Brooklyn [namely, the myth that "artists" first appeared to the north in the late 1970s/early 1980s]--Lovecraft may have also framed his parody of gnosis in his Cthulhu Mythos on the artists of the Red Hook of his time, some of whom were dilettantes for theosophy and anthroposophy.
Oct. 31, 2014, 5:07 pm
Dennis sinneD from Williamsburg says:
In fact, Lovecraft is often shelved under horror, science fiction and fantasy, but he deserves place under urbanum tremendum et fascinans--that awful dread that yet compels which is peculiar to that first encounter with Brooklyn.
Oct. 31, 2014, 7:31 pm
Nancy from Washington ave myrtle says:
Dean Koontz sometimes uses Lovecraft style in his books. I love Mr Lovecraft's mythos and style I was born and raised in Brooklyn. Still there
Aug. 10, 2015, 7:21 pm

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