By George Goner (The Haunted Cabaret)
NecromoniCon, the world H.P. Lovecraft Convention, returns to Providence this weekend for the first time in twelve years. Tomorrow morning I report to the Biltmore Hotel, digital recorder in hand, on behalf of 990WBOB and the Haunted Cabaret. And boy, things have changed...
In 2001, I attended the convention as a wide-eyed fan. Even in '01, nearly three decades separated me from the eight-year-old kid who picked up my first of Lovecraft's weird stories at Waldenbooks, read them, and lay awake in wide-eyed terror many nights thereafter, having made the acquaintance of Shoggoths, Dagon, and a tentacled gent named Cthulhu.
I soon decided that I preferred Lovecraft's universe of Great Old Ones, human sacrifice, and inter-dimensional incursions to our own. (The Convention has something called the Cthulhu Prayer Breakfast. It's fun. But its old news to yours truly, who explored the woods behind his parents' house in Johnston at the age of ten, looking for stone altars dedicated to Yog Sothoth.) I made plans to explore the towns of Arkham, Innsmouth, and Dunwich, and to read the unedited copy of the Necronomicon at Miskatonic University. (The convention takes its name from Lovecraft's book of black magic.)
Reading over what I have written so far, sitting here at my desk as darkness falls, I realize not everything has changed as much as I thought. I find myself looking forward to morning with the enthusiasm of a kid on Christmas Eve. I expect to have trouble falling asleep. Tomorrow at the Biltmore Hotel in Providence is something special: a gathering of people who still let themselves believe that, somewhere in the frozen Antarctic, explorers are unearthing the buried secrets at the Mountains of Madness; that you can, with patience, raise the long-dead from graveyard dust; and that dread Cthulhu, Lord of R'lyeh, will rise from his tomb when the stars are right.
The hard-working people responsible for NecronomiCon have, like the sorcerer Joseph Curwin, resurrected the essence of H.P. Lovecraft in the heart of his beloved Providence. Enjoy. It's the Night Before Lovecraft, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring...except a colour out of space, rats in the walls, a couple of night gaunts, and Wilbur Whateley's brother up in the attic...
For more info on Necrocomicon, visit: http://necronomicon-providence.com/