The Graveyards of Lovecraft Country: A Preview6
July 28, 2014 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
One of the projects I’ve been working at, on and off, is a guide to the various cemeteries, graveyards, and burying grounds of Lovecraft Country – from Arkham’s Christchurch Cemetery to the Meeting House Burying Ground of Dunwich and every boneyard in between. While a full book will wait have to wait, I wanted to mark the 1000th download of issue 1 with some small token of appreciation to our readers for their interest and support over the last year. Here then is our way of saying thanks – a short preview of The Graveyards of Lovecraft Country, covering the Sand Hill Burying Ground on Namacknowatt Island, a setting I had created for an unfinished scenario I had been developing with the assistance of the late Keith Herber.
The finished project would have not just graveyard descriptions, but information on the development of cemeteries in New England, their upkeep and maintenance, layout (including maps), funerals and burial practices, gravestones and gravestone carvers (and loads of illustrations thereof), the Cthulhu Mythos in the Cemetery, an annotated scenario list, and all the creepy historical details you might ever want about New England’s vampires, Colonial Smallpox, Imp’s of Death, and Dagon Stones you could ever want. Plus maybe a scenario.
Feedback is encouraged; I’m interested to hear if a whole book along these lines would be of interest. I want to specifically thank Chris Huth, Galen Pejeau, and Professor Scriven for their help as well. (I hope to have an update to our next issue soon too. 🙂 )
Just read it – nice work. Looking forward to seeing the full Guide when it’s ready.
Thanks! I will definitely keep people posted here and on our G+ group.
I would certainly be interested in a full version of this. I’ve been developing Block Island as a locale for my current CoC game. (They finally will be arriving on the island this Friday!) I intend draw on this for the Palatine Graves, the colonial graveyard on the island. A whole book of these for Lovecraft Country would be amazing!
Nifty! Have you seen photos of some of the gravestones there?
Those are amazing! Thanks so much, I will employ them this Friday.
I did find some pretty great material in A History of Block Island: From Its Discovery, in 1514, to The Present Time, By the Rev. S.T. Livermore, 1876.
Here’s a link where you can see the PDF:
And here is an especially choice quotation, dripping with Lovecraftian possibilities (and not a little racism):
“Thousands of years ago, a glacier left rolling hills and ponds behind, forming what is now known as Block Island. A tribe of the Naragansett Indians were the first inhabitants of the island as evidenced by stone remains that date back thousands of years. Their name for the island was “Manisses” which apparently means “Island of the Little God”. Adrian Block and his crew have the distinction of being the first civilized men ever known to have come upon its soil. In 1636, twenty-two years after Block’s discovery, a trader from Boston, by the name of John Oldham — accustomed to traffic with the Indians, came to this Island with a small sailing vessel to trade with the Manissseans who “came into his boat, and having got a full view of commodities which gave them good content, consulted how they might destroy him and his company, to the end they might clothe their bloody flesh with his lawful garments.” Their murder of Captain Oldham thoroughly advertised the Island in Boston, and doubtless gave to many in New England their first knowledge of its existence. The expedition of 100 soldiers which Massachusetts sent to the Island under the command of Col. John Endicott to punish the Indians here accomplished not only that object, but made a more thorough exploration of the Island than ever made before, and also established a claim to it by right of conquest. A terrible lesson was taught the Manisseans by the white people of Massachusetts for the killing of Captain Oldham. Then they learned, as never before, the superiority of white men, as a few with fire-arms overpowered the whole Island, armed with bows and arrows. Endicott’s slaughter of their warriors, destruction of their year’s harvest of corn, burning of their mats and wigwams, and the very daring of the settlers, struck a terror to the natives of the Island. The island was now considered fully discovered and explored, and its large and fertile plantations just disburdened of great crops of corn by the Indians, with heavily timbered forests, and splendid fishing-grounds, made it an inviting home for the pioneer settlers of the colonies.”
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