November 1, 2018 by Bret Kramer (aka WinstonP)
His passion for graveyards, in which he was glimpsed at all hours and under all conditions, was notorious; though no one had witnessed any deed on his part which could actually be termed ghoulish. – “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward”
I hope you’ve enjoyed this extended tour of some of my favorite gravestones of New England. It was, admittedly, a rather idiosyncratic sort of exploration of the topic, but I think I managed to find a good balance of education and entertainment. I think gravestones are an excellent tool for exploring New England’s history, culture, and folklore, and they’re a topic I’ve enjoyed educating myself about for over a decade now (as can be seen in this blog and in my neglected personal blog Tomes In Progress).
I’m always eager for feedback on the posts here. Did you find this deep-dive into gravestones to be of interest? Did any of the entries particularly spark your imagination? Is there any topic we’ve raised this month you’d like us to explore in greater depth, either here or in some Sentinel Hill Press release?
All of this work will, some day, hopefully, be synthesized into my long-discussed book Graveyards of Lovecraft Country, which will combine history, folklore, and Lovecraft (and his circle)’s fiction into a comprehensive guide to both the graveyards as a place to explore in Call of Cthulhu games, but in every way they might figure into scenarios or campaigns, as well as a guide to the more than 60 cemeteries of the towns of Lovecraft Country. I’ve you’ve been inspired by Grave-tober, I’m very interested in scenario submissions for the book, or perhaps short encounters. Do drop me a line.
Here is a partially list of things I’ve mentioned this month that have inspired my work on GoLC in some way:
- Carvers like William Young – Lovecraft country needs some unusual local carvers with a distinctive style
- The Merrimack Valley style – There will be a Miskatonic Off-shoot of that style with notable twist
- Imps of Death – Yes, please
- Chow Manderien – Globe-trotting captains and crewmen from distant ports seems like a easy Lovecraft Country match
- “Dagon Stones” – I feel legally obligated to include these somehow, though they predate Innsmouth’s enounters with the Deep Ones…
- “the Bat” and “Borzah Devil” carvers – More fuel for eccentric regional carving styles
- The Felton family of carvers – A carver inspired by the Felton’s seems perfect for Dunwich/Aylesbury area
- Nancy Adams – Lovecraft Country definitely has a Poor Farm (or similar cemetery) or two
- Flova, Nero, and Thomas – Keith Herber established that Arkham had a small African-American community; it must be expanded (and look for ways to highlight other communities of color in Lovecraft country, from before the arrival of Europeans until the current era)
I’ll keep you posted on this project as it slowly progresses.