Horror: Mutated by Mythos
by Jonathan J. Sample
August 20, 2019 marked what would have been the 129th Birthday of Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Since his birth, horror fiction has evolved from the gothic to the spiritual to the weird, the cosmic, and beyond.
Lovecraft is chiefly responsible for the cosmic phase of this development, due to his cycle of stories which dealt with maddening conceptual horror draped over sinister entities, monsters beyond the comprehension of the minds of mankind. He took weird fiction and went off into a dark corner which had never before been explored, and along with him went disciples, capable writers in their own right, who found inspiration in his discoveries and spun them into a greater mythos.
Writers like Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, Fritz Leiber, August Derleth, Robert Bloch (of Psycho fame), and many others took the seeds of cosmic horror, the designs of Lovecraft the progenitor, and helped to expand and establish what would go on to become what is known as the Cthulhu Mythos.
They stirred new shadows of fear and revealed secrets and mysteries of a fabulously massive fictional universe. Through their work they would reshape the very genre of horror forever.