The Necronomicon, or: The Book of Dead Names
The Necromomicon, or “The Book of Dead Names”, was originally called “Al Azif”, an Arabic word meaning “nocturnal sound, howling of demons”. The book was written by the half-crazed Arab Abdul Alhazred, who visited the ruins of Babylon and the subterranean secrets of Memphis, and who worshipped demons like Yog-Sothoth and Cthulhu. He died suddenly and in a mysterious way in 738. In 950, “The Book of Dead Names” was translated into Greek by Theodorus Philetas. This version impelled some experimenters to terrible invocations, before being suppressed and burnt in 1050 by the patriarch Michael, who died in 1059. The Necronomicon was translated into Latin by Olaus Wormius and into English by the magician John Dee (1527-1609).
In the 20th century, the Necronomicon was often listed for sale in book store newsletters or entries in library card catalogues. Horror writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft stated that The Widener Library at Harvard had a copy, and the catalog entry indeed asked potential readers “to inquire at desk”. The university library of Tromsø, Norway, also has a copy, published in 1994, but this document is listed as “unavailable”.
Now, the truth is that the Necronomicon is an entirely fictional book, invented by Howard Phillips Lovecraft, first mentioned in a short story written in 1922, and inspiring a lot of colleague horror and fantasy writers. But until today, many readers believe it to be a real work.
Booksellers and librarians still receive many requests for it, also because pranksters have listed the Necronomicon in rare book catalogues, or smuggled a card for it into, for example, the Yale University Library. The thin line between fact and fiction got totally blurred in the late 1970s when a book that was supposed to be a new translation of the real Necronomicon was published and sold 800,000 copies. According to the blurb, it was “the most dangerous Black Book known to the Western World”.
You can find some photographical evidence too, about the Necronomicon and/or the Cthulhu Mythos. This Cthulhu Cult Mystery Object , for instance, was recently found in the desert. And here is some Ghost Photography concerning a scientific meeting on the Innsmouth Incident, described by H.P. Lovecraft.
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