Kendrick Kerwin Chua's
Necronomicon FAQ

With Commentary by Dan Clore

Frequently Asked Questions Part 1
The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0

20 May 1994
Written and compiled by Kendrick Kerwin Chua
([email protected])
University of North Florida, United States of America

FAQ - Part 1

This FAQ supersedes all previous versions of the Necronomicon FAQ, versions 1.0, 1.1, and 1.3. These versions should be erased and replaced by this version.

You got it.

This Frequently Asked Questions document is divided into four parts. The first part contains down and dirty information designed for the impatient who wish to get their hands on a book titled Necronomicon. The subsequent parts contain more information, some factual and some subjective.

This FAQ is neither comprehensive nor exhaustive. If you feel that the author of the FAQ has missed some vital point, please feel free to e-mail the author at the above internet address. Alternat[iv]ely, you may direct a Usenet post to alt.necromicon, alt.magick or and the author may eventually run across your post.

Nice options, but I prefer to add my commentary directly, here on this page.

Table of contents for part 1 --

(1) What is the Necronomicon?

This FAQ is chiefly concerned with the mass-media format books on the international market which are titled Necronomicon.

So far, so good. Our area of study has been delimited.

These books are marketed in the occult and "New Age" sections of bookstores, and are reputed to be books of magick, or grimoires. This FAQ does not address the following items related to the Necronomicon:

Vital information on the two commercially available Necronomicons which fit our narrow description is as follows:

The Necronomicon: Second Edition
Edited by Simon
(c) 1977 Schlangekraft Inc.
pub Magickal Childe, Inc.
Avon Books, New York (1980 printing)
ISBN - 0 - 380 - 75192 - 5
US $ 5.99

The Necronomicon: The Book of Dead Names
Edited by George Hay
with Colin Wilson, Robert Turner, and David Langford
(c) 1978 Neville Spearman Ltd.
Skoob Books Publishing Ltd, London (1992 printing)
ISBN - 1 - 871438 - 16 - 0
US $ 9.95

I'm not vouching for this information. (And now that I have my links to in, I don't need to be concerned about it.)

(2) Where can I find a copy of the Necronomicon?

As stated above, the book is frequently available in the local book shop. In America, BDalton Booksellers and Books-a-Million often carry one of the two Necronomicons, and can order the other (provided with the right information, like the nifty numbers and letters given above).

Well then, I guess I'll forget about my planned break-in of the Miskatonic University Library....

(3) What if my lousy bookstore does not carry it?

Then you can order the books direct from wholesalers and distributors, like the Abyss Distribution Company (free plug coming up).

Abyss Distribution
48 Chester Road
Chester MA 01011 - 9735
(413) 623 - 2155 , M-F 10am - 4 pm EST
(413) 623 - 2156 priority FAX orders

[Order form cut. No advertisements on this Page! If interested, you can still try the address above for information. But we of course recommend purchasing from -- after following one of our links to them....]

Abyss is a large dealer of occult related books, supplies, and materials, and has sent thousands of Necronomicons all over. Cut out this form and send as an order, or call them with your credit card handy. Or request a full catalog from the above address.

[Ha! Try writing or calling, Wilbur!]

The author of the FAQ is in no way affiliated with Abyss, and makes no claims regarding the company. End of free plug.

The author of this Page is in no way affiliated with Abyss, or with the author of this FAQ....

(4) What do I do now that I have a copy?

You should read it.

But won't I go mad?

Many people own the book simply to own it and do not read it.

Such impudence! -- Let us cast ferocious curses upon these people!

Therefore they have very little to contribute to discussions about the Necronomicon on the Usenet groups alt.magick or alt.necromicon. Please read your copy.

All right! all right! I'm reading mine now....

(5) What should I believe?

Now that you've read your copy(ies) of the book, we can try to discuss what you should and should not believe, by filling in what may or may not be gaps in your background knowledge concerning the Necronomicon....

Kind of you, I'm sure.

The Necronomicon -- FAQ Version 2.0
19 May 1994 -- Kendrick Kerwin Chua
[email protected] -- University of North Florida, USA

© 1994 by Kendrick Kerwin Chua ([email protected]) Permission is hereby granted to all users of electronic mail to post and distribute this document in an unaltered and complete state, for non-profit and educational purposes. One part may not be disseminated without the other three. For CD-Rom and other commercial rights, please contact the archivist.

Kendrick Kerwin Chua -- [email protected] - "Which ones friends?" Necronomicon FAQ author, OS/2 consultant, Transformers collector, amateur Sumerologist, miniature painter, student journalist, and cartomancer extraordinaire. -- "Ones with this face, I think."

Frequently Asked Questions Part 2
The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0

20 May 1994 Written and compiled by Kendrick Kerwin Chua
([email protected])
University of North Florida, United States of America

FAQ - Part 2

Table of Contents
Introduction to Version 2.0
Introduction to original version
Frequently Asked Questions


This revision is prompted by several small inconsistencies in the original FAQ 1.3. A preface part has been added containing more hands-on information on how to actually get a hold of the books, as well as ISBN statistics and other fun stuff like that. Also, various fact errors have been checked, re-checked, and glossed over (IE, a lot of stuff has been left to remain, even though the clarity and/or truth is quite questionable). But that's okay, this FAQ is far more useful that its three predecessors.

KKC 20 May 1994

Again, a revision is prompted by a change in the status of the Faraday book. As I said in an eariler post, the Faraday Necronomicon does not exist. It was a spoof that was inadvertantly published by a Massachusetts newspaper, and does not deserve the amount of research I've put into it (you may properly infer that I'm a bit incensed at this find ... ) Anyway, the rest of the introduction comes from v. 1.2, because most the rest of the FAQ is the same. Enjoy.

KKC 20 October 1993

Other than that, I have been able to fill in a few blanks in the original FAQ, a table of contents, and I have added a third part as a sort of appendix. This includes within it the complete text of Lovecraft's fictional "History of the Necronomicon", as well as a Pantheon listing of the dieties [sic] which are common to Lovecraft and the Simon Necronomicon. If you feel I have left anything out, or that I have made an error, please don't hesitate to send me e-mail. Thanks go out to Lupo the Butcher, who was a tremendous help with the original text and in between revisions, as well as Josh Geller and Thyagi Nagashiva (who is no longer listed as an alias of Aliester Crowley....)

KKC, 29 June 1993


I sometimes wonder why I have taken it upon myself to become a caretaker of the argument over the "thing" called the Necronomicon. Not the black paperback book, not the concept H.P. Lovecraft invented, and not the big coloring book by H.R. Giger. I cannot bring myself to call it anything but the "thing", because at present, the human race cannot come to a consensus on what the Necronomicon is. People who claim that they are skeptics, people who believe that they practice Magick, people who believe that they are Satanists, and just about everyone else have argued and argued with their voices and their e-mail accounts over the what, why, where, who, how, and the when of the Necronomicon.

Most people who argue whatever viewpoint are reasonably knowledgable about their subject, and are fairly expert in their particular angle of entry into the subject of the Necronomicon. Science fiction and horror fans who have something to say are well-read in their H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. Pagans and Satanists who join in are reasonably well-read in their LaVey and Crowley. Skeptics know their Colin Wilson and their Sumerian mythology. And so, except for the big flamewar that happens every six months or so, discussion is at best educational and enlightening, but usually leads to no concrete conclusions or new ideas.

Aside from that problem, there are also newbies on Netnews and beyond who may have seen a Lovecraft novel once or twice, dabbled in the occult, or played a role playing game. Innocently asking what the Necronomicon is, they become the butt of numerous jokes, get caught in flamewars, and leave their questions mostly unanswered and their information confused and incomplete. I know, because I was once in this predicament. I have since taken the time to research, filled my disk space with other peoples' posts and flames, and created this FAQ for the enlightenment of all.

If you have any comments to make, additions to contribute, or corrections to offer, please e-mail me at [email protected]. Thanks go out to Thyagi Nagashiva, "Grendel" Al Billings, Colin Low, and Josh Geller of netnews.alt.magick, SemHaza and Lupo from alt.satanism, Marc Carlson, and Issac Truder. Also to anyone out there that helped whom I may have forgotten.

Kendrick Kerwin Chua 22 March 1993 Servant of the Dark Lord, and keeper of the decade.


Note: Text within [brackets] indicate text which would normally be placed in a footnote or a bibliography. However, since this FAQ is most likely going to be read as a text file on some newsreader, footnotes are unwieldly in the extreme. Therefore, all such information will be bracketed and indented like so. Read them or ignore them. KKC

Here, I've put these inside a deeper layer of quotation/indentation for easy identification.

(1) What is the Necronomicon?

A question not answered easily, quickly, or with any level of assurance. If we may begin at what seems to be the beginning, we will also answer the question:

(1a) Who is H.P. Lovecraft?

In the early 1900s, a man by the name of Howard Phillips Lovecraft lived in New England and struggled with an unsuccessful career as a writer. Living as a bachelor and a recluse most of his life,

That Lovecraft was a "recluse" is a myth.

he tried various occupations, journalism,

I'm unaware of any attempt on Lovecraft's part to ply the trade of journalist.

literary criticism,

While Lovecraft certainly produced literary criticism, I'm unaware of any attempt to make money of it.

and editing among them.

Lovecraft never took a paying job as an editor; perhaps the confusion has arisen over Lovecraft's actual occupation, ghost-writer and reviser. He supported himself on this sort of work for much of his life.

He finally came upon an enjoyable form of composition, writing horror fiction. Like his hero, Edgar Allan Poe, Lovecraft dreamed of creating worlds of wonder and mystery, and is credited with the creation of the modern mystery format

Perhaps this should be "horror" format.

by his student,

I'm not sure this term is wholly apposite. Lovecraft corresponded with Bloch, and gave him advice on his writing, but they never had any formal teacher/student relationship.

Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho.

At the time, his name was merely "Robert Bloch". Only later did his name change to "Robert Bloch, author of Psycho".

While Lovecraft published much of his work, most notably in the magazine Weird Tales, he died with no critical acclaim, and little recognition by the public. It was much later, after World War II and into our decade,

Our decade?

that Lovecraft began to receive the publicity that he deserved as a literary figure. Lovecraft is now noted as the logical successor to Poe, and served as the inspiration for many modern horror authors, including Steven [sic] King.
(1) Most information from Willis Conover's biography of Lovecraft entitled Lovecraft at Last. Published by Carrollton-Clark in 1975 in Arlington, Virginia. ISBN 0-915490-02-1. Conover was a publisher who corresponded with Lovecraft during the height of his writing and during his years of illness before he died. KKC
What made Lovecraft's works different from other pulp fiction was his method of "legitimizing" the stories he told. Devoid of gratuitous splatter violence or adolescent foolishness, Lovecraft mixed ancient mythology and occult literature by real authors with books and theologies of his own devising. He did this so well that in many short stories, one cannot tell the difference between the two without a lifetime's knowledge of the subject. Take the story "The Rats in the Walls", where Lovecraft creates a fictional family history from the Magna Mater cult, or in "The Dunwich Horror", where Lovecraft freely intermingles books like the Malleus Maleficarum with fictional titles like the Book of Eibon or the Vermiis Mysteriis [sic: De Vermis Mysteriis].
(2) This opinion is expounded upon by Robert Bloch in the introduction to the Lovecraft anthology entitled Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre. New edition published by Ballantine Books, ISBN 0-345-35080-4. KKC

This essay also appears as the introduction to The Dunwich Horror and Others, which contains the corrected texts of the stories and hence is preferable to the corrupt mass-market editions.

One of the titles that Lovecraft freely threw around was Necronomicon. Lovecraft denied that the book existed, and wrote as a joke a paper titled "A History of the Necronomicon", giving a chronology of the book, names, and places. Supposedly, the book was written around A.D. 700 by an Arab by the name of Abdul Al-Hazred,

That should be Abdul Alhazred. The form "Al-Hazred" only appears in Lovecraft once, where an eighteenth century figure refers to "Abdool Al-Hazred".

and the original title was Al Azif, which is Arabic for the sound made by nocturnal insects.

This, however, is spurious. See my Page on the name.

Al-Hazred was supposedly better known as "the mad Arab, and the name of the book is supposedly bastardized Greek and Latin,

According to who? Lovecraft believed it was simply Greek.

which roughly translates into "The Book of Dead Names" (i.e. ikon=book, necro=die or dead, and nom=name).

This is false. See my Page on the name.

(2a) The nomenclature of the Necronomicon is one of those wonderful topics that can be argued forever, much like the debate over whether Elvis Presley is still alive.

Well, this analogy is certainly apt.

Whatever the true linguistic origins of the name, "Necronomicon" is meant to evoke images of horror and suspicious [sic], and so it does. KKC

This much I certainly agree with. Much more important than the exact meaning of the name is its value in creating atmosphere.

Lovecraft told his colleagues that he stole the name Al Azif from another author as a joke,

He stated that he derived it from the notes to Beckford's Vathek. See my Page on the name.

and that the name Al-Hazred was a pun on his mother's maiden name, Hazard.

Lovecraft's mother's maiden name was not Hazard, but Phillips. Lovecraft claimed that his great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was Robert Hazard (1635-1710), one of a well-known family in Rhode Island history. There appears to be no evidence to support this contention.

(The history is reproduced in the Appendix, in part 3 of the FAQ. The archivist is receiving no monetary gain from the publication of the material in this public format.)

The corrected text version of "History of the Necronomicon" is included on another Page, along with the annotations from this version. I am not receiving any monetary gain either. Feel free to correct this oversight.

(3) Again, from Conover's Lovecraft at Last. KKC
From this, we can assume the following: In fiction or in fact, the Necronomicon is a magickal grimoire, or a collection of spells and experiences from the pen of one person, presumably the man called Al-Hazred.

Fair enough.

Apparently there are those who believe that Lovecraft lied.

Apparently so.

Several books are currently in print bearing the title Necronomicon. But whether or not Lovecraft invented the concept of the Necronomicon, it was he who gave it publicity and notoriety.

(2) What are the Necronomicons like? What is in these books?

Well, it depends on what you happen to find.

Of the books which are titled Necronomicon:

1) The Necronomicon, by Abdul Al-Hazred
Edited by Simon
ISBN 0-380-75192-5
Copyright 1977 by Magickal Childe Publications, New York
1980 by Avon Books, third printing
218 pages, illustrations by Khem Set Rising
Standard mass media (paperback) format
$5.99 in the U.S.
Published by the same people who produced Anton Lavey's Satanic Bible, this book has little or nothing to do with Lovecraft, but a great deal to do with Sumerian and Assyrian mythology. One-fourth of the book is a large introduction written by Simon that supposedly relates the history and the times of the Necronomicon and of Abdul Al-Hazred.

This exaggerates the size of the introductory material, which occupies less than one-fifth of the book.

The book seems to be a collection of genuine translations of cuneiform tablets found in Iraq by archaeologists, with the occasional indecipherable line deciphered by Simon, invariably with some reference to Cthulhu or another reference to something vaguely Lovecraftian.
Simon claims that the book was originally written in Greek, and that this volume is not a complete translation, as parts were "purposely left out" for the "safety of the reader".

I haven't been able to find any statement indicating that the text was originally written in Greek. Simon does, however, claim that the manuscript which he has translated is a Greek copy.

This book is interesting because of its subtlety in some places, and outright bluntness in others. While Simon attempts in his preface to form a tenuous link between Lovecraft and Aleister Crowley (who never met each other, as far as anyone knows),

They certainly did not meet.

he dedicates the book in part to a demon named Perdurabo, without telling us who he is. Frater Perdurabo is a name that Crowley adopted for himself, and is a mystical motto of sorts.

Frater Perdurabo ("I shall endure") was the motto Crowley adopted when he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, and often used by him later as well.

Also, Simon warns against allowing the text to be used by "novices" in the mystical arts, and the author also states repeatedly something to the effect of "show these words not to the uninitiated". However, neither give any definition of what an expert or an initiate might be. The system of rituals also seems extremely simplistic, compared to, say, the high-complexity of the Golden Dawn system.
On the up side, the book does contain some "real" information, most notably the fifty names of Marduk as archetypes, and an abridged version of the Sumerian creation epic, where Marduk kills Tiamat and creates the earth from her corpse. Also, the symbols and sigils are complex and interesting to look at, and form the basis of a "gate walking" ritual that supposedly takes a full year, and is supposed to raise the user's conciousness to a higher state. This sort of ritual is common to many magickal texts. The text also bears a suspicious resemblance to The History of Babylon by Berossus, which is considerably more credible to historical authorities.
This book was also made available in hardback leatherbound, with silver inlay on the cover. The archivist believes that the print run was about 600, and it was made available in an advertisement in Omni magazine in 1989.

The number is usually given as 666 copies. There was also another leatherbound edition of 3,333 copies.

1a) The Necronomicon Spellbook, by Simon
ISBN 0-939708-11-6
Copyright 1987 by Magickal Childe Publications
170 pages, paperback
$6.95 in the U.S.

The Gates of the Necronomicon, by Simon
ISBN 0-939708-08-6
$14.95 in the U.S

These two books, essentially repeating the material in the "original" Simon Necronomicon, are Simon's efforts towards fleshing out the vague material he originally put forth in 1977.
The Necronomicon Spellbook, originally entitled The Necronomicon Report, is a "simplified" guide towards usage of the fifty names of Marduk in divination and prayer, and contains some interesting insight into the meanings of the names. It is interesting to note that many systems of Magick seem to have some diety [sic] upon whom many names are conferred; Egyptian and Greek pantheons come to mind.
The Gates of the Necronomicon is a purported "introduction to the system," which supposedly takes one step by step through each part of the gate walking initiation which is described in the Necronomicon. Supposedly, the ambiguities and unavailability of certain materials which are needed in the rituals are explained away by Simon. The book is currently unavailable from Magickal Childe; although they claim to have published a first edition in June of 1992, it was never made available. It was supposed to be released for the first time in December of 1993, as a sort of "sequel" to the first. No evidence of the Gates book has yet manifested.

This is still the case.

(4) Short of travelling directly to New York and visiting the Magickal Childe shop, you will find these two very difficult to obtain (and if you don't, please do tell us all how you got them). KKC

Since even the Spellbook, which actually did appear, is long out of print, this will hardly work now. A rare book dealer might be able to get the Spellbook, however.

2) The Necronomicon, by Colin Wilson et al.
ISBN 1 - 871438 - 16 - 0
Edited by George Hay
Copyright 1978 Neville Spearman, London
184 pages, illustrated by Stamp and Turner
$9.95 in the U.S.
With about 150 pages of introduction and essay, and about 40 pages of Necronomicon,

By my count (in the Skoob edition), about 130 of introduction and essay, and about 35 of Necronomicon.

famed skeptic Colin Wilson

Wilson is pretty much laughed at in skeptic circles for his credulity regarding occult matters.

gives us the most exhaustive piece of research on how H.P. Lovecraft must have seen the Necronomicon, and evidence for and against the existence of such a book. Wilson calls on the research by Robert Turner and David Langford to form a Necronomicon that they admit freely was fabricated from the works of Lovecraft alone, and seemingly without any real historical base. Notably, Wilson presents a "complete" text on the summoning of Yog-Sothoth and the passage through the gates, the Ibn Ghazi powder, the "adjuration" of Cthulhu, and references to Kadath, Leng, and other names found only in Lovecraft's stories. There is also a poem containing the famous "not dead which eternal lie" couplet.

Unfortunately, they've garbled the couplet as follows:

That which is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die.

But, to return to our FAQ:

Wilson claims to have taken the contents of an obscure volume owned by John Dee called the Liber Logaeth, which supposedly contains several tables of enochian-like characters in 49x49 grids. From this, Hay and Wilson claim to have taken the contents of the book that they published.


It can be said with a fair amount of certainty that the Hay book is a fake. In addition to various references to the fictional Miskatonic University as if it were real, there are also plates and photographs which are cunningly faked as if to convince the reader that all the material is genuine. Look closely if you have a copy; what they portray is not necessarily what has been "translated."

Interesting argument. The photographs presented in this edition are of a different manuscript, not of the Liber Logaeth which is purportedly deciphered.

In toto, the book contains:

This listing omits the first four chapters:

Of Ye Old Ones and Their Spawn.
Of Ye Times and Ye Seasons to be Observed.
To Raise up Ye Stones.
Of Diverse Signs.

The following items do refer, however, to illustrations of these chapters.

A table of working.

I'm not sure what's being referred to here.

The configuration of planetary and astrological stones to form a circle.


Four hand signs.

Yup: Ye Sign of Voor, Ye Sign of Koth, Ye Great Sign of Koth, and Ye Elder Sign.

Ye Elder Sign.

This illustration is the infamour eye-in-the pentacle.

Ye Sigil of Koth.

The following is all accurately taken from the Table of Contents:

To Compound Ye Incense of Zkauba.
To Make Ye Powder of Ibn Ghazi.
Ye Unction of Khephnes Ye Egyptian.
To Fashion the Scimitar of Barzai.
Ye Alphabet of Nug-Soth.
Ye Voice of Hastur.
Concerning Nyarlathotep.
Of Leng in Ye Cold Waste.
Of Kadath Ye Unknown.
To Call Forth Yog-Sothoth.
To Conjure of Ye Globes.
Ye Adjuration of Great Cthulhu.
To Summon Shub-Niggurath Ye Black.
The Talisman of Yhe.
Ye Formula of Dho-Hna.
This book is probably most useful to players of the role playing game Call of Cthulhu, as it is most faithful to the works of Lovecraft.
At the moment, the book is not available on American shelves, so far as the archivist has been able to discern. Every occult shop and speciality bookstore has either been out of stock for years or participate in some elaborate conspiracy to keep it out of American hands (most likely the former, but don't discount the possibility :) To obtain the book, you need to mail order it for $9.95 from the Abyss, a New England occult wholesaler whose address is given in part I of the FAQ.
The Hay Necronomicon was also begetting a sequel in December, called The R'lyeh Text, which supposedly is a translation of the second half of the book (the Necronomicon part is only the first half, so claims Wilson). This book does not seem to be in existence yet either.

This is now available.

(5) This information owes a great deal to Ashton from the net, who seems to have no last name, but found and bothered to read the book. I have also read the book by this writing. KKC

3) Al Azif: The Necronomicon, by Abdul Al-Hazred
Copyright 1973 by Owlswick Press
196 pages
This is an interesting book, if for purely aesthetic reasons. It consists of eight pages of simulated Syrian script, repeated over and over 24 times, in a spiffy hardback cover. No notes, no value, makes a great conversation piece.

While the middle portion of the text is simply repeated, the edges are varied to give it a less monotonous appearance. It does include an introduction by L. Sprague de Camp.

It is interesting to note that Wilson says in his introduction to the Hay Necronomicon that it was this book which inspired DeCamp to collaborate on the publication of the Hay Necronomicon. The connection is unclear, as this book is very, very unavailable to the general public.
A few copies are available in the rare and uncirculating portions of some university libraries. The University of South Florida, somewhere in Tampa, has one under tight lock and key, according to one anonymous source.

Copies pop up from time to time on rare book dealers' lists. Those interested (and able to afford a fairly expensive volume) should check with rare book dealers to see if one is available.

An entry which once deserved a place among these Necronomicons has been proven to be a hoax. Apparently a man by the name of Wollheim sent to the Branford Review (a Massachusetts Newspaper) a fake review of a book called Necronomicon in 1934, supposedly edited by a W.T. Faraday. Interestingly, it was this fake book review which spurred Lovecraft to write his own History of the Necronomicon, according to Willis Conover. Although Lovecraft had invented most of the history prior to this time, it was small scale hoaxes like the Wollheim incident which actually inspired Lovecraft to set the record firmly crooked on one or two relevant points.

Donald A. Wollheim was a correspondent of Lovecraft's. He later became a publisher, and DAW Books is named for his initials.

A copy of the history is found at the end of this FAQ.

I've included the annotated version of the history on my Page dedicated to the history.

There are also many other books that bear the same title. Modern artist H.R. Giger, of Alien fame, has produced two books of horror art title Necronomicon. There is also a gaming newsletter in the northeast called Necronomicon. There are also many entries in catalogs, library systems, and cross-references to books with the title Necronomicon, most of which are pranks or inside jokes. If anyone does find a significant book titled Necronomicon not in the above list, please e-mail the archivist.

Please e-mail me, too: [email protected].

(3) Who is/was Abdul Al-Hazred? Does he exist?
Two theories:
1) Lovecraft?
As stated above, Lovecraft created the name as a family joke. His mother's maiden name was Hazard,

Lovecraft's maiden name was not Hazard, but Phillips (as in Howard Phillips Lovecraft). See the information above on the name Hazard.

and taking a common name "Abdul", Lovecraft created the Mad Arab with his scanty knowledge of Arabic nomenclature. Lovecraft had such inside jokes with many of his fictional authors. Comte d'Erlette, author of the fictional Cultes de Goules, was a derivative of the name of Lovecraft's biggest fan, August Derleth.

This is the historically accurate source of the name Derleth.

Robert Blake, the writer who was possessed and destroyed by Nylarlathothep in "The Haunter of the Dark," was based on his student Robert Bloch, the author of Psycho.

There is also "the Atlantean high priest Klarkash-Ton", derived from Lovecraft's friend Clark Ashton Smith.

2) For Real?
Supposedly, there was a wandering Arab who ended up in Damascus after witnessing horrible magical rituals since leaving his home on the bank of the Euphrates river sometime in the mid 1200s. He took the name Abdul Al-Azred, which supposedly but erroneously means Servant of God, He Who Knows the Forbidden (or something to that effect). After writing down an incomplete synopsis of everything he learned and saw, he mysteriously vanished, leaving only a thick, 800 page Greek text.

On the name Abdul Alhazred see the entry in my Glossary. If anyone has any information on the above supposed story, please inform me: [email protected].

Originally, this wandering Arab was thought by the archivist to be the famous Ibn Khallikan, the biographer and historian from whose works we know many great middle eastern writers and philosophers. Without Khallikan's work, many of these men and women would be forgotten. An exhaustive search of Khallikan's biographies reveals no one with a name even remotely similar to Al-Hazred. Khallikan himself should not be confused with Al-Hazred either.

There is an entry for Ibn Khallikan in my Glossary.

There is evidence against and for both theories, all of which is too lengthy to include in this already humongous FAQ. But suffice it to say that the above two theories are the prevalent ones, with other minor ones floating around.

This is a damn shame. It would be fascinating to learn what evidence there is for the second theory.

(6) Jason and Laurie Brandt from the University of Oregon are the main contributors to the extremely abridged text above. KKC

(4) Who or what is Cthulhu?
Cthulhu is the main character of Lovecraft's masterpiece, "The Call of Cthulhu". Supposedly, in the early days of life on earth, an alien being came to earth and established rule over whatever sentient life was inhabiting earth. However, the lives of Cthulhu and his race are reportedly cyclical, and so at present they are in a hibernation of sorts.
Cthulhu is chief among these entities. Cthulhoid beings resemble a humanoid several hundred feet tall, with a head resembling a squid, claws, and prodigious telepathic capabilities. Supposedly, the cycle is about to end as the 20th century comes to a close, and Cthulhu has maintained a cult of humans to help him return and re-establish his previous rule.

These "prodigious telepathic capabilities" are, (un)fortunately, blocked by water. Hence the Big C is currently out of touch with his followers.

The time that R'lyeh (Cthulhu's sunken continent) shall re-arise is currently undetermined.

In the Simon Necronomicon, Cthulhu is seen as the great and all-powerful evil that will invade the world with the rest of his "evil" brethren if certain gates are left open or carelessly used. Cthulhu is head of the Ancient Ones, the old gods who were defeated originally by the Elder Gods, who are supposedly the "good guys".

This Christian tale was invented by August Derleth. It never appears in Lovecraft's work.

An interesting side note: Kutu is the name of a city in the Sumerian underworld, according to the mythology. Lu is a word in Sumerian which reads as "man", as evidenced by all the Mesopotamian kings whose names were LuGalxxxxx, meaning "Great Man of xxxxx". So KutuLu means man of the underworld. Or so claims Simon, the editor of the Magickal Childe rendering of the Necronomicon.

Unfortunately, the element Lu would need to be the prefix, and the term -- which means "man" -- was not used of deities. This helps clarify why the form "Kutulu" never appeared before Simon coined it.

Those interested should read the netnews.alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ for more information.
Please see part three.

The Necronomicon -- FAQ Version 2.0
19 May 1994 -- Kendrick Kerwin Chua
[email protected] -- University of North Florida, USA

© 1994 by Kendrick Kerwin Chua ([email protected]) Permission is hereby granted to all users of electronic mail to post and distribute this document in an unaltered and complete state, for non-profit and educational purposes. One part may not be disseminated without the other three. For CD-Rom and other commercial rights, please contact the archivist.

Kendrick Kerwin Chua -- [email protected] - "Which ones friends?" Necronomicon FAQ author, OS/2 consultant, Transformers collector, amateur Sumerologist, miniature painter, student journalist, and cartomancer extraordinaire. -- "Ones with this face, I think."

Frequently Asked Questions Part 3
The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0

20 May 1994 Written and compiled by Kendrick Kerwin Chua
([email protected])
University of North Florida, United States of America

FAQ - Part 3

(5) What is a *Necromicon*? Shouldn't it be Necronomicon?
Probably the most frequently asked, see this post from Joshua Geller:

~From: [email protected] (Joshua Geller)
~Subject: Re: Necronomicon FAQ
~Date: 23 Oct 92 10:11:39 GMT

oh shit.

due to the fact that I'm at home at 1200 baud and my editor sometimes skips characters under these conditions, this group was created as 'alt.necromicon' rather than 'alt.necronomicon'.

I am now going to rmgroup it and newgroup the new one.

sorry for any inconvenience.


This is the reason for the misspelling. No one has created a new group with the correct spelling as of yet, due to the low volume of messages on netnews.alt.necromicon.

By this point, not only has alt.necronomicon been created, it has wholly supplanted the older newsgroup.

(6) Does the Necronomicon really exist?
Reference this question to seven years of e-mail and dozens of flamewars. I respectfully submit instead this post from Thyagi Nagashiva (and withdraw any official opinion)....

Please note that my stance on the Necronomicon in this context is not in conflict with the fact that I have said the Hay Necronomicon is a fake. Just because something is not what it claims does not mean it cannot be useful. The Hay Necronomicon does claim to be the ancient word of Abdul Al-Hazred, but in fact was the product of many men's imaginations and hard work. Does this reduce its value or its utility?

Please feel free to work it out for yourself.

Just as a side note: The first line of this answer once read "Reference this question to _five_ years," not seven. I have been at this for far too long...

9210.16 e.v.

I've presented Frater Nigris' Liber Grimoiris on its own Page, and so omit it here.

(7) Many thanks for the opinions and the information that Thyagi has provided. KKC

Uh, yeah, thanks Thyagi, nice doing business with you.

(7) What is the Voynich Manuscript?
The Voynich was first connected to the Necronomicon in Colin Wilson's short story, "Return of the Lloigor", written in the style of Lovecraft. In short, the Voynich is an encoded text accompanied by botanical illustrations and pictures of nudes, all scribbled in some unknown alphabet by an unknown author, perhaps the unseen Abdul Al-Hazred. It could be either a magickal grimiore or a gardening guide, because no one has come up with a definitive crack of the cipher, if it even is a cipher and not just random scrawling. Those who have access to internet should check out internet.voynich for more information.

There is an entry for the Voynich Manuscript in my Glossary.

(8) Thanks to Karl Kluge from CMU. KKC
(8) Where can I find more information?
Well, there's this nifty bibliography that Laurie Brandt posted several times:
~From: [email protected] (Laurie E. W. Brandt (Pegasus))
~Subject: Bib necro
~Date: 3 Nov 1992 06:07:53 GMT
Selected Bibliography

I'm not vouching for any of this list. (I've found a few items at -- buy them all.)

In the near future (probably Fall of 1994), Llewellyn books may be publishing a book, tentatively titled "The Practical Guide to the Necronomicon". If you have any ideas or opinions on this possibility, please e-mail me so that I can pass those words on to the author and the publisher.

If this was ever published, I am unaware of it. Anyone with information please contact me: [email protected].

Also, there are FAQ's on several newsgroups that mention the Necronomicon and give additional information, including:
Also, various authors and magazine articles have been published on the subject, too numerous to list here. This FAQ along with the rest, should give you a fairly complete base of information on which to form an opinion, if any.
Please see part four.

The Necronomicon -- FAQ Version 2.0
19 May 1994 -- Kendrick Kerwin Chua
[email protected] -- University of North Florida, USA

© 1994 by Kendrick Kerwin Chua ([email protected]) Permission is hereby granted to all users of electronic mail to post and distribute this document in an unaltered and complete state, for non-profit and educational purposes. One part may not be disseminated without the other three. For CD-Rom and other commercial rights, please contact the archivist.

Kendrick Kerwin Chua -- [email protected] - "Which ones friends?" Necronomicon FAQ author, OS/2 consultant, Transformers collector, amateur Sumerologist, miniature painter, student journalist, and cartomancer extraordinaire. -- "Ones with this face, I think."

Frequently Asked Questions Part 4
The Necronomicon - FAQ Version 2.0

20 May 1994 Written and compiled by Kendrick Kerwin Chua
([email protected])
University of North Florida, United States of America

(Note: Kendrick Erwin Chua's presentation and annotation of Lovecraft's "History of the Necronomicon" here appears on my Page devoted to that essay.

(2) An abridged pantheon of the mythos
The format of this section is as follows: LOVECRAFTIAN NAME, Simon name: Brief description in prose.
CTHULHU, Kutulu: The ancient entity which is currently hibernating on the ocean floor in the sunken city of R'lyeh (or Urillia). Cthulhu has supposedly maintained a cult of human beings which will assist him when he awakens from slumber, in order to reclaim the earth and establish whatever civilisation existed when Cthulhu first arrived on the earth aeons ago. In the Simon Necronomicon, Kutulu is mentioned in the creation epic, where other translators have failed.
According to the Hay/Wilson Necronomicon, Cthulhu's Sumerian name is Gipartu, a name I have failed to find in many many old texts. They also equate Cthulhu with the Scorpion man, a monster created by Tiamat in the creation epic to combat the younger Igigi gods (and which, incidentally, Al-Hazred supposedly instructs one to turn to for "emergency" guidance at the end of the Simon Necronomicon.) More information on Cthulhu will be available in the next edition of the FAQ. For the meantime, please see the alt.horror.cthulhu FAQ for a more complete description.
YOG-SOTHOTH, Iak-Sakkak: A whirling mass of gelatinous spheres, Yog-Sothoth is the entity who is "keeper of the gate and the key". In simple terms, evoking his powers allows one to travel great distnaces in spirit and body. Some believe that his name is derivative of Set or Seth.

Precisely who believes that his name is derivative of Set or Seth?

AZATHOTH, Azag-Thoth: The blind mad god, Azathoth is supposedly a very old deity who is essentially nothing but an energy repository. In Lovecraft's stories, when Azathoth was summoned he grew exponentially in size and volume until he was sent back to wherever he came from. Simon claims that his name is derivative of the Egyptian Thoth, and is a lord of magicians.
It is interesting to note that this deity seems to be a parallel of the Gnostic Yaldaboath, who is also a chaos deity represented in a similar manner. Interested parties should check out the Nag Hammadi Codices for more info.
NYARLATHOTHEP: An Egyptian god who is supposedly a messenger and an executioner. Nyarlathothep was supposedly responsible for many of the demon and devil sightings during the Middle Ages and during the Salem witch trials. He has no counterpart in the Simon Necronomicon.
Marduk: Head of the Igigi, or "good guy" gods, Marduk was the son of Enki, and was responsible for defeating the evil ancient gods and creating the earth and mankind. The story rendered by Simon is consistent with most translations of the cuneiform tablets by other authorities. He has no counterpart in Lovecraft.
Tiamat: The Mother goddess, Tiamat was the origin of all the other gods. She fashioned a copious number of monsters to fight Marduk before she was dismembered and recycled into what we now call the earth, according to the Sumerian mythology. She has no counterpart in Lovecraft.
This is all I could think of for right now. If anyone thinks that any other deity belongs in this short list, please e-mail the archivist.

Yeah, go ahead and e-mail 'im.

(3) Miscellaneous useful information.

Magickal Childe Incorporated
35 West 19th Street
New York, NY 10011

Carrollton - Clark Publishers
9122 Rosslyn
Arlington, VA 22209

Skoob Books Publishing LTD.
Skoob Esoterica Series
11a - 17 Sicilian Avenue
Southampton Row
London WC1A 2QH

Avon Books, a division of the Hearst Company
105 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

I'm not vouching for any of these.

Here ends the Frequently Asked Questions for the Necronomicon

Whew! -- Made it through this....

The Necronomicon -- FAQ Version 2.0
19 May 1994 -- Kendrick Kerwin Chua
[email protected] -- University of North Florida, USA
© 1994 by Kendrick Kerwin Chua ([email protected]) Permission is hereby granted to all users of electronic mail to post and distribute this document in an unaltered and complete state, for non-profit and educational purposes. One part may not be disseminated without the other three. For CD-Rom and other commercial rights, please contact the archivist.

I hope my own non-commercial use here qualifies under this statement.

Kendrick Kerwin Chua -- [email protected] -- "Which ones friends?" Necronomicon FAQ author, OS/2 consultant, Transformers collector, amateur Sumerologist, miniature painter, student journalist, and cartomancer extraordinaire. - "Ones with this face, I think."

This document is Copyright © 1995, authors cited.
All rights reserved. Permission to distribute the collection is hereby granted providing that distribution is electronic, no money is involved, reasonable attempts are made to use the latest version and all credits and this copyright notice are maintained.

Well, no problem then.

Other requests for distribution should be directed to the individual authors of the particular articles.
nagasiva, tyagi
[email protected] (I@AM)

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