The Necronomicon: The dangerous and forbidden “Book of the Dead”

In the dark corners of ancient civilizations and hidden amongst scrolls of forbidden knowledge lies a tome that has seized the minds of many. It is known as the Necronomicon, the Book of the Dead. Its origins shrouded in mystery and surrounded by tales of unspeakable horror, the mere mention of its name sends shivers down the spines of those who dare to delve into its forbidden pages.

A book bound in human flesh and inked in blood, a book filled with spells to raise the dead and summon ancient creatures, the Necronomicon inflicts insanity and even death upon its readers.

the necronomicon
© Fandom

The Necronomicon

the necronomicon prop
The Necronomicon (Illustration)

Considered one of the most dangerous books in the world, the Necronomicon is a literary creation that travels between the limits of fiction and the brutal reality.

It is said that since this copy is true, people who have dared to read the Necronomicon and study the prophecies, spells, incantations and judgments contained therein have often fallen into madness or death. Following the belief that this book exists, there are those who claim that all original copies of such a title are kept under lock and key in extremely private libraries or collections.

Many readers of the Gothic novel and of terror have been excessively fascinated by this story, the one that tells the historical passage of a bibliographical example capable of linking the world we know with an earlier and supernatural one, to bring about the end of this earth as we know it.

Therefore, there are political and religious organizations behind any trace that may indicate their whereabouts. Quite strange for a book that is said to be false according to others, is not it? A sector of these consultants and stakeholders asserts that this object has never existed more than in the narrative imagination, trying to deny any data or suspicion of their whereabouts.

The origin of The Necronomicon

H. P. Lovecraft, The Necronomicon
Portrait of H. P. Lovecraft taken in 1934 at the age of 44 © Wikimedia Commons

The scandal began with the American writer H.P. Lovecraft, author of several ghost stories and diabolical dye, mostly recognized for his stories about Cthulhu Mythos, but also recalled by the alleged creation of “The Necronomicon”, and for having deep knowledge about the original Necronomicon.

According to the genial mind of this man of letters, the Necronomicon does not exist on the planet Earth of truth, it was invented by him and nothing else. If so, Lovecraft would be hiding a fantastic tool with enough information to reveal the horrific origins of humanity, the dark rituals practiced there and other studies of the occult.

According to Lovecraft, the idea for the Necronomicon came to him in a dream. As he translates it, the Necronomicon means ‘An Image [or Picture] of the Law of the Dead’ however, a better etymology would be ‘A Book Classifying the Dead.’

Lovecraft only ever hints at the book, making the first reference to it in his short story ‘The Hound’ in 1924. In true Lovecraftian style, the Necronomicon appears in story after story, like a whispered horror. His works were based on the unknown, drawing upon the natural fear of what we don’t understand.

the necronomicon
First page of the manuscript of History of the Necronomicon by Lovecraft © Wikimedia Commons

The author scares readers by evoking creatures that remind us of just how powerless and weak we humans truly are. He reflects hints of ourselves and Earthly creatures within his monsters, making them even more terrifying.

However, Lovecraft repeatedly insisted that both the book and the names used in his novel are fictitious, and he himself created them. A fact that has not convinced researchers of the paranormal too much because much of what the writer portrays mysteriously coincides with other facts and assumptions of the occult.

In addition, in his biography, Lovecraft himself seems to leave the data necessary for a more complex tracing of the diabolical work. Thanks to these notes, we have been able to generate a map that addresses the original author of the real Necronomicon, not to the novelization of the American; Abdul Al-Hazred and other pertinent notes have been found to have been created by the astrologer Abu ‘Ali al-Hasan or by the Jewish mystic Alhazen ben Joseph. The book was over 1000 pages long, and there are no known surviving copies. Such demonic material, to this day, remains a mystery, which may be a good thing!

There are supposed to be ‘a thousand and one’ ways of how it originated in the Middle East, passing through the Greek and Latin world to be translated, managed and inherited to Modern Europe, later arriving in America and unleashing a cult both strange and dangerous.

The Necronomicon legacy

After Lovecraft’s death in 1937, his close friend and writer, August Derleth continued Lovecraft’s legacy with his contributions to the Cthulhu Mythos. Derleth combined his own imagination with Lovecraft’s. He made references to the dreaded book, keeping the legacy alive.

The idea of this fearsome book also led to the creation of the Necronomicon Press, a small publishing house based in Rhode Island. Established in 1976 ― almost 40 years after Lovecraft’s death ― the press printed works of endless Lovecraftian and Necronomicon inspired authors and writers.

Famous horror writer Neil Gaiman included hints to the Necronomicon in many of his works, and collaborated with Terry Pratchett to create the Necrotelicomnicon. As the name may suggest, it is a book for the dead. In Latin it is called ‘Liber Paginarum Fulvarum’ which translates to ‘The Book of Yellow Pages’. This tribute to Lovecraft was meant to summon horrifying demons and other dark creatures, and was featured in a range of works by Gaiman and Pratchett. The two created a Lovecraftian circle of their own with their hilarious homage to the original.

To say, Lovecraft blurs the lines between real and fictional works, and the various allusions to the Necronomicon in fiction has caused a belief amongst some that there exists somewhere a true copy of the horrible book. A few writers capitalized on this belief, printing their own Necronomicons to satisfy the demand.

The most widely-read version is written by ‘Simon’. It was first published by the Magickal Childe, one of New York’s more famous occult shops, in 1977, in a deluxe leather-bound edition. Later, it was released as a paperback, reaching a much wider readership. The Simon version of the Necronomicon claims to be a Sumerian grimoire, translated from a Greek manuscript for us to read.

Final words

Fanatics from all over the world have given themselves the task of investigating and searching for the aforementioned book but, if found, the details of their reading have not been revealed. It has even been the case of fakes and scams by charlatans in the network who ensure they can get copies of the original Necronomicon.

We do not know if indeed the cursed book that can guide us to destruction exists, but if in doubt, and if Lovecraft had concealed research primordial for its finding, we must take into account that on the planet there are verses with dark power to damage the mind of its reader and to attack against the whole humanity.