Necronomicon, a doomed book

A day of books and roses. It is known that the latter have thorns, both symbolic and real… but what about books? Do they prick? Evil tongues say that the leaves of some of them are made of human flesh and using blood as ink…

The Necronomicon is, no doubt about it, one of the most mysterious books ever written, besides lurking the most darker and fascinating story you might heard about… Emerging from the overflowing imagination of H.P. Lovecraft, a seminal reference in science fiction and fantasy world and a must-read for terror lovers and occultism fans, this forbidden work strongly penetrated into the genre and popular culture to end up embedded in the most dismal corner of esoteric literature… Little did this American writer imagine that his so-called myths of Cthulhu would had such diffusion, but what is certain is that the Necronomicon was due to really leave its mark. 

One of the contemporary copies…

We are faced with a manual of black magic and arcane rituals that have to do with the world of the dead (hence its title, which comes from the Greek, which in turn is a translation from the original Arabic…) and how to get in touch with it. Necronomicon’s pages contain millenarian formulas as well as spells capable of invoking evil entities and making us visit the Realm of the underworld. Those who read it, nevertheless, end up inevitably crazy and dying in the most terrible ways… Starting with its creator, the Yemeni poet Abdul al-Hazred (730 AD), seen by numerous witnesses dying in broad daylight and slaughtered by an invisible creature. Two centuries later Theodorus Philetas translated the text into Greek, language from which it would receive its common name, and the manuscript would rapidly expand among the philosophers of the early Middle Ages. Of course, everything surrounding the book put the Catholic Church more than nervous, and it would become definitively banned in 1050. In 1228, however, Olaus Wormius translated the book into Latin, in which eventually would end up being its most famous version, since the original Arab and Greek versions have been lost in time forever… or so it’s believed. In any case, four years later Pope Gregory IX included all versions of the book in the infamous Index expurgatorius. Clandestinity, darkness and black legend…

The book in The Evil Dead film (1981)

The Necronomicon has always been one of the greatest totems in occultism and pagan magic, but for centuries and centuries not even a single copy has been found. However, and according to tradition, there are still three original copies left: one in a safe of the British Museum, a second one in the Widener Library of Harvard University (Cambridge) and the last one in the National Library of the Argentine Republic, in Buenos Aires. Lovecraft was, indeed, an unrivalled master in endowing his creations with verisimilitude… As a matter of fact, it is not strange at all that even today both students and university professors look for the book in libraries, and there are plenty of references to it in all kind of cultural products; from the Evil Dead movies to the biomechanical art of HR Giger. Would you dare to delve into their twisted pages?