Lovecraftian horror

Lovecraftian horror is a subgenre of horror fiction that emphasizes the cosmic horror of the unknown (or unknowable) more than gore or other elements of shock.[1] It is named after American author H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937).


Some scholars use "Lovecraftian horror" and "cosmic horror" interchangeably.[2] Cosmic horror has been characterized as:

  • The "fear and awe we feel when confronted by phenomena beyond our comprehension, whose scope extends beyond the narrow field of human affairs and boasts of cosmic significance".[3]
  • A "contemplation of mankind's place in the vast, comfortless universe revealed by modern science" in which the horror springs from "the discovery of appalling truth".[4]
  • A naturalistic fusion of horror and science fiction in which presumptions about the nature of reality are "eroded".[5]