Climbing Up the Spectral Hump

Today I had an opportunity to retrace the steps of Robert Blake whose demise was thoroughly reported by Lovecraft in “The Haunter of the Dark.” Much like Blake, I wandered up and down unknown streets ascending Federal Hill in Providence, certain I had lost my way. The neighborhood had changed somewhat since Lovecraft’s reportage. Yes, the population is mostly Italian or Italian ascent. But there were several exemplars of Latin cuisine. I even passed an Arabic restaurant, though whether the proprietor or any of the staff was mad, I could not say. I feared I  would not reach my destination, but then in the distance I saw a dark tower. Now the authorities (and by this I mean the internet) will tell you that the dark-towered old church is no longer there, that it has been torn down and replaced with a little park. But I found this not to be true. The old church is still there for those with a discerning eye. Difficult to see in the bright sun of daytime, yet casting a shadow nonetheless. And the books, “the black, forbidden things which most sane people have never even heard of, or have heard of only in furtive, timorous whispers,” yes they are still there. Written in some strange invisible ink on stone. The Haunter remains. I fear tonight he will sweep down Federal Hill to find me. I will stay  in well-lighted places.

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