Manuscript mailed from the Gershom Asylum Annex of the Wetumpka State Penitentiary. Penned by Charles Kordish and addressed to Arthur Grosche.
I had the nightmare again last night. It was horribly real; so much so that I awoke trying to scream and couldn’t go back to sleep till dawn. There were three of the chaklah’i circling me; closing in. They were hideous beasts. They were just as the Necronomicon and Cultes de Goules described them: like large bats without wings, the hindquarters of a mangy dog, a muzzle full of long pointed teeth, and long, slender, humanoid hands, black and clawed. Their presence alone was suffocating!
They say I’m insane. Crazy. Loony. Mad. Gone right off the deep end. Of course, they use their big twenty-dollar, psychiatry words to say it, but I know what it really means. They have labeled me a mental case. Is it true? I suppose it is when viewed through their eyes. Do I think I am? Well, that’s the real issue now isn’t it? I’ve heard it said that if you know you’re mad then you must not be. Seems rather paradoxical. I know I’m not crazy, but I can see how my captors would think I am; or at least was. My actions may have seemed aberrant, but my justifications were perfectly sane. And that is what they don’t understand, how I could justify the savage mutilation of four people.
The fact of the matter is that the human being is just barely out of its infancy. On the evolutionary scale we are just a tad above other great apes – they being our closest kin. And planet Earth is just a remote speck of inconsequential dust drifting through an infinite spatial universe. And if one were to then ponder the vast epochs of time that have rolled by then one would see that the Earth is really just an unnoticeable blip on the overall timeline of the eons. I say this to preface my tale because there are just too many fathomless horrors out there in the infinite abyss of this universe for us fleeting humans to honestly think that we have any semblance of a grasp on what we like to think of as “reality”. Our grand Scientific Method is a fine achievement within our own pathetic schemas of our species, but it is laughable to the myriad of alien things that lurk and stalk the starry canvas of the outer oblivion of space. There are just some things that would drive the vast majority of mankind insane if they were confronted with them even obliquely. One shudders to think what would happen to our fragile minds if we were to actually come face to face with the ageless horrors that have assumed a noticeable brushstroke on the canvass of eternity.
Those forces that have existed for a respectable chunk of time haven’t sat idly by and watched; no, they have been evolving and expanding. And they exert their influence from time to time. My whole motivation for writing this is to send out a warning to all who shall read this that there are some areas of knowledge that are best left alone. Areas that should be declared taboo and any caught encroaching upon them should be eliminated. I know this sounds harsh, but this is exactly the thing I took into my own hands to do. It cannot be stated enough that some areas of knowledge open avenues that lead directly to the fall of humanity. I guess, in a way, I potentially saved us all. See? There I go talking like a mad man again. But before you judge too quickly, hear my tale and then decide if the killings were justified. But if nothing else, at least see to it that no one else attempts to revive the abhorrent cult that I barely managed to suppress.
I refuse to give the particulars as to the cult’s object of worship for fear that by naming the thing it would only lead some to seek out more information about it and thus, fall into the grip of its long psychic tentacles. It should suffice the reader to know that I will only describe the behaviors and deeds of those five who were the cult’s core and refer to their “deity” as The Nameless One. By knowing the atrocious things they did one would be able to recognize any similar activities in the future and be able to act to thwart their revival. Chief among their blasphemous crimes against humanity are two-fold. The first is murder, but murder is a horrible deed committed by many around the globe and cannot be the sole diagnostic criteria. But the second, and most damning piece of evidence, is the ritual consumption of human cadavers. Yes, they were a cult of ghouls!
My discovery of their nightmarish depravity began with the random error of the postman. He accidentally deposited a letter to Professor Miller Hall in my mailbox. You see, the professor and I were next door neighbors in Coosada, just a few blocks from Coosada University. At the time I didn’t even know that he was my neighbor and I carelessly opened the letter, as it was mixed in with several other items of mail in my mailbox. I was opening each piece without even thinking of reading the addressee on the letter, perusing their contents and consigning them to either important mail to keep or the garbage as junk mail. When I opened the letter intended for Professor Hall and began reading it I was a bit confused at first. I quickly realized that the letter wasn’t for me and then I checked the address on the front and saw that I had received my neighbor’s letter. But the words of the first sentence had so captured my curiosity that I confess I figured the error was too far afoot now to refrain from doing what I knew to be a breach of privacy.
I can’t recall the words in that letter well enough to quote them verbatim, but I can certainly give you a synopsis. The letter was from an apparent colleague of Professor Hall named Nathaniel Billingsley who was an archeologist in Great Britain. At the time, I couldn’t piece together all of the information that Dr. Billingsley referenced, but it was enough to strike my curiosity and to also raise my suspicions that the two men were involved in some bizarre, taboo practice.
Dr. Billingsley and Professor Hall had obviously exchanged some cursory letters. The tone of this letter was such that he was very excited and wanted to come visit Professor Hall. He rambled on about a megalithic dig he had been involved with in Scotland at Skara Brae. He had deciphered the curious runic glyphs on many of the stone balls and ceramic shards that were found all around Skara Brae and Maes Howe. He didn’t specify the exact words but alluded to the fact that it confirmed that the ancient civilization practiced ritual cannibalism. I gathered that Professor Hall had also proposed a controversial theory that the local Native American tribes had engaged in ritual cannibalism at some point in their past.
Dr. Billingsley then went on to talk about some of the similarities between the megalithic tribes of Scotland, the Native Americans of the Creek Nation, and many of the Pacific Islander tribes and how their rituals all seemed to point to certain passages of the Necronomicon and large portions of the Cultes des Goules. I had no knowledge at the time of these strange texts. The real excitement was in his telling of how he had successfully cracked the elusive text known as the Voynich Manuscript and that what at first seemed to be Hermetic writings were in fact expositions on rituals mentioned in the Cultes des Goules.
After reading the letter I was filled with a dread sense of uneasiness. I could only surmise that these men were involved in some sinister matters that were best left undiscovered and forgotten. I replaced the letter in the envelope and wondered what to do with it. Finally, I decided the best course of action was to place it in Professor Hall’s mailbox. He would obviously know that someone had opened the letter, but a gut feeling told me that I had better ensure that he didn’t know it was me.
Being a sane person locked up in an insane asylum is enough to drive one insane. My nerves are completely shot. Imagine that your only social interaction is with people who are completely mad. Most are pitiful souls who are harmless, but then there are those who freak me out. I’m terrified of several of the psychotic dregs who shuffle around this place talking to whatever mad lunacy they’ve fabricated in their addled brains. Percy is the worst, though. He is relentless in his ramblings. He’s always stalking me talking about the ancient dead who lay dreaming. Too many things he says sound like stanzas from the Necronomicon. And the way his smile twists into an evil grin as his eyes twitch. That daemonic cackle of a laugh! It’s like a sharp spike gouging into my brain! God, how I hate him!
As chance would have it, I was leaving my house on the day that Dr. Billingsley and the two creepy men who accompanied him arrived next door at Professor Hall’s residence. Professor Hall was a tall, thin man with a ring of gray hair around his balding head. He descended his front porch to greet Dr. Billingsley, who was a hearty man with a full beard and large bushy brows. The two men shook hands as if they were already old friends. The two men following Dr. Billingsley remained stone-faced and un-introduced. They were both swarthy-looking men. As I walked out of my house and to my car they both eyed me narrowly as if they were trying deliberately to repel me from their presence. Well, it worked. Those two men sent a chill right through me. I could tell from their looks that they were an unwholesome lot.
Having my curiosity thus piqued, I decided to see just what kind of research these men were involved in. To begin with, I investigated the work of Dr. Billingsley. In his younger days he had studied under the famous Professor Thom and was a colleague for a while with Dr. Robin Lomax. Their work centered around the rich legacy of megalithic culture that existed in Scotland, especially on the Isle of Orkney. The discoveries at the sites of the Standing Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae, and Maes Howe revealed much about the peoples of the megalithic era, but they also created a lot of mysteries. It was obvious from the many standing stones aligned to various fixed points in the sky that the astrological movements and signs of the heavens heavily influenced these people. They were consumed with rituals of death and burial as testified by the many stone burial tombs. However, their runic writing system defied deciphering by all who tried until Dr. Billingsley claimed to have unlocked the key by some manner that he refused to divulge. His claim was that the writings, as well as evidence uncovered through archaeological digs in the tombs and midden heaps, had proven that the ancient people of what is today the Isle of Orkney, had been followers of a cult that worshipped a Nameless Deity and practiced this worship through rites of cannibalism.
Of course, Dr. Billingsley’s work had been vehemently opposed and had caused him to become an isolated outcast in the Archaeological and Anthropological circles of research and Academia. Even his colleague, Dr. Lomax, who was famous for his controversial theories on our common understanding of ancient human history, had distanced himself from Billingsley when he had espoused the outlandish claim that geographically separated cultures of ancient humans had all worshipped a common deity who demanded the ritual consumption of cadaverous flesh.
The really surprising, and what many considered a purely pseudo-scientific, claim was that he had deciphered the Voynich Manuscript by cross-referencing the runic writing of the ancient Orkadians with sections of the Necronomicon and the Cultes des Goules. And what he claimed was contained in the Voynich Manuscript was the ritual ceremonies, incantations, recipes, and spells of the ghoul cult.