Shadow over Meadow Hill
Nov. 28th 1921
Prof. Rice Warren
Dept. of Anthropological Sciences
Miskatonic University, Arkham
Mr. Doyle Jeffries, Editor
The Arkham Advertiser
Dear Mr. Jeffries
I hope this letter reaches You in time for the late terrible events must be brought to everyone’s knowledge. I’m writing this in great haste for I much fear whether I shall be safe at all, let alone still living after this has arrived with You. At first I was very sceptical and suspected our good old antiquarian Melvin Endicott had lost it but in light of the evidence I can no further deny the real nature of the events. Mr. Endicott was a most wise and distinguished gentleman, though uniquely peculiar he was also highly punctual and diligent. Thus his disappearance is very odd. What’s more horrifying still, his charming daughter Evelyn has also vanished with no trace.
As I write this letter to You, Mr. Jeffries, I’m filled by overwhelming dread. It feels as if some great Evil were enveloping it’s tentacles around me, crushing down on my being. I’m also fairly certain I’m being watched. I’ve seen now multiple times the red cloaked figure across the road at the edge of the woods. Every time I run out to the courtyard to get a better look it is gone; IT, for I sense nothing human about it. I would hope against hope this is all a mere product of my imagination but alas, all evidence points to the contrary.
I am enclosing Mr. Endicott’s diary entries from the days leading up to their disappearance which I found in his car. I am worried for his and poor Evelyn’s fate.
Nov. 3rd, 1921
It was a most curious day at the antiquary today. I was just closing up the shop as I felt a draft. It felt strange for I thought to have already locked the doors. Evelyn had already retired home to rest after having been tormented by a vicious headache the whole day. Also for some time she’s been haunted by terrible nightmares of me locked in a cold and damp cellar by some malevolent party that’s keeping us imprisoned for some horrific cause. I’ve mostly mused at the folly of such young lady’s silly dreams and attempted to appease her to no avail. I believe the dreams are the mere consequence of her lovelorn situation. When I returned to the shop from amongst the bookshelves, verily, there stood at the counter a red cloaked figure with his back to me. He was readily exiting the store and in vain I inquired after him as to the purpose of his visit. He just left having spoke not a word. Most peculiar! I noticed on the counter an unknown book, one I’d never seen. In point of fact I’d never seen any book like it ever before. And I know books!
The tome was ancient; this I saw at a glance. What drew my attention, however, was the symbols adorning the cover. They weren’t characters from any language or culture known to me. There was something really shivering about the symbols and I experienced a momentary feeling of immense horror piercing me that was at once burning and chilling. Something so encompassing I nearly lost consciousness right then and there. As the feeling passed after a moment I braved to open the book. The inner cover bore a stamp from Miskatonic University. It was much faded so they must’ve had it for a good while, too.
I’d forgotten that damned book! But today I found it in my daughter’s hands. She was visibly shocked, the book laying in her lap. I took it from her and tried asking what had happened. She sobbed failing all attemps to form words.
Later in the evening the book drew me to itself in some eerie way. Compelled, I began reading. There were clear references to well known tomes such as Abdul Alhazred the Mad Arab’s infamous and forbidden Necronomicon and the Voynich manuscript. While reading I was filled at once with pure dread, comprehension and curiosity. The book told of the Great Old Ones, Gods in dreaming slumber who shall awaken when the time is right. Before mine eyes passed strange names like Cthulhu, the high priest of the Great Old Ones and Azatoth, the Blind Idiot God and Daemon Sultan who occupies the centre of the universe creating things by the power of his thoughts.
As I continued reading I was overcome with an understanding that shakes me to my core every time I think of it. The key will be found right here in Arkham, in Meadow Hill to be exact; that terrifying abandoned place in Arkham’s shadow which is rumored to have been the site of occult and pagan rituals for centuries . The indian tribes that once lived there underwent a sad fate. For instance, of the Massachusett and Wampanoag tribes nine out of ten were killed by disease brought by the Europeans in the early 17th century. The deeper I steeped in the book the more convinced I became that the key must be found and destroyed soon lest it fall in the wrong hands.
Evelyn was too convinced we must do our everything in order to discover the keys and see them destroyed. She has studied ancient languages at M.U. such as Arabic and Latin, and anthropology specialising in cultural history of Native American peoples. After she overcame her shock and was sufficiently calmed to discuss the matter we made plans: This evening we’ll head to Meadow Hill. We’re both convinced the key to it all will be found there. Those horrific portents mustn’t come to pass. I’ve a feeling some people will try their all to open the doors for the Great Old Ones. Who had written this book, why was it left in my shop, and who by? These questions slither in my thoughts like a slimy snake and they won’t give me peace.
At nightfall we packed our supplies and drove to Meadow Hill, the aversive building there. It’s been there since the 1700’s and it has a long and monstrous history. It housed military staff during the War of Independence and later became the property of a rich local family. The Adams’s were ill-reputed then already. They were reported to have undertaken witchcraft and occult practices to advance their success. The family disappeared mysteriously from Arkham sometime halfway through the last century. Since then the place has drawn many of those interested in the occult and it’s said that each year to this day screams and a child’s wailing as well as inexplicable light phenomena are seen and heard there.
We left the car and I charged my pistol with six bullets.
These are the last entries in Endicott’s diary. After that day no sign has been seen of Melvin and Evelyn Endicott. The reason I’m filled with fear is that that book, it’s cover adorned with horrific symbols has now ended up with me. It was delivered by messenger to me at the University last night as I was leaving my study. I’ve now read the terrifying tome and something’s calling me to it, to Meadow Hill without delay!
Story translate by Aapo Halme