If you are into horror, chances are you've heard of the American author H.P. Lovecraft. One of his most famous works, "The Call of Cthulhu," has an almost cult following in pop culture, with assorted merchandise as well as video games based on the tale. Imagine a man whose astronomical fiction is so realistic and powerful that numerous cults have formed and based practices on it, in an almost religious sense. H.P. Lovecraft was born on Aug. 20, 1890, and died on March 15, 1937. His influence can be seen in several forms of media, from movies to the writing of other authors.
Let's take a look at the popular Cthulhu. Cthulhu is represented in pop culture as a green squid-like monster, with almost a cartoonish personality. In the game "Cthulhu Saves the World," you play as a lighthearted and kind representation of this beast. While this representation is not completely wrong, as the beast's physical description is somewhere along those lines, it is not 100 percent accurate. In reality, Cthulhu is much more than that. He/it is considered a Great Old One, which is a being of such incomprehensible power that even just imagining him could make a person go insane. Cthulhu is just one of the deities in the whole mythos, with the next powerful tier being the Outer Gods, which contains gods such as Azathoth, who slumbers in the center of the universe and is constantly being lulled to sleep by a demonic piper, and should he awake, the world will end.
Another object that Lovecraft had created is the Necronomicon, which is a grimoire containing information on how to summon the Great Old Ones, and information about them. The reason Lovecraft had decided to make up his own mythology, as opposed to using one that already existed, is the fact he needed more information for his tales and felt that the existing books did not amount to much content-wise. This Necronomicon, despite any sort of real existence, has been used in Lovecraft-inspired cults that are admittedly just admiring Lovecraft himself and know it is not real, as a type of framework.
Lovecraft created his own sub-genre of the horror genre, known as Lovecraftian horror, or cosmic horror. This sub-genre highlights the unknown, the unknowable, and the unreachable depths of the universe. There have been film adaptions of his stories, but they usually do not hold up to the source material, and usually miss or incorrectly portray events. Comics such as "Hellboy" have been based off of the writing of Lovecraft, as well as novels from Arthur Machen. Several bands also can trace influence to the great Lovecraft, such as Nile, Morbid Angel, and Vader.