The Unnamable (short story)
Created: February 2017 | Updated:

This article uses material from the The Unnamable (short story) article on the Lovecraft wiki at Fandom and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

The Unnamable
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"The Unnamable" is a short story by science fiction and horror author H. P. Lovecraft. It was written in September of 1923 and was first published in the July 1925 issue of Weird Tales.

Plot summary

Carter, a weird fiction writer, meets with his close friend, Joel Manton, in a cemetery near an old, dilapidated house on Meadow Hill in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts. As the two sit upon a weathered tomb, Carter tells Manton the tale of an indescribable entity that allegedly haunts the house and surrounding area. He contends that because such an entity cannot be perceived by the five senses, it becomes impossible to quantify and accurately describe, thus earning itself the term unnamable.

As the narration closes, this unnamable presence attacks both Carter and Manton. Both men survive and awaken later at St. Mary’s hospital. They suffer from various lacerations, including scarring from a large horn-shaped object and bruises in the shape of hoof-prints on their backs.

Manton describes the unnamable in the closing passage of the story:


"The Unnamable" has been loosely adapted into two motion pictures. Both films were written and directed by Jean-Paul Ouellette and have only a tangential connection to the original short story:

There is also a closer adaption into a short film by Sascha Renninger: