Created: February 2017 | Updated:

This article uses material from the Whippoorwills article on the Lovecraft wiki at Fandom and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Whippoorwills were seen at the death of both the wizard Old Whateley and his demi-god grandson Wilbur Whateley. The first's soul they failed to capture and the second's fate is left unknown.

Real-world influences

Lovecraft likely pulled this plot device from the Native American superstition that Whippoorwills were able to predict death as a sort of Banshee in Scottish folklore or even being a sort of night spirit or grim reaper but these stories can mostly be paralells to the 'Raven Mocker'.

Whippoorwills are common most often in the east coast and are considered a separate species from the Mexican Whippoorwill, Whippoorwills would have been a common thing in H.P. Lovecraft's life growing up in New England.

Whippoorwills were heard during the passing of several main characters in various works by numerous authors in the mythos.

Though this concept of the whippoorwills acting as a sort of psychopomp may represent the final passing into nothingness it was used by Fritz Leiber in a fictional telegraph on H.P. Lovecraft's death. It can also be assumed that H.P. Lovecraft's final sight in the Ghooric zone was his "Father" that died of pneumonia when Lovecraft was a young age, it can certainly be assumed that there is a sort of afterlife in H.P. Lovecraft's universe...however, it could be argued that, keeping in line with the original stories of H.P. Lovecraft and their theme of an unkind universe, any "afterlife" within Lovecraftian stories would be a bastardization of most people's concept of an Afterlife.