Lovecraft, Lovecraft-H.P.

The Tomb

The AlchemistThe Tomb

A young man once came upon a tomb. No one really knew that it was there, well, they did, but they spoke about it in little snatches. It belonged to so-and-so. It was overgrown now. This tomb became an obsession to the young man, who was only a boy at the time. The gate was locked with a heavy lock, for which there was no key, or so it seemed.

The boy grew, as did his obsession with the tomb. He went there often. He cleared brush away from in front of it. He sat outside of it. He imagined that he were inside of it. There were treasures untold there, surely. After a time, he got a key, or so it seemed. He went inside. He began to affect the airs of someone other than himself, a well-traveled sophisticate with a strange accent.

Time wore on and the young man could not be found. His parents sent out someone to spy on him. There they found the young man sleeping outside of the tomb, but he had supposed he had gone in. His father told him that no one had been in the tomb for at least fifty years, although the boy said he had been in. In fact, people had observed the boy sleeping outside of the tomb often.

When it was finally revealed what was in the tomb, it was just a burial ground, but the man swore he would be buried there, and it was promised that he could.


Monomania is basically a way of saying you’ve become obsessed with something in a hundred-years ago speak.


I don’t really think the boy actually went in the tomb. I think this was all inside of his head. Really, sometimes we obsess over something so much that something does sort of leap from our heads into our reality, even though it isn’t reality for anyone else. I think this man obsessed over this tomb. He had these grand ideas about what it might be and ultimately ended up daydreaming, then the daydreams became something more.

I actually wrote a book, sort of along these lines. I do think that daydreams and fantasies can take over our lives, but they can also give us comfort and become a coping mechanism. Generally, though, we don’t get to the point that this young man got. I think he took it way too far. I think he probably already had something going on mentally, or his life was awful, either scenario could have been the case.

Having a rough childhood is more than enough grounds for going a little crazy and becoming a little obsessive, daydreaming, perhaps, a little too much. We don’t have any evidence that this was the case with this man. Maybe he had a little schizophrenia. I do think he ultimately put himself in the position that he ended up in. He obsessed in a way that isn’t healthy, actually, obsession is never really healthy. Heck, you can be obsessed with being healthy, and that’s just as bad as being obsessed about anything else. If you eat too many juiced carrots, your skin will turn orange.


How about if you see a creepy tomb, just say, “Ooh, a creepy tomb, that’s nice. I’m going home now.”

Weigh In

Did this man have a mental illness? Yes or no?

Is obsession ever good?


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