It may only be August, but department stores and supermarkets are already setting out displays to remind us that Halloween is approaching. It is in this spritely spirit that I invite you to celebrate another, lesser-known date: the anniversary of H. P. Lovecraft’s birthday on Aug. 20.

Though many know this master of horror to have been rooted firmly in New England, local author and historian W. Scott Poole’s superb biography “In the Mountains of Madness: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of H. P. Lovecraft” notes a brief stint in the Holy City in the 1930s. In addition to enjoying Charleston’s architecture and rich history, Lovecraft was also drawn to the city’s dark ties to Jim Crow. Even if you’re new to Lovecraft, I highly recommend Poole’s “In the Mountains of Madness” to anyone for its detailed, accessible and narrative account of Lovecraft’s life, work and lasting influence in horror over time.

Other Lovecraft biographies at Charleston County Public Library include S. T. Joshi’s authoritative “H. P. Lovecraft: A Life” and Michel Houllebecq’s “H. P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life.” You'll also find Alex Nikolavitch’s graphic novel “H. P. Lovecraft: He Who Wrote in Darkness,” a unique addition to the literature.

If you’re looking for works penned by Lovecraft himself, die-hard fans can visit CCPL’s archives at the Main branch on Calhoun Street to see a letter to his close friend, H. C. Koenig, written during Lovecraft’s stay in Charleston. Literary enthusiasts with an academic bent should check out “The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft,” a behemoth tome chockablock with scribbled-in-the-margins-style notes and pictures accompanying each original story. This is just one of a dozen titles containing the author’s original work.

You can also find plenty of titles inspired by his stories, including the cult classic film “H. P. Lovecraft’s Re-animator" directed by Stuart Gordon and Neil Gaiman’s award-winning graphic novel “A Study in Emerald.” Other writers heavily influenced by Lovecraft are Octavia Butler, China Miéville and Victor LaValle.

For more information about H. P. Lovecraft or to find your next hair-raising read, speak with the Adult Services team at Mt. Pleasant Regional Library, located at 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, or call 843-849-6161.

Upcoming programs:

Lego Club (ages 4-11)

Saturday, Aug. 24 from 2-3:30 p.m.

Create with library Legos.

Coffee and Conversation (adults)

Monday, Aug. 26 from 10-11:30 a.m.

Socialize with other seniors, and enjoy coffee and a breakfast treat.

Mah Jongg the American Way (adults)

Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 2-4 p.m.

Join other Mah Jongg enthusiasts for an afternoon of enjoyable play.

For all CCPL programs, visit

Emilie Hancock is a library generalist at Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464, 843-849-6161. She can be reached at