Worldbuilding Wednesday 3/23/22: Shady Characters (Lovecraft III)

Asenath Waite, Lovecraft’s only transgender femme fatale, by Abigaril Larson

Humans in Lovecraft’s universe did not fare very well. They were transformed into monsters or disembodied brains, driven mad by forbidden knowledge, or became cannon fodder against ancient gods. That’s for the male humans. Female humans fared better. Mostly, by keeping out of his stories. But when they appeared they were witches, or the mothers of monsters.

Lovecraft was meticulous about choosing names for his characters, sticking to family names from his corner of New England (Masschusetts) like Dyer, Pabodie, Peabody, and Whately. His male characters’ names always sound a bit prissy, like they got called four-eyes in school and got beaten up a lot. When he references imaginary local histories, the first names he uses are those that were popular in that particular decade, which may be names from the Bible, Puritan names like Mercy or Resolve, or old blood English ones, such as Thomas or Abigail. In doing research to randomgen this list I came across some very odd ones indeed, like Onesiphorus, Gershon, and Hepza.

Since his characters are often professionals like doctors and scholars, I included some titles for both women and men.


Characters for a Lovecraftian story


Old Leyander Lipcott

Captain Theodore Baird

Dr. Jeremiah Pallsgrave

Elder Levi Cabell

Pastor Israel Hugh

Resolve Plumstead

The Honorable Israel Clough

William Trascott

Minister Gershon Curtwell

Nathaniel Shapley

Zephaniah Jessup

Roland Sherman

Deacon Wymont

Governor Jonathan Whippel

Enoch Stoddard


Madame Paget

Dr. Eunice Granger

Patience Silsbee

Lydia Cabell

Serene Cordner

Old Addie Osgood

Lavina Charles

Susannie Watkins

Harriet Rose Bucknam

Lucy Colcord

Mercy Stoddard

Lady Adelaide Carrington

Madame Lucente

Mrs. Eber Alger

Mother Phoebe

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