The Necronomicon is a fictitious black magic GRIMOIRE, the idea of which was created by the American occult and horror fiction writer, H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937). Lovecraft wrote about the book in his fiction and acquired a cult of followers who believe that it actually exists and that it is based, at least in part, on fact.

The Necronomicon was born of Lovecraft’s fertile imagination in his 1936 essay, “A History of The Necronomicon.” He said that the grimoire was originally titled Al Azif and was written by “the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred,” a fictitious name that he derived from Arabian Nights and that he used to call himself. He claimed that a copy of the book existed in his fictitious city of Arkham. He referred to it in some of his stories but never produced an actual book.

The fantasy captured the imagination of some of Lovecraft’s fans, and for years a belief persisted that a real grimoire titled The Necronomicon existed. Booksellers received requests for it. Different versions of the “real” Necronomicon have been published.

The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley Copyright © 2006 by Visionary Living, Inc.