Short story: “Pickman’s Model”

by look i have opinions

“Pickman’s Model,” by H. P. Lovecraft

First appeared in the October 1927 issue of Weird Tales; found online here and here

5,572 words

Lovecraft isn’t known for his sense of humor, but his stories are often strangely funny as well as chilling. (Here, he even slips in one of the ghouls’ own gags: “Holmes, Lowell, and Longfellow Lie Buried in Mount Auburn.”) Maybe it’s because horror and humor both fulfill the same need—the need to respond to something so strange that it might otherwise defy response.

That last line is priceless. You can see it coming, sure, but the timing! It still gives me a chill after all these years. And makes me laugh.