I Believe in Miskatonic

Among HPL's most enduring creations there's Great Cthulhu, the forbidden Necronomicon, there's nameless cults and blasphemies from beyond time and space. But really, my favorite is Miskatonic. Conjured up in Lovecraft's imagination, Miskatonic is perhaps the most joyful of Lovecraft's creations. A mix of Brown University and Harvard, relocated in a fictionalized version of Salem, Miskatonic is the perfect institution of higher learning for those of us inclined to the macabre, the obscure and the horrific.

Miskatonic is the kind of place that mounts fantastic expeditions to unknown regions of the Antarctic or Australia's Great Sandy Desert. It's the kind of place where librarians keep the keys to the most interesting book on stout chains they wear around their necks. It's the kind of place that would admit young Herbert West and promote him to physician when the typhoid epidemic became too severe. It's folklorists professors confront alien horrors in Vermont. It's graduate students become frozen snacks for Elder Horrors in the polar waste. It imparts the kind of forbidden knowledge that set young Walter Gilman on his doomed academic journey. Yep, I want to go to Miskatonic.

Don't get me wrong, I had a fun undergraduate education. At the University of Colorado I studied mesoamerican archeology. I learned to read and write the hieroglyphic language of Ancient Egypt. I did an independent study course in Renaissance Hermeticism. For a state university - it was pretty cool, and I was just a Theatre major. Then I went on to graduate school at CalArts which was challenging, bizarre and scary in completely different ways. I loved getting an education - but some part of me will always yearn to have attended Miskatonic.

The HPLHS has produced innumerable Miskatonic projects over the years. We sing about it in A Shoggoth on the Roof. We filmed it in The Whisperer in Darkness. We've made it's hoodies, t-shirts, coffee mugs, course books and diplomas. We've written its academic monographs. Recently we've even gone so far as to create letterman's hoodies for dear old MU. Why? Well, it turns out there's a bunch of you that seem to feel the same way that we do about our faux alma mater. All of us take delight in that leap of imagination that lets us ask: what if I had gone there? What would I have studied? Would I be able to deploy my esoteric knowledge for good like a Henry Armitage? Or would my education have opened my mind to terrifying vistas of reality as to bring about my doom? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to keep enrolling in their Continuing Ed. classes.

Comment on this post (5 comments)

  • Jay Kuczma says...

    My actual degree is an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Science from State University of New York, Albany, with additional work at the University of Minnesota in Criminal Law. Criminal Science required a great deal of psychology, with an emphasis on abnormal and aberrant psychology, with transactional analysis thrown in as a delightful and challenging bonus.

    My avocation is that of a herpetologist, teaching fire fighters, ambulance crews, law enforcement and the military snake identification and field snake bite treatment.

    Real or not, I am immensely proud of my Doctorate of Preternatural Psychology from Miskatonic. Now that I have retired from herpetology (old age and too many snake bites have caught up with me), I intend to apply for a post on Miskatonic’s faculty in the School of Psychology.

    April 23, 2020

  • Philip Lebow says...

    I always wanted to attend a college like The Miskatonic. I was going to
    college during the start of the Viet Nam conflict. I was getting degrees in
    Archeology and Mechanical Engineering. Then I was encouraged to join the Army. I saw haunted temples, and real horrors, but continued on that track until I mustered out years later with a darker view of the world.
    I went back and finished my education and degrees. I went to Valley State College (now Cal State University Northridge).During the college finale, I worked with the USGS re surveying the Four Corners area of Arizona, and also working on dig sites. but I longed for truly arcane knowledge. Then I became an engineer.
    I became a true Lovecraft fan during the last college years. I was still thinking of what an education in meta-physics might have been like.
    By that time my thinking and world view was congruent with HPL’s.
    Perfect fit.
    I wanted to be a Librarian at the Miskatonic.

    December 26, 2018

  • John says...

    Do you ever cross paths with http://miskatonic-university.org/ in your search for Miskatonic paraphernalia?

    November 25, 2018

  • Dan Pratt says...

    I admit to trolling LinkedIn for fellow HPLers by adding a degree in Medieval Metaphysics from Miskatonic U to my profile. (No one took the bait, but I think that’s a symptom of LinkedIn’s uselessness.) I wear my Miskatonic hoodie (and eight enameled school pins) with pride!

    November 14, 2017

  • Mark says...

    Yes!! Miskatonic Has Always Fired My Imagination. I Actually Haven’t Been Through College,But If I Went Somewhere,It Would Probably Be Here. I Have Flights Of Fantasy,Thinking Of What It Would Be Like,To Be In A Place Like That. Not Sure I’d Want To Meet My End There,At The Hands Of One Of The Macabre Elder Horrors,But It Would Be A Very Interesting,Totally Different Kind Of Journey Through The Academic Circles,In An Arena Fraught With Never-Ending and Unexpected Twists Of Fate.

    June 09, 2017

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