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.