Guide to Owning Your First Necronomicon

GRANT LINDAHL

GRANT LINDAHL

If you’re reading this, you recently found yourself in possession of a Necronomicon. First of all, congratulations! The tome you hold in your hands contains immeasurable power, and the odds that you will unwittingly unleash an ancient unspeakable evil are lower than you might think! In that it is slightly less than a certainty. But in the words of the New York Lottery: Hey, you never know. You can’t just let a Necronomicon go to waste; you’ve got to get some skin in the game. In this case the skin will most assuredly be literal.

Look, the book’s going to bleed. That’s what it does. Try a mixture of  water and hydrogen peroxide to address staining, and maybe place a tarp underneath it to prevent future blood pools. What’s so off putting about a little blood mixed with writing, anyway? In the newspaper business, if it bleeds, it leads! This circumstance is…similar. Ish.

After you get past your encounter with the blood, you’ll notice that you’re dealing with a fairly run-of-the-mill repository for Hell on Earth. It’s a standard get-up of double reinforced stainless steel chains and padlocks treated with enchantments by a mad Benedictine monk, a jacket and binding made of human skin, and a living, unblinking eye.

It’s recommended that you apply lotion to the jacket and binding to keep it supple and avoid cracks and weeping sores. It always seems silly when you see it for sale in the pharmacy, but udder balm truly works wonders for this purpose. Tanned and stretched human skin really isn’t all that different from cowhide.

Do not poke the eyeball. Do not wink at the eyeball. Do not look directly into the eyeball. Pretend you and the eyeball are on the subway together, and stare into the middle distance.

You may be hesitant to read spells out loud, for fear of mispronouncing words and looking foolish, or mispronouncing words and bringing the wrong versions of horrifying death screaming into this world. Luckily, most of the writing is in Latin. If you type the words into Google, you can listen to helpful recordings of them being pronounced. You’re on your own for the Aramaic spells. Tread lightly. If you summon Leviathan, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of very angry Hebrews.

A few quick tips on raising the dead. It’s going to happen, whether you do it intentionally or not, and it’s often not a bad thing! Sure, for the formerly dead it’s incredibly painful being ripped from the afterlife and forced to shamble around in a rapidly decaying body, trying to communicate despite desiccated vocal chords, a hint of a remaining tongue, and a sliver of jaw muscle. But from your perspective, hey! Grandma’s back! Wondering if Babe Ruth could have competed with the athletes of today? Only one way to find out.

Once you’ve done a fair amount of dead-raising, you’re going to find that on occasion you’ll resurrect an evil one or two. Can’t make an omelet, and all that. The good news is, if you live in a major city, it is surprisingly easy to release them into the wild, so to speak, without raising any eyebrows. It turns out that in cities like New York and LA it is very hard to tell the difference between your run of the mill hobo and an evil corpse brought back to life. If you’re reading this on the subway, look around you for a vagrant. Are you sure that’s not a revived corpse? The answer may surprise you! You’d think that in LA the warm weather would tip the recognition scale by producing a more distinctive smell in the reanimated, but you’d be wrong. Tramps don’t smell so hot, either. If you’re concerned that the presence of the evil dead in a major city is going to cause a disturbance of biblical proportions, rest easy knowing that the practice hasn’t caused problems to date. That the public is aware of.

It’s past time we addressed the Great Old Ones. Maybe that is the reason you picked up a Necronomicon in the first place. A bit on the nose, but whatever. You might think that assisting the Great Old Ones in crossing over into this plane of existence will be a grand old time. A real humdinger. Maybe you look forward to seeing the Earth engulfed in flames, the cries of the unworthy echoing through burnt out cityscapes and extinguishing hope in the breasts of the righteous ones while you fiddle up a storm. That might be the exact kind of party you want to be on the guest list for.

But it’s a bad scene. And further, this guide really isn’t for you. When you’re dead set on that end game, you can figure your path out for yourself. If that’s not your goal, read on.

The Great Old Ones are not to be trifled with. We’ve all seen baby Cthulhu illustrations on the Internet, but the real deal is a tad less cuddly. And once he starts bursting through that dimensional door, you can ask as politely as you want but you’re not getting him to change his mind. Tread lightly. Think before spellcasting. Just use your head, please, before Cthulhu lops it off.

And remember, when exploring your first Necronomicon: Just have fun with it!