Interviews

The Cult of the Yellow Sign on Their Doomsday Plans, Potluck Orgies, and Birthday Party for Horror Author H.P. Lovecraft

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So the Cult of the Yellow Sign was inspired the idea of the glyph of the Yellow Sign in the works of Robert W. Chambers, which was later used by H.P. Lovecraft, correct? 138: The Cult of the Yellow Sign is kind of like a meme in horror fiction. Robert W. Chambers created the idea of the Yellow Sign in his book, The King in Yellow. It was later adapted by H.P. Lovecraft to represent Hastur, the fiery god who lives in the lake of Aldebaran in the constellation of Betelgeuse.

808: The first time the cult was mentioned in fiction was in Robert Anton Wilson's Illuminatus trilogy. We tired getting him to join our chapter of the cult but he was too busy.

So both you and other members of the cult appreciate the works of Lovecraft and other horror and fantasy authors then? 138: We tend to consider Uncle Howie to be a kind of prophet. Before him there were people like Lord Dunsany and Robert E. Howard, who I'm a big fan of. And I absolutely love Chambers. To quote Lovecraft, Chambers could've been "so much better if he had tried only marginally harder." Plus, he's the writer of the first true supernatural romances, which are the only kind that I care to read.

808: And we also appreciate other people like Poe or [Jorge Luis] Borges from South America. We like anything that questions reality and makes you feel full with despair and hopelessness.

Where is the cult headquartered? 138: In the frozen city of Y'ng'mar in the center of the hollow earth, which orbits around a black sun and lit entirely by blue fungus, you may have heard of it?

808: We have a portal over by the Irish Cultural Center. Also, the Margaret T. Hance Park has a bridge where underneath they used to have all those folk-punk shows. We had a little portal built in there too. The Trunk Space has been especially good with us, letting us do our annual Lovecraft birthday shows there.

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.