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Old Whateley is the overarching antagonist of the short horror story The Dunwich Horror written by the late H.P. Lovecraft.


In the town of Dunwich, Massachusetts, there was the infamous family of the Whateley residence. Despised for their "wizardry," Old Whateley at first seemed to be a senile, half-insane mad man. In actuality, he was a fierce worshiper of the Great Old Ones and sought to summon them to the Earth. Sometime after his wife died, presumably due to him, he takes his daughter Lavinia Whateley and sacrifices her to the Outer God Yog-Sothoth. The result is her becoming pregnant and she painfully conceives Wilbur Whateley and his twin brother who was kept locked away.

As Wilbur grew at an unnatural pace, Old Whateley severely indoctrinates his grandson into the dark arts. Lavinia disappears presumably as a sacrifice by Wilbur, and before long, Old Whateley dies. As he laid on his deathbed, he weakly tells Wilbur that he must carry on with his destiny. Wilbur sets about attempting to accomplish his grandfather's wishes, but the copy of the Necronomicon in the family's possession was damaged.

When Wilbur approaches a man named Dr. Henry Armitage about taking a copy of the book at his library, he later infiltrates the library at night only to be mauled to death by the guard dog.

Wilbur's twin brother escapes its imprisonment and wipes out two families in its rampage. Armitage and his party race the creature to Sentinel Hill where it calls out for its father before being destroyed by a spell Armitage learned. The Dunwich Horror's essence was then returned to Yog-Sothoth's dimension.


  • Unnamed Wife (deceased)
  • Yog-Sothoth (spiritual son-in-law)
  • Lavinia Whateley (daughter, presumed deceased)
  • Wilbur Whateley (surrogate grandson, deceased)
  • The Dunwich Horror (surrogate grandson, deceased)


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